The program is seeking accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
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The Addiction Counseling Profession
Addiction counselors provide treatment and coordinate services for people with a range of substance use disorders, addictions, co-occurring disorders and other behavioral health problems. These professionals conduct a range of activities, including: appraisal, diagnosis, treatment planning, counseling, referral and coordination with other health care providers. Addiction counselors provide individual, group, and family counseling and also deliver prevention programming. They help clients find ways to address their addiction with family and friends and improve their social relationships. Furthermore, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and, if necessary, reestablish their career.
This Addiction Counselor education curriculum is designed to involve the learner as an active participant in the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for competent practice in the field. The program conforms to the stated requirements for the graduate education of addiction counseling professionals as set forth by accrediting and certification bodies. It is the intent of the program to graduate students who are:
- Ready to acknowledge the importance of ensuring dignity, independence, and wellness for persons with substance use and/or behavioral disorders;
- Dedicated to adhering to the key values, standards, and codes of ethics as set forth by state and national licensing and certifying bodies;
- Engaged in reflective, creative problem-solving;
- Sensitive to the collaborative therapeutic relationship;
- Involved in leadership roles to develop and enhance service delivery systems;
- Able to act as a responsible advocate for affected clients and their families.
Graduates of the program can seek employment in addiction, behavioral health or mental health centers, state agencies, hospitals, healthcare facilities, non-profit organizations, insurance companies, health management organizations, educational institutions, prisons, probation and corrections agencies, and research organizations. The program actively recruits students from diverse populations and has a minority rate of approximately 40%. Since the inception of the Department of Clinical Counseling and Mental Health over 87% of students who enter the program finish with their degree or certification requirements.
The Master of Science in Addiction Counseling (MSAC) degree program is a distance education, 60 credit hour graduate program, designed to provide a comprehensive exposure to the field of Addiction Counseling.
The MSAC program was designed specifically for people who cannot attend traditional types of graduate programs. The program is ideal for: people who are currently employed; who live in rural or isolated areas; have family or personal responsibilities that prevent them from taking on-campus study; or who simply cannot take extended time off to attend school. TTUHSC uses a variety of methods and technologies to maximize the students’ educational experience, including web and internet based technologies, teleconferencing, web conferencing, hard copy, videotape/audiotape, and on-site practicum and internship experiences. These and other strategies are employed to ensure that all students, regardless of geographic location, are able to participate to the maximum degree possible in all aspects of their program. Students are not required to come to the TTUHSC campus.
Clinical education is an integral aspect of the program. The MSAC program complies requirements for practicum and clinical internships as set forth by relevant accrediting and certifying organizations. In order to meet these requirements, Addiction Counseling students will be required to undertake two forms of clinical education during their program. First, all students will participate in a 100 hour supervised addiction counseling practicum, which fosters personal growth, provides active learning experiences, enhances student insights into individual, group, and organizational behavior, and introduces students to counseling approaches and the issues that affect service delivery. Delivered on a distance basis, these experiences will combine applied instruction by faculty with supervised practicum experiences in off campus settings, either at the student’s place of employment (when appropriate) or in designated clinical settings.
Second, all students are required to undertake a 600 hour supervised internship in an addiction focused clinical setting. Students undertaking supervised employment in Addiction Counseling settings may, with Program approval, utilize these locales for their internship experiences. Students who are not employed shall be assisted in locating placements in appropriate, supervised clinical settings.
The mission of the Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center forwards the mission of the University by providing a practitioner training program focused on the unique needs of diverse communities, especially in rural settings. We are committed to preparing entry-level addiction counselors to work competently and ethically through the mastery of evidence-based counseling practices. Our focus centers on understanding the unique needs of persons with substance use and behavioral health disorders across their lifespans in the community, workplace, personal relationships and activities.
The goal of the program is to prepare counselors with the counseling knowledge, attitudes, and skills to assist clients with substance use disorders, behavioral health issues, and/or addictions to use their own resources and opportunities to meet their developmental, educational and interpersonal needs. To accomplish this goal, the program provides educational and practical experiences that allow students to meet the following knowledge and outcome expectations:
The objectives of our program are linked to our mission statement. They are to provide:
- Educational experiences that facilitate the development of the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to practice as qualified addiction counselors with a diverse population in a wide variety of contexts.
- Learning opportunities to support the ability to implement culturally responsive and ethically sound counseling practices throughout their careers, and to advocate for individuals with addiction concerns and the profession.
- Clinical training experiences focused on translating acquired knowledge, attitudes and skills to evidence-based practice in a wide range of real-world opportunities.
The MSAC program strives to accomplish our mission, goals and objectives by:
- Recruiting, educating and graduating a diverse population of students who are prepared to provide addiction counseling services in a variety of employment settings.
- Providing a rigorous academic environment that provides a solid foundation to prepare entry level addiction counselors who meet national certification standards.
- Working closely with the public and private counseling communities to ensure well-trained graduates who are considered valued employees.
- Developing a faculty that is valued by our students and the counseling community for our teaching, research, and service.
- Achieving the highest quality program possible within the constraints of available financial, human, technological, and time resources.
Developing commitment within students to empower individuals with substance use and/or behavioral disorders to identify and maximize their resources to meet their health-related, developmental, vocational, and educational goals.
Certification & Licensure
Upon completion of the MSAC program, students will possess the competencies and experiences necessary to take the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). Successful graduates can be credentialed as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and apply for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) in most states.
Admission to the Program
The MSAC Program has a rolling admission policy, however, students applying for the Fall semester must submit an application by June 1 and those applying for Spring semester must submit an application by November 1.
Individuals applying to the program should already hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, preferably in a related area such as psychology, social work, counseling, special education, sociology, nursing, and related disciplines, however all disciplines are considered. To be considered for admission, an overall grade point average GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale for all college credit is required. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Millers Analogies Test (M.A.T.) scores are NOT required for entry into the MSAC program. Prior work or volunteer experience in human service settings is considered a valuable attribute for applicants, but is not mandatory. Students may transfer up to 9 credit hours, if applicable, with program approval. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Students will submit a completed application form, transcripts, a letter from the applicant outlining their rationale for applying to the program, 2 letters of reference, and a resume. Qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to assure that all supporting documentation is received by the Admissions Department. Application materials and detailed information on application procedures and Admission criteria can be accessed via the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Health Professions web site at http://www.ttuhsc.edu/health-professions/admissions/application.aspx. Applications for non-degree seeking students wishing to participate in selected MSAC courses are accepted up to three weeks prior to the start of the semester.