- Students must have at least a "C-" grade for courses to count toward the major. Further, if a student is unable to attain a "C-" grade after having taken the same course twice, they must "stop-out" of alcohol & drug counseling major for at least one year. Rationale: provides the student with time to address academic deficiencies.
- Course equivalents: If a student believes he/she has already taken an equivalent course in the major from another accredited college or university, he/she must submit a course description (or syllabus) for consideration and review by the faculty.
Exception: Articulation agreements, such as Minneapolis Community & Technical College or Century College. A maximum of 38 credits can be transferred into the major.
- No course older than 10 years will be counted towards any requirements in the major.
Rational: due to its dynamic nature, knowledge about addiction must be up-to-date. In addition, skills which are not used tend to atrophy. If a student "stops-out" for a significant period of time, knowledge and skills become outdated without practice.
Exception: if a student has been working in the counseling field during the 10-year time period, then old courses will count.
- SDIS/Prior Experience: The possibility of gaining credit for prior experience is one of the alternative learning strategies permitted by the University. However, there are some additional requirements to do a Prior/SDIS instead of taking an alcohol and drug counseling course. Generally, to be eligible/qualify for a "prior," a student will need at least three year’s work experience in the curriculum content area. Work would need to be the "main focus" of the job and relate directly to one or more of the 12 core functions of alcohol and drug counseling.
- Students are expected to maintain a responsible relationship with all mood-altering substances, with no problematic use which would negatively affect their performance as a student or intern. As such, they are expected to abide by all laws regulating the use licit and illicit drugs. In addition, students are also expected to address personal mental health issues, so they do not negatively impact their performance as a student or intern.
Students must be free from alcohol and other drug abuse problems for at least two years prior to the date of practicum application. (see Student Practicum Manual, 2008, page 6) See also University Policy #1020 on Student Code of Conduct and University Policy #1030 University Community Code of Conduct.
- Practicum Manual: There is additional information about the Alcohol & Drug Counseling Practicum provided to students in the Pre-Practicum course (HSCD 320). The Practicum Manual contains detailed information about the practicum, including policies, standards, and requirements. (see Practicum Manual, 2008)
- In order to be eligible for a practicum, the student must currently be an admitted Metropolitan State University, a student in good standing, have completed all the prerequisites for practicum, not be on academic probation, and have at least a 2.0 GPA. There is an application process for practicum which is completed in the Pre-Practicum Seminar (HSCD 320).
- Background checks: Minnesota Statutes 245C (Human Services Background Studies Act) commonly referred to as "background checks," are required to be conducted on employees, volunteers, and interns who provide direct services to clients in facilities licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. This applies to most sites for alcohol and drug counseling practicum (245C subp. 4). The purpose of background check is to disqualify people who have committed specific crimes from providing direct services. Disqualification can be for 7, 10, or 15 years and depending on the crime committed and could even be permanent.
In the Pre-practicum course (HSCD 320) students are required to submit to and successfully complete a "background check" prior to beginning practicum. If a student is concerned about the possibility of being disqualified from practicum, as a result of the background check, s/he could request to have one competed at any time. Please see the lead faculty member if you wish to pursue this.
- If a student fails or is discharged from a practicum, they must "stop-out" for at least one year. Rationale: provides time for student to address problem related to failure or discharge.