Westfield State University’s Addiction Counselor Education program to be offered at Berkshire CC

Westfield State University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE) has established a satellite location for its Addiction Counselor Education program (ACE) on the campus of Berkshire Community College (BCC).

The Addiction Counselor Education Program is geared toward those considering a career in treatment services for alcoholism/chemical dependency, or those already working in a related field.

The non-credit ACE program expansion is based on Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant-funding and will allow students to attend the program at the Berkshire location with a reduced cost in tuition, fees, and books, bringing the cost of attendance from $3,900 to $900. Students must complete a practicum in the Berkshire region in order to qualify for the grant. The program at BCC begins this month, and students must apply and be accepted into the program.

The program will be held on Saturdays from March to November and includes a 300-hour practicum experience. It has received approvals from the Department of Public Health through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification.

In addition to the Westfield State University ACE program, Berkshire Community College recently launched a credit-bearing Recovery Coach program within its Human Services Department. Students who complete the ACE program may be eligible to apply some ACE courses toward BCC’s program.

Westfield State University has offered the non-credit ACE program since 1991, and has explored program expansion, recently made possible by the HRSA grant.

“This program has been highly instrumental in the professional development of individuals in the western Massachusetts area who are currently working in or interested in becoming a part of the growing healthcare field of addiction services.” says Dr. Shelley Tinkham, dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education at Westfield State University. “With the expansion of this program to a new location in Pittsfield, the University aims to help train potential counselors in the Berkshire area with the goal of filling critical positions in treatment facilities that are currently understaffed.”

The program’s coursework and practicum experience serve as a valuable introduction to all aspects of the addictions field. Each course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills required for working in the field, and are taught or supervised by professionals in the alcoholism/chemical dependency treatment services field.

For more information about the ACE program at Westfield State University, visit or contact Brandon Fredette at 413.572.8033 or

The expansion of the ACE program to Berkshire Community College campus is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number: M01HP31281, Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for $552,613. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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