Center City, Minn. (Jan. 27, 2021) – Dr. Kevin Doyle began his tenure this week as dean at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, a school with a singular and high-demand focus: training and educating counselors who will lead the treatment and recovery field as the U.S. continues to grapple with an overdose and addiction crisis even in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Substance use disorder counseling is an increasingly specialized area of behavioral health, serving patients who have complex substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Employment in the field is projected to grow 25% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.1
“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Doyle to our team,” said Dr. Valerie Slaymaker, vice president of education and research at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and provost of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. “He has an admirable breadth and depth of experience and knowledge spanning the fields of substance use disorder and higher education. Dr. Doyle will make an instant impact in the academic careers of our students and help meet the incredible workforce demand for excellently trained counselors in the midst of the ongoing addiction crisis and overdose epidemic.”
With both onsite and distance-learning options, the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School currently enrolls around 270 students each year in two addiction counseling programs. While focused on the treatment of substance use disorders, both programs also include coursework on mental health and co-occurring disorders—preparing students to provide integrated, comprehensive care consistent with best practices in healthcare. Graduates taking licensing and certification examinations have a 99.5% exam pass rate, and 92% of graduates are successfully employed within six months of graduation.2
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission, the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies upholds the highest standards of academic excellence and professional competence. Dr. Doyle joins as the school prepares to also pursue accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is gaining significance as states update licensure requirements and more students pursue their higher education via distance learning.
“I am passionate about treatment, recovery, and educating and preparing counselors to do that work—and I am thrilled for the opportunity to join the world-class Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School,” said Dr. Doyle, who earned his doctorate in counselor education from the University of Virginia and is licensed as a professional counselor and substance use treatment practitioner in Virginia. “As I come on board, I look forward to meeting as many of the students as I can. This is a difficult time for students, and I want to focus on giving them a great experience.”
Dr. Doyle most recently hails from Longwood University in Farmville, Va., where he served as a professor of counselor education and chair of the Department of Education and Counseling, leading the school’s master’s degree in counseling program. He also maintained a private counseling practice, specializing in group work with individuals who have substance use disorders, including healthcare professionals.
For more than 50 years—longer than any other institution in the United States—the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has prepared counselors to help individuals and families reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide and collaborates with an expansive network throughout health care. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction. Learn more at HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter.
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