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Substance Use Disorder Counseling - Associate Degree

The Substance Use Disorders Counseling Associate Degree is designed for individuals interested in working with addiction issues. The SUDC profession is held to high ethical standards to inspire respect, trust and confidence. To succeed, skills and character must include: emotional stability, maturity, self-awareness, self-discipline, and personal responsibility; a minimum of one year free of substance use-related problems; an interest in working with people and appreciation of cultural diversity; strong reading, writing, critical thinking and decision-making skills. Potential employment includes: substance abuse counseling, correctional facilities, employee and student assistance programs, and various community and social service agencies. Program graduates are eligible for licensure in Wisconsin as Substance Abuse Counselors-In Training, qualifying for entry-level employment.

Program Code: 105501 New at NWTC
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Inspire Change

as a substance abuse counselor

Do you feel drawn to the helping professions? Do you have a deep compassion for those with addictions? Whether your family has been affected by alcohol or drugs, you are recovering, or you simply want to make a difference in the lives of others, you may thrive as a substance abuse counselor (also called an AODA counselor).

Gain all the skills and knowledge you need to become a licensed substance abuse counselor in the state of Wisconsin. Learn to interview clients and assess problems, facilitate group counseling, examine signs and symptoms of mental illness, complete ethical case management, understand the effects of drugs and alcohol, and much more.

Program Costs & Financial Aid

Tuition: $10,010, Books: $1,178, Supplies: $0

Total Approximate Costs

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

Explore Locations

Offered At:

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • Completed application.
  • A current criminal background check must be on file before starting internships. A record of specified criminal offenses may bar or restrict an individual from course work involving a clinical/practicum/internship experience licensure and/or future employment in this occupation. If information indicates that you have been convicted of a crime or have charges pending, you must speak with a program faculty member.
  • To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an admissions advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.

What will I learn?

Program Outcomes

  • . Clinically evaluate for substance use disorders and treatment needs
  • . Develop treatment plans
  • . Facilitate referral to meet needs
  • . Demonstrate case management skills
  • . Demonstrate counseling skills with individuals, groups and families
  • . Provide culturally relevant education related to substance abuse
  • . Document and maintain clinical records according to agency, federal and state guidelines
  • . Adhere to accepted ethical and behavior conduct

What's next after graduation?

Start here. Finish at a four-year.

NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer.

What else do I need to know about the program?


  • Health care facilities participating in internships require an official criminal background check in compliance with Wisconsin Statutes 1998 Caregiver Law.
  • As a part of this program, students will have internship experience. Please see a program faculty for more information.
  • Internships are required as part of the program. These may be unpaid. Please work with your program faculty to establish Internship 1 and 2 sites. Internships may be during the summer semester.
  • Students must earn a "C" or higher in all 10-520-XXX and 10-550-XXX courses. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "C" may retake the course.
  • The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program requirements, but must be passed with a C.
  • Students must earn a "C" or higher in 10-801-136, English Composition 1. It is recommended to complete English Composition 1 during the summer before the first semester.
  • For more information, please call 920-498-5444 or 1-800-422-NWTC.