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IU Northwest College of Arts and Sciences welcomes a new master program focused on addiction counseling

Master of Science Program in Clinical Counseling with a specialization in Drug and Alcohol Counseling


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications
980-6536
ebanas@iun.edu

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications
981-4358
erikrose@iun.edu

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College of Arts and Sciences

Indiana University Northwest’s College of Arts and Sciences received riveting news from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) with the approval of the Master of Science Program in Clinical Counseling with a specialization in Drug and Alcohol Counseling.

The new degree, open to students starting in the Fall 2011 semester, builds upon the strengths of the department’s existing Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling.

The master program will include 27 credit hours of didactic classroom instruction along with nine credit hours of “in the field” counseling experiences. 

Classroom instruction will provide an array of drug and alcohol treatment procedures; theories of drug use and abuse; and the addiction process and its mental health connections; among other topics.

Students involved in their field work will apply the skills learned in the classroom and practice core counseling functions including screening, assessment, treatment planning, counseling, and crisis intervention.

Research indicates that substance abuse is the nation’s number one health problem. Over a lifetime, 27 percent of the population will suffer from a substance abuse problem.

“While drug and alcohol addictions can have harmful consequences, people tend to respond well to treatment,” said Associate Professor of Psychology Mary Ann Fischer, Ph.D. “I’ve seen studies estimating that for every dollar spent on recovery, the economy saves more than ten dollars in health care and cost to society.”

Fischer mentioned the College of Arts and Sciences expects to have large and widespread interest from students wishing to earn a master’s degree, especially from professionals who already work in the field.

“The State of Indiana has recently adopted changes in licensing regulations that will require a clinical addictions counselor to receive a master’s or doctoral degree in addiction counseling beginning in 2012,” Fischer explained.

Mark Hoyert, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said having a master’s level program in Northwest Indiana will provide an important resource for those professionals needing to increase their education to offer professional counseling services.

“Drug and alcohol counselors work in schools, prisons, mental health clinics, and psychiatric hospitals,” said Hoyert. “Completing the M.S. degree will provide our students with the opportunity to pursue rewarding careers as counselors or as supervisors in a variety of settings.”

For more information on this program at IU Northwest, contact Fischer at (219) 980-6684, or email her at mfischer@iun.edu. For general information, visit the Web at www.iun.edu.