Addiction Counseling

Program Overview

Alcohol and Drug Counselor student

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

Our program prepares students to become addiction counselors working in an agency setting. Once admitted to the program, students take classes to meet the educational requirements and complete practicum to meet the supervised experience requirement for ACCBO certification exams to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC.) 

The program accepts up to 20 students each fall, winter and spring term and students will be selected based on a competitive point system.  See the admissions page and advising guide for more information to admission to the program.

While in the program, students must:

  • Agree not to abuse alcohol or drugs.
  • Agree to abstain from any alcohol or illicit drug use if you are in recovery. 

Degree Options

Students may receive an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) in Addiction Counseling or an Addiction Studies Certificate. The Certificate is the first year of the AAS Degree. Students who already have an Associate's degree or higher usually choose the Certificate option. See Receiving Certification to learn about requirements for a CADC1, CADC2 and CADC3.


In the first term of the program after admission, students will be in a cohort (a group of students who take classes together), and will be required to take practicum preparation classwork on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturdays. Students will be required to take 11 credits that term.


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. Practicum student's duties include but are not limited to:

  • group facilitation
  • record keeping
  • intakes
  • individual counseling
  • staff meetings
  • clinical supervision

During your practicum you will earn hours toward the supervised experience component of the ACCBO certification requirement. In the Certificate you will earn 324 hours. If you complete the full AAS Degree you will earn 650 hours.

Starting in Fall Term 2016, the Addiction Counseling Program has the option to award credit for Practicum (AD 270A) for AD students who are have worked or are currently working in the Addiction Counseling field in an Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO) approved position. Contact admissions for more information.

Transferring to a 4-Year College

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.