Human Services: Addictive Studies, A.A.

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Degree, Certificate or Diploma


Council Bluffs Campus

Program Information

Drug and alcohol counseling can be most rewarding, and you can enter this valuable field by choosing Iowa Western’s Human Services Addictive Studies program. Successful graduates earn an Associate of Arts degree and are prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree, or enter the workforce immediately to work in entry-level positions. This program is designed to foster critical and independent thinking.

Using the latest learning technologies in an intimate classroom setting, this program’s curriculum is experiential, giving students the opportunity for service-learning, leadership projects, and semester-long internships. In the end, you’ll meet all the educational requirements to be certified as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor by the Iowa Board of Certification.

After completing this program, you can leap into such entry-level Human Services positions as a youth worker staffer or residential technician. Iowa Western graduates have been hired by Children’s Square, Boys Town, Cooper Village, Youth Emergency Services, Clarinda Academy, and Lydia House, to name a few.

Job Outlook

This program is designed for students intending to transfer to a four-year institution upon completion. 

What will you do

The Human Services Addictive Studies program is designed for students intending to either transfer to a four-year institution or enter the workforce upon completion of this two-year degree. This program prepares students with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). This program is designed to meet all educational requirements for the Iowa Board of Certification (IBC) and prepares students for the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) national exam. In addition, the addictive studies internship program will assist students in meeting the IBC’s 1,000 required clock hours of supervised substance abuse counseling experience. Career opportunities for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors include inpatient and outpatient counseling, conducting individual, family, and group counseling, substance abuse and DUI assessments, case management, and educational seminars.


  •  This program is designed for students intending to transfer to a four-year institution upon completion. 

Career Examples

  • Social and Human Service Assistants
  • Child, Family, and School Assistants
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
  • Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
  • Healthcare Social Workers
  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • Rehabilitation Counselors
  • Community Health Workers

First Semester

ENG 105 - Composition I 3.0 Credit(s)
PSY 111 - Introduction to Psychology 3.0 Credit(s)
HSV 259 - Introduction to Chemical Dependency 1 3.0 Credit(s)
HSV 140 - Social Work and Social Welfare 1 3.0 Credit(s)
  • A.A. Mathematics Requirement (MAT 121-MAT 227) 3.0-4.0 Credit(s)
  • Semester Total: 15.0-16.0 Credits

    Second Semester

    ENG 106 - Composition II 3.0 Credit(s)
    SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology 3.0 Credit(s)
    HSV 225 - Counseling Techniques 1 3.0 Credit(s)
    HSV 132 - Fundamentals of Case Management 1 3.0 Credit(s)
  • Lab Science Requirement 4.0 Credit(s)
  • Semester Total: 16.0 Credits

    Third Semester

    SPC 112 - Public Speaking 3.0 Credit(s)
    PSY 121 - Developmental Psychology 3.0 Credit(s)
    HUM 287 - Leadership Development Studies 1 3.0 Credit(s)
    HSV 115 - Agency and Community Resources 1 3.0 Credit(s)
    HSV 226 - Fundamentals of Family Counseling 1 3.0 Credit(s)

    Semester Total: 15.0 Credits

    Fourth Semester

    PSY 241 - Abnormal Psychology 1 3.0 Credit(s)
    HSV 228 - Group Counseling Techniques 1 3.0 Credit(s)
    HSV 180 - Ethics for Human Service Professionals 1 1.0 Credit(s)
    HSV 802 - Internship 1 (2.0 Credits Required) 2.0 - 6.0 Credit(s)
  • Mathematics/Science Elective 3.0 Credit(s)
  • Philosophy Elective 3.0 Credit(s)
  • Humanities Elective 3.0 Credit(s) 2
  • Semester Total: 18.0 Credits

    Total Semester Hours Required: 64.0


    One elective must also satisfy the diversity requirement.
    1 Required courses for the program

    2 Recommended Humanities Electives:

    Humanities Electives

    FLS 141 - Elementary Spanish I 4.0 Credit(s)
    LIT 134 - Multicultural Literature 3.0 Credit(s)
    REL 101 - Survey of World Religions 3.0 Credit(s)

    Additional Information

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    Program Outcomes

    Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

    • Recognize the professional characteristics of a human service worker.
    • Demonstrate effective interviewing and counseling skills when engaging clients.
    • Compose the written documentation required of a human services case manager.
    • Assemble a comprehensive service plan.
    • Recognize the dynamics of vulnerable persons and special populations.
    • Evaluate community and agency resources.

    Program Disclaimers

    • Because career opportunities associated with this degree are so varied, salaries vary considerably as well. To explore careers and gather specific salary information, we encourage you to visit the following website: IHaveaPlanIowa