School of Professional Studies

Certificate of Professional Studies or Minor in Addiction Studies - Online


Pennsylvania is in the bullseye of the opioid epidemic. According to the Pocono Record, in 2015, 3,505 people in Pennsylvania died from drug overdoses. Consequently, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of substance abuse counselors is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations, adding about 21,200 new jobs.

Albright’s five-course program allows adults who are seeking a bachelor’s degree to complete a minor in addiction studies or non-bachelor’s degree-seeking students to complete a certificate of professional studies in addiction studies. All courses are offered exclusively online through Albright College’s School of Professional Studies.

Albright College Faculty

  • Wendy Bartkus, M.S.
    Organizational Behavior/Applied Psychology Program Coordinator, Accelerated Degree Program - B.S., DeSales University
    M.S., Chestnut Hill College
    tel: 610-866-5595

    Lindsay Phillips, Psy.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Accelerated Degree Program - B.A., Albright College; M.E., Temple University; Psy.D., Chestnut Hill College

Curriculum & Course Descriptions

Minor in Addiction Studies
Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree through Albright College’s School of Professional Studies may elect to add this minor to round out their bachelor’s degree. This minor will likely be of interest to organizational behavior/applied psychology and crime & justice bachelor’s degree seekers, but it is open to any bachelor’s degree-seeking student in the School of Professional Studies. 

The five-course curriculum may count toward completion of overall general studies and elective credit requirements at Albright College. Students working toward a bachelor’s degree are eligible to include the addiction courses as part of their financial aid package. Completion of this certificate program does not equate to certification.

Certificate of Professional Studies in Addiction Studies
Non-degree-seeking students may pursue the certificate of professional studies as a short-term credential for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree, students who have an interest in studying addictions or students who may have some college, but don’t want to commit to an entire bachelor’s degree.

This certificate of professional studies can serve as a bridge to getting students back into the classroom and advance your pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. All five courses count toward a bachelor’s degree at Albright College’s School of Professional Studies. Students who are only pursuing the certificate of professional studies would not be considered degree-seeking and would not be eligible for financial aid. Tuition deferment, payment plans and course-by-course billing is available. Completion of this certificate program does not equate to certification.


APS 220 Theories & Treatment of Addictive Behaviors

This course is an overview of the major theories of addictive behaviors and their corresponding treatment approaches. The disease, cognitive, psychoanalytic, behavioral, multicultural, public health and prevention model explanations for the origins of addictions will be examined along with application of the various techniques used by each model in treatment settings. Prerequisite: ENG 101 English Composition I.

APS 294 Drugs, Addiction & Society

This course is an overview of the complex interdependence of alcohol, other drug and addictive behavior issues presented in both an individual and a cultural context. The major theoretical perspectives of addictive behavior will be examined as well as the psychological and social approaches to understanding and treating addictive  behaviors among various groups found around the world. The global impact of addictive behavior, drug trade and drug laws on society will also be examined. Prerequisite: ENG 101 English Composition I.

APS310 Family Systems and Addiction

This course will explore different family systems theories of addictions and the impact of addictive behaviors on the family system, along with treatment strategies used with families.  Prerequisite: ENG 101 English Composition I.

APS320 Addictive Behaviors and Special Populations

This course will examine addictive behaviors among populations susceptible to addictions, such as adolescents, the elderly, military veterans, ethnic minority groups and others. Special concern will be given to origin, prevention, and assessment, with a focus on application of culturally sensitive interventions.  Prerequisite: ENG 101 English Composition I.

APS390 Assessment & Counseling of Substance Abuse Disorders

This course is an introduction to the basic assessment, counseling skills, and techniques used in the treatment of substance use disorders and addictive behaviors. An emphasis will be placed on screening, assessment, treatment planning, referral, and ethical responsibilities. Students will use case studies to apply the techniques.  Prerequisite: APS 220, APS 294, APS 310, and APS 320.

Learning Outcomes

The learning objectives for the minor in addictions studies align with the following student learning objectives from the American Psychological Association:

  1. Theory and Content of Psychology — Students will demonstrate familiarity with major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historical trends in psychology.
  2. Research Methods in Psychology — Students will comprehend and have the ability to implement basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis and interpretation.
  3. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology — Students will gain appreciation for and engage in critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry and, when possible, employ the scientific approach to problem solving related to behavior and mental processes.
  4. Application of Psychology — Students will know and be able to apply psychological principles to personal, social and organizational issues through community service experiences and student internships.
  5. Values in Psychology — Students will value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.(APA Guideline,
    Goal 5)
  6. Information and Technological Literacy — (A) Students will exhibit competence in information science assessed according to the ACRL Psychology Information Literacy Standards and (B) have the ability to utilize computers and relevant software programs necessary to function in an entry level professional position or in a graduate school program.
  7. Communication Skills — Students will demonstrate competence in effective interpersonal communication including written, verbal, and non verbal forms. They will recognize, respect, and adjust to other people’s ways of communicating, learning, and doing things.
  8. Sociocultural and International Awareness — Students will recognize, understand and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity, realizing it is impossible to fully understand a person without understanding her or his culture, ethnic identity, gender identity and other important sociocultural factors.
  9. Personal Development — Students will develop insight into the behaviors and mental processes
    of themselves and others and be able to apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  10. Career Planning and Development — Students will emerge from this program with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.