Program teaches students about chemical dependency counseling

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Human services program provides students education and experience with addiction.

By Creshawna Parker

The Human Services Program is a part of the Psychology Department that has been a program of San Antonio College since 1994 (but was later formulated in 1995) and currently has an estimated one hundred students who are enrolled.

Dr. Edwin Bergen, who is the director of the program, said the primary focus is to provide students with the educational and experiential background in order for students to pursue getting licensed as a Chemical Dependency counselor in the state of Texas.

The program offers three specialty options that lead to an Associate of Applied Science degree that includes Specialty A- Drug/Alcohol Abuse Counseling, Specialty B- Addiction Studies, and Specialty C- Counseling Psychology. 

Specialty A-  Drug/Alcohol Abuse Counseling is for students who are pursuing getting licensed as a chemical dependency counselor. 

When a student completes this degree, they meet the standard requirements set by the Texas Department of State Health Services for receiving a license as a chemical dependency counselor.

Specialty B- Addiction Studies is for students who are currently licensed as chemical dependency counselors in Texas. Under this specialty option students can receive 18 hours of advanced placement credit toward their associates degree.

Specialty C- Counseling Psychology is for students who want to pursue training in counseling but not necessarily in  wanting to pursue a license as a chemical dependency counselor. 

Students who are pursuing careers as a mental health technician or any similar field may want to consider taking this degree option.

To receive the Associate of Applied Science degree a student must complete a total of 64 credit hours that include basics, technical and specialty options courses.

“Although you receive your associate degree, you should still try to push to receive your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree,” states Bergen.

Whereas chemical dependency may not be a particular career choice for everyone, knowing or learning more about the subject is helpful to everyone.

“For anyone just about going into any field, especially social work, psychology, or teaching, they might want to consider taking some courses on chemical dependency or understanding addictions because it can be beneficial dealing with people who may have had to deal with substance abuse,” Bergen said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Human Services Program should contact Bergen in the Psychology Department.

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