EDINBURG - A newly added minor in addiction studies to the Rehabilitative Services Program at The University of Texas-Pan American is opening up new educational avenues for students.
UT Pan American Rehabilitative Services Program recently added a new 18-hour substance abuse counseling minor to the program in an effort to meet the increasing educational demand of the Rio Grande Valley, said Bruce Reed, department coordinator for the Rehabilitative Service Program at UTPA.
"We started teaching courses in this area about five years ago when we discovered there wasn't really a coordinated program on campus," Reed said. "The new minor will focus primarily on substance abuse counseling. There is such a strong need for bilingual people who are licensed chemical dependency counselors in the state of Texas."
According to Reed, the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the key state agency that funds and oversees treatment facilities has recognized the shortage of bilingual counselors for the last two years.
The Rehabilitative Services Program at UTPA has a special emphasis on the training of bilingual and bicultural individuals, Reed noted. The need for such personnel has been demonstrated through feasibility studies conducted since 1982, both in the Rio Grande Valley and nationally.
Approximately 100 students are currently enrolled in the undergraduate Rehabilitative Services Program with the possibility of approximately 250 students showing an interest in the new minor. The new addiction studies minor will be available to students beginning in the 1999 fall semester.
For more information on the new minor, contact the Rehabilitative Services Program at (956) 316-7036.