ACCEPT Program

The ACCEPT Program is the Addictions Counseling Certificate Experiential Paraprofessional Training Program at Kent State University. It is an enhancement of the Addictions Counseling Certificate Program (ACCP), providing additional experiential training and financial support to a select number of KSU undergraduate students enrolled in the ACCP.

The ACCEPT Program is a Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA; Grant # 1 M01HP42441‐01‐00), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services administration. (Total HRSA award to KSU for 4 years is $1,598,289; 60% of which is dedicated to student support.)

The ACCEPT Program at KSU began September 2021 and will continue until at least August 2025. A total of 104 KSU undergraduate students will benefit from the ACCEPT Program over its first 4 years. Students eligible for the ACCEPT Program are those who begin the undergraduate/post-secondary Addictions Counseling Certificate Program (ACCP) in either the Fall semester or the Spring semester and commit to completing the ACCP in 12 months, including completing 4 credits and 315 clock hours of supervised practicum at an approved behavioral health organization in Northeast Ohio.

The majority of ACCEPT Program Trainees are Psychology majors. All of the Trainees are preparing to work as addictions counselors.

Year 1 of the ACCEPT Program (2021-22) graduated 17 Trainees, 10 of whom are employed in the behavioral health field. Employment locations for Year 1 ACCEPT Trainees include Townhall II in Kent, Hitchcock Center for Women in Cleveland, MetroHealth Medical Center’s Office of Opioid Safety in Cleveland, and Meridian Healthcare in Youngstown.

Year 2A of the ACCEPT Program (2022-23) graduated 11 Trainees. Most of these Trainees completed their addictions counseling practicum during Summer 2023 at behavioral health facilities including Summa Health Addiction Medicine program in Barberton, Family & Community Services of Portage County, First Step Recovery in Warren, and Child Guidance & Family Solutions in Akron.     

Eight ACCEPT Year 2B Trainees are completing their addictions counseling practicum Fall 2023. They will complete the ACCEPT Program December 2023.

There are 19 Year 3A ACCEPT Trainees who began Fall 2023. They will complete the ACCEPT Program August 2024.

Applications for a new group of Year 3B ACCEPT Program Trainees are now underway. This group will begin Spring 2024 and will commit to completing the ACCP by December 2024.  This group will take two in-person ACCP courses Spring 2024, another two online courses Summer 2024, and then complete the 15-week addictions counseling practicum in Fall 2024. Students interested in being part of Year 3B of the ACCEPT Program and wish to be considered for January 16, 2024 – December 8, 2024 can apply here: ACCEPT Program Year 3B Applicationor scan the QR code below.

A Careers Fair in Addictions Counseling is scheduled in-person on the Kent campus on Monday, October 23, 4:00 – 6:00 pm:

View the ACCEPT informational session, recorded March 8, 2023.

QR code for Accept program

Each KSU ACCEPT Program Trainee receives the following benefits:

  • $3,000 toward tuition/fees
  • $5,000 stipend during practicum
  • Training in cultural humility, trauma-informed care, and working with families
  • Extensive training and certification in telehealth service provision, offered by, a leader in telehealth training
  • Participation in client simulation practice activities/encounters conducted live/on-ground in The Counseling Center (325 White Hall, Kent campus) and online/asynchronously, including a simulated case conference
  • Career mentoring provided by a graduate student Research Assistant, including resume revision and participating in mock employment interviews
  • Placement in a 13- or 15-week addictions counseling practicum (Fall, Spring, or Summer term) for a minimum of 315 clock hours of supervised practice at a facility in Northeast Ohio that offers integrated health services (behavioral health and primary care)
  • Free life-time subscription to Tevera, a digital portfolio/software package to track all practicum field hours and progress toward licensure as a chemical dependency counselor in Ohio

ACCEPT in the News

The ACCEPT Program is coordinated by five faculty investigators:

Dr. Cynthia Osborn

Dr. Cynthia Osborn, Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Director
Professor, Counselor Education and Supervision

Pic of Joel Hughes, PhD

Dr. Joel Hughes, Co-PI
Professor, Psychological Sciences

Cassie Storlie Headshot

Dr. Cassie Storlie, Co-Investigator
Associate Professor, Counselor Education and Supervision

Dr. Kelly Cichy Headshot

Dr. Kelly Cichy, Co-Investigator
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

William V. Lechner

Dr. William (Bill) Lechner, Co-Investigator - 
Associate Professor, Psychological Sciences
Drugs and Behavior: How Societal Trends Impact Addiction

The ACCEPT Program has two graduate Research Assistants (RAs) for 2023-24: Sam Windler, a student in the master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC), and Colleen Trhlik, a second-year student in the PhD degree program in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES).

Sam Windler earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State University. He is currently in his second year in the CMHC master’s degree program at KSU, and is also enrolled in the graduate Addictions Counseling Certificate Program (ACCP). 

Sam Windler








Sam Windler (he/him)
Research Assistant - ACCEPT 
Master's Student, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Graduate Addictions Counseling Certificate Program
Kent State University

Colleen Trhlik received her bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling, both from Kent State. She is a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor (LICDC) and a licensed professional clinical counselor with supervisory endorsement (LPCC-S). She worked as a dual diagnosis intensive outpatient counselor for 8 years in hospital and corrections environments, and is currently a full-time student in Kent State's counselor education and supervision doctoral program. She enjoys teaching and mentoring counselors-in-training. In her spare time, she likes spending time with family, playing video games, learning about the lives of people from other cultures, and going for walks.

Colleen Trhlik









Colleen Trhlik

The ACCEPT Program is fortunate to have the following behavioral health and primary care organizations as community clinical partners (and serving as practicum sites for ACCEPT Program Trainees):

Year 2B (2023) and Year 3A (2023-24) ACCEPT Trainees:

  • Maya Akers (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Maya Beasley (Year 2B, Kent campus)
  • Cory Christie (Year 3A, Trumbull campus)
  • Jessie Coleman (Year 3A, Trumbull campus)
  • Jessica Cook (Year 3A, Trumbull campus)
  • Julia Dunn (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Jennifer Fenstermaker (Year 3A, Trumbull campus)
  • Kamron Forshew (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Dakotha Foster (Year 2B, Kent campus)
  • Isronna Franks (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Chini Graves (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Aurora Griffing (Year 3A, Trumbull campus)
  • Rachel Grunder (Year 3A, Trumbull campus)
  • Reggie Kilpatrick (Year 3A, Trumbull campus)
  • Emily King (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Veronica Loudermilk (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Alex Ogden (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Breana Rossen (Year 2B, Kent campus)
  • Emily Scheetz (Year 2A, Kent campus)
  • Amanda Shafer (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Sophia Shea (Year 2B, Kent campus)
  • Sarah Speedy (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Olivia Taxacher (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Abigale Traska (Year 3A, Kent campus)
  • Aidan Wade (Year 2B, Kent campus)
  • Madison Wagner (Year 2B, Kent campus)

Overview of Addictions Counseling Practicum at KSU (PDF)