The path to recovery for people with compulsive behaviours such as substance abuse, gambling and sex addictions, and eating disorders requires trained professionals with theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This program will prepare you for a variety of challenging and rewarding careers in the field of addictions counselling. In this program, you will acquire the skills necessary to deal with individuals, couples, groups and families dealing with a variety of compulsive behaviors. If you are a compassionate person with a high level of self awareness, Addictions Counselling may be a good fit for you.
This rigorous and unique program is the only one of its kind in Canada, and prepares you with knowledge of a range of dependencies and with multi-level intervention skills.
Due to the nature and demands of the addictions counselling profession, the program invites emotional involvement and an ongoing commitment to self-awareness as an integral component of the process of becoming educated as a professional addictions counsellor.
The Medicine Hat College Addictions Counselling program meets the knowledge, skill and application competencies of The Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF). The Medicine Hat College Addictions Counselling program is also approved by the CACCF and, as a result, graduates of the program are eligible for certification with CACCF.
As a graduate, you will have the opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles in urban and rural settings and with diverse populations. You may find rewarding employment as a
You may wish to consider this route if you have completed a high school diploma but not completed the courses required for admission; have completed a diploma with less than an average of 60%; or have not completed high school.
If you present eight or more transferable courses, or a two or three-year college diploma with an acceptable average you need not present high school credentials.
Academic Transition Plan (ATP)
If you do not possess all of the admission requirements, the Academic Transition Plan (ATP) may provide conditional acceptance to this program, provided space is available. ATP is individualized to meet your needs.
Other admission considerations
HLSC 200 Introduction to Addictions Studies
IDST 100 Introductory Communications for Helping Professionals
PSYC 205 Principles of Psychology
HLSC 220 Introduction to Counselling
HLSC 230 Physiology and Processes of Addictions
SOCI 201 Introductory Sociology
HLSC 320 Counselling II (Individuals and Groups)
HLSC 340 Assessment of Addictions
HLSC 365 Health Education and Promotion
SOCI 203 Current Social Issues
SOCI 325 Deviant Group Behaviour*
HLSC 350 Internship in Addictions Counselling
Third Year (Diploma Route)
HLSC 380 Professional Issues and Practice
*This is the recommended sequence. Please note that HLSC courses are typically only offered once a year in the sequence listed.
The third and fourth year of the Baccalaureate Route can be completed at University of Lethbridge.
To be in good standing,
In order to proceed to an advanced level course, a prerequisite course must be repeated if a grade of C- or better is not achieved. You are reminded that all first and second year courses, including electives, are prerequisites for HLSC 350. You must pass both theoretical and clinical components of HLSC courses in order to receive credit in these courses. Should you fail the practical component of an Addictions Counselling course you will not be allowed to register in further Addictions Counselling courses where a practice component is included. You are normally only permitted to repeat an HLSC course once.
As a student in the Addictions Counselling Program you are expected to exercise responsible conduct that reflects favourably on you as a developing professional, the program, and Medicine Hat College. Please refer to the Social Guidelines for further details related to dismissal.
Questionable performance in relation to harming yourself or others and/or to the maintenance of the professional standards of the program may result in you being asked to leave the course/lab setting/internship placement at any time and you may receive a failing grade in the course.
If you have been absent from the program for one calendar year and are returning to complete a practicum course, you will be required to successfully complete a comprehensive evaluation. Depending on the outcomes of the evaluation you may be required to successfully complete remediation in preparation to enter the practicum.
If you are dismissed from the program for academic or practice reasons (see Academic Probation) you may re-apply for re-admission after a lapse of a full year. If you are dismissed for a second time, you will not be readmitted.
You must complete all program requirements for first and second years, as well as HLSC 380, with an overall GPA of 2.0 and no grade less than C- in the HLSC courses.
Excellent transfer opportunities have been developed with:
The Addictions Counselling diploma transfer to Athabasca University's Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services) degree. For more information consult the Athabasca University's section in the calendar or contact the Athabasca University Liaison Advisor at Medicine Hat College at 403.504.2209
University of Calgary
Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation Program
Bachelor's of Applied Arts in Correctional Studies
You are advised to consult with an academic advisor regarding transfer opportunities. Call (403) 529-3819 to make an appointment.
While every effort is made to accommodate your needs and preferences, you will likely travel out of Medicine Hat during the fieldwork semesters. Costs may be associated with travels and relocation and you are asked to keep these in mind when calculating program costs. Placement decisions are based on your needs, placement/agency needs, and the outcome of placement interviews with agencies. You may be required to present a Police Information Check and/or Child Welfare Check prior to acceptance from internship site placement. Costs associated with the police record check and child welfare check are your responsibility. You are obligated to inform the Program Coordinator immediately of any change in the status of your criminal record.
Individuals with a history of addiction or dependency should note that placement agencies may require you to have a minimum two-year alcohol and drug-free lifestyle prior to acceptance in an internship placement.
The consequences of a prior criminal conviction on your status in the program will be examined and discussed on an individual basis.
Field Placement Requirements
If your academic or personal behaviour is questionable regarding the safe and professional delivery of client care you may be held back from a practicum placement.
Should the program coordinator judge, in consultation with the program faculty, that there is evidence that you are professionally unsuitable or a risk to clients, the coordinator may prohibit you from attending or completing a program.
You may register for first and second years (and the MHC Diploma route) through Medicine Hat College and for third and fourth years through the University of Lethbridge. By November of your second year, you must indicate your preference for continuing in either the baccalaureate or diploma route. You will be able to proceed in the program of your choice if you have maintained an overall GPA of at least 2.0.
Time Limits for Program Completion
You are allowed four years to complete the Diploma Exit Option, following the completion of the first addictions course. All requirements for the baccalaureate degree must be completed within seven years of the first Health Sciences course used for credit toward the degree.
Medicine Hat College distributes over $300,000 in scholarships and bursaries each year. Applying online is easy!
There are several options to assist you in funding your education at MHC. Find out what option is best for you.
MHC has a walk in clinic on the Medicine Hat campus? More...
The Students' Association has a pub and grill? More...
Maps Phone Directory News & Events