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Program of Study: Human Services

Academic Division: Social Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions


ASAAD Program (Alcohol, Substance Abuse, and Addictive Disorders)

Is CLC's ASAAD Program accredited?

Yes, CLC's Substance Abuse/Addiction Counselor Training Program is accredited by IAODAPCA, the state certification body in Illinois. CLC has an accredited Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor Training Program and a Preparatory Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor Training Program.


IAODAPCA is the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. IAODAPCA is a private, non-profit organization that promotes standards for professionals in the alcohol and other drug abuse field. It is the mission of IAODAPCA to protect the public by providing competency based credentialing of Human Service professionals. IAODAPCA does this by writing and publishing standards, evaluating experience and education, reviewing each application for the perspective credential, and maintaining and upgrading those standards. IAODAPCA's professional standards meet or exceed all international standards for practitioners. Visit IAODAPCA at

Which IAODAPCA credential are CLC students pursuing?

CLC students in the ASAAD program desire to become Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselors (CADC). The CADC is the professional credential in Illinois signifying that the person is a specialist in the alcohol and other drug abuse field.

How do I become certified and earn my CADC?

Essentially there are two pathways to become certified. One path is the "work experience" or "portfolio" approach, and the other is through an accredited training program such as the one at CLC.

What are the basic requirements for becoming certified through the "work experience" pathway?

Those applying for the CADC credential using the work experience-portfolio approach must complete two years (4,000 hours) of paid AODA qualified work experience in the past four years. According to IAODAPCA qualified work experience is defined as "paid, supervised work experience in a position where at least 51% of the applicant's time is spent providing primary alcohol and other drug abuse counseling. Volunteer work is not applicable. The applicant minimally must have primary responsibility for providing drug and alcohol counseling to an individual and/or group, preparing treatment plans, documenting client progress and is clinically supervised by an individual who is knowledgeable in addiction counseling." In addition, applicants must demonstrate 150 hours of supervision, they must document 225 hours of education, and they must pass the CADC Illinois Examination.

I've heard that CLC's IAODAPCA Accredited Training Program has a Certificate and a Degree Program. What's the difference?

IAODAPCA, requires that anyone who seeks certification through an Addiction Training Program, must have a minimum of an Associates Degree in a Behavioral Science.

The Certificate, Plan 25HG, is for people who have a Bachelors or Masters degree in a behavioral science, and who would like to obtain their CADC. The A.A.S. degree in ASAAD, Plan 25HD, is 68 credits and is for those who have not yet completed their degree, but would like to become certified substance abuse counselors (CADC). Upon completion of either of the programs at CLC, students are eligible to sit for their CADC exam through IAODAPCA without any other work experience.

Please note that the certificate is 31 credits, however, there are 18 credits of prerequisite courses that students must also take if they have not previously taken them. Upon comparing the Certificate and the A.A.S. in ASAAD, you will note that they are essentially the same program except for the general education courses that a person who has a degree would already have taken. Both programs include two practicums, each 300 hours.

If I am in recovery myself or have had other problems, am I allowed to enter the ASAAD program?

The written policy for CLC states, "students who enter the ASAAD option should either have no history of alcohol, substance abuse or any other addictive disorders or have been recovering without relapse for at least one year. Students who do not meet one of these criteria may not be eligible to participate in required practica or to be certified to work in the field."

It is recognized that many people who enter the helping professions desire to work in this field because of personal and family experiences and problems, and helping others is seen as a way of "giving back." It is vitally important, however, that people are very stable in their personal lives and/or in their recovery before embarking upon a program to become counselors themselves.

The courses at CLC are intended to be educational in nature and are not to be utilized as personal, group, or family therapy. The ability to establish boundaries between one's personal life and one's professional responsibilities is foundational for becoming an effective counselor or helper.

You may be asked to talk with the Department Chair regarding your personal experiences and your desire to become a substance abuse counselor. If you have any questions regarding this area, please contact the Department Chair for Human Services.

General Questions

What's the real difference between an A.A. and an A.A.S.. degree?

An A.A. degree is the Associate of Arts degree which is a "transfer degree." The intention for those obtaining the A.A. degree is to essentially take the first two years of a four-year degree at a community college and then transfer the entire degree to a four-year college or university to earn a Bachelors Degree. The majority of the classes that you will take at CLC will be general education courses, e.g., Math, Science, English, Humanities, Fine Arts, etc. Upon transferring to a 4-year school, the majority of courses will be taken in the chosen major or field. At CLC, we offer an A.A. degree in Social Work for those intending to work in the Social Service field.

An A.A.S. degree is the Associate of Applied Science, which is a career degree. The intention of those earning the A.A.S. degree is to obtain the necessary to gain the skills and knowledge to immediately work in the chosen field. The student is required to take some general education courses, but not as many as for the A.A. degree. If a student earns the A.A.S. degree and then decides to work toward the A.A. so that he/she can earn a Bachelors degree, there will be approximately 4-5 general education courses that will need to be completed.

I want to work in the field, but I also want my Bachelors degree. How do I decide if I should pursue my A.A. degree or an A.A.S. degree?

The first question to answer is whether you are content with what you're currently doing, so that you are willing to take the time—4+ years—to get your Bachelors. In other words, you want to start school and just keep going straight through for your Bachelors degree, and whatever you're doing work-wise or family-wise, you're able to continue for the time being. If so, work on your A.A. degree.

Or, do you want to get out and work in the field as soon as possible? Get your certification and find a job in the social service field? You want to have your Bachelors degree, but it's not as urgent as starting your career. It can wait until you've been working in the field for awhile. Then get your A.A.S. degree.


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