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SAC Certificate Details

Details on the Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling

Enrollment in this Certificate Program offers learners opportunities 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.

Our program provides training for people interested in pursuing work as alcohol and drug abuse counselors, as well as for those who are already working in the field yet who wish to hone their knowledge and skills. The certificate program may also be helpful for people with advanced degrees in law enforcement, nursing, education, rehabilitation counseling, social work, psychology, and other professionals in human services who wish to specialize in substance abuse counseling.

Learners will focus on developing both basic and intermediate-level knowledge and skills required of entrance level substance abuse counselors. They will be encouraged to develop personal maturity through self-exploration, and adoption of a professional demeanor that will further support their entry into the substance abuse counseling field.

Learners can fulfill a sizable portion of the National Association of Drug and Alcohol Counselors’ (NAADAC) Twelve Core Functions of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor requirements. The program will also assist one in preparation for the state certification exam. Please be advised that completing Leeward’s certificate program is not the same as obtaining the state certification. Contact the Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD), Certification Unit (692-7518) for details about state certification requirements.

In most cases, learners must complete the four clinical courses prior to entry into Practicum. Practicum involves placement at a substance abuse treatment facility and the completion of 225 hours and attendance at an evening seminar over the course of each of the two semesters. HSER 294 Practicum is offered only in the fall semester, and HSER 295 Practicum is offered only in the spring semester, and taken in the second year of the program. It is highly recommended that the learner also work towards completion of an AA degree in Liberal Arts if they have not yet done so. All of the HSER courses support the 17 elective credit requirements for the AA degree. With completion of an AA, degree 2,000 hours of the experiential hour requirement by ADAD is waived.

Potential program enrollees may complete all of the clinical courses prior to officially applying for acceptance into the program, but must complete the program application before enrolling in Practicum. Acceptance into the program occurs in early March for entry in each fall semester. Place your name on a list with the Social Science Division secretary (FA 220, 455-0360) if you are interested in being accepted into the program when the first opportunity arises.

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