Higher Education Accreditation


CAADE accredited Alcohol and Drug Studies higher education programs consist of a minimum of 36 semester credit units (or approximately 600 clock hours). CAADE College/University programs are fully accredited and transferrable to other colleges, universities and graduate programs nationwide. Students may attend CAADE accredited colleges full- or part-time, depending on their individual needs and time constraints. CAADE college programs provide the opportunity to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes required to be effective in the treatment of alcohol and other drug dependency and abuse in all treatment settings. CAADE college programs are designed to provide students who have no prior experience in the field of Alcohol and Drug Counseling with a competency based educational program that meets certification standards in California in the most efficient, effective and inexpensive manner available. Because all community college or university programs are fully accredited, financial aid is available for students who qualify. Only students who complete a CAADE accredited community college or university education program (or equivalent) are qualified to sit for the NOCA approved CAADE Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATC) examination.


Click here for a list of CAADE accredited colleges & universities in California, Arizona and Nevada (Oregon coming soon!)

ProgramAccreditation Background Documents
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Guidelines for Alcohol/Drug Studies Programs
 Within Higher Education
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Under Contract with the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, the Guidelines for an Alcohol and Drug Studies Program Within Higher Education was prepared for and adopted by the Accreditation Committee at the annual educators conference in Sacramento during April of 1986. This study was initiated by the Accreditation Committee in the fall of 1985.  The Committee is composed of members representing educational and treatment and recovery interests throughout the state to include: the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC), California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources (CAARR), California Association of Drinking Driver Treatment Programs (CADDTP), California Therapeutic Community (CTC), American Academy of Health Care Providers, American Indian Commission, County and State Alcohol and Drug agencies, DUI and EAP programs, service providers, and educators from community colleges,  state universities, and private colleges.  After the first meeting at UCLA, the Accreditation Committee was divided into four sub-committees to work on the following aspects of accreditation:

Subcommittee A:     Alcohol and Drug Studies Core
Subcommittee B:     Alcohol and Drug Studies Skills
Subcommittee C:     Alcohol and Drug Field Studies
Subcommittee D:     Admission and Evaluation of Students; and Standards for  Instructors in Alcohol/Drug Studies Programs

Over an eight year period the Guidelines underwent three revisions. The first draft was reviewed at CAADE's spring 1985 meeting.  An open session was
held to receive input from committee members and other interested persons.  These comments were incorporated in the first revision. The second draft
was circulated to an extensive list of authorities throughout the state to solicit comments and concerns.  This resulted in a second revision. 
The third draft of the Guidelines underwent review via four public meetings held in different regions of the state.  The net result of the three efforts was a
broadly based curriculum model whose utility is expanding as the field of alcohol and drugs continues its professional growth.

These Guidelines were revised and updated in 1997,1998 and 2000 to include competency infusion from the State and National Curriculum Competencies developed under the auspices of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC). The California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators  (C.A.A.D.E.) has been responsible for revising and maintaining the educational standards for this Guidelines Manual.

In 2006, with the release of the newly revised TAP 21, the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs contracted with Dick Wilson, Lori Phelps, and California State University Fullerton, to continue the work of accrediting community college Alcohol and Drug Studies Programs and to update the Guidelines Manual for Higher Education. The current Guidelines Manual is the culmination of the work performed during that contract. There are currently some 40+ CAADE accredited community college and university Alcohol and Drug Studies Programs throughout California that were developed using the Guidelines Manual curriculum. More are in process and the accreditation program is expanding to include states outside of California.

CAADE is in the process of expanding its accreditation activities to include establishing guidelines for certifying non-transferrable Extension and Private Post Secondary Alcohol and Drug Counselor Vocational Training Programs using the NADAAC (360 hour) workshop model.