Credit Certificates

Chemical Dependency Prevention and Counseling

Beginning this fall, Penn State Lehigh Valley will offer a certificate in the ever-growing and critically important field of Chemical Dependency Prevention and Counseling. If you’re interested in working in human services fields, have a passion to help those struggling with addiction, or families impacted by substance use and dependency, this certificate offers a tremendous pathway forward.

Taught by highly experienced faculty, this 18-credit program will introduce you to concepts related to chemical dependency, prevention, and treatment, while examining the models, theories, and research relevant today.

In addition, upon completing the program you’ll have earned the 270 hours of education required by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) for certification as an addictions counselor.

Fall 2022

Introduction to Counseling as a Profession (RHS 301)
Overview of the counseling theories that are often used in human service and rehabilitation practices.

Foundations of Chemical Dependency Counseling (CNED 401)
An overview of diagnosis and assessment, models for chemical dependency prevention, counseling, and recovery; contexts of chemical dependency treatment.

Spring 2023 

Group Work in Rehabilitation Practice and Human Services (RHS 303)
An overview of essential elements and dynamics for conducting groups and various team-related activities will be the major focus.

Drugs, Behavioral, and Health (BBH143)

This course will review fundamental information about recreational and therapeutic drugs, along with the impact of substance use on the health and well-being of the individual and the underlying reasons for drug use and misuse. The effects on society, social norms related to drug use, laws pertaining to use, and the historic context of substance use will be explored. 

Chemical Dependency: Youth at Risk (CNED 420)
Study of youth who are at-risk of developing chemical dependency including the characteristics and factors related to chemical dependency.

Counseling Strategies for Preventing Chemical Dependency (CNED 421)

Study of youth who are at-risk of developing chemical dependency including the characteristics and factors related to chemical dependency.

Upcoming Courses

Interpersonal Relationships and Alcohol and Other Drugs Dependency (CNED 416)
This course examines families with chemically dependent members, dynamics, appropriate interventions, and treatment. 

What are the benefits of selecting this certificate?

  • Gain fundamental information on chemical dependency and recovery

  • Provides a background in the field of substance use disorders for a variety of disciplines (i.e. mental health, social work, criminal justice, physical rehabilitation, etc.)

  • Students can diversify their skills, making them more marketable in the work force

  • Good to include on a resume

  • Provides students with the educational requirements necessary for state certification 

What do students need to do to earn the Certificate?

  • Complete the 6 required courses (18 credits)

  • 2 courses are required for the RHS major (RHS 301 and RHS 303)

  • The additional 4 courses can simultaneously serve as electives, thus RHS students would not need to take any additional credits beyond the required 120. 

    • BBH 143

    • CNED 401

    • CNED 420 or CNED 416

    • CNED 421

It is important to note that students who wish to participate in the certificate program MUST select the certificate in Lionpath to have it included in their degree audit. 

Suggested Academic Plan


Teri Kistler
RHS Program Coordinator
[email protected]