Clark State College has received official approval to offer an applied baccalaureate degree in Addiction and Integrated Treatment Studies. This is the third, 4-year degree added by the College.
“Clark State has a strong track record of responding to industry needs, and no need is more critical now than training skilled individuals in the field of Addiction and Integrated Treatment Studies,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “The need for skilled addiction professionals has only become more acute during the pandemic, and Clark State is here to provide the training and education necessary to assist in this critical healthcare need.”
The BAS-AITS degree is aligned with and builds upon Clark State’s Associate of Applied Science in Addictions and Recovery Services and the Associate of Applied Science in Social Work Technology degrees, as well as short-term certificate programs in related fields.
Clark State proposed the BAS-AITS degree based on research conducted over the past decade that showed nearly 80% of individuals in need of treatment for addiction issues were also in need of mental health treatment. As a result, treatment providers must be proficient in both areas.
“Other programs in addiction studies do not have an emphasis on the mental health component,” said Blondin. “The Addictions and Integrated Treatment Studies Baccalaureate degree will be the first of its kind to educate and train future treatment providers to be proficient at both of these areas to better serve clients.”
Clark State College is partnering with a highly engaged set of human and mental health providers who have expressed concern with the lack of graduates from Ohio institutions at the Bachelor’s level who have developed these needed skills.
These agencies span a broad range of social services from correctional facilities, to mental health facilities, homeless shelter networks, private practices, and campus settings. These sites will provide a strong and competent learning environment for the advanced skilled baccalaureate students. Clark State has also secured preliminary agreements to provide up to 40 practicum sites per year for the BAS-AITS degree.
“This BAS program will focus on the clinical aspects of addictions treatment and mental health screening which is in the scope of licensure they are eligible for at this level,” said Carin Burr, professor of social services at Clark State. “The client base in addictions and mental health treatment has become more complex and co-occurring in nature.”
Burr said the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health (NSDUH) states that approximately 7.9 million adults in the U.S. have co-occurring disorders (substance use and mental health). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the job outlook for “Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors” between 2014 and 2024 comes in at 22%, a much faster rate of growth than average.
Clark State will also seek accreditation from the National Addictions Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).
“Most current four-year programs in the area are Social Work specific and focus mostly on case management, social work systems concepts and referrals, not so much on building clinical skills like Motivational Interviewing, Group process, and Cognitive-Behavioral Skills Training as this program does,” said Burr. “The closest Bachelor’s program for Addictions Studies is over 50 miles away. Also, no other program, is nationally accredited with the National Addictions Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) as we intend to be.”
In May of 2018, Clark State received approval for its first applied baccalaureate degree in Manufacturing Technology Management; soon after, the college received approval for its second applied baccalaureate degree in Web Design and Development.