The Addictions Counseling certificate program is housed in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling. Individuals can pursue the certificate on its own, in conjunction with a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, or Marriage and Family Therapy, or other clinical-based masters degree. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for professionals working in the addiction field to advance their knowledge. This certificate prepares students to work with individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders or in recovery. The certificate program, upon completion, prepares students to pursue appropriate supervision toward North Carolina Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board (NCASPPB) credentials.
To provide specialized education in addictions counseling for bachelor level helping professionals working with substance abuse clients and master's degree-seeking students currently enrolled in degree programs in counseling or related fields at Appalachian.
The program provides students the knowledge and skills to become counselors who are leaders in the addiction field.
Plan of Study
The Addictions Counseling Certificate is a 12-hour program of study. Courses are offered during regular fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students must take four of the following Addictions Counseling courses. Courses do not have to be taken in any specific order. Students within a Master's program may be able to complete the Certificate within the normal length of their program; however, there is no guarantee that they will be able to obtain all the classes required prior to their graduation date. It may be necessary for some students to complete their certificates after they have graduated.
The following courses do not need to be taken in any specific order.
Total Required (Minimum 12 Hours)
Required Courses (9 Hours)
HPC 5560 The Addictive Process (offered fall and spring semester)
HPC 5570 Counseling the Addicted Person (offered every fall semester)
HPC 5274 Substance Abuse in Family Systems (offered every spring semester)
Choose One of the Following Courses
HPC 5555 The Neurobiology of Addiction (offered every even summer)
HPC 6539 Advanced Theories and Models of Addiction (offered every odd summer)
HPC 6570 Appalachian Addictions Institute (offered on demand)
HPC 6770 Current Issues and Special Populations in Addictions Counseling (offered on demand)
Applicants who are not enrolled in a masters degree at Appalachian State University will have to apply for the certificate through the Graduate Admissions Portal
Students currently pursuing a masters degree at Appalachian State University will need to enroll in the certificate using the Change of Graduate Program Form
- In their certificate courses, students must receive a grade of a B or better. No courses from other universities will be accepted as substitutes in order to maintain quality control of the material. If a student transfers into the masters’ degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the certificate program, upon the discretion of the faculty, the full 12 hours may be accepted toward their degree.
- The certificate will be noted on the transcript when all requirements are completed.
- No individual studies will be done for any of the certificate classes listed.
- Once all certificate courses are completed, the student must submit the online completion of the graduate certificate form. Directions are found here.
- The Graduate School then sends the student (mailed to the address indicated on the completion form) the actual certificate.
- Applicants need to be aware, however, that the North Carolina Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board (NCASPPB) licensure/certification process for addiction counselors in North Carolina is a separate process from this certificate program. If an applicant wants to be a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) in North Carolina or Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), the applicant would need to contact the board directly for information on this process.
Our substance use counseling curriculum has been approved by NCASPPB for board-eligible candidates. The North Carolina Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board (NCASPPB) licensure/certification process for addiction counselors in North Carolina is a separate process from this certificate program. If an applicant wants to be a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) or Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in North Carolina, the applicant would need to contact the board directly for information on this process. After completing the certificate, students will still need to complete the necessary contact and supervision hours if they wish to seek licensure or credentials. To find out more about what Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialists do, check out this resource.
Students enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy Program and completing the Addiction Counseling Certificate at Appalachian State University can register with the NCASPPB under Criteria C. More information for applying for the LCAST through Criteria C can be found here.
All other students in a Master's Degree program (with a clinical focus) who are not enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy degree programs would apply for their LCAS-A under "Criteria A". For example, students graduating from a Master Degree program from Appalachian State University, Social Work Degree Program or Professional School Counseling degree program who complete the Addiction Counseling Certificate will register with the NCASPPB under LCAS-A through Criteria A and will need to complete 4,000 hours of post-master's degree supervised substance abuse experience under a CCS or a CIS.
Contact the NCASPPB for more information on the credentialing process.
Addictions Counseling Certificate Coordinator
Reich College of Education
Office: 314C College of Education
Phone: (828) 262-6046
Fax: (828) 262-8372