New scholarship will expand access to addiction training
Donor-supported scholarship aims to help meet growing need for counselors
The Arizona State University Department of Psychology recently received a generous donation from the Our Daily Bread Foundation to provide scholarships each semester to fund students in the online Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Graduate Certificate Program.
“We are excited about this new scholarship opportunity for our program because it will help increase access to the addiction certificate program and increase the number of addiction counselors working in the field,” said Matt Meier, clinical associate professor and director of the addiction certificate program.
Nationwide, there is a dearth of licensed addiction counselors, and with the additional stress of COVID-19-related addiction issues, the counselor turnover rate has increased to 33% annually. According to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the demand for addiction counselors is expected to increase by 21% through 2030; however, the supply of counselors is projected to only grow 6%. Additionally, approximately 8% of the adult population is currently battling with significant addiction problems, and that number has likely gone up due to undiagnosed addiction caused by the pandemic.
“Across the nation, we have seen a huge increase of substance use and addiction due to COVID-related issues. We’ve also seen that there is a huge lack of addiction counselors in the field,” Meier said. “We hope to increase access to a well-trained workforce, especially in communities that have been hard hit by addiction and COVID.”
The graduate certificate in addiction program was created to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for individuals to pursue state licensing and provide counseling services in the substance addiction treatment field. This program pairs state-of-the-art research from internationally recognized experts in addictions with clinical expertise from licensed psychologists and licensed addictions counselors with decades of experience providing treatment for substance use disorders.
The scholarship is dedicated to support up to seven graduate certificate students with financial need and a personal connection to addiction and recovery, with funding of up to $6,500 (approximately half of the cost of the certificate program). Funding will allow students financial and time flexibility to devote effort to their studies.
“Our goal is to train a diverse workforce that can help meet the needs of the community that aren’t currently being served,” Meier said.
Students who attend full time can complete the program in a single year, and those who attend part time can finish within two years. The next start date for the program is Aug. 19, with applications for both the program and scholarship due by July 22.
“We are creating the future workforce of addiction counselors, and we are excited about this new opportunity to expand access to this program,” Meier said.
This program provides the educational foundation necessary to pursue licensure as an addiction counselor.