Institute to give certification program online
The Florida Addictions Institute recently announced its Certified Addiction Counselor program will be available online starting January.
Executive Director Keral Kronseder-Vogt said the institute on Pine Island Road has received many queries from students across the state and nation wanting to be certified as an addiction counselor.
“This is in response to overwhelming requests from people across the state and nation for online training which provides a live, interactive format,” Kronseder-Vogt said.
Each semester the institute accepts approximately 16 local students, but online classes will expand that number to 25 from anywhere in the United States.
Since the institute opened in 2005, half of all telephone callers have asked if the certification is offered online. Until now, the answer has been no.
Although Florida requires addiction counselors to get the certification, there are not many places across the state that offer it, leaving the prospective counselors in a proverbial catch 22.
Officials said there currently is a shortage of trained workers in the industry of substance abuse treatment.
According to national statistics, at least one in every 10 people are addicted to drugs or alcohol at least once in their lives.
Although the program will be online, it is more interactive than traditional digital classes.
Rather than having students e-mail work and discuss issues back and forth, the classes will follow a whiteboard format, meaning there will be a live video of the instructor with accompanying drawings, illustrations or handouts in the corner of the screen.
Kronseder-Vogt explained that students will only need a computer and Internet access.
“We are so pleased that the technology in the field of Internet education advanced to the point where we can provide the training for counseling professionals,” she said.
The Florida Addictions Institute is holding a graduation ceremony for its latest class at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at HealthPark Medical Center.
Graduates are Henry L. Coggins, Candice Lee, Lydia McCune, Ellen Moran, Catherine Morency, Brenda Reim, Margery Runyan, Tona Wert and Matthew Williams.
For more information on classes at the Florida Addictions Institute, call 573-0311 or visit: www.fladdictionsinstitute.org.