Now ACCEPTing Students: Kent State Professors Receive HRSA Funding
Whether you are attempting to master the art of cooking or trying your hand at DIY home improvement, chances are books, blogs and articles have been written by many qualified experts to help guide the way. Scholars spend countless hours reading page after page - chapter after chapter to gain comprehensive insight. While texts lay a solid foundation to build upon, a time comes when real life requires you to put down the book and put your knowledge to the test.
Joel Hughes, Ph.D., professor and director of clinical training in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Cynthia Osborn, Ph.D., professor and program coordinator of the Addictions Counseling Certificate Program in the School of Lifespan Development, recently received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to financially support undergraduate students enrolled in the addictions counseling certificate program and, among other perks, implement a simulation-based training program designed to prepare students to work with persons who suffer from substance use disorders.
“Books can only teach you so much,” Hughes said. “This real-life training will allow the students to apply what they learned from those books in a safe and comfortable environment where they will be offered reliable feedback in real time.”
The new training program, called the Addictions Counseling Certificate Experiential Paraprofessional Training (ACCEPT), will include comprehensive training in trauma-informed care, cultural humility, and telehealth for undergraduate students before they enter the behavioral health field. Three other faculty members are co-Investigators on the ACCEPT Program: Kelly Cichy, Cassie Storlie, and William Lechner.
“We will be able to increase the hands-on training in a way that better prepares the students for their practicum placements with one of our community partners," Hughes said. “We understand that students need this training before they are sent out to the field. However, outside factors, like finances and personal obligations, frequently impact the ability to make that happen. Rent still needs to be paid, we get that. ”
Receiving nearly $1.6 million over the course of four years will allow the program to financially support more than 100 students who otherwise may struggle to participate in the labor-intensive training. Each selected student will receive $5,000 in stipend pay and $3,000 for tuition assistance.
Overdose deaths have been on the rise. Opioid deaths increased by 30% throughout the U.S. in 2020 alone, so the demand for properly trained professionals only increases as time goes on; however, the emphasis and shame placed on the disorder acts as a clear indication as to why those who suffer are reluctant to reach out for help and support.
“This workforce expansion grant comes at a critical time in Ohio and the country,” Osborn said. “This progressive training corrects outdated practices and will prepare Kent State students to provide quality addiction counseling services effectively to persons with substance use disorders.”
By addressing the previous stigma and acknowledging the increasingly problematic death and addiction rates, the university continues to foster advancement within healthcare while supporting the next generation of progressive healthcare professionals.
Learn more about the Department of Psychological Sciences.
Learn more about the School of Lifespan Development & Educational Sciences.
Learn more about the ACCEPT Program.