Where do I get information?

Please contact the program Director or Associate Director:

Alma Avila
Addiction & Recovery Counseling Program

415.452.5162 fax


Eric Lewis
Associate Director
Addiction & Recovery Counseling Program                                   

415.452.5162 fax

Mailing Address:
Alma Avila
Drug & Alcohol Certificate
Health Education Department
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue, MU353
San Francisco, CA 94112

Walk-in Office:
Multi-Use Building, Room 353

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What is the Drug & Alcohol Certificate?
This is a 37.5-unit CAADE (California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators) accredited Certificate that will prepare students to work as credentialed counselors in Drug & Alcohol Programs.  This program is designed for working adults, new and returning students. The Drug and Alcohol Certificate is funded by the San Francisco Department of Public Health /Community Behavioral Health Service (CBHS).

Why is CAADE Accreditation important?
Accreditation by the California Association of Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE) is important because the California Department of Alcohol & Drug Programs now requires all Drug & Alcohol counselors to be certified within five years of registering with a certifying organization.

What do Drug & Alcohol Counselors do?
Drug & Alcohol counselors perform many duties of which the following are but a few: provide clinical evaluations, develop treatment plans, provide referrals, coordinate client-centered services, provide individual, group or family counseling and provide community education and outreach.

What kind of job can I get once I complete the program?
Drug & Alcohol counselors work in variety arenas such as:  inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, residential treatment programs, jail treatment programs, juvenile services, homeless programs, mental health services, harm reduction centered programs, maternal-child health programs, and senior services.

How much will I earn in this career?
The average starting salary for a Drug & Alcohol counselor in San Francisco ranges from $32,000-$50,000 depending on the agency and experience.

How long will the program take?
Full time students can complete the certificate in 5-6 semesters. Many students in our program work full time and take longer to complete the certificate.

Are there prerequisites?
Yes.  Students must take and successfully complete (with a grade of "C" or higher) Health 100: Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Studies.  This 1-unit course provides an overview of the Drug and Alcohol counseling field as well as an orientation to the requirements of the CCSF Drug and Alcohol program.

What is required of me?
This is a vocational program that requires significant time commitment, discipline, stability, maturity and predictability. As part of the program, you will be required to complete 250 internship hours for CAADE certification.

When do classes start?
Classes begin every semester.  Refer to City College Class Schedule for specific dates and times. After completing Health 100, classes must be taken sequentially.

How do I get into the program?
First, you need to complete and submit a CCSF admissions application either online (by clicking here), by mail, or in person.  The Admissions & Records office is located in Conlan Hall room E107, 50 Phelan Avenue.  You must have a registration appointment ticket in order to register for classes.  Once you have your date, you can register for Health 100.

Where will classes be held?
All classes are held at the Ocean Campus (50 Phelan Avenue).

What time of day are classes offered?
All required classes are held after 4 p.m.*  During the third and fourth semesters, students will be required to complete 250 hours (125 hours x 2 semesters) at an internship site.  For more information, you can obtain a catalog listing and description online by clicking here.
    *Sometimes a section of Health 100 and/or Health 90B will be offered on Saturdays.  Saturday classes are held during the morning/afternoon.

What can I expect to spend?
City College of San Francisco classes are $46 per unit plus a student health and registration fee each semester. (Community College prices are subject to change.) You can expect to spend approximately $2000 for the Certificate program (not counting books).  Extensive financial aid is available to students who qualify (click here for financial aid information).

When and where do I request a Certificate?
After completion of the 37.5 units, you must obtain and complete a Petition for Certificate of Achievement form from the Admissions Office, Conlan Hall, Room E107, by the deadline published in the College Catalog and Schedule of Classes.