Increasing the Human Services Career Pipeline...

Published on: January 06, 2009

Agreement with Institute of Chemical Dependency Studies Yields College Credit for Students
 
A new affiliation agreement between Lone Star College-Montgomery and Houston’s Institute of Chemical Dependency Studies (ICDS) will result in college credit for previously taken ICDS courses, providing progress toward an associate’s degree in a field that is in great need of qualified professionals.
 
“LSC-Montgomery now accepts ICDS students into our associate-level substance abuse counseling program and gives them transfer credit for the courses they have already completed,” said Glen Killian, MA, LPC, professor of human services at LSC-Montgomery.
 
Previously, students who trained at the Institute of Chemical Dependency Studies earned ACE (American Council in Education) credits, which they found aren’t always accepted by colleges, said Carol Cloud, ICDS director.
 
“But we knew that there are colleges, particularly those with substance abuse programs, who do accept ACE credits and so we approached LSC-Montgomery about working with us to provide an option for our students who wanted to put their work toward a certificate or an associate’s degree,” said Cloud.
 
LSC-Montgomery offers a specialized basic chemical dependency counselor certificate and a human services certificate, which both lead to credit toward the associate of applied science degree in human services.
 
Career InfoNet reports that substance abuse counselor jobs in Texas will increase by 35 percent over the next six years.
 
“There are more counselors retiring than there are entering the field, plus there is an increasing need for counselors as addiction becomes more accepted,” said Cloud. “With the national exposure that substance abuse is given--be it through alcoholic characters on television, the news media, or prescription drug-addicted mothers sharing their stories on Oprah--people are becoming more familiar with it and realize that it is common and it’s not something to be ashamed of. People just need to get the treatment they need.”
 
Killian said training for a career in substance abuse counseling at this point in time is wise due to the relatively small investment of time (approximately 21 credit hours to earn the basic chemical dependency certificate and 60 credit hours to earn the human services associate’s degree ) and money (community colleges like LSC-Montgomery are less expensive than four-year schools).
 
“Substance abuse treatment is a field where a great number of professionals are needed,” said Killian. “We have the ability to train students interested in this field, and this new partnership with the Institute increases the options for those who want to pursue this work as their chosen career.”
 
As of January 1, 2009, LSC-Montgomery began offering credit for courses taken at ICDS. For more information on the credits to be received, as well as the LSC-Montgomery basic chemical dependency certificate, the human services certificate, or the human services associate’s degree programs, visit the Web site: http://montgomery.lonestar.edu/11553/, or contact Killian by phone at (936) 273-7061, or via e-mail at Glen.H.Killian@LoneStar.edu.
 
LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit Montgomery.LoneStar.edu.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including CyFair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and Lone Star College-University Center. With more than 51,000 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. For more information, visit www.LoneStar.edu.