Program Overview

Every day countless lives are enriched or saved because of the work carried out by alcohol and drug counselors. Competent, well-trained counselors form professional relationships and carry out strategies which help people and their families move from life-threatening addiction to life-affirming recovery.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) Alcohol and Drug Counseling major is for students who have a variety of needs and interests related to substance abuse problems. It is designed to help students wanting to qualify for licensure, community college transfer students, people who are already licensed and want to complete their undergraduate degree, and for other professionals (social workers, psychologists, school counselors, nurses, law enforcement personnel and others) who want to learn more about effective responses to substance abuse problems.

This major is 60 credits, which includes 12 core courses (48 credits), an 880-hour practicum sequence (9 credits), and 3 elective credits.

More information about this program

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To declare your major, you must submit a College of Health, Community and Professional Studies Undergraduate Program Declaration Form. Consult with an advisor before submitting the declaration form.

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Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 120 total credits)

Alcohol and Drug Counseling Required Courses (48 credits)

Courses are listed in suggested sequence order:

  • HSCD 300 Introduction to Substance Use Disorders
    4 credits

    This course is designed to be an overview of the practice of Alcohol and Drug Counseling. It covers the main theories or models which explain what chemical dependency is. It also provides a survey of the practice of alcohol and drug counseling, including history, licensure requirements, 12 core functions, continuum of services, culture, evidence-based practices, laws, ethics and professionalism. An orientation to the Alcohol and Drug major will also be provided.

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  • HSCD 200 Pharmacology of Addictive Drugs
    4 credits

    This course is designed to acquaint the student with physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of commonly abused psychoactive drugs and their effects. Topics covered for each category of psychoactive drug include: general information, incidence and prevalence, mechanism of action, specific psychological and physical effects, and treatment approaches.

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  • HSER 355 Introduction to Human Services: History and Trends
    4 credits

    This course covers the historical and progressive development of the human services field, as well as the present trends and professional issues, including theoretical approaches to human services work, practical skills, human services delivery systems, human services work in a pluralistic society, and using research in human services work.

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  • HSER 346 Counseling and Interviewing Skills
    4 credits

    This course introduces students to basic counseling skills. As such, it is designed to help students develop essential helping skills needed for client engagement, follow-through, completion and overall therapeutic effectiveness. Specific skills and techniques covered include; developing rapport, building empathy and listening, encouraging trust, self-disclosure, immediacy, questioning & evoking, addressing discrepancies, etc. This course is highly experiential in its format. Students will participate in classroom exercises, real plays, and video-taping of counseling skills.

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  • HSER 395 Intersection of Race and Diversity in Human Services
    4 credits

    This course emphasizes the experience of race and racism and how both intersect with various forms of human diversity in the helping arena. It will provide students an understanding of how power and privilege are operant in the human services. Students will examine assumptions, myths, beliefs, and biases that block effective relationships between groups of people and that hamper helper-helpee dynamics. Course activities involve self-assessment and opportunities for application of learning in a human service environment. COMPETENCE STATEMENT: Knows conceptual frameworks dealing with racial-ethnic identity, racial-cultural world views, oppression and power well enough to explore, develop, and evaluate personal responses and professional strategies to eliminate the myths, beliefs, biases, actions and efforts, that sustain social oppression in the helping professions.

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  • HSCD 303 Cultural Considerations for Alcohol and Drug Counseling
    4 credits

    This course is designed to help students understand the cultural dynamics of chemical dependency counseling for diverse groups. It explores the relationship between cultural identity and the knowledge, and skills for addressing counseling issues for each cultural group. It also provides students with information on the history, cultural uniqueness, and counseling issues for the following cultural groups: African-Americans, Latin Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, European Americans, Gay Lesbian Bi-Sexual and Transgender, Woman and Feminism, and Men.

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  • HSER 348 Group Counseling
    4 credits

    This course teaches the dynamics of group counseling. Students learn the skills of group counseling in a classroom and Training group experience. Topics include: stages of group, group rules and goals, group leader skills, and types of groups. Students learn writing and charting skills necessary to document client progress. Emphasis is on interaction among group members, the counselors role in group facilitating, and techniques to help group members learn to view their own behavior for self-awareness and self-disclosure.

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  • HSCD 309 Co-Occurring Disorders: Substance Use and Mental Health
    4 credits

    Significant numbers of chemically-dependent individuals have one or more mental disorders. This course is designed to help the alcohol and drug counselor to become more familiar with the most common mental disorders, the interrelationship between mental disorders and substance abuse, and various counseling methods and treatment approaches for the dually disordered client. This course covers the main features of the most common mental disorders, how they interact with substance abuse, assessment and counseling approaches, medications used for treatment, and community resources used to help these clients.

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  • HSCD 302 Assessment of Substance Use Disorders
    4 credits

    This course is designed to teach students the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform assessment interviews and diagnosis of substance use problems. Students will learn about: the qualities of good assessment, motivational interviewing skills, the interview process, screening tools, "Rule 25", "DSM IV", placement and treatment planning. This course meets the required 30 hours of class-room training to be a "Rule 25" assessor.

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  • HSCD 353 Case Management for Alcohol and Drug Counseling
    4 credits

    This course provides students with a beginning understanding of the essential components of successful case management for alcohol and drug counseling. That is, the activities which a counselor engages in to bring services, agencies, resources, and people together within a planned and coordinated framework of action toward achievement of established clinical goals. Specifically the course will focus on, the theory of case management for alcohol and drug counseling, related state and federal laws, the Twelve Core Functions, the Rules of Professional Conduct, and the practice of clinical writing.

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  • HSCD 400 Best Practices in Drug and Alcohol Counseling
    4 credits

    This course's goal is to improve outcomes in the practice of alcohol and drug counseling by linking scientific research to treatment practice. As such, the course explores current best practices in alcohol and drug counseling, such as transtheoretical stages of change, motivational enhancement techniques, and so on. The student also selects, researches, and completes a study project, which explores an evidence-based approach to alcohol and drug counseling, in depth. Counseling skills are practiced in this course.

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  • HSCD 450 Senior Seminar: Alcohol and Drug Counseling
    4 credits

    This course is the culminating experience for seniors, who are majoring in alcohol and drug counseling. In this course students reflect on their academic course of study and demonstrate the relationship between what they have learned and how they apply this to the professional practice of alcohol and drug counseling. In addition, students analyze and explore agency management systems which complement their practice of alcohol and drug counseling. This course is a combination of Senior Seminar in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and the Human Services Capstone. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 28 credits in the alcohol and drug counseling major, must have been completed or is currently or enrolled in an internship.

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Alcohol and Drug Counseling Practicum Courses (9 credits)

  • HSCD 320 Alcohol and Drug Counseling Pre-Practicum Seminar
    1 credits

    This course is designed to help students evaluate their readiness, prepare for and then select a practicum site for Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Examples of course topics include: examination of personal readiness, practicum or career goals, review an array of possible practicum sites and making an appropriate selection for practicum.

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  • HSCD 380 Alcohol and Drug Counseling Group Practicum I
    4 credits

    This course is intended to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired during their academic coursework and transfer it into clinical settings. This internship requires students to demonstrate competence in the Transdisciplinary Foundations of 8 Practice Dimensions (12 core functions) of alcohol and drug counseling, including culturally competent and professionally ethical practice.

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  • HSCD 390 Alcohol and Drug Counseling Group Practicum II
    4 credits

    The alcohol and drug counseling group internship is intended to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired during their academic coursework and transfer it into clinical settings. This Internship requires students to demonstrate competence in the Transdisciplinary Foundations and 8 Practice Dimensions (12 core functions) of alcohol and drug counseling, including culturally competent and professionally ethical practice. In the classroom portion of this course, students will review and critically analyze counseling style, diversity, ethics and the agency in which they are conducting their internship. In addition, they will continue to practice and enhance clinical skills and techniques.

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Alcohol and Drug Counseling Electives (at least 3 credits)

  • HSCD 301 Substance Use and the Family
    4 credits

    This course is designed to teach students to understand the family dynamics of the person who is chemically dependent and to learn skills which will help them to work with these families at a beginning level. Course topics include family relationships and chemical dependency, and treatment theories and counseling techniques for individuals and their family members.

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  • HSCD 304 Substance Use and Native Americans
    4 credits

    This course provides a basic understanding of the unique cultural, historic and legal status of the American Indian. Topics covered include; population demographics; the shifting public policies toward American Indians; the historic rise of chemical dependency among American Indians bio-psycho-social and economic needs and resources of the American Indian. This course focuses on culture, history and related chemical dependency issues from the American Indian perspective.

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  • HSCD 306 Prevention of Substance Use Problems
    4 credits

    This course will focus on how prevention practitioners can design and implement scientifically defensible prevention principles, programs and practices that meet the needs of their own communities. The course will examine science-based prevention and its relevance, the theoretical approaches to evidence-based prevention, and identify effective prevention principles, programs and practices. Special emphasis will be placed on adapting evidence-based models to meet local needs and interests. Successful completion of the course will qualify students for certification as a Certified Prevention Professional (CPP) through the Minnesota Certification Board.

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  • HSCD 308 Adolescent Substance Use Disorders
    4 credits

    This course explores the bio-psycho-social developmental issues and tasks of adolescence, substance use trends, risk and protective factors and recognition of the signs of potential substance abuse problems. Methods of screening, assessing and treating adolescents and how to involve the family and other collaterals in the treatment process are addressed. Interventions and approaches that are identified as "best practices" are emphasized. Legal and ethical issues of screening, assessing and treating teens are addressed.

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  • HSER 350 Issues in Adolescent Counseling
    4 credits

    This course develops a number of theoretical approaches for working with youth. Issues raised are appropriate for counseling in individual and family settings. Concepts include the nature and meaning of adolescence, youth culture, youth alienation, sex roles, conflict and the generation gap.

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  • HSER 354 Ethical Issues in Human Services
    4 credits

    Students confront complex ethical and moral issues in their professional and personal lives. In this course, students study and apply the cultural, social, legal, economic, theological and philosophical bases for making such decisions. Each student learns to articulate coherent arguments involving at least two divergent views of many current ethical issues confronted in human services today. Students select, research and present an individual project on a major ethical issue relevant to their professional interests in human services.

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  • PSYC 343 Drugs and Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Pharmacology
    4 credits

    This course reviews current information on the clinical use of psychoactive medication. The course focuses on standard clinical psychopharmacology, applications of psychoactive medication, and relative merits of medication vs. psychotherapy rather than on illicit drugs. This course examines several classes of therapeutic drugs, such as neuroleptics, antidepressants, tranquilizers and hypnotics, their mechanisms of action and side effects, and research/experimental issues.

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