The Master of Arts in Addiction Studies is a 33 credit master's degree designed to prepare students to become Licensed Clinical Alcohol & Drug Counselors (LCADC) in New Jersey. The LCADC is a state license issued by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and the Board of Alcohol & Drug Counselor Examiners. The LCADC license allows you to work in a variety of treatment facilities that serve individuals with substance use disorders and their families. The LCADC license also allows counselors to practice in private practice settings and to receive third party payment through a variety of health insurance companies.
In order to complete the educational requirements for the LCADC, students in the MA in Addiction Studies must take the following courses (view the curriculum chart here):
PC 505 Mental Health Counseling
PC 510 Community Mental Health
PC 512 Psychopathology
PC 525 Counseling Theory & Technique
PC 545 Psychopharmacology
PC 550 Group Counseling
PC 595 Practicum
PC 540 Introduction to Drug/Alcohol Abuse
PC 542 Treatment of Drug/Alcohol Abuse
PC 544 Advanced Alcohol/Drug Counseling
PC 546 Substance Awareness in the Schools
PC 540: Introduction to Drug/Alcohol Abuse is a pre-requisite for taking PC 542, PC 544 and PC 546. Students must also complete 21 credits before they are eligible to take PC 595 Practicum in which students are required to complete 100 field placement hours in an alcohol and drug treatment facility. The coursework outlined above meets the 270 classroom hours of alcohol & drug specific education that is required for the LCADC license. It is important to note that the LCADC license requires completion of 3,000 supervised field hours and passing a written national alcohol/drug counselor exam, however those requirements are generally completed after you receive your master's degree. Students are then able to work in the alcohol/drug field in the capacity of an assistant counselor.
Students can also obtain the coursework required for the LCADC by taking the Addiction Studies Concentration as part of the 60 credit Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, which essentially allows them eligibility for two licenses: LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and LCADC. Students admitted to the MA program can switch to the MS program provided that they don't obtain their MA degree first. The reason is that credits used for the MA degree (upon graduation) cannot then be applied towards the MS degree.
The MA - Addiction Studies is unique in two ways. First, the program was designed specifically to meet the educational requirements of the LCADC license in terms of covering both core areas and domains that must be addressed in the counselor training process. Second, our program is unique in that it is both INCASE and NASAC accredited. INCASE is the International Coalition of Addiction Studies Educators and NASAC is the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission. These accreditations mean that when Monmouth students apply for the LCADC license, the Licensure Board is aware that they have met rigorous standards for substance abuse education.
One of the advantages of the MA - Addiction Studies program is that students can move through the program at their own pace. Full time study usually consists of nine credits a semester however it is not unusual for students to take 3 or 6 credits a semester. Students also can take courses over the summer and some of courses are taught online or as hybrids (which combines both online and in-class instruction). Most of the classes meet in the evening to accommodate students who may be working full time during the day.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for substance abuse counselors remains strong. Given the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic which is gripping the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, the job growth for alcohol and drug counselors is ever-growing. Many of our graduates go on to work in outpatient programs, inpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs, halfway houses, and criminal justice programs that serve adjudicated individuals such as drug court and intoxicated driver populations. Many of our graduates also work in programs that serve special populations such as women, adolescents, underserved ethnic/racial groups, and those with co-occurring mental health issues.
The Certification Board: www.certbd.com
Alcohol and Drug Counselor Committee: www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/adc/Pages/FAQ.aspx
LCADC Application: www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/adc/Pages/applications.aspx