Become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor
The online Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health from Illinois College helps you reach your full potential to change lives. Our innovative program combines the subject areas of sociology and psychology, giving you a unique experience tailored for counseling professions and advanced training programs in social work, counseling, clinical mental health and more.
You’ll prepare to take the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CADC) licensure exam in Illinois as you study leading-edge perspectives on counseling, crisis intervention, cultural awareness and human services research. Our bachelor’s degree program also allows you to gain career-focused experience through a hands-on practicum in a clinical setting.
Become a competitive candidate for growing careers through a curriculum accredited by the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. You can utilize your skills as a substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselor. Job openings for these professionals are projected to grow 22% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the national average for other professions.1
Discover how the online Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health from Illinois College will help you Graduate READY for the career you want most.
The Online BS in Behavioral Health Degree is Designed for:
- Those who want to become certified substance abuse counselors through a flexible program that works with their schedules.
- Students preparing for graduate programs in counseling, social work and clinical mental health.
- Healthcare and human services professionals who have interests in psychology and sociology.
Clarissa Richardson | Assistant Professor of Psychology
- BS in Biology with minors in Psychology and Chemistry | Illinois College
- PhD in Counseling Psychology | University of Florida
I completed my doctoral internship at Washington State University Counseling and Wellness Center and my postdoctoral clinical hours at the University of Idaho Counseling and Testing Center. I am a Licensed Psychologist in Illinois and specialize in working with individuals navigating issues related to perfectionism, work-life balance, relationships, parenting, stress, addiction, anxiety, depression and trauma. I am trained in multicultural and feminist-based counseling and various therapy approaches, including mindfulness, emotion-focused, person-centered, motivational interviewing, and cognitive processing of trauma. I love teaching my students about these therapy approaches!
My teaching style is focused on building relationships with students and providing an engaging and safe space to learn and examine complex topics related to behavioral health, addiction and therapy. I seek to make my classes creative, fun, interactive and personally meaningful. I strongly believe in meeting students where they are in their educational process and helping guide them to success, both in the classroom and through the one-on-one mentoring that happens outside the classroom.
My research investigates how perfectionism impacts coping with stress, particularly daily stress. In addition to using surveys to measure stress, I also use physiological markers (cortisol and heart rate variability) of the stress response. I am also interested in examining interventions for improving the adverse effects of perfectionism, such as mindfulness, disclosure, emotion regulation, stress management and social connectedness.
Courses and Admissions
The curriculum for the online BS in Behavioral Health degree combines core coursework with an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Counseling concentration. The program requires 120 total credit hours, including 48 major credit hours.
Illinois College also offers a stand-alone CADC Program which will accept students with an Associate’s degree who have completed Introduction to Psychology (Abnormal Psychology is recommended, but not required). These students will then be able to meet the criteria to become a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor. The stand alone CADC program totals 24 hours (not including Introduction to Psychology). If a student has earned an Associate’s degree, but has not taken PS 101, Illinois College does offer PS 101 Introduction to Psychology online to help gain entrance into the program.
Students must complete a total of 48 credit hours in a variety of areas. These include courses in writing, world languages, the arts, speech, science, social, spiritual and philosophical issues and more.
Course Description Credits SOC 101This course is an introduction to the study of society, including the basic concepts of society, culture and personality, and their relationship to one another. This course is required for majors and minors and is a prerequisite for most 300-level sociology courses. 4 PS 101A general survey course prerequisite for all courses in the department. 4 SO 218This course entails a sociological examination and analysis of selected social phenomena that are defined as social problems by a significant number of persons. This course examines social problems from each of the major sociological paradigms (symbolic interactionist, conflict and functionalist) to illuminate recurring substantive problems in economic inequality, social inequality and the restriction of democracy. 4 PS 255This course will provide an introduction to counseling techniques, the importance of the therapeutic relationship and how to facilitate it, several different theories and types of psychotherapy/counseling and research foundations of counseling. This course will also introduce you to an array of careers in the helping professions. In this experiential course, you will have the opportunity to practice foundational helping skills in a safe environment. Throughout the entirety of the class as well as in a final paper, you will reflect upon yourself as a future helping professional. You will learn through lectures, guest speakers, in-class activities/assignments, reading your textbook, reading a book by Irvin D. Yalom, writing two papers and taking two exams. 4 PS 346A study of the various patterns of mental, behavioral and personality disorders. Major emphasis is on the diagnosis and understanding of the disorder. Pertinent legal issues are also discussed. 4 PS 355You will learn major theoretical models across a variety of settings, including settings that treat individuals struggling with addiction. Topics include triage assessment, skills for identifying individuals in crisis and how to intervene using evidence-based approaches, cultural considerations including race and equity, and application of crisis intervention to various types of crises, including suicide, grief and loss, sexual assault, domestic violence, school violence and natural disasters. You will learn through lectures, assignments, exams and papers. 4 SO 210This course introduces the student to the basics of social statistics techniques, which sociologists and other social scientists use to summarize numeric data obtained from censuses, surveys and experiments. The topics include frequency distribution, central tendency, variability, probability theory and estimation. The student will also learn how to test hypotheses for group differences in means (z-test and t-test) and for an association between two variables (correlation and chi-square test). 4 SO 286This course is the first course in a year-long sequence of two courses. If you take this course, it is expected that you will continue with the sequence and take SO 384 in the spring semester of the same year. This course provides an introduction to social research from an interdisciplinary perspective and examines a number of research methodologies that include both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Course objectives include gaining an understanding of the value and importance of social research and learning to evaluate key components of research design. During the course of the semester, students initiate and develop a comprehensive research proposal integrating theory, data collection strategies and ethical considerations. 4 Course Description Credits PS 356The purpose of this course is to introduce you to historical, biological, psychological and social factors associated with addiction etiology and conceptualization of addictive disorders. The class will briefly touch on treatment approaches in working with individuals who struggle with drugs or alcohol. 4 PS 357Topics include treatment delivery models, assessment/diagnosis of alcohol and other drug problems, how to make appropriate referrals, understanding and navigating rules, regulations, and professional ethics that govern alcohol and other drug treatment and cultural considerations, including a focus on minorities, women, families and adolescents. 4 PS 455AOD Practicum is an opportunity to integrate what you have learned in the classroom in a structured and supervised clinical setting. You will have the opportunity to work in an AOD clinical setting and build your skills and competencies in assessment/diagnosis and treatment. Each academic credit is 65 hours at your AOD Practicum site and will follow the guidelines outlined in the affiliate agreement with the agency. Per the CADC accrediting agency, “the student is expected to receive a minimum of one hour of clinical supervision per week during the field service component experience. This includes face-to-face supervisory sessions (individual or group), orientation in-services, observation or clinical staffing. The purpose of supervision/training is to assist the student in integrating knowledge, skills and experience in the AOD field.” You will also meet weekly for one hour (either virtually or in person) with the academic instructor of this course to have an opportunity to further process the integration of classroom experiences within the clinical setting. 4 PS 456AOD Practicum is an opportunity to integrate what you have learned in the classroom in a structured and supervised clinical setting. You will have the opportunity to work in an AOD clinical setting and build your skills and competencies in assessment/diagnosis and treatment. Each academic credit is 65 hours at your AOD Practicum site and will follow the guidelines outlined in the affiliate agreement with the agency. Per the CADC accrediting agency, “the student is expected to receive a minimum of one hour of clinical supervision per week during the field service component experience. This includes face-to-face supervisory sessions (individual or group), orientation in-services, observation or clinical staffing. The purpose of supervision/training is to assist the student in integrating knowledge, skills and experience in the AOD field.” You will also meet weekly for one hour (either virtually or in person) with the academic instructor of this course to have an opportunity to further process the integration of classroom experiences within the clinical setting. 4
To qualify for admission to the BS in Behavioral Health degree, applicants must:
- Be a high school graduate (or equivalent)
- Have a 2.5 GPA
How to Apply
Candidates must submit:
- An online application
Apply for free at admission.ic.edu/apply
- Official transcripts of all high school and/or college work completed
At Illinois College, we feature a high-quality education at a price you can afford. See how your past academic credentials can help you make the most of your college education.
|Tuition (48 credit hours)||$375 per credit hour||$18,000|
|Fees (4 terms)||$50 per term||$200|
|Total with Transfer Credits||$18,200|
* Tuition and fees are subject to change.
When you complete your behavioral health degree online with Illinois College, you’ll Graduate READY for career advancement. Your education will prepare you for a variety of careers, including:
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselor
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors advise people on various issues, such as alcoholism, addictions or depression. They provide support, including prevention, to help clients recover from addiction, modify problem behaviors or improve mental health.$48,520 Median Annual Salary
Social workers help patients and their families manage complex issues, understand their emotions, cope with problems and access community resources. They frequently advocate for social justice and human rights, encouraging patients through their unique circumstances.$51,607 Median Annual Salary
Marriage and Family Therapist
Marriage and family therapists counsel individuals, couples and families regarding a wide range of possible psychological issues relating to their personal relationships. Marriage and family therapists may encounter clients with depression, substance abuse, psychological problems, infidelity and low self-esteem.$56,843 Median Annual Salary
Why Illinois College?
Take the fast track.
You can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health in 2 years.
Prepare for real-world success through online classes taught by experienced faculty.
A comprehensive curriculum.
Our online behavioral health program is rooted in interdisciplinary study, something that increases your marketability in the workforce.
Whether it’s increasing your paycheck or advancing your career, an online degree can help you go further.View Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions
Students who excel in online programs have similar traits and habits that contribute to their success. They possess self-motivation and self-discipline and are willing to commit time and effort to their studies. Additionally, they choose to meet deadlines, follow through on assignments and communicate regularly with their academic support network.
Online degrees provide flexibility to earn a degree at your own pace. Completion times will vary depending on previous college credit and how much time per week you are able to dedicate to academics. Average completion time for our online degrees is 18 months.
We’re glad you’re ready to take the next step in your career! Our application is free and offered fully online for your convenience. In addition to submitting your completed application form, you will need to request and supply your official transcripts from all previously attended institutions and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. If you are applying for the RN to BSN program, you will need to supply a valid RN license.
For specific admissions requirements, visit your program page of interest.