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"Chemical dependency counseling is one of the mental health workforce areas currently in need of professionals"


Professor Elliott Ingersoll Ph.D

June 29, 2011
CASAL

"Chemical dependency counseling is one of the mental health workforce areas currently in need of professionals"

by Elliott Ingersoll

Cleveland State University is the first Ohio institution to receive master’s level accreditation from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board for its Chemical Dependency curriculum. The Board Accreditation of Behavioral Science Master’s Degree Programs is the first in a series of degree accreditations aimed at addressing the growing need for professionals in the field. The CSU program is unique in that it incorporates a partnership between the University’s School of Social Work and the Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning (CASAL) Department in the College of Education and Human Services.

The program has been three years in the making and is designed to provide master's level students in counseling or social work (as well as those in the field who already have the master's degree) with all the academic training required for licensure as a chemical dependency counselor. Chemical dependency counseling is one of the mental health workforce areas currently in need of professionals, and a recent Northeast Ohio task force predicted that the need will continue over the next ten years.

Accreditation is official endorsement of degree programs that ensures that persons who complete these degrees will meet educational standards for licensure. The Board’s accreditation assures that the program meets rigorous standards and is an official endorsement of chemical dependency counselor training based upon published standards and criteria. The state accreditation is important because it signals that the program is providing state-of-the-art training in addictions work with individuals, groups, and families. The counseling liaison at CSU is Elliott Ingersoll, professor in the Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning (CASAL) department; the social work liaison is Patricia Stoddard-Dare, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work.

In order to qualify for accreditation, a master’s degree program must include specific content areas and a specific number of contact hours. Accreditation assures that persons entering the field of chemical dependency counseling through an accredited education program have met the minimum requirements for formal education necessary for licensure.