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Courses & Requirements

This one-year certificate program is designed to prepare graduates for positions as substance abuse counselors. The curriculum content includes knowledge of the Human Service/Substance Abuse delivery systems, community networking and referrals, drugs of abuse, counseling techniques and professional ethics. Supervised clinical experiences in substance abuse and dual diagnosis settings are an integral part of the program. The program is based on the National Addiction Counselor Competencies and the National Community Support Skill Standards. The 35 required credits meet educational requirements licensing in Massachusetts and may all be applied toward the Associate Degree in Human Services, which is accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education.

Courses with an “HUS” prefix are generally restricted to students enrolled in the Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate, the Community Support Human Service Practitioner Certificate or the Human Service Associate Degree. HUS 101, the introductory course, is open to any NECC student who meets the proficiency requirements. HUS 171, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, is open to students with a major in criminal justice, as well as those students in the human services programs. Any requests for exceptions to this policy need to be addressed to the course instructor or Program Coordinator.

Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all HUS courses in order to graduate.

Additional Admissions Criteria:

Enrollment Services will provide additional admissions criteria for this program. The Admission criteria packet can be found on the Forms page.


Students interested in participation in this academic program may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, a Criminal Records Central Repository (CHRI) check and/or a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. For more information, visit the CORI/CHRI/SORI page on the NECC website.

Northern Essex Community College is committed to the success of every student. Students with legal issues in their background will meet with a committee as part of the CORI/CHRI/SORI process and will receive guidance and counseling throughout the review of their records. NECC personnel make every effort to help students prepare for their careers in their chosen field. Students are encouraged to seek assistance and support.


Courses Credits Comments
ENG101 English Composition I 3  
HUS101 Introduction to Human Services 3  
HUS103 Community Resources and Client Population 3 Prerequisite, Co-requisites
HUS170 Modalities of Treatment 3 Prerequisite
HUS171 Alcohol & Drug Abuse 3 Prerequisite
HUS172 Counseling Techniques with Substance Abuse 3 Prerequisite
HUS173 Relapse Prevention 3
HUS191  HUS Practicum I in Alcohol/Drug Abuse Services 4 Prerequisite, CORI/CHRI/SORI, Co-requisite
HUS192 HUS Practicum II in Alcohol/Drug Abuse Services 4 Prerequisite, CORI/CHRI/SORI, Co-requisite
HUS201 Group Dynamics 3 Prerequisite
Courses Credits Comments
Behavioral Science Elective 3 PSY101 is strongly recommended.