Q: How can I find out more about Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (AODS) and Psychological and Socials Services (PSS) programs?

A: Attend an orientation held the first Wednesday of every month (during the semester) at 5:00 PM in the MD building, classroom 103.

Q: How do I get into either of the programs? What is required of me in these programs?

A: Students can enroll in AODS/PSYC/SOC courses without a special application process. The courses are open to students for general interest as well as to meet certificate requirements. In general, it is a good idea for a student to declare their academic major on their application because this establishes catalog rights. That means that the student is held to the requirements listed in the catalog the year they declared their major and started taking classes.

Q: Are there internship requirements?

A: The AODS and PSS programs are vocational programs that require a significant time commitment, discipline, stability, maturity, and good study habits and college-level writing skills. As part of both programs, you will be required to complete internship hours at an approved agency.

Q: What is the difference between the certificate program in Psychological and Social Services and Alcohol and Other Drug Studies?

A: Palomar College has had a certificate program in Psychological and Social Services for more than 30 years. The courses in this certificate program prepare students to work in a variety of human service agencies, in addition to being a first step for students exploring degree options within the human services field. The Alcohol and Other Drug Studies program began in 2001 and gained accreditation in 2004. The AODS courses prepare students to work with chemical dependency issues and clients. The AODS program provides students with the academic requirements for certification as an Alcohol/Drug Counselor.

Q: What is the difference between earning a Certificate and an AA?

A: The difference between an AA degree and a Certificate is the AA requires the completion of 60 degree applicable units to include general education and district requirements such as English, Math, and US History. The AODS Certificate programs require the completion of 11 courses only (36-37 units). To earn a Certificate in PSS or AODS you must complete the program requirements listed in the catalog.

Q: Why are most of the courses in the programs listed as AODS/PSYC/SOC?

A: The courses in the certificate programs have been approved by the curriculum committee at Palomar College as “cross listed” classes. That means that a student can sign up as an AODS, Psychology, or Sociology student because the course content includes enough material in each of these disciplines to qualify for credit as that type of course.

Q: Do students have to complete all 11 of the courses in the AODS certificate program in order to become an alcohol/drug counselor?

A: Yes, CAADE California Association of Alcohol/ Drug Educators and CCAPP California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals are both professional organizations that offer a state board certification examination and all 11 courses are required.  To be eligible for the CCAPP California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals requirements include the completion of 9 courses: AODS 150, 155, 255, (Supervised Practicum: 140 or 298), 250, 260,160 and the Supervised Practicum AODS 299.  Students should also complete Psych 100 or Soc 100. Students must also complete 255 hours of internship work at an approved agency.  To be eligible for the CAADE exam for the Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, a student must complete the AODS Certificate which consists of a 11-course curriculum.

Q: Do all of the courses have to be completed at Palomar College? How can I determine if my previous college classes “count” towards an AA/Certificate?

A: No, but please discuss with the AODS/PSS program director.  Students who have completed coursework from an accredited college or university should have their official transcripts sent to the Palomar College Records Office.  After the transcripts have been received (usually takes 2-4 weeks), the student should schedule a counseling appointment to review their transcript for general education requirements.  For certificate requirements, a student must request a course substitution or course equivalence from the AODS/PSS Program Coordinator.

Q: How can I get financial assistance to help with the expense of going to school?

A: Students should complete a Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) as soon as possible to determine what programs they qualify for.  The Financial Aid Office provides workshops to assist students in completing their financial aid forms. If you qualify the Board of Govenors Fee Waiver BOG-W is a program that pays your college enrollment fees. To apply for the BOGW, you can submit an online application application to the Financial Aid Office.  California residents have various methods to qualify.  Eligibility is determined within 3 business days.  Another source of financial source (based on grades) is the Palomar College Scholarship process.  Click on this site to check on new Outside Scholarships offered during the year.