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New Licensing Credential for Augsburg MSW Students 2019-2020

September 3, 2019 – MINNEAPOLIS, MINN: The Department of Social Work has added the option to acquire the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counseling (LADC) credential to the Master of Social Work (MSW). The development of this credential was supported by an Augsburg 2019 Innovation Fund Grant to Laura Boisen, Lois Bosch, and MSW Program Coordinator, Emily Glynn. The program, at this time, is targeted toward Augsburg University MSW Multicultural Clinical Concentration students. The three additional courses will be offered starting in Summer 2019. The credential will also requires an expanded field practicum of 880 hours to accommodate the LADC field placement requirement.  Of the 880 hours, 500 hours are currently required for the MSW.

What does the LADC mean for students at Augsburg after graduation?
The intent of the effort is to expand the workforce qualified to work with clients who have substance abuse and/or co-occurring mental health issues.  According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA, 2017), mental and substance use disorders have the “greatest impact on Americans’ health of any condition.”  According to SAMHSA’s 2014 national survey, an estimated 43.6 million Americans have some form of mental illness, 20.2 million have a substance abuse disorder and 7.9 million have a co-occurring disorder (substance abuse and mental health disorder).  According to the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2014, more people died from drug overdoses than in any other year, with 60% of those deaths related to opioid use (hhs.gov).
When did this LADC get approved?
The MSW/LADC was approved by the Augsburg University Graduate Academic Affairs Committee in Fall, 2018.  The recommended coursework is offered in Summer term beginning in May, 2019. These courses are taught by 2 of our own Augsburg alumni who hold MSW and LADC licenses.
In addition to the clinical coursework required for the MSW – MCCP concentration, there are 3 additional academic courses and an expanded field practicum of 880 hours to accommodate the LADC field placement requirement, Of those 880 hours, 500 hours are required for the MSW concentration year.
How does this impact the Social Work field?
Offering this credential will expand the capabilities and qualifications of our MSW graduates.  Adding the LADC requirements and certification to the regular plan of study in the MCCP/MSW program provides opportunities for dually licensed social workers (LICSW/LADC)  to engage in the practice of alcohol and drug counseling (as per Minnesota state law) in addition to their ability to conduct diagnostic assessments, individual, family and group treatment once they are appropriately licensed.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (2015), by 2022, there is a projected 27% employment growth rate for those holding LADC and other dual licensures, including the MSW.  As Augsburg University already provides a quality MSW education, this initiative would be a natural fit with the current degree and the mission of Augsburg University such as that is lived through its commitment to the STEP UP program.
What are the future plans for the MSW/LADC?
There are future plans to make the courses interdisciplinary and open to non-degree seeking students who have an interest in LADC certification and working in addiction recovery.