CWRU Mandel School’s Specialty Program Earns Accreditation

Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board accepts curriculum for professional license in chemical dependency counseling

News Release: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CLEVELAND – A trend of abuse of prescription painkillers is just more evidence that addiction continues to be is a major problem in society. A vital need exists in Ohio and elsewhere for highly skilled counselors.

Case Western Reserve University Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences graduate students can prepare through an increasingly important specialty helping those with alcohol and other drug abuse problems. In addition to a professional license in social work, Mandel School students can attain a license in chemical dependency counseling.

In June, the school’s alcohol and other drug abuse specialization officially became accredited by the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. Master's degree students can meet the formal education requirement of the OCDP Board, which oversees the certification and licensure of chemical dependency professionals.

Kathleen J. Farkas, associate professor of social work at the Mandel School, said social workers can be certified in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of alcohol and other drug abuse.

"Having a licensure process in Ohio for both social work and chemical dependency counseling is a form of quality control," Farkas says. "It raises expectations and standards for required knowledge and skills among the work force."

Farkas emphasizes that the OCDP Board provides an additional licensing option. It does not replace licensing of independent social workers.

Lenore A. Kola, associate professor of social work and co-director of the Mandel School's Center for Evidence-Based Practices, said the accreditation adds value to a wide-ranging curriculum.

"Our curriculum has been ahead of many of our peer institutions, and, as a result, our graduates have been leaders," says Kola, who established the alcohol and other drug abuse specialization at Mandel School.

Accreditation is an official OCDP Board endorsement of degree programs. Accreditation assures that persons entering the field of chemical dependency counseling have met requirements for formal education necessary for licensure.

The OCDP Board is a member of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium, which includes individuals with licenses in chemical dependency counseling from licensing boards in other states and internationally.

To learn more about Case Western Reserve University Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, go to

To learn more about OCDP Board, go to

Posted by: Marvin Kropko, June 22, 2011 06:05 PM | News Topics: Official Release