Graduate Degree Programs

Addiction Counseling Certificate

The purpose of the Addiction Counseling Certificate program is to prepare professionals for specialized clinical work with clients suffering from substance use disorders (e.g., alcohol or drug abuse/dependence, sometimes termed addictive behaviors or chemical dependency). The program is intended for individuals who already have some background in a counseling-related field.

The 18-credit program is designed to be completed in one academic year and is a precursor to obtaining certification or licensure as an addiction, substance abuse, or drug and alcohol abuse counselor. Courses are offered in the evening, following the 8-week "module" format. Students typically attend classes on two evenings per week. Enrollments permitting, accepted students will be able to begin either in late August/early September or in late January. Those beginning in August/September may graduate the following May; those beginning in January should graduate in December.

The curriculum guides students from the basic science of drug action, through the roles played by drug and alcohol use and abuse in society, to the essential elements of clinical practice: all the way from understanding receptor mechanisms of chemical dependency to deciding what next to say to a troubled client. The clinical emphasis is on empirically supported treatments.

Upon completion of this program, students will have completed all educational requirements for certification or licensure as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the State of Connecticut as well as certification by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB), an affiliate of the IC&RC. Licensure (LADC) is available only to persons holding an appropriate master's degree; those with lesser academic credentials may, however, pursue certification. Supervised experience in the field and a passing score on the International Certification Examination are also necessary before licensure or certification may be conferred.

A printable check list for state certification and Licensure requirements is accessible on the button above called "Licensure Requirements".

Professional Counseling Associations

American Counseling Association (ACA)

The ACA, with about 70,000 members, is the one professional group for counselors of all varieties. It includes 20 divisions (specialty areas), of which the largest are those for mental health counselors and school (guidance) counselors; rehabilitation counselors, career counselors, and addiction counselors (see below) are also well represented. The ACA is an important organization. It operates certification programs (NCC and CCMHC) that are linked with state counselor licensure systems. The web page includes a career center with job listings.

International Association of Addictions and Offender Counseling (IAAOC)

This is the ACA division for those interested in addictions and forensics.

Connecticut Counseling Association

This is the local ACA affiliate.

NAADAC: The Association for Addiction Professionals

NAADAC (formerly the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) is, with some 75,000 members, probably the largest professional organization of addiction counselors. NAADAC offers the usual sort of membership benefits and also operates a certification program. The web page includes a career center with job listings.

Connecticut Association for Addiction Professionals

This is the local affiliate of NAADAC.

International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC)

The IC&RC is the largest organization devoted to credentialing addiction counselors, with some 45,000 individuals having earned certification; its local affiliates are linked with many state licensure programs.

Connecticut Certification Board (CCB)

This is the local affiliate of the IC&RC. It administers a voluntary certification program; of even greater importance is the fact that the IC&RC/AODA exam is also used by the state government to help establish eligibility for licensure. The CCB is situated at 100 South Turnpike Road (suite C), Wallingford, CT 06492; telephone (203) 284-8800.

Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut

This is the government agency that regulates licensure of all health care professions, including addiction counselors. The link will take you directly to the home page for addiction counselors. From there, you can quickly obtain the application materials. Contact information is also available there. Some of the forms and other materials also may be found in the "documents of interest" section of the program web site.

Gainful Employment

In order to be eligible for funding under the Title IV programs, an educational certificate program must prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” Federal requirements mandate that institutions disclose gainful employment information and other statistics in relation to certificate programs.

Non-degree programs, including all certificate programs, are considered Gainful Employment Programs subject to the new regulations. Certificate programs include undergraduate certificate programs, post baccalaureate certificate programs, graduate certificate programs, and post-graduate certificate programs.

Programs Exempt from Gainful Employment

The following educational programs offered are not subject to the new Gainful Employment Program regulations:

  • Programs that lead to a degree, including associateʼs degrees, bachelorʼs degrees, graduate degrees, and professional degrees
  • Programs that are at least two years in length that are fully transferable to a bachelorʼs degree program
  • Preparatory courses of study that provide course work necessary for enrollment in an eligible program