State Ed, SUNY Approve Addictions Counseling Programs at JCC

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Jamestown Community College

Jamestown Community College has been approved to offer Associate in Science and certificate programs degrees in addictions counseling on the Jamestown Campus.

The programs were reviewed and approved by the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department.

“Our faculty are to be commended for developing this timely and important academic program that reflects JCC’s commitment to serving emerging community needs,” said Marilyn Zagora, vice president of academic affairs. “We are ready to prepare additional professionals for the addictions counseling field who will make a difference in the lives of countless individuals and have a positive impact on the quality of life in our region.”

Each program, designed for individuals who are interested in employment in alcohol, substance abuse, or other addiction treatment, focuses on the nature and history of addiction and chemical dependency. Students will learn how to do intake assessment, develop treatment plans, and conduct individual and group counseling through credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor courses approved by the state’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

Graduates of the degree program will fulfill New York state’s education requirements for a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor in training (CASAC-TR) license. The certificate program is designed for individuals who are pursuing or already hold a degree in human services, social work, nursing, criminal justice, or a related field and want the CASAC knowledge and experience working within the addictions field.

“Professional counselors, licensed mental health counselors, social works, nurses, and therapists who already have bachelor’s and master’s degrees can supplement their current portfolio with the CASAC-TR credential,” said Catherine Iannello, MSW, associate professor of human services.

Besides coursework required for completion of the degree or certificate, students in each program will do a 135-hour internship in an addictions agency. A significant portion of the coursework can be done online.

“Our region needs trained professionals who understand addiction,” said Ms. Iannello, “and employers need certified addiction clinicians. JCC’s new programs will help meet a distinct community need.”

She emphasized that occupations linked to substance abuse treatment and counseling are among the few professions in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania with projected employment growth, at approximately 95 new workers per year for the next decade.

According to the New York State Department of Health’s county opioid quarterly report published last July, almost 1,200 admissions were made to OASAS treatment centers for opioid addictions alone in 2016 in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties. The region also recorded 59 deaths of an opioid overdose and 282 individuals treated for an opioid overdose in an emergency room or hospital from 2015-2016.

Additional information on the new programs is available by contacting JCC’s admissions office, 716.338.1000.