Skip to Main Content

Associate Degree

Substance Use Disorder Counseling

Watch Video  

Substance Use Disorder Counseling Overview

If your healthy lifestyle includes low-risk choices regarding substance use, the ability to work independently and within a team, and a desire to use your written and oral communication skills to help others, the Substance Use Disorder Counseling program is the right choice.

SUD Counseling associates are held to high ethical standards to inspire respect, trust, and confidence. Your conduct must never compromise your ability to fulfill your professional responsibilities. To succeed, your skills and character must include:

  • Emotional stability, maturity, self-awareness, self-discipline, and personal responsibility
  • A lifestyle free of substance use-related problems
  • An interest in working with people and appreciation of cultural diversity
  • Strong reading, writing, and abstract thinking skills

In this program, you will learn the skills to help counsel those with substance use disorders including:

  • Clinically evaluate for substance use disorders and treatment needs
  • Develop treatment needs
  • Facilitate referral to meet needs
  • Demonstrate service coordination skills
  • Demonstrate counseling skills with individuals, groups, and families
  • Provide education relevant to substance use
  • Maintain clinical records according to agency, federal, and state guidelines
  • Adhere to accepted culturally competent, ethical, and behavioral conduct

The program includes internship experiences over the last two semesters at clinical sites and treatment-providing agencies where students observe, integrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired earlier in semesters and perform the substance use disorder counselor eight practice dimensions and 12 core functions (the basic tasks and responsibilities that constitute the work of a substance use disorder counselor) with the guidance of a clinical supervisor.

SUD Counseling program graduates are licensed in Wisconsin as Substance Abuse Counselors-In Training, qualifying for entry-level employment in a rewarding career.

Earn credit for prior learning! Do you have previous educational or work experience in the field? You could be eligible to receive credit for prior learning.

Explore This Program

Just the Facts

Substance Use Disorder Counseling
64 Credit Associate Degree

Program Length
Two Years

Delivery Method

Program Location
Eau Claire

Start Months


Financial Aid Eligible


Non-Traditional Occupation

Bloodborne Pathogens

Students in this program should be aware of the risks associated with bloodborne pathogens. Learn more.

Close this window.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Students entering health programs at CVTC should understand the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDs, through saliva and blood with direct patient care as part of their education.

This exposure can be minimized or eliminated using a combination of engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, training, medical surveillance, Hepatitis B vaccination, signs and labels, and other provisions.

All programs at CVTC comply with local, state, and federal infection control policies, including the use of standard precautions as stipulated by current CDC guidelines. Written policies and instructions on infection control protocol to minimize the risk of disease transmission is provided throughout the courses in the curriculum. Compliance of safety practices is evaluated throughout the students' clinical experiences to ensure a safe educational environment.

[x] Close this window.

Estimated Program Cost 

Learn more about the cost of attendance.

Term 1



Term 2



Term 3



Term 4



Term 5






License, Certificate, or Credential



 What are estimated program costs? Estimated Total: $12,117

Program Courses Admission Information I'm Ready to Apply

Career Opportunities


Licensed Addictions Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselor

Treatment Specialist

Graduate Employers

Eau Claire Academy

Eau Claire Comprehensive Treatment Center

Fahrman Center

Lutheran Social Services

St. Croix Correction Center

WI Department of Corrections

Program Outcomes

CVTC graduates are ready for the workforce. Each year, we send our graduates the Graduate Follow-Up Survey asking several questions related to employment. Here are the program outcomes and job data.

// Program Scorecard

Yearly Salary

Our recent Substance Use Disorder Counseling graduates reported an average starting salary of $38,749.



75% of our recent Substance Use Disorder Counseling graduates got a job in the industry.


Regional Jobs

There are 134 job openings in the CVTC district for the Substance Use Disorder Counseling industry.


Credits to Other Institutions

Should you choose to continue your education after you leave CVTC, we have agreements in place with several institutions to ensure an easy transfer.

View Transfer Options

Program Courses

These are a few of the courses you will take in this program. Courses and the recommended sequence change from year to year; once you are enrolled in a program at CVTC you will be given a recommended course sequence that outlines what courses you should take and the order in which to take them.

You may search for available courses. If you are ever unsure of what courses to take, talk to your academic advisor. If you are looking for course information for previous years, check out our past catalogs.

Here are a few of the courses you can take in the Substance Use Disorder Counseling program.

Sample Courses

SUD Counseling/Interviewing
Introduction and application of basic counseling/communication micro-skills used in individual and group therapy.

SUD Assessment and Treatment Planning
Practice clinical evaluation/assessment and treatment planning for substance use disorders.

Ethics and Public Policy
Apply federal and state guidelines to case examples in the areas of confidentiality, clients' rights, dual relationships, fraudulent behavior, and other ethical issues.

View Full Course List

Request More Information

Please provide your contact information and an Admissions Advisor will get back to you ASAP with more information about this program.

Indicates required field

We will never share or sell your information outside of CVTC. We may, on occasion, contact you regarding relevant services, events, and materials. You may opt out at any time. View our privacy policy to understand how we collect and use your information.

Your future is waiting…Are you ready to get started?

Apply Now
Caitlin, SUD Counseling student

Right away, I just felt at home here. It didn’t feel like a test. I felt passionate about what I was learning and passionate about helping people with this disease. To have addiction issues broken down for me in the first semester showed me what counseling is all about.


SUD Counseling student

Related Programs & Certificates

Whether you're looking to continue your learning to another program or to gain continuing education credit, CVTC offers a variety of learning opportunities for students.

Degrees & Diplomas

Associate of Science - University Transfer, Associate Degree

Health Information Management & Technology, Associate Degree

Nursing, Associate Degree

Continue Your Learning

CVTC can help you achieve your learning goals whether you are looking to advance your career or enrich your personal life.

// Explore Continuing Ed Opportunities

  Unsure of which program you'd like to go into? Learn more about our Career Assessment to help narrow down your options.

Additional Admissions Resources

Admission Requirements

Each program requires specific requirements a student must meet to be considered for admissions to this program.

// View Admission Requirements

Advising Tips

We have compiled helpful tips and general information for students in this program.

// View Advising Tips

Join Us To

Experience CVTC for Yourself

Explore CampusAttend an EventSchedule a Visit
I'm a(n)