Employees at member treatment centers of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) are now eligible for a 10% scholarship toward the cost of full degree programs or three-credit courses at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies.
NAATP this week formally announced the establishment of a joint initiative that came together quickly after association member Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation proposed it at last month's NAATP annual board meeting. NAATP membership manager Peter Thomas tells Addiction Professional that the association sees the partnership as a logical opportunity to help member treatment centers encourage their employees to pursue higher education—perhaps even serving as a catalyst for further tuition support efforts by the provider agencies.
Nationally, “There is a huge need for educated, credentialed therapists,” says Thomas. “In some states it is still acceptable to have non-credentialed individuals working as therapists.”
Under the NAATP member benefit arrangement, which already has taken effect, Hazelden Betty Ford is offering $4,500 in scholarship aid to employees of NAATP member facilities who enroll in a degree program. Assistance for an individual three-credit course amounts to $220.
Thomas says the only requirement to access such assistance is to be an employee in good standing at a NAATP member treatment organization. He says NAATP will track trends such as whether the full degree programs or the individual courses prove more popular among staffers at member treatment centers.
Thomas says the availability of this assistance could allow some current non-credentialed staff members to identify a path to career advancement.
“There are some people who start out in a tech or house manager role in an organization and get stagnant,” Thomas says. “They can use this to improve themselves and to have a greater impact on the industry.”