Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Program overview

Student in class listening to another student

Counselors trained in our program make an invaluable contribution to the health of Oregonians.

Once admitted to the program, you will:

  • Take classes to meet educational requirements for the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO).
  • Complete a practicum to meet a portion of the supervised experience requirement for MHACBO certification.
  • Prepare to apply for an addiction counseling job.
  • Prepare to take exams to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in Oregon.

While in the program, you must:

  • Not abuse alcohol or drugs.
  • Abstain from any alcohol or illicit drug use if you are in recovery.

Degree options

Students may receive the:


In the first term of the program after admission, you will join a cohort (a group of students who take classes together). You also will be required to take practicum preparation classwork on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturdays. You are required to take 11 credits the first term with some flexibility.


Obtaining work experience in an addiction treatment or prevention facility is an essential element of our program. It is this work that translates most directly to skill acquisition and actual employment. The major addiction treatment facilities in the Portland metro area utilize our practicum students. Your duties include but are not limited to:

  • Clinical supervision
  • Group facilitation
  • Individual counseling
  • Intakes
  • Record keeping
  • Staff meetings

During your practicum, you will earn 324 hours to satisfy the requirements for the certificate. If you complete the full AAS degree, you will earn 650 hours.

Credit for experience

The Addiction Counseling program has the option to award credit for Practicum (AD 270A) if you have worked, or are currently working, as an addiction counselor in a Mental Health and Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO) approved position. Contact admissions for more information.


View the program costs page for more information.

Transferring to a 4-year college or university

Please consult a program advisor with the school that you wish to complete your bachelor’s degree. It is entirely up to the 4-year school which courses they will and will not accept so for the most current information it is best to speak with someone at the specific school in question. The Addiction Counseling Admissions Coordinator and the Program Advisor make every effort to offer students current information regarding course transferability but the final determination can only be made by the 4-year school personnel.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? See our frequently asked questions page.