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Deepen your knowledge and practical skills to engage effectively with individuals, groups, and families struggling with problematic substance use.

Advanced Certificate
Start Dates
Under Review

What you will learn

  • Empathetic approaches in working with people struggling with problematic substance use
  • Supportive counselling techniques for individual, family, and group settings
  • Evidence-based models, tools, and interventions specific to substance use
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • The impacts of historic and systemic oppression
  • Indigenous health models and cultural safety
  • The values of inclusion and social justice
  • Concepts of a helping relationship (respect, self-awareness, ethics)
  • Effective communication
  • Language as an agent of social change
  • Self-awareness and challenging of assumptions

What to expect

  • Practical and experiential learning
  • Emphasis on skills and integration of knowledge and practice
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group discussions and activities
  • Demonstrations
  • Guest lectures
  • Videos
  • Clinical simulations
  • Field trips
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • Exams
  • Research
  • Assignments
  • Lab work
  • Portfolios
  • Self-assessment and reflection
  • Supervised community practicum

Admission requirements


Upon Acceptance:

  • Students in this program are required to complete a CRC. The CRC must be completed according to VCC's Criminal Record Check instructions. Students whose CRC results indicate they pose a risk to vulnerable populations will not be able to complete the requirements of the program (e.g. practicums) or graduate. 

Missing prerequisites? Learn more about VCC's tuition-free in academic upgrading, university transfer or English as a Second Language (ESL) Courses.


Recommended Characteristics

  • Basic computer skills
  • Familiarity and comfort with basic research skills
  • Ability to give and receive feedback
  • Maturity, emotional stability and a suitability to work in a helping role
  • A sufficient level of self-awareness and personal and professional development to be able to attend to another person
  • An interest in helping people and willingness to work in support positions in community settings

Fees and other costs  

Fee description Fee Amount Notes
Application fee $36  
Tuition $6,004  
College initiative $42  
Campus resource $121  
Graduation $45  
Total $6,248  

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