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New Substance Abuse Counselor-Assistant career studies certificate

VHCC launches new area of study to meet the rising demand for substance abuse counseling professionals

Post Date:07/22/2019

Course designed to prepare students to secure the Virginia Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Assistant (CSAC-A) credential 

Kellie Crowe, Coordinator of PR & Marketing  | 276-739-2456

Substance Abuse Counselor AssistantABINGDON, VA – Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC), Abingdon, announces a new career studies certificate purposed to meet the rising demand for substance abuse counseling careers. The two-semester program, will prepare students to secure the Virginia Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Assistant (CSAC-A) credential. 

“The job outlook for careers in the area of substance abuse is expected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026 — much faster than the average for all occupations,” says Dr. Beth Page, VHCC dean of professional & technical studies. “In just two semesters, students will earn an incredibly valuable credential equipping them for employment in a high-demand field.”

With the current opioid crisis, the vocational need for substance abuse counselors, particularly in more rural areas, has increased significantly.

The projected job market growth is further magnified by prison reform efforts aimed at allowing offenders to participate in vocational and rehabilitation options.  

“As we transition from a punitive approach for drug offenders to a treatment approach, the demand for treatment centers and counselors will only increase,” says Dr. Winona Fleenor, VHCC professor of human services/psychology. “Research indicates treatment is more cost effective than jail time and is an effective method of reducing recidivism." 

Students who complete the Substance Abuse Counselor-Assistant program and earn their CSAC-A credential may enter the job market prepared for a variety of positions, including: substance abuse counselor-assistant, social services liaison, case management aide, client advocate and social services para-professional. 

Classes will be offered during the evening, Monday through Thursday, providing students the ability to complete the certificate while also working a day job.  

Proficiency in high school English and mathematics is required. Students who are not proficient in English or mathematics will be provided an opportunity to correct their deficiencies in developmental courses. 

Financial aid is available for students who qualify. More than 80% of students attending Virginia Highlands Community College receive financial aid.

For more information, please call 276-739-2400 and ask to speak with someone regarding the new Substance Abuse Counselor-Assistant career studies certificate.  

About Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia Highlands Community College is one of the 23 comprehensive community colleges in the Virginia Community College System. VHCC has become a dynamic leader in Southwest Virginia with a primary goal of providing comprehensive and quality education and related services for residents throughout its region. We proudly serve the residents of Bristol Virginia, Washington County and the Western Part of Smyth County. The College is committed to teaching, learning and community building -- and serves more than 2500 students, offering more than 80 academic areas of study. 

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