Students in class

Substance Abuse Counseling Education

Career Studies Certificate

PURPOSE: The Human Services program offers a career studies certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling Education designed to prepare students with the requisite professional knowledge, intervention skills, and values for delivering services in substance abuse counseling programs and addictions treatment. Courses in this curriculum can be used to meet the certification requirements of substance abuse counselors and substance abuse counseling assistants designated by the Health Professions Board of Counseling in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: Graduates may be employed in a variety of settings, including, but not limited to, hospital and residential-based treatment programs, community-based treatment programs, group homes, homeless shelters, residential halfway houses, and institutional and community-based juvenile and adult corrections.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission

PROGRAM NOTES: In addition to the general college curricular admission requirements, an interview with the Human Services program head is recommended. While a face-to-face interview is preferable, an interview can also be conducted via telephone or electronic conference. Students should see their program advisor for information on the certification requirements of the Virginia Health Professions Board of Counseling for credentialing certified substance abuse counselors and certified substance abuse counselor assistants.

GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION:  Please see to access gainful employment disclosure information for this program.






ENG 111 

CST 100

College Composition I or Principles of Public Speaking




HLT 121

Introduction to Drug Use and Abuse




HMS 260

Substance Abuse Counseling




HMS 220

Addiction and Prevention




HMS 270

Treatment Systems




HMS 258

Case Management and Substance Abuse




HMS 266

Counseling Psychology




HMS 290

Coordinated Internship in Human Services








Total Minimum Credits for Career Studies Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling Education 24



HMS 100 Introduction to Human Services (3 cr.)

Introduces human service agencies, roles and careers. Presents an historical perspective of the field as it relates to human services today. Additional topics include values clarification and needs of target populations. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 121 Basic Counseling Skills I (3 cr.)

Develops skills needed to function in a helping relationship. Emphasizes skills in attending, listening, and responding. Clarifies personal skill strengths, deficits, and goals for skill improvement. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 122 Basic Counseling Skills II (3 cr.)

Expands the development of counseling skills needed to function effectively in a helping relationship. Emphasizes skills in responding, personalizing, summarizing, and initiating. Clarifies personal skill strengths, deficits, and goals for skill improvement. Develops plans for achieving personal and program goals. Prerequisite: HMS 121. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 141 Group Dynamics I (3 cr.)

Examines the stages of group development, group dynamics, the role of the leader in a group, and recognition of the various types of group processes. Discusses models of group dynamics that occur as a result of group membership dynamics. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 142 Group Dynamics II (3 cr.)

Examines group dynamics, group leadership, group cohesion, transference, and group helping through experiential involvement in group facilitating and leadership. Increases group skills through active classroom participation in group experiences. Prerequisite: HMS 141. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 220 Addiction and Prevention (3 cr.)

Examines the impact of drugs and addiction on individuals and their families. Explores the myths about various drugs and their benefit or lack of benefit. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 225 Functional Family Intervention (3 cr.)

Provides an understanding of functions and dysfunctions within the family. Emphasizes the development of effective skills through an interpersonal/interactional approach to family intervention. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 226 Helping Across Cultures (3 cr.)

Provides an historical overview of selected cultural and racial groups. Promotes understanding of group differences and the impact on counseling services. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 227 The Helper as a Change Agent (3 cr.)

Teaches the following skills for implementing alternative models of change and influence: action research, problem solving, consultation, workshop development, and outreach and advocacy for diverse client populations. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 236 Gerontology (3 cr.)

Examines the process of aging and its implications in relation to health, recreation, education, transportation, meaningful work or activity, and community resources. Emphasizes experiencing the aging process, facilitating retirement, and application of the helping relationship to work with older adults. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 258 Case Management and Substance Abuse (3 cr.)

Focuses on the process for interviewing substance abuse clients. Includes intake, assessment, handling denial, and ending the interview. Teaches skills for writing short-term goals and treatment plans with emphasis on accountability. Examines various reporting devices. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 260 Substance Abuse Counseling (3 cr.)

Provides an understanding of the skills of guidance of clients and those associated with being an advocate. Examines the dynamics of the client/counselor relationship in developing treatment plans and empowerment skills. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 266 Counseling Psychology (3 cr.)

Studies major counseling theories, their contributions and limitations, and the application of each to a counseling interaction. Students develop their own personal counseling theory. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 270 Treatment Systems (3 cr.)

Examines the services and facilities established for the purpose of treating addictions. Focuses on treatment therapy models and ethical standards related to addiction-disease theory. Lecture 3 hours per week.

HMS 290 Coordinated Internship in Human Services (3 cr.)

Supervises on-the-job training in selected business, industrial or service firms coordinated by the college. Program approved internships in human service and substance abuse agencies required. Places students in selected career-related human service agencies. Provides students with an opportunity to learn to integrate practice with theory under the supervision of a qualified supervisor in their designated career field. Helps students gain an overview of their chosen service career field. Laboratory 15 hours per week.

Name Program Email Phone
Pamela Ratliff Substance Abuse Counseling CSC 804/523-5535


Common Job Titles1: Addictions Counselor; Case Manager; Chemical Dependency Counselor (CD Counselor); Chemical Dependency Professional; Clinical Counselor; Correctional Substance Abuse Counselor; Counselor; Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist (DATS); Prevention Specialist; Substance Abuse Counselor (SA Counselor)

Labor Market Statistics (Richmond, MSA)

Projected Employment (2028): 674

Current Wage Range (Entry - Experienced): $32,600 - $52,900

Bright Outlook Bright Outlook occupations are expected to have rapid growth over the next 10-years (employment increase of 10% or more in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028) or are expected to have a high demand (projected to have 750 or more job openings in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028).

1 This program may prepare you for one or more of the listed jobs; however, graduates may not be qualified for all of the jobs listed in this section.

Reynolds Community College makes every attempt to provide students with the best, most accuarate information possible. The data was sourced from external agencies (O*NET and JobsEQ) on August 15, 2018.