July 27, 2020

Purdue, Ivy Tech pair to offer new addiction studies concentration

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 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.

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

“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 Purdue’s 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.”

Jo Micon, Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Social Services for the Ivy Tech Lafayette campus, said, “We are very pleased that Purdue is partnering with Ivy Tech to provide their students with the coursework needed to attain state licensure in addiction counseling. We have helped many students complete this course work that is required by the State of Indiana for addiction licensing. This new agreement formalizes the connection between Purdue’s human services major and Ivy Tech’s addiction studies concentration to prepare future addiction counselors. Together we can help combat substance abuse in communities across the state.”

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 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.

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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

Jo Micon, Ivy Tech Community College. For interviews, please contact Tom McCool at tmccool@ivytech.edu.

Tom Gilliom, tgilliom-ne@valleyoaks.org 

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