CPAS - Pre-Baccalaureate Certificate in Addiction Studies

The Pre-Baccalaureate Certificate is offered by the School of Behavioral Sciences at California Southern University. It is designed for individuals who desire curriculum focused on specific and practical topic areas within the behavioral sciences. Certificates are appropriate for demonstrating mastery of a topic and or applications relevant to personal knowledge, professional development, or preparation for future study. The Pre-Baccalaureate Certificate at California Southern University is not a degree program. Upon completion of the program requirements, students earn a certificate focused in a particular area of study.

The Certificate in Addiction Studies integrates theory and the practical application of skills necessary to work with the alcohol and drug abuse population. The curriculum in the Certificate in Addiction Studies focuses on the various aspects of addictions including theories of addiction, current intervention techniques, ethics, communication skills, the roles and responsibilities of a case manager, documentation, the recovery process and relapse factors. The certificate is approved by and meets the educational requirements for both the California Association of alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) and the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). A minimum grade of a “C” in all courses is required to receive the certificate.

The objectives of the Pre-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Addiction Studies are to:
  • Develop an understanding of the theoretical and applied knowledge of addiction and the differentiation of alcohol and other drug effects on the various parts of the body and brain.

  • Provide learners with a basic knowledge of addictive behavior to better understand and treat individuals with addictive disorders and those influenced by this behavior.

  • Provide learners with a critically examined value system and professional code of ethics essential to the practice of substance abuse counseling.

  • Improve the learner’s analytical and critical thinking skills by providing an understanding of theory and applications as related to the process of addiction.

  • Enable learners to integrate formal academic learning with personal experiences so that learning becomes meaningful, personalized and relates to one’s professional and practical needs.

  • Promote the development of an appreciation for leadership and case management skills critical to the success in a multicultural and diverse environment to function as an effective addiction professional.


California Southern University provides the educational requirements for certification as a drug and alcohol counselor in the state of California. Since certification requirements change periodically, learners are advised that they may need to modify their degree plan to conform to current requirements. Learners should maintain contact with California Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CCBADC) and National Certification Commission (NCC) to remain informed about all certification requirements. A copy of the current California Association Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) and National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) regulations may be obtained by contacting the California Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CCBADC) and Nation Certification Commission (NCC) respectively.

California Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors
3400 Bradshaw Road, Suite B
Sacramento, Ca. 95827 (916) 368-9412

National Certification Commission
1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite #201
Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 741-7686 or (800) 548-0497

The Certificate in Addiction Studies is designed to provide Learners with skills necessary to work as supervised chemical dependency counselors, as well as advancement toward the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) certification. With this certification, Learners may obtain entry level positions such as chemical dependency counselors, locally and throughout California or may choose to continue their studies in the discipline toward a bachelor’s or graduate degree in psychology.

Read an interview with a CalSouthern Curriculum Developer