• Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling FAQ

  • Important Note: Some external links may be inaccessible. People requiring accommodations due to a disability should contact Accessible Education Services at 503-491-6923 or aes@mhcc.edu.

    How do I know what classes to take before I get into the program?

    An academic adviser (https://www.mhcc.edu/AdvisingCenter) can help plan out which classes you can take prior to entering the program.

    Students should also plan on attending an information session to get more specific program details. Information session dates and times can be found on the program home page. Although not required for admission before entering the program, it is highly recommended that students take the following elective courses: PSY201, SOC204, SOC205, Foreign Language Elective and any college level Lab Science Elective. General education classes within the program you may take prior to admission include MTH058/MTH065, WR121 and WR122, HE202, HE208 and 1 credit of HE/PE.

    How heavy is the workload?
    The answer to this question may be very individual. If you have a job and a family, the workload will be heavier than if you are not working and/or have fewer responsibilities. This is a full time program whereby students take 15‐18 credits per quarter.
    How can I get a better idea of how much time that is?
    A good way to estimate how much time you will spend studying would be to take the number of credits per week and multiply that by 2 hours of homework per credit. For example, 12 credit hours multiplied by 2 homework hours would equal 24 hours per week. Add the two: 12 hours in school + 24 hours homework = 36 hours per week.
    What career options are out there for me with a two‐year degree?

    We have graduates working as Mental Health Technicians at local residential and hospital treatment facilities; Social Service Assistants with Dept. of Human Services; Case Managers with agencies serving the elderly and mentally ill; Counselors in residential treatment facilities for teens and adults; Drug and Alcohol Counselors in a wide variety of human service agencies; Mediation and Negotiation specialists with families; Program Developers and Grant Writers. These are just a FEW of the many opportunities that await our graduates. Below is a list of potential job titles:

    Job Titles With an Associate Degree Job Titles With an Advanced Degree
    Activity Director In A Nursing Home Counseling Psychologist
    Advocate Counselor
    Alcohol Counselor Family Therapist
    Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselor Grant Writer
    Chemical Dependency Counselor Private Practice
    Community Resource Coordinator Program Director
    Counselor QMHP (Qualified mental health professional)
    Court Advocate School Counselor
    Drug Counselor
    Social Worker
    Employment Counselor

    Specialized Counseling:

    • CADC II, III
    • Gambling
    • Sex Addiction
    Family Resource Specialist  
    Gambling Counselor  
    In Patient Psychiatric Units  
    Job Coach
    Job Developer
    Mental Health Technician
    Mental Health Therapist Medical Settings
    Personal Skills Trainer
    Probation/Parole Technician
    Program Coordinator
    Qualified Mental Health Associate
    Rehabilitation Counselor
    Residential Aide
    Social Service Assistant
    Social Service Director In A Nursing Home/Long Term Care
    State Worker For DHS
    Student Aid/Tutors
    Teaching Assistant – With Special Needs/At Risk Youth
    Work In Domestic Violence
    Youth Development Specialist
    Can I transfer to another college or university after completing this program?

    Yes! Our Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling degree transfers directly to Warner Pacific College, Clark College, and to Portland State University’s Child and Family Studies program and Social Work program. Some students attend University of Portland’s Social Work program, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, University of Washington, Western Oregon University and some may elect to do online bachelor degrees in social science. We are among the top programs at MHCC with students who finish their AAS degree that go on to complete a Bachelor and/or Master’s degree.

    Are there classes offered in the evening or weekends for those that work?
    The core program classes are mainly offered during the day, Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    How much does the program cost?

    Costs are approximations and are listed only as a guide for your financial planning. Tuition is effective as of Fall term 2021 and subject to change without notice. 


    2-Year Degree
    (6 Terms)

    (approximate and based on six terms in the program, does not include prerequisites/preprogram courses.) To view the current tuition rate, visit www.mhcc.edu/tuition.
    Books* $1,000.00
    TOTAL ESTIMATE COST $14,648.75
    *The textbook costs listed above are for your core classes only and do not include costs for the general and related electives required for the Associate of Applied Science Degree in MHSSAC.

    Important Note: Students are responsible for transportation costs to clinical practicum sites. Travel costs and licensure fees are not included in financial aid reimbursable expenses.
    I have a criminal history, will this bar me from getting into the program?

    If you have a criminal history, we strongly encourage potential applicants to contact our program adviser Karen Green, (503-491-7133, Karen.Green@mhcc.edu) for more information.

    If you have had a prior DUI or MIP charges you will need to disclose all of those charges in writing prior to being placed in an internship.

    In addition, many but not all of our internship sites require a DHS/ CPS background check. You will not be qualified to work with vulnerable populations if you have had any prior involvement with these state agencies.

    Prior person to person assault charges will disqualify you from being placed within many of our agency partners and might ultimately prove to be a significant barrier to employment in the Mental Health field.

    Is there a board exam I have to take or a license at the end of the program?

    No state board is required. Those interested in working in the Drug & Alcohol field and interested in completing the CADC I test will need to contact the CADC for the exam.

    Application for that certificate requires 1000 hours of work experience. Your MHCC internship usually provides 480 of the CADC hours. These requirements are subject to change by the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO).

    What will my schedule look like?
    First Year Fall Winter Spring
    Monday 11-4 9-4 9-2
    Tuesday 9-12 9-4 11-3
    Wednesday 1-4 11-1 9-4
    Thursday 9-4 9-4 10-12
    Friday Off Off Internship
    Second Year Fall Winter Spring
    Monday Internship 9-5 Internship
    Tuesday 10-3 Internship 10:30-3
    Wednesday Internship 9-3 Internship
    Thursday 10-3 Internship 10:30-4
    Friday Off Off Off