July 20, 2020

Purdue, Ivy Tech pair to offer new addiction studies concentration

Note to Journalists: Images of Dobbs-Oates and a stock image are located on a Google Drive. Dobbs-Oates is available for interviews via phone or web-based conference services.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The widespread opioid addiction is creating a pressing need for more treatment programs and more professionals to provide services. Purdue University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Ivy Tech Community College’s Human Services program have created an optional addiction studies concentration to prepare students who major in human services to become licensed addiction counselors.

“As the opioid crisis has shown us, the number of people who need addictions or substance abuse services continues to grow,” said Tom Gilliom, CEO of Valley Oaks Health, an Indiana-based community health center. “However, data shows that there are not nearly enough licensed addictions counselors in the state of Indiana to provide the services that are needed. This unique program will produce graduates to assist in filling this significant void."

The program is the first of its kind at a public institution in Indiana to meet the requirements of the state’s bachelor’s-level, pre-supervision license in the field of addiction counseling (LACA). Students who complete Purdue’s human services major with the addiction studies concentration will have the educational qualifications needed to meet the LACA licensing requirements.

“We wanted to develop this program because we were aware of the serious shortages in the addiction-related workforce,” said Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, located within the College of Health and Human Sciences. “The state of Indiana has a bachelor-level license in addiction counseling, but just because the license exists doesn’t mean that there are educational programs that meet all those license requirements. We set out to create a program that would graduate students who were qualified for licensure and who could immediately contribute to solving the addiction crisis facing our state and our nation.”

dobbs-oates Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, a clinical associate professor of human development and family studies in Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences. (Purdue University photo) Download image

The seven-course concentration is an addition to the existing human services major at Purdue. Only students enrolled in the major can add the addiction concentration.

Students will enroll in five of the concentration’s courses through Ivy Tech. The courses are offered online in eight-week terms. Courses for the concentration are available throughout the fall, spring and summer terms. Students who complete the program will earn an Addiction Studies Certificate from Ivy Tech, in addition to a bachelor’s degree from Purdue.

“The partnership with Ivy Tech Community College is key because they already have the addiction-specific expertise that is needed,” Dobbs-Oates said. “Through this partnership, we take our existing human services program, which provides a really rich general preparation in social services provision plus an in-depth capstone internship, and we pair it with some addiction-specific coursework from Ivy Tech.”

Although two institutions are involved, the entire program is contained within a typical, 120-credit-hour degree. The program is covered by a consortium agreement, allowing for the Ivy Tech courses to be included in Purdue students’ financial aid eligibility.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Writer: Madison Sanneman, msannema@purdue.edu

Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (cell), oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Sources: Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, 765-494-2931, jendo@purdue.edu, @JenDobbsOates

Tom Gilliom, tgilliom-ne@valleyoaks.org

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