Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School Program Granted Accreditation by CACREP

Further recognition comes amid urgent workforce need for more substance use, mental health counselors
Learn About Hazelden Betty Ford

Center City, Minn. (Feb. 27, 2024) – With rising mental health and suicide concerns—due in part to the overdose epidemic and broader addiction crisis—demand for counselors in the behavioral health field is projected to grow 22% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 Well-deserved scrutiny on the substance use treatment field has made clear that past minimum training and education woefully inadequate to treat patients with today's complex substance use and mental health conditions—which is why the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School is proud to share that the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has granted accreditation to its Master of Arts in Counseling programs, Specialized Practice Area of Addiction Counseling.

"This is a monumental achievement in the history of our program," said Kevin Doyle, Ed.D., president and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School, which is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's leading nonprofit system of addiction and mental health care, recovery resources, and related education, prevention, research and advocacy. "CACREP accreditation further demonstrates the high degree of rigor that our programs demonstrate and our programs' consistency with national standards. We continue our commitment to educate our students to become future leaders in addiction counseling so they can provide evidence-based integrated care for substance use and co-occurring disorders." 

Each U.S. jurisdiction has its own set of rules and regulations for the licensing of counselors. While completing a CACREP-accredited program will not guarantee eligibility for licensure as a counselor, the extensive curricular and clinical training requirements included in the CACREP Standards help maximize the likelihood that Hazelden Betty Ford graduates will have met all or most of the educational requirements for licensure as a counselor in each U.S. jurisdiction. The Graduate School's initial accreditation expires in 2032. 

CACPEP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School also holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and programmatic accreditation from the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission. 

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2024, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation launched a counselor training program in 1963 to develop a new generation of addiction treatment professionals. Originally named the Hazelden Chemical Dependency Counselor Training Program, it evolved into the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies in 1999 when it admitted its first master's students. The school dropped "of Addiction Studies" from its name this year to reflect its expanded focus on integrated mental health counseling.

As the longest continuous, accredited provider of substance use counselor training in the United States, the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School has educated students from 47 states, two U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and 44 countries, including Japan, Iceland, Norway, Canada, Great Britain and Bermuda; and continues to propel standards for the field. 

With both onsite and distance-learning options, the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School typically enrolls well over 200 students each year in its two addiction counseling programs. Graduates taking licensing and certification examinations have a 99% exam pass rate, and 92.1% of graduates are successfully employed within six months of graduation.2

For those interested in learning more about the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, the school offers regular  open houses and events.

  1. "Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, last updated October 24, 2022. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm (visited January 18, 2023)
  2. 99% exam pass rate is based on 95/96 survey respondents from 2018-2022. 92% of graduates successfully employed within six months based on 128/139 survey respondents from 2018-2022.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.