Frequently Asked Questions

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Eligibility/Admissions Requirements

Q: How do I apply for the program?

A: Click here to begin the application process.

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Program Overview

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: For more information, please refer to the Program Costs & Scholarships page.

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Q: How long does it take to complete the degree program?

A: The degree program is a total of 76 credit hours. If you are a full-time student taking 12 hours/semester, it would take you roughly 6 semesters to complete. If you take more hours each semester or transfer hours in from another college it will take you less time; if you can only attend on a part-time basis it will take you longer to complete. The Program faculty work with each student every semester to advise them on course sequencing and offer guidance on how many credit hours to take.

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Q: How long does it take to complete the certificate program?

A: Most students complete in 4 semesters if they follow the recommended course sequence. It is imperative to seek advisement from the Program faculty for course sequencing to complete as quickly as possible.

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Q: What are the minimum requirements to be eligible to begin the WBL (internship) program?

A. Students in the Substance Abuse program must have the following to be eligible to participate in the work-based learning (internship) program:

  • 2.5 Cumulative GPA
  • Completed a minimum number of credit hours as follows:
    • Associate's Degree Students: 12 credit hours within the program of study and an additional 9 credit hours specifically in SAB courses
    • Certificate Students: 6 credit hours in SAB courses that are required for the C3 certificate
  • Register with the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB) prior to beginning the internship.
  • Be recommended for placement by the SAB Program Chair.

For more information, please refer to the Eligibility Information worksheet and the Work-Based Learning page on the program website.

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    Q: Where do I do my internships?

    A: Internships are conducted in local agencies which provide primary substance abuse treatment services and have NCSAPPB credentialed substance abuse counselors and supervisors on staff. The faculty advisor works with the student to discuss sites that best suit the student’s interests, strengths and schedule.

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    Q: Do you offer any classes online?

    A: Many general education classes required in the AAS degree are offered online. A few of the SAB and HSE classes are offered online. Due to the interactive and experiential nature of the program, some courses are only offered in a classroom/seated format.

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    Q: Do you offer any classes in the summer?

    A: Many of the general education courses required in the AAS degree are offered during the summer. SAB, HSE and DDT courses are only offered during fall and spring semesters.

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    Q: On which campuses do you offer classes?

    A: Many of the general education courses required in the AAS degree are offered at a variety of campus locations. All SAB, HSE and DDT courses are offered only on Central Campus.

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    Q: If I complete the certificate or degree program at CPCC, will I be certified by the state?

    A: No. The certification process is outlined by the NCSAPPB. Those requirements are found at the contact information listed above. CPCC certificates and degree program will provide you the required number of education/training hours needed. The degree as well as the Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate will also provide you with the 300 hours of supervised practicum required by the Board. The information obtained in all courses helps to prepare you for the written State credentialing exam.

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    Q: Do I have to complete the degree or certificate program to become certified?

    A: No. However, we do offer a high quality, cost-effective, and efficient path towards certification/licensure.

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    Q: How can I get more information on the program?

    A: For more information, please plan to attend one of the upcoming information sessions linked to the left.

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    Substance Abuse Profession

    Q: What is substance abuse?

    A: Substance abuse is a complex problem in which a person's use of drugs and/or alcohol create chronic problems in their life. For more details, click here.

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    Q: Is state certification/licensure required to work in the field of substance abuse?

    A: Yes, if you are working with substance abuse specifically. However, you can, and in fact it is required, work in the field while you are in the process of obtaining your certification/licensure. You can learn more about State certification/licensure by contacting the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board at 919-832-0975 or

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    Q: Does the CPCC Substance Abuse program provide peer support specialist training?

    A: No, the CPCC Substance Abuse Program does not currently provide peer support specialist training.

    North Carolina’s Peer Support Specialist Program is coordinated through the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. The credential offered is the NC Certified Peer Support Specialist (NCCPSS) and is required for those who want to provide peer services in a public agency.

    For more information on becoming a NCCPSS, please consult the NCCPSS page.

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