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UNC Pembroke to offer graduate certificate in Addictions Counseling


Beginning this fall, UNC Pembroke will begin accepting applications for the Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling (GCAC) program. The GCAC program, which has been in development since 2017, is designed to prepare students for addiction specific professional counseling careers.

The program is offered to currently enrolled graduate students from qualifying degree programs, graduates of UNCP’s counseling program, and applicants who hold or are currently enrolled in a master’s degree in a relevant field from an accredited educational institution. The curriculum will be taught completely online through the Department of Counseling in the College of Health Sciences making it accessible and convenient for all enrolled.

“A major barrier for individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorders, both locally and nationally, is the limited number of qualified counselors to respond to and treat the complex nature of addiction. The GCAC program plans to address this limitation by providing addiction-specific education and training to students seeking to work in the addictions counseling field in the UNCP region and North Carolina,” said Dr. Stephanie Robinson, an assistant professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and the GCAC coordinator.

The 12-credit-hour certificate prepares addiction professionals to meet the increasingly complex needs of individuals and families dealing with addictive use disorders. The curriculum includes coursework in areas of substance-related and addictive use disorders, comorbidity, methods and theories of addiction-specific assessments and interventions, addictions psychopharmacology, the family and addiction, and current issues and special populations in addiction. The online certificate program meets the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB) addiction specific educational requirements for the Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) designation.

Currently enrolled UNCP graduate students from qualifying programs can earn the addictions certificate while simultaneously completing their program degree requirements. Currently enrolled Clinical Mental Health Counseling students will also have the option of completing an addictions specific internship, allowing for an expedited track to the LCAS license. 

GCAC application information can be located on the GCAC website and on UNCP’s Graduate School website. Currently enrolled students should speak with their academic advisor regarding their interest in the program and the application process.

Robinson is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a licensed clinical additions specialist (LCAS), and a subject matter expert in the area of addiction counseling and treatment. She was recently elected to serve on the N.C. Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board.

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