Program Requirements

Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Mission Statement:

The mission of the Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program is to prepare students with academic training and hands on experience for employment in various substance abuse treatment settings and obtain California state certification as a drug and alcohol counselor. The Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program facilitates and enhances student learning in a supportive environment, through comprehensive education, utilizing academic courses and field placement experiences.

Program Accreditation:

The AODS Certificate consists of an 11-course curriculum accredited by CAADE in 2004 and CCAPP in 2015 after their extensive review. Palomar College’s AODS courses prepare students to provide services in court-mandated, public, and private agencies for alcohol and drug intervention, treatment, and prevention. Students are prepared to work in agencies that provide intake, assessment, detoxification, impaired driver interventions, drug testing, crisis intervention, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, sober living services, relapse prevention, counseling, and family recovery.

Palomar College’s AODS program is accredited by both CAADE, California Association of Alcohol/Drug Educators and CCAPP, and California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals

The California Department of Health and Human Services, DHCS, requires that counselors who are employed in agencies providing alcohol and drug services must be certified to do so by having passed an approved state examination, or that they are enrolled as students in an accredited program such as Palomar College which prepares students for those exams.

CCAPP, California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals, CADTP, California Association of DUI Treatment programs and CAADE, California Association of Alcohol/ Drug Educators are  professional organizations that offer a state board certification examination.

To be eligible for the State Certification exam requirements include the completion of AODS courses: 150, 155, 160, 165, 250, 255, 260, 270, and the Supervised Practicums AODS 298/298L and 299/299L. Students must also complete one of the following: Psych 100, Soc 100 or Soc 110.

Students must complete 255 hours of internship work at an approved agency during the Supervised Practicum courses AODS 298/298L and 299/299L. 

State certification requires you to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

11 Courses Required:

AODS 150 Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drug Studies 3 units
AODS 155 Physiology/Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs 3 units
AODS 160 Prevention, Intervention, and Education 3 units

AODS 165 Law and Ethics 3 units
AODS 250 Group Leadership and Process 3 units
AODS 255 Case Management 3 units
AODS 260 Chemical Dependency Family Counseling 3 units

AODS 270 Co-Occurring, 3 units
AODS 298/298L Directed Field Experience I 5 – 6 units, Fall ONLY
AODS 299/299L Directed Field Experience ll 5 – 6 units, Spring ONLY

Elective: Must Select One Of the Following (Select 3 units)

Psyc 100 Introduction to Psychology

Soc 100 Introduction to Sociology
Soc 110 Social Problems (3 units)

Total Units 37-38 Units  (A grade of ‘C’ or higher must be achieved in all certificate courses. A Department Chair/Director may waive one (1) ‘D’ grade with written justification).

AS Degree – Alcohol and Drug Studies

Palomar College offers an AS Degree in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (AODS). The AS Degree Major in AODS requires the same 11 courses as the Certificate of Achievement above.  In addition, the Associate in Science degree requires completion of a minimum of sixty (60) degree-applicable semester units to include the district requirements and general education requirements listed below.  Courses numbered 1-49 do not count in the sixty (60) units toward the degree.

It is advisable to make an appointment with a Palomar College counselor for details about educational planning for an AS, including English, Math and Reading assessment testing. To make an appointment go to Palomar College Counseling Center . To sign up for the placement testing, go to Assessment Office .
Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (‘C’ average) or higher for all degree-applicable course work attempted.
Complete the AS Degree District Requirements. Complete English 100 with a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Competence in Mathematics
Competence in American History and institutions/California Government
Competence in Health and Physical education
Competence may be demonstrated by course completion, examination,
or military service.

Multicultural Requirement. Students may satisfy this requirement by completing a minimum of 3 units from the approved courses listed in the current catalog.

Complete the AS Degree General Education Requirements. See the current catalog for courses approved to meet the AA General Education requirements:
A1. English Composition,
A2. Analytical Thinking and Oral Communication
B. Natural Sciences
C. Humanities
D. Social and Behavioral Sciences
E. Integrated Self and Lifelong Learning
F. Complete 11 courses for the AA degree major. Psyc 100, Psyc 225, AODS 150, 155, 160, 165, 250, 255, 260, 298/298L, 299/299L and one of the following Psyc 100, Soc 100 or Soc 110.