Internship Orientation Information
Welcome to the Addictions Studies Internship. This experience will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to put all of the things you have learned into action! In fact, many Addictions Studies alumni call the internship a highlight of their preparation for professional practice.
You will be able to make the most of this opportunity if you begin taking appropriate steps to prepare for it well before the time that your internship begins. The information that you will need is laid out in this orientation document. Study it carefully and be sure to contact the Clinical Coordinator, David O’Donnell, or your advisor if you have questions.
Preparing for the Internship
Planning for the internship placement is a collaborative effort between the student and the Addictions Studies Clinical Coordinator. You should begin your discussions with the Clinical Coordinator at least six weeks before the end of the trimester preceding the internship. You will definitely need that much time to choose the site that best meets your professional needs, to meet with your potential site supervisor, and to complete the necessary paperwork.
You will find that GSU offers a number of alternative placements. The Clinical Coordinator can give you a list of programs that are licensed by the Illinois Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and that have affiliation agreements with our program. If you have identified another site, you can seek approval from the Clinical Coordinator. If you plan on becoming a certified addiction counselor, however, your internship must give you supervised clinical experience and must take place at a facility that is licensed to provide substance abuse treatment in Illinois. If, like many Addictions Studies students, you are already certified, you may choose among clinical, prevention, or administrative options. The Clinical Coordinator will be able to work with you as you make these important decisions.
Apply for Candidacy
Students are eligible to register for the Comprehensive Exam (ADDS 8300) when they have completed their core coursework. When you have completed the prerequisites and required core courses outlined in your study plan, you may apply for candidacy. Only after your candidacy has been approved will you be eligible to register for ADDS 8300, Comprehensive Exam. Complete the application for candidacy and turn it in to the Addictions Studies office. Once your advisor has approved your candidacy, the Clinical Coordinator can grant you the permission you will need to register for your Comprehensive Exam. Once candidacy has been approved, students will be eligible to apply for internship (ADDS 8800).
Applying for Internship
ADDS 8800: INTERNSHIP
Students must obtain the Internship application for Addictions Studies through the Current Student Resources link. ADDS 8800 is a four (4) credit hour course. In order to receive credit for the course, you must spend 300 clock hours doing fieldwork under supervision. You will have a university instructor for the course (normally the clinical coordinator). You will also have a field supervisor on-site at the agency. Your field supervisor will play an important role in evaluating your work, but the course instructor will give you your final grade. The course syllabus provides detailed information concerning the course requirements.
In order to complete the required clock hours in one semester, you would have to schedule approximately twenty hours a week for internship. If you are unable to schedule a full twenty hours per week, you should discuss the schedule with the Clinical Coordinator in advance so that you can work out a two-semester option.
MHS Degree: Preparatory or Advanced-Track — Making an Informed Choice
Within the M.H.S. degree there are two tracks: the Preparatory and the Advanced. It is imperative that a student recognizes the difference between the two with regard to course selection and how each one may impact their Financial Aid status.
Students completing the Preparatory-Track will graduate with the completion of one Internship (ADDS-8800). Students completing the Advanced-Track will complete two Internships (ADDS-8800 and ADDS-8810); the decision to determine which track best satisfies the student’s academic plan and their professional goals should be made with counsel from the student's advisor when developing the “Student Plan” upon admission to the Program.
For example, a student seeking eligibility to become Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc., (IAODAPCA) certified at the completion of the MHS would enroll in the Advanced-Track. By completing two Internships, the IAODAPCA agrees to waive the required 4,000 paid direct service hours working in the field. A student completing one Internship of 300 hours will be waived 2,000 paid service hours. In essence, the student substitutes 600 clock-hours of academic field work for 4,000 hours of paid service hours. The graduate is automatically eligible to take the C.A.D.C. exam, and providing successful completion, will become certified.
A student may choose the Preparatory track for any of the following:
- The student may have already completed one Internship at an undergraduate-level and only needs to complete one additional;
- The student is already IAODAPCA certified, or
- The student does not wish to use his/her degree to become certified and seeks an alternative to Internship.
The Preparatory and Advanced-Tracks and Financial Aid
Students seeking the Advanced-Track who are also on Financial Aid will be encouraged to designate ADDS-8810 / Advanced Internship as their elective. This will ensure that all hours under the degree will be covered by Financial Aid.
Students selecting the Preparatory-Track who are also on Financial Aid may encounter difficulty if they decide to return to complete Advanced Internship once they graduate, as Financial Aid will not cover students in alumni status.