Substance Use Disorder Counseling Associate Degree

substance use disorder counseling

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 Code: 105501

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.

Employment Potential

Potential Occupations include: Substance Abuse Counselor within the areas of Private Practice, Mental Health Centers, Community Health Centers, Social Service Center, Community Corrections, Hospitals, Group Homes, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse Agencies, Crisis Intervention centers


    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.
    Curriculum: Students following the study plan below will complete the Substance Use & Disorder Counseling Associate program in the number of semesters shown.
    First Semester
    Semester Total
    Second Semester
    Semester Total
    Summer Before Third Semester
    Semester Total
    Third Semester
    Semester Total
    Fourth Semester
    Semester Total
    Total Credits

    Curriculum Note: Students must earn a "C" or better in all courses in order to graduate.

    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


    • 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.
    • 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.