Recent legislation that is effective July 28, 2019, updates the certification title from Chemical Dependency Professional to Substance Use Disorder Professional. This does not affect the education requirements for certification.

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Substance Use Disorder Professional

Whatcom Community College offers certificate and degree programs for students on the path toward certification as a substance use disorder professional (SUDP).

NAADAC approved education provider_logoWhatcom Community College has been approved by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) as an Approved Education Provider. This allows students to sit for the NAADAC certification exam immediately after completing their required education courses.

Associate in science degree in substance use disorder professional

This associate degree (90 credits) prepares students to counsel individuals and families with substance use disorders. This degree is designed to meet the educational requirements for students to become certified as a substance use disorder professional in Washington state. Two specialty options are offered:

General specialty option

Allows students the flexibility to choose elective courses or meet the elective requirement with previously taken courses.

Behavioral health specialty option

Provides additional course content to train students in emerging trends in the behavioral health field. The recommended courses prepare students to work within an integrated healthcare system, with a deeper knowledge of care navigation and topics in psychology or sociology (recommended topic areas identified by local employers).

Certificate in substance use disorder professional

This certificate (65 credits) prepares students to counsel individuals and families with substance use disorders. This certificate is designed to meet the educational requirements for students to become certified as a substance use disorder professional in Washington state. This certificate is for students with a prior degree (associate, bachelor, master).

Certificate of proficiency in substance use disorder professional – alternative training

This entirely online program (15 credits) is designed for licensed professionals under WAC (246-811-076) who are interested in becoming a substance use disorder professional through alternative training. A practitioner must hold an active license in good standing: advanced registered nurse practitioner, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselor, advanced social worker, independent clinical social worker, psychologist, osteopathic physician, osteopathic physician assistant, physician, or physician assistant.

Refer to the Department of Health requirements for full certification.

Behavioral health program mission statement

The behavioral health program at Whatcom Community College will contribute to the behavioral health and recovery of individuals, families, and our community by providing innovative education to professionals. The curriculum prepares professionals to treat complex and culturally diverse clients in an integrated healthcare team. Emphasizing a person centered, strengths based approach, this program is grounded in evidence-based research. The program empowers students to maintain high standards of excellence while embodying professional values and ethics.

FAQs

  • What is a substance use disorder professional?
  • Are there additional requirements from the Department of Health for chemical dependency professional credentialing besides educational courses?
  • What are the educational requirements of the Department of Health to become a substance use disorder professional?
  • Who oversees credentialing to become a substance use disorder professional?
  • Can I use previously earned college credits to satisfy the course requirements for either the degree or certificate?
  • Am I eligible for the certificate of proficiency in alternative training?
  • What life experience or training do I need prior to the substance use disorder professional program?
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