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New Degree Program to Launch at Blackhawk Technical College

June 28, 2019

“Helping people and teaching are my passions,” said Carissa Johnson, MPA, MSW, APSW. “I enjoy sharing my experience and expertise with students who want to help others.” Carissa teaches in the Human Services program at Blackhawk Technical College and has played a critical role in developing a new degree program at the college: Substance Use Disorder Counseling (SUDC).

The SUDC program has been designed to meet the needs of working adults and will be offered mostly online and in the evening. The program curriculum prepares students for careers working with individuals with substance use disorders; some roles may include case managers, behavioral health technicians and treatment counselors. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue licensing as a substance abuse counselor by the State of Wisconsin. 

Carissa Johnson

“If you are looking to help support people in recovery or those struggling with current addiction problems, then the Substance Use Disorder Counseling program may be for you. Important qualities of employees in this field include empathy, compassion, organization, and active listening and problem-solving skills,” said Carissa. 

Students will develop and apply the skills necessary to work in a variety of agency settings offering substance abuse treatment and recovery services. Valuable hands-on experience is gained by completing two internships with local agencies during the last year of the program.

Due to the opioid epidemic, the field of substance abuse counseling is changing and the demand for qualified counselors is high. “It is a very busy field and the need for counselors is expected to increase 20% in the next five years,” said Carissa. At Blackhawk, students in this program can expect to learn about assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and counseling of substance use disorders. 

Carissa encourages potential students to explore their options at BTC. “BTC offers an affordable, flexible, supportive and fun environment for students in any program. There are many transfer opportunities to four-year colleges if you are interested in furthering your education. Most importantly, the college's main goal is to help you succeed, even after graduation.” 

Listen to Carissa Johnson talk about the Substance Use Disorder Counseling program:

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