Substance Abuse Counseling Program

Challenging. Demanding. Rewarding.

Substance abuse counseling is a demanding, yet rewarding, field of human service that requires patience, compassion, a keen desire to help others, field-specific knowledge and skill, as well a good deal of psychological maturity.

In this part-time, two-year substance abuse counseling program, you’ll focus on developing both basic and intermediate-level  knowledge and skills required of entry-level substance abuse counselors and work on developing a personal and professional maturity through a self-exploration process.

About the Program

Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate of Competence -- Certificate requirements (pdf)

18 credit certificate program that offers you the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium, (ICRC) which governs Hawai‘i state certification of substance abuse counselors. The certificate fulfills the substance abuse specific education requirement for Hawai‘i state certification and satisfies a portion of the experiential hours requirement.

This is a two-year, part-time program of study. You'll need to complete the prerequisite course, HSER 100 (3 credits) and the four counseling courses (HSER 140, 268, 245, 270) prior to enrollment in the second year, fall HSER 294 and spring HSER 295 practicum courses. Costs: tuition and fees
Certificate of Competence in Substance Abuse Counseling Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:
  • Recognize the medical, societal, psychological, and family affects of abuse and addiction with regard to alcohol and other drugs
  • Identify Hawai‘i’s prevention/intervention and treatment system, its strengths and limitations
  • Develop an awareness of issues and other personal values/biases that might impact one’s effectiveness as a substance abuse counselor
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the Twelve Core
  • Functions engaged by the alcohol and drug abuse counselor, and know how these functions apply to the continuum of care
  • Demonstrate an ability to do an effective biopsychosocial assessment and display a basic knowledge of counseling approaches used with individuals and groups
  • Identify the ethical and legal issues that confront the counseling professional, and abide by them when in the field
  • Distinguish the stages of the treatment process, including aftercare, relapse prevention, and the issues relevant to their clients involved in each stage of intervention
  • Display attending, active listening, and other counseling skills in their work with individuals and groups

Gwen E. Williams, Professor CC, Human Services; B.A., Psychology; B.A., Environmental Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz; M.S.W., University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies

Patti Isaacs, Ph.D, Executive Director, Ho‘omau Ke Ola

Keith Takeshita, COSAC Student Representative

Dennis Tamura, COSAC Student Representative

Suzanne A. Whitehead, Ed.D., NCC, CSAC, ICADC, Chief Quality Assurance Improvement Office ADAD, DOH

Irene M. Wong, LCSW, CSAC, Manager of Adult Clinical Services Hina Mauka

Nicole S. Wright, PsyD, CSAC, ICADC, Staff Psychologist/Faculty, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center Director, Malama Recovery Services, and the Leeward Kōkua Program