Scholarships address the shortage of certified addiction counselors

February 01, 2024

social work students receive scholarships

Aurora University has awarded 25 social work students $520,000 in scholarships and other support to pursue their substance abuse counselor credentials, as the demand rises for social workers trained to address the ongoing overdose crisis in Illinois.

The scholarships are funded by a grant from the Illinois Certification Board’s Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) Workforce Expansion program. The grant includes tuition, internship stipends, childcare, transportation, and other aid. On-campus and online social work students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels received the award.

“We’re very excited to provide this opportunity for our students and to do our part to help address the shortage of certified addictions professionals working in Illinois,” said Laura Donavon, assistant professor of social work and coordinator of the addictions track at AU. “Our students work very hard, juggling their studies, jobs, and families, and having this stipend lightens the burden for them.”

The CADC Workforce Expansion program was launched in May 2023 to help individuals overcome barriers related to acquiring the education, skills, and experience necessary to work in the substance use services field in Illinois.

“Aurora University is proud to be a recipient of this funding to help address this critical need in our communities,” Donavon said.