CAADE

California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators
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Some of our CAADE Board and the fantastic Trinka Rowsell

Some of our CAADE Board and the fantastic Trinka Rowsell

Our awesome board members Barb and Melinda at the strategic planning meeting (at Holiday Inn)

Our awesome board members Barb and Melinda at the strategic planning meeting (at Holiday Inn)

Welcome back cake for Tatiana and Anna in the CAADE office. Thanks everyone!  #caade  (at CAADE)

Welcome back cake for Tatiana and Anna in the CAADE office. Thanks everyone! #caade (at CAADE)

The infamous Jay Norton at the CAADE booth during the WCSAD Conference 2013 (at La Quinta Resort & Club)

The infamous Jay Norton at the CAADE booth during the WCSAD Conference 2013 (at La Quinta Resort & Club)

When is 36 greater than 315?

Our Executive Director Dr. Lori Phelps Weighs in on Education Requirements in Addiction Counseling

The profession of addiction counseling is in a phase of rapid

growth and change and I often find myself having to explain

some pretty confusing concepts to my students. For example,

36 is greater than 315 in addiction education. Fuzzy math?

This is only the tip of the iceberg. When I cover the fieldwork

and internship requirements, I have to tell them that hours are

not the same as hours. It’s a wild and whacky world we live

in, that’s for sure. First, let me explain the education

numbers…

CAADE programs require a minimum of 36 units of

coursework for completion of the Alcohol and Drug Studies

certificate programs at our community colleges. Next: some

other certifying organizations in California require 315 hours

of education. Finally: the state of California currently

requires 155 hours of education for addiction counselors to

become certified. OK. Here is your first exam question:

True or False: CAADE requires more education than the

other certifying organizations or the State. Answer: TRUE

This is just about the time in my lecture where students start

passing the Advil. How can 36 be more than 315 or 155?!!?

Simply stated, this is really just a problem of semantics.

Comparing units and hours is like comparing apples and

oranges. CAADE measures minimum education requirements

in units, while the others measure education in hours. Here is

a little background to help clarify.

Somehow, in the history of addiction counseling

education, somebody, somewhere, decided that 315 hours of

education was going to be the “national standard,” the

minimum requirement for certification nationwide.

.

(Actually, it’s 270 hours plus 45 hours of practicum class time for a total of 315 … well, never mind). Anyway, as far as I can tell, the actual history of how the number of hours was agreed upon, or by whom, is not recorded anywhere; believe me, I’ve searched high and low. The most I can piece together is that the two large national organizations (ICRC and NAADAC) established national credentials based on the 315 hour model in the 1980s. Theirs was the first organized attempt to establish minimum standards for addiction counselors who, at that time, were largely recovering individuals who were working in treatment settings in many states. The model caught on, and IC&RC and NAADAC were successful in getting states to officially adopt their model and join one or the other (or both) organizations as affiliates. (Note: Mainstream wisdom at the time was that recovering people were the best ones to treat other addicts; while they needed some education, personal recovery and supervised experience in the field were considered necessary and sufficient; few at that time thought that college was necessary –quite the contrary.)

When CAADE showed up, in the mid-1980s, California had not yet established any minimum requirements for addiction counselor certification. CAADAC was in its early stages of development and was using the 315 hour model because it was the only thing out there at the time and it was already being recognized as the standard in many states. CAADE’s founder, Dick Wilson, started the Alcohol and Drug Studies program at Saddleback College and soon realized that a few other colleges had been successful in establishing similar programs. Dick got them all together, got some financial help from the State of California, and together they developed the Guidelines for Alcohol and Drug Studies in Higher Education. CAADE’s Accreditation Committee began accrediting ADS certificate programs in community colleges, which have courses that are measured in units, not hours.

If you’re still with me, here’s where I’m going to bring it all home for you. Units in colleges do represent a certain amount of classroom hours. For example, one unit in college is approximately 15 hours in the classroom. A three-unit course, then, is 45 actual classroom hours. 36 units, then, is equal to … wait for it … 540 class hours. Hence, 36 (units) IS, IN FACT, more than 315 (hours). And so, 36 > 315. There’s nothing fuzzy about this math when you know what you are measuring.

QUANTITY, QUALITY and TRANSFERRABILITY

Now that we’ve done the math, I need to point out that the CAADE model of higher education is not only about MORE; it is also about QUALITY and TRANSFERRABILITY. The 315-hour model, often called the “workshop” model, allows for courses to be taken in non-accredited private schools or Adult Extension schools. CAADE courses are taught in regionally accredited colleges, which have to meet rigorous standards that are enforced by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). CAADE accredited programs also have to meet the additional requirements set forth in the Guidelines Manual for Addiction Studies in Higher Education. What makes this so very important is this: CAADE College courses can be applied for credit toward AA/AS degrees and transferred to universities; most courses from private schools or extension programs cannot be transferred. Why is that important? Because the day is coming when addiction counselors will be required to have college degrees to work in the field, and people who don’t have college courses or degrees will have to either change jobs or go to college and start from scratch, because their 315 hours will not qualify—they don’t transfer because they aren’t from regionally accredited colleges. Those counselors with certifications based on the 315-hour model will most likely have to work as sober coaches or peer advisors at lower rates of pay. While those workers will still be very important to clients in treatment, they will not be able to do the same work as counselors or therapists. Keep that in mind as you plan your future and consider your options.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the Chronicles where I’ll discuss why “hours” are not the same as hours. 

Warm regards,

Lori Phelps

Books are here for the next exam prep workshop on July 20th, 2013. For more details, go to www.caade.org (at CAADE Office)

Books are here for the next exam prep workshop on July 20th, 2013. For more details, go to www.caade.org (at CAADE Office)

Become Certified in Addiction Counseling

Become Certified in Addiction Counseling

WCSAD Conference 2013 (at La Quinta Resort & Club)

WCSAD Conference 2013 (at La Quinta Resort & Club)

Meet one of our fabulous volunteers! #caadeconference2013

Meet one of our fabulous volunteers! #caadeconference2013

A win at #caadeconference2013

A win at #caadeconference2013

#caadeconference2013 #caade

#caadeconference2013 #caade

Keys to recovery at #caadeconference2013

Keys to recovery at #caadeconference2013

Raffle at the #caadeconference2013

Raffle at the #caadeconference2013

#saapsa at #caadeconference2013

#saapsa at #caadeconference2013

#caadeconference2013

#caadeconference2013