Substance Awareness Coordinator, Educational Services Certification - Graduate

Coordinator: Dr. Edina Renfro-Michel
Office: University Hall, Room 3215
Phone: (973) 655-5381

The Counseling programs at Montclair State University prepare students to become multiculturally competent counselors in a variety of work settings. Students are prepared to work with diverse populations in elementary and secondary schools, community agencies, student affairs positions in colleges and universities, and substance abuse treatment facilities. The academic preparation follows guidelines established by state licensure and certification boards.

The graduate programs in Counseling offer several advantages:

  • Opportunities for alternative scheduling in the form of face-to-face, hybrid, or Saturday classes to meet the needs of the working student
  • The opportunity to master counseling skills in a technologically state-of-the-art counseling laboratory, which allows students to record, archive, and review their own counseling practice sessions, which enhances their ability to serve future clients
  • A diverse group of faculty members actively engaged in scholarly research who hold national leadership positions in professional associations, including the American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • A theory-to-practice model of instruction that allows students to gain practical experience in schools, community agencies, and colleges and universities
  • An emphasis on the infusion of multicultural counseling and social justice practice in all courses
  • A vibrant and diverse student body that has the opportunity to engage with faculty members on research and present at professional conferences

The Substance Awareness Coordinator program offers students the opportunity to take a sequence of post-master's courses required by the New Jersey Department of Education for individuals who wish to become Substance Awareness Coordinators in K-12 schools.


To be considered for admission into the Substance Awareness Coordinator (SAC) Certification Program, and to be eligible for the SAC Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS), at the time of application, the candidate must hold:

  • A standard instructional certificate, or a school psychologist, school social worker, school counselor, director of school counseling services or school nurse endorsement, or
  • a valid Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) credential issued by the New Jersey Alcohol and Drug Counselor Committee of the Marriage and Family Board, or
  • a valid Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) credential issued by the Addiction Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey or
  • hold a master's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university as identified in the New Jersey Department of Education requirements.  Additional requirements apply.  Please visit: ( -pages 247-254)

A Master of Arts in Counseling with a SAC focus meets State requirements for certification eligibility.  With the required choice of an advanced certification, credential, or M.A. degree, as stated above, followed by the completion of the approved SAC coursework at MSU, the State Education Department will issue a SAC Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (Employment Certificate), which is processed through the University.  This will enable students to seek a supervised internship/employment placement as a provisional Substance Awareness Coordinator.

Note: Applicants will only be considered for admission into the SAC program if they meet one of the requirements listed above, at the time of application.

Program Requirements

COUN 540Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling3
COUN 545Community Resources: Alcohol/Substance Abuse Counseling3
COUN 564Counseling Children and Adolescents3
COUN 588Counseling Techniques3
COUN 591Family Seminar: Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling3
ELAD 521Education Law3
ELAD 531Program Planning and Development in Educational Settings3
HLTH 511Biomedical and Psychosocial Perspectives on Drugs3
Total Credits24