Grading their experiences: students with diverse goals say their educational programs prepare them well.They are in different stages of life and enroll for different reasons, but students interviewed by Addiction Professional on their educational experiences in undergraduate and graduate programs in addiction studies fervently praised the programs in which they have enrolled.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas “UNLV” redirects here. For other uses, see UNLV (disambiguation).
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is a public, coeducational university located in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, known for its programs in History, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Hotel (UNLV UNLV University of Nevada, Las Vegas ) graduate student Wendy Dingee typifies the perspective of a non-traditional student Non-traditional student is an American English term referring to students at higher education institutions (undergraduate college or university) who generally fall into two categories:
An undergraduate degree (sometimes called a first degree or simply a degree in education. In Las Vegas, where bartenders routinely receive 10% of what their customers win on in-house poker machines, serving drinks proved more lucrative than teaching young people.
But Dingee says she also saw the ugly side of gambling--people throwing away relationships and money after vowing to stop gambling. Witnessing gambling addiction and its concomitant alcohol and drug abuse motivated her to try to make a difference through enrolling in UNLV's community mental health counseling program with an eye toward receiving an addiction counseling certificate.
While Dingee will be graduating with a degree in mental health counseling, the only counseling license Nevada currently grants is in alcohol and drug counseling. The UNLV program prepares candidates to test for that license. The state has passed legislation to grant a license for clinical professional counselors, but the regulations and apparatus have not yet been constructed. Dingee will receive an advanced certificate for her master's degree master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
Noun 1. accomplishments, indicating to potential employers her advanced background in addictions.
Cheri Quijano, who also attends UNLV, found an interest in addiction treatment while pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology. An undergraduate course in addictions brought her into contact with Larry Ashley, EdS, LADC LADC Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
LADC Lockheed Advanced Development Company (now Lockheed Martin)
LADC Local Area Data Channel
LADC Local Area Defense Commander
LADC longitudinal apparent diffusion coefficient , CPGC CPGC Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (Haverford College, Pennsylvania) , an addictions specialist and director of the Problem Gambling Problem gambling is an urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. The term is preferred to compulsive gambling among many professionals, as few people described by the term experience true compulsions in the clinical sense of the word. Treatment Program at the university, and she learned more about his efforts in prevention and treatment. Quijano decided to add a minor in addiction treatment to her psychology degree. From there, she went on to the master's degree program at UNLV with a concentration in addictions treatment.
Megan Gilmore is also pursuing a master's degree with an addiction concentration, at Indiana Wesleyan University In 2006, IWU was named "One of the Top Masters Universities in the Midwest" by U.S. News and World Report. It has also been named one of the "Top Ten Conservative Colleges" in the U.S. by the Young America's Foundation three years in a row. in Marion, Indiana Marion (IPA: [ˈmɛ.ɹjən]) is a city in Grant County, Indiana, United States. The population was 31,320 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Grant County. . She initially enrolled in addictions courses because she sought to work with adolescents. After trying a couple of other concentrations, including marriage and family therapy and community counseling Community counseling is a generic term for any kind of professional counseling that occurs outside a hospital setting. , she found that addiction treatment was her niche, as she liked the idea of being able to work with a relatively young population.
"Now that I'm in this field, I find that I love working with this clientele," Gilmore says. She also considers the theories and methods of treatment to be a good fit with how her mind works--understanding issues and problems and trying to help people through them.
Kristine McMasters, a nontraditional undergraduate currently enrolled at Ivy Tech IVY TECH Ivy Tech State College (Indiana Vocational Technical College System) Community College in Terre Haute, Indiana Terre Haute (IPA: [ˌtɛ·ɹə ˈhoʊt]) is a city in Vigo County, Indiana near the state's western border with Illinois. , chose addiction studies for personal reasons. Her younger brother Wiki is aware of the following uses of "'Younger Brother":
An academic degree conferred by a two-year college after the prescribed course of study has been successfully completed. , and plans to transfer to Indiana State University Indiana State University, main campus at Terre Haute; coeducational; est. 1865 as a normal school, became Indiana State Teachers College in 1929, gained university status in 1965. There is also a campus at Evansville (opened 1965). to attain a bachelor's degree.
All four students interviewed for this article value the practical experience they're receiving through their respective programs. At the graduate level at UNLV, Quijano is working with homeless veterans as part of her practicum practicum (prak´tikm),
n See internship. (pre-internship), allowing her to understand the addiction problems that can lead to homelessness. Dingee is spending her practicum at a Salvation Army Salvation Army, Protestant denomination and international nonsectarian Christian organization for evangelical and philanthropic work. Organization and Beliefs
The Salvation Army has established branches in 100 countries throughout the world. residential facility and also has worked at a community nonprofit agency.
"One of the things I appreciated about the program at UNLV is that you're required to do actual practice work on a student level that allows you to get a feel for the field without going in blind after finishing a number of courses," says Quijano. After practicum, UNLV graduate students are in internships for 18 months, she says.
At Indiana Wesleyan, a graduate clinic serves as a practicum site for students. Members of the community receive free services (O.Eng. Law) such feudal services as were not unbecoming the character of a soldier or a freemen to perform; as, to serve under his lord in war, to pay a sum of money, etc.
See also: Free at the clinic, and students are supervised by faculty members. "You have to do that first--it's about 100 hours, and then you have two to three intern ships outside of your practicum and you receive sight supervision at wherever you're going to be working and university supervision so that the faculty knows you're on track and can assess your progress," says Gilmore. Each of the internships involves about 300 hours, she says.
McMasters will be doing a practicum in addictions counseling this summer at the Wabash Valley Correctional facility Wabash Valley Correctional Facility is a prison situated in south of Terre Haute, located in Carlisle, Indiana. History
The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility was established in 1992. Construction of Wabash Valley Correctional Facility began on October 29, 1990. in Carlisle, Indiana Carlisle is a town in Sullivan County, Indiana, United States. The population was 2,660 at the 2000 census. Geography
Carlisle is located at (38.962240, -87.400691)GR1. , a "supermax" prison. "I'll be working in the segregated housing unit with guys who are locked down 23 hours out of 24, separated from the rest of the population." McMasters says that AA meetings are generally made available to these inmates only twice a month because of a dearth of volunteers.
All four students also give high marks to their educational experience within the classroom walls. At Ivy Tech, McMasters is taught by Ed Ross, who directs addiction services at the Terre Haute-based Hamilton Center agency and also is in recovery. "So we don't just get the book knowledge; we get the actual behaviors and thoughts behind being an addict," says McMasters. Ross has brought in taped therapeutic sessions for students to listen to, in order to give them secondhand exposure to actual treatment.
Quijano terms her UNLV experience "phenomenal," saying, "The way the program has been written works out very well. I don't see any large gaps for what we need for our educational base." She adds that the program is well laid out for prospective graduate students. "Everything we need to do over the next three years is shown to us when we make our graduate commitment," she says.
Dingee says that despite the fact that she will graduate with a degree in mental health counseling, there is a great deal of emphasis on addictions at UNLV. "I feel like I've been really fortunate to have the benefit of the instructors that I've had here and Professor Ashley is really prominent in the addictions field--he's been a great instructor, and all of the instructors have brought a lot of different kinds of real-world experience," she says.
Gilmore also says that the curriculum at Indiana Wesleyan has met her expectations. "Our addictions advisor and the man who has constructed the addictions program is very intentional about the textbooks he brings into our classes, and uses his own experience to show practical application to what we're learning," she says. Gilmore says her texts and curriculum have included outlines for treatment plans, discharge summaries, and intake assessments.
She is also impressed that her teachers are also professionals in the field. "They know what the issues are in the field right now and can prepare us for everything from how to deal with someone in individual treatment who is addicted to cocaine, to if you're ever called into court how you should be prepared," she says. "So the range and scope of preparation is really impressive."
Each of the four students possesses very specific goals for their future careers, reflecting the commitment they bring to their choice of study and the field of addiction treatment. Dingee hopes to start a private practice after three to five years of agency work. She has a specific interest interest in distance counseling, believing that the Internet and videoconferencing will become more prevalent in the treatment field. "It 's very early in its development, but I'm looking at the next 15 years--I think it will get a lot bigger." she says.
Gilmore wants one day to open a multidimensional residential treatment center A residential treatment center, often referred to by the acronym RTC, is a live-in therapy/behavior modification facility for adolescents who suffer from a variety of emotional conditions, ranging from drug abuse to violence to sexual behavioral problems. for individuals struggling with addiction. "This will obviously take place over some phases and periods of time, but I just see a lot of value in a multidimensional approach," she says. She envisions a shorterm residential treatment center with gender-specific treatment as well as alternative forms of treatment, such as art and music therapy.
Both McMasters and Quijano aspire to aspire to
verb aim for, desire, pursue, hope for, long for, crave, seek out, wish for, dream about, yearn for, hunger for, hanker after, be eager for, set your heart on, set your sights on, be ambitious for work in the correctional system. McMasters sees great need for services in the offender population, where repeat offenders end up back behind bars. She would like to start a program to help offenders deal with their addiction issues and improve their chances to stay out of the revolving door.
Quijano would like to run a program offering rehabilitation and substance use treatment within the prison system. "Of the prisons in southern Nevada, only one facility offers a treatment program for substance abuse, and it's got a 26-bed limit," she says.
Quijano believes she she has the business acumen to go with her educational knowledge, tools that in combination would allow here to run and sustain such a program. She hopes to attain a PhD in addictions studies to help secure funding for such a program. Ashley might be of some help in this regard: He is in the process of writing a PhD program for UNLV.
Other Students' Perspectives
Some individuals decide to pursue a career in counseling as part of their own meaningful life in recovery. Here are the perspectives of three current students who fit that description, in comments they provided directly to Addiction Professional:
I am a 49-year-old resident of Texas, where the requirements for becoming a licensed chemical dependency chemical dependency
A physical and psychological habituation to a mood- or mind-altering drug, such as alcohol or cocaine.
chemical dependency counselor are an associate's degree with certain required classes in the human services field, a practicum that is supervised through the school, 4,000 hours of internship at a certified training institute facility, and both written and oral board testing. I graduated from the Lone Star Lone Star (or Lonestar) may refer to:
a degree, usually postgraduate in a nonscientific subject, or a person holding this degree
Noun 1. Master of Arts - a master's degree in arts and sciences
Artium Magister, MA, AM in Counseling program.
I signed up for a course at the community college called Group Dynamics group dynamics: see group psychotherapy. to see if I was doing groups properly, and I was hooked. I had done a lot of volunteer work at The Women's Home, holding Women for Sobriety Women For Sobriety (WFS), Inc., is a non-profit support group for alcoholic women, founded in 1976. The mutual support groups of WFS work to increase the self-esteem of members. meetings one night and a Big Book study on another night. I enjoyed doing groups with these ladies who were trying to get their lives back together.
I feel that being a counselor is my calling, and I am currently working in an outpatient treatment facility and really enjoy working with the clients and other counselors. I also do volunteer work through the [Episcopal] Recovery Ministries in getting the word out about addictions and making myself known as one who not only went to learn about addictions but also walked my own road to recovery from alcoholism. This is my mid-life career change
I have been taking college courses in addiction counseling for the past couple of years. My own personal battle with addiction has led me to the desire to help others achieve long-term recovery. I am close to completion of the program at Monroe Community College For the community college in Monroe County, Michigan, see .
MCC was founded in 1961 and began offering degree programs in September 1962. The college is part of the State University of New York system, also known as SUNY. Current Administration
President: R. in Rochester, N.Y., for the addiction counseling degree. I am also pursuing my registered nursing licensure and hope one day to incorporate the two fields.
I want to work with at-risk youth and chronic relapsers, to help them regain their lives. I want to use dance as therapy in the addiction field and to encourage addicts to use the creative outlets for expression. I want to open a state-of-the-art treatment center that would focus on alternative therapy methods, as well as a medical emphasis. I also believe that a strong family connection is critical for the newly recovering person--at least some type of stable support structure.
Being a recovering alcoholic, I enter the addiction counseling field with intimate knowledge of what it is like both to struggle with and overcome a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. I already know how to communicate with an addicted individual. What I am learning now is how to guide and counsel addicts toward a truly fulfilling life, free from the chains of addiction.
Many addicts initially come into recovery, whether through a treatment center or a 12-Step program, carrying a host of other psychological challenges. An in-depth academic program offers me the opportunity to learn the entire spectrum of tools available for helping clients. Rigorous assessment, counseling, and the biological aspects of drugs and alcohol complement the spiritual/community solutions I know from my 12-Step experience.
Formal education, rather than training, provides me the time and resources to continue my own self-growth, a never-ending process critical for all counselors. The appeal of the college addictions study program in which I am currently a student is that through classroom and field experience, all students can enter the workforce with a clear understanding of not only addiction, but themselves.
BY BRION P. McALARNEY
Brion P. McAlarney is a freelance writer based in Massachusetts.