Link to Kirkwood Community College


Certified Alcohol and Drug Educational Track

This option is available to Human Services students, and those with an A.A. or B.A. in Human Services, social work or related fields. Approval of the Human Services program coordinator is a prerequisite for admission to the Certified Alcohol and Drug Educational Track.

Alcohol and drug counselors are certified by the Iowa Board of Certification. Counselors may meet the requirements through the education track that includes classes, field experiences and passing the national certification exam. Note, students do not earn credentials from Kirkwood for completing this educational track. They must pass the national certification exam for credentials. To be accepted into this educational track, you must fill out this form in addition to becoming a Kirkwood student.

Kirkwood Community College offerings to meet the Iowa Board of Certification requirements:

  • Basic Problem Solving Skills (Counseling Ethics)
  • Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation (Special Populations/Ethics)
  • Loss, Trauma, Resilience (Special Populations)
  • Substance Abuse and Treatment (Alcohol and Drug Specifics)
  • Counseling Theories and Techniques
  • Field Experience (500 hours)*

*Note: If appropriate, 220 hours of Human Services field experience may be applied toward the required 500 hours.

When students successfully complete all courses listed above and 1000 total supervised hours, they may be eligible to take the national certification exam.

Click here to see the CADC Flow Chart.


Iowa Board of Certification education track requirements for certified alcohol and drug counselors:

  • 24 semester hours of college-level credit in substance abuse, or its related fields (counseling, psychology, sociology, social work, human services and criminal justice).
  • A minimum grade of C must be earned.
  • In addition, a minimum of 150 clock hours or relevant education is required. These clock hours may be a combination of college courses. Some special conditions apply. Specifically, hours must be earned as:
    • 45 clock hours in Counseling Theories and Techniques
    • 45 clock hours in Alcohol and Drug Specifics
    • Six clock hours in Special Populations
    • Six clock hours in Counseling Ethics
    • The remaining hours may be earned under any of the Knowledge and Skill Competencies.
  • 1000 clock hours of supervised experience in substance abuse counseling within the past three years. At least 500 clock hours must be documented in performing core functions of the Alcohol and Drug Educational Track.

If using college classes, the formula for converting college credit to clock hours is one semester hour equals 15 clock hours.

Program Coordinator:
Jody Weigel
1024 Cedar Hall
319-398-5899 ext. 5715
800-332-2055 ext. 5715
jody.weigel@kirkwood.edu