Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

What is it?

The Addictions Counseling specialization is comprised of three courses (nine credits) that are specifically designed to help prepare students for the academic requirements of the Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) credential from the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP).  This is a highly credible professional credential for Counselors. 

The combination of the courses listed below will complete the academic and practical components needed; this will partially fulfill the requirements for certification. 

Courses required for the academic and practical component of certification include:

  • The three course cognate (COU-651, COU-652, COU-653)
  • One course in ethics (i.e. COU-502 Counseling Ethics and Issues)
  • One 300-hour internship that provides experience in counseling people with addictive and compulsive conditions (i.e. COU 784/785).

Following these courses, a student must:

  • Work in the field of addictions for 2000 hours (these hours can also count toward LPC licensure) 
  • Pass the IC&RC/AADC written exam
  • Sign the Counselor Code of Ethical Standards
  • Complete the CAADC application

Please go to the Michigan Certification Board website www.mcbap.com for application and instructions regarding the certification processes.

What are the benefits?

  1. Accessible to all students from anywhere as all courses will be taught in an 8 week online format.
  2. Training received will allow graduates greater marketability as it addresses a core struggle for many people (substance and non-substance addictions).
  3. Prepares MA Counseling graduates for LPC Licensure in other states that may require an addictions course.

Who can take the courses?

The CAADC certification is encouraged for anyone in the social services field that desires to learn more about helping people who struggle with addiction.  The Michigan Board typically certifies those with any of the following degrees/licenses: Master's level in counseling (LLPC, LPC), psychology (LLP, LP), social work (LLMSW, LMSW), or marriage and family therapy (LLMFT, LMFT).  

Individuals with a bachelor's degree can also pursue certification at the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) level.  Please go to the Michigan Certification Board website www.mcbap.com for application and instructions regarding the certification processes.

Course Descriptions:

  • COU-651 Clinical Diagnostic Assessment of Addictions
    This course will provide the clinical knowledge that is necessary to facilitate an initial intake and diagnostic orientation for the client in the counseling process. Students will learn the diagnostic skills necessary to administer a comprehensive and thorough evaluation for the purpose of determining effective treatment plans for clients who are suffering from diverse addictive and compulsive disorders. An emphasis will be placed on integrating and analyzing current research in the field of addictions counseling assessment from a Christian worldview.
  • COU-652 Sociology of Addictions
    This course provides an introduction to the sociological perspective of addictions counseling by relying on studying systems perspective from a Christian Worldview. The environmental context of the client will be considered in order to promote cultural competence and an awareness of the sociopolitical and economic aspects of addictions. Special attention will be devoted to expanding awareness about collaboration, consultation, case management, client education, service coordination and how to develop a referral network in the community.
  • COU-653 Addictions Counseling: Treatment and Intervention
    This course is designed to help the student become more knowledgeable about counseling philosophy, techniques, theory and professional/ethical standards that are most effective in counseling clients who have been diagnosed with an addictive or compulsive disorder. Current research about the most effective and practical theoretical counseling models that foster personal growth, recovery, healing and change are studied and critiqued from a Biblical perspective. There will be a concentration on documentation/record keeping, crisis intervention, treatment planning and the important aspects of clinical supervision. Students will also have an opportunity to learn and critically examine how their intrapersonal awareness can enhance the counseling process.

How do I enroll?

I'm a current MA Counseling student
Register for available courses through WebAdvisor. Courses will be available to students on a first-come-first-served basis following registration start dates. Please fill out a degree program change form if you plan to choose the Addictions Counseling specialization. Addictions Counseling courses can be used to fulfill the interdisciplinary cognate as well.

I already have a master's degree
Anyone who already holds a master's degree will need to apply using the Non-Degree Application. This will allow you to take only the courses needed for certification, rather than a full degree program. According to the MCBAP, anyone with a Master's Degree or license at a Master's level in psychology, social work, counseling, or marriage and family therapy with a clinical application may seek this certification as a CAADC (Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor).

I am interested in the MA Counseling program and Addictions Certification
If you are thinking about working as a counselor and the field of addictions intrigues you, the MA in Counseling may be the right program for you!  Apply to the 69-credit MA Counseling program using the Main Application for Admission and choose the Addictions Counseling cognate specialization.

Admission Requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate institution.
  • Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA.

Admission Process:

  1. Fill out the appropriate application, listed above.
  2. Request that official transcripts from any undergraduate or graduate institutions you have attended be mailed to GRTS.
  3. Notify personal and ministry references that a GRTS Admissions representative will e-mail them a link to the electronic reference forms.

How do I obtain the certification after completing the classes?

Upon completion of the three addictions courses and the ethics course, you will need to do the following in order to receive the full certification:
  • Find a practicum site that allows you to gain experience in the 12 Core Functions of alcohol and drug abuse counseling. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Office (LARA) has a list of approved sites. You do not have to be signed up for an official practicum course at an institution to gain the practicum experience in this area. 
  • Pass the IC&RC/AADC examination.
  • Complete 2000 hours of counseling experience working with addictions clients at a program licensed by the State of Michigan. The hands-on internship/practicum experience may count toward these hours if it was completed at a state licensed substance abuse program.  See the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website for locations. There are many in the Grand Rapids Area.
  • Apply for the Certification.
  • Have already obtained your master's degree in counselor, social work, psychology or a related field. 

Please go to the Michigan Certification Board website at www.mcbap.com for more detailed requirements and certification processes. The CAADC application and materials are helpful as well. 

Questions? Contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 800-697-1133 or seminary@cornerstone.edu.