Addiction and Recovery Studies Academic Certificate


The Addiction and Recovery Studies Academic Certificate aligns with the Behavioral Health/Human Services (BHHS) curriculum which offers a certification process to further develop appropriate and effective professional education and training for jobs as addiction counselors, rehabilitation specialists and case management specialists in the fields of chemical dependency and other addictions such as nicotine and gambling. Students must meet both regular College admission requirements and those of the Behavioral Health/Human Services curriculum. The Addiction and Recovery Studies Academic Certificate may be taken in conjunction with the degree program in BHHS. Individuals working in the addictions field require diverse backgrounds, training and experience. Students come to the program degreed, non-degreed and from various academic disciplines, bringing with them varied levels of understanding and expertise in the assessment and treatment of mental health and substance abuse.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic set of helping skills (warmth, empathy, reflective listening) needed for entry employment in the addictions field.
  • Work as a culturally sensitive, ethical, and trauma-informed practitioner.
  • Demonstrate a stronger sense of self resulting from personal growth experiences.
  • Use critical thinking and skills related to the assessment and treatment process needed for working with clients.

Program Entry Requirements:

The program is open to interested students. New students are required to take College placement tests. Students identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English courses prior to program entry. Students requiring developmental mathematics courses must complete them in addition to the requirements of their certificate program. Admission to the program also requires that the student attend an orientation session before a decision of acceptance is made. Permission of the BHHS curriculum coordinator is required for admission.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the academic certificate in Addiction and Recovery Studies, a student must complete 33 credit hours as prescribed and attain a grade point average of 2.0 (“C” average).

Certified Addiction Counselor (Cac) Status:

The Pennsylvania Certification Board requires 300 clock-hours of training with appropriate paid experience and a bachelor’s degree in a human service field to achieve the credential of Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC). However, persons can become eligible for addiction counselor positions while working on their CAC credential. Pennsylvania Bulletin, v. 26, n. 5 for February 3, 1996 states the following: A person with an associate’s degree in human services from an accredited college with a major in chemical dependency and two years of experience is eligible for the position of addictions counselor. Without experience, the community college graduate, with an associate’s degree and a major in chemical dependency, is prepared for the position of assistant addiction counselor. Community College of Philadelphia will help all qualified students apply for AAC I (Associate Addictions Counselor) and AAC II status. Those students with a bachelor’s degree will be advised of the procedure for applying for the CAC as well as the necessary educational credits needed to comply with the certification board. It should be noted that three college credit hours is equivalent to 45 clock-hours of training.

Course Sequence:

Semester 1

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
BHHS 121 - Foundations of Addiction Studies   3 credits  
BHHS 101 - Introduction to Behavioral Health & Human Services   3 credits  
BHHS 111 - Introduction to Helping Skills BHHS 101, must be taken concurrently or prior; acceptance into the BHHS curriculum or related certificate program 3 credits  
ENGL 101 - English Composition or
ENGL 101H - English Composition I (Honors)
  3 credits Writing Research/Info Lit 1
CIS 103 - Introduction to Information Technology *   3 credits Technological Competency
FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra (or higher) FNMT 017 or FNMT 019 completed or FNMT 118 (or higher) placement 3 credits Quantitative Reasoning

Semester 2

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
BHHS 105 - Introduction to Group Dynamics   3 credits  
BHHS 131 - Faith and Spirituality in Human Services or
BHHS 102 - Social Determinants of Behavioral Health

3 credits  
BHHS 191 - Introduction to Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care   3 credits Cultural Analysis and Interpretation
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade "C" or better 3 credits Writing Research/Info Lit 2
BHHS 222 - Assessment and Service Planning in Recovery BHHS 121 3 credits  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


*Students with computer experience may apply for credit by exam through the Computer Technologies Department.

General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request For Course Substitution Of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College's general education requirements is also available.

For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.

Gainful Employment:

Gainful employment information is intended to provide students with better information about the effectiveness of college programs in preparing students for careers. Information provided includes estimated program costs and time needed to complete the program, financing options and related careers.