Program - Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate

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Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate

Program Information

The Alcohol and Drug Counseling certificate program is designed for students interested in the field of alcohol and drug counseling. The program prepares graduates for the written test which is required for Minnesota state licensure. Earning the 30-credit certificate may be stacked to an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies, allowing the student to practice under a temporary ADC licensure en route to earning a Bachelor’s degree within five years. (NOTE: the written test and application must be satisfied as defined by the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy). The certificate may also be added to a Bachelor’s degree, thereby allowing the graduate to practice upon successful completion of the state licensure exam and approval from the board.

Developmental Courses

Successful entry into this program requires a specific level of skill in the areas of English and Reading. Admission requires an ability to do college level reading and writing as demonstrated by meeting enrollment requirements for ENGL 1121.

  • Upon completion of the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate, graduates will demonstrate achievement of program outcomes by being able to:

    1. Apply and demonstrate competency of counseling services to people with substance abuse disorders, as defined by the 12 core functions;
    2. Apply the established diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder and describe treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care;
    3. Apply a variety of models and theories of addiction and other problems related to substance abuse;
    4. Demonstrate clinical writing skills for professional documentation;
    5. Apply laws, rules, and ethical guidelines related to the State of Minnesota and the addiction counseling profession; and
    6. Execute two practica (internships) over two academic semesters performing the 12 core functions for a total of 880 hours in clinical practice.
    • A minimum of 12 semester credits in courses numbered 1000 or above.
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 in courses numbered 1000 or above at ARCC.
    • A minimum grade of C must be earned in all program requirements.
    • All ADCS courses must be completed at ARCC or have been approved for credit for prior learning.
    • All course requirements must be complete before a certificate will be awarded.
    • To complete your program, please submit the appropriate application found here.
    • The requirements of this program are subject to change without notice.


    NOTE: You are encouraged to contact an academic advisor at 763-433-1230 for course planning assistance and information about transfer credit evaluation and transfer options. 

    Program note: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school or educational program is required for licensure. Eighteen semester credits of alcohol and drug counseling academic course work; 880 clock hours of supervised alcohol and drug counseling practicum, and written examination that demonstrates competence in the core functions must also be successfully completed for licensure.

    For more information, reach out to the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. 



  • 30 credits

    ADCS 1110* Pharmacology and Co-Occurring Disorders 3
    ADCS 1120* Substance Use Disorder Assessment 4
    ADCS 1200* Substance Use Disorder Counseling 4
    ADCS 1210* Substance Use Disorder Case Management 4
    ADCS 1220* Professional Ethics and Pre-Practicum Issues 2
    ADCS 2295*+ Substance Use Disorder Counseling Practicum 5
    HPER 1102 Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco 3

    *Course has prerequisite - see course schedule or catalog description.
    +Must be taken twice; 10 credits are required for the certificate.


  • The sequence that follows is suggested for full-time students. Part-time students will need more time to complete this program; many courses are offered in the evening.

    First Year


    Fall Semester

    Spring Semester
    ADCS 1110 3 ADCS 1200 4
    ADCS 1120 4 ADCS 1210 4
    HPER 1102 3 ADCS 1220 2
    TOTAL 10 TOTAL 10

    Second Year


    Fall Semester

    Spring Semester
     ADCS 2295  5  ADCS 2295
     TOTAL  5  TOTAL 5

Supplementary Information

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