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Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family Certificate Program

Our Program And Its Culture

The Certificate in Mental Health, Addiction and the Family centers around the evidence that healing is the most robust in a relational context. This certificate is unique to Tulane University School of Social Work. Our program is a rigorous combination of coursework, certificate related field placements, and our signature Journal Club/ Community meetings component. The Journal Club/Community meetings component is designed to give the student opportunities to network and discuss certificate related topics.

The Certificate is affiliated and funded by the Porter Cason Institute (PCI). PCI is the result of a large private contribution from a Tulane MSW alumnus for the purpose of training. Funds from PCI allow us to augment training with lectures from local and national experts as well as provide advanced training of professionals in our community.

The culture of this certificate centers around developing creativity and courage in both your time at Tulane and in your career. Social work is both an art and a science. We teach the science and provide a place for you to come to understand and develop your own unique art within ethical and evidence based interventions. Throughout your career you will hone your understanding of the science, art and creativity required of an exceptional social worker. We view it as one of our primary objectives to give you the courage to be comfortable in uncomfortable moments and to give space for truth and healing that may emerge as you develop this comfort.


Mental Health, Addiction and the Family Certificate Brochure


Meet One of Our Online Participants:

Alexa Gordon

"My background in social work includes working as a case manager for families and as a behavioral therapist for adolescents with disabilities. I am currently working as a clinical intern at an inpatient and outpatient psychiatric facility for adults. By continually learning about ethical and evidence-based interventions throughout the program, I am able to better prepare myself as a social work professional. The Certificate in Mental Health, Addiction and the Family allows me to focus on specific aspects of social work that interests me, such as "Psychopathology and DSM-5" and "Clinical Practice in Addiction and Substance Abuse" courses. Through the certificate electives and community meetings, I am able to gain confidence in the field, while continually seeking truth and personal healing. Professionally, this certificate allows me to network and receive advance training from national experts, alongside the online program. By obtaining a certificate through this rigorous program. I believe that I will have an advantage upon entering the professional workforce. "

Advantage of the Certificate in Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family Program

  • Opportunities for mentorship by national experts
  • Opportunities for work on community projects
  • Try on your “Clinical Self” and your “Community Self” (A laboratory for Courage and Creativity)
  • Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family are ALWAYS part of any Social Work career... it is inescapable!

Focus and Requirements for the Certificate

  • Healing in a Relational Context
  • Elective Classes that qualify for the Certificate (2 of your 3 Electives):
    • 7010 Family Trauma
    • 7300 Clinical Intervention with Children and Adolescents
    • 7345 Psychopathology & DSM
    • 7360 Contemporary Practice with Couples & Families
    • 7365 Clinical Practice in Addiction and Substance Abuse
    • 7370 Introduction into Behavior Pharmacology
  • Attend each semester’s Journal Club meeting or if an online student- One community meeting or educational opportunity related to the certificate (approved ahead of time) with a 1 page refection each semester.
  • Certificate related field placement with one certificate related objective included in field work plan
  • Portfolio of all your certificate related work turned in 2 weeks prior to graduation.

What Your Course Study May Look Like:

MSW Curriculum: 16-Month Full-Time

The full-time MSW program requires around 15 credit hours per semester over 16 consecutive months for a total of 60 credit hours. Each student completes 15-credit hours of field practicum, which equates to three semesters of 316 hours of actual field work each semester.

Semester 1 - 16 Credits
SOWK 7110 Professional Foundations 1
SOWK 7120 Social Work History and Policy 3
SOWK 7130 Diversity and Social Justice: Theory and Practice 2
SOWK 7140 Introduction to Organizations and Community Practice 2
SOWK 7210 Theories of Human Behavior Across the Life Course I 2
SOWK 7310 Intro to Direct Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 7410 Research for Evidence-Based Social Work Practice 3
Semester 2 - 15 Credits
SOWK 7220 Theories of Human Behavior Across the Life Course II 2
SOWK 7230 Community Organizing & Policy Advocacy: Theories and 3 Practice 3
SOWK 7320 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups 3
SOWK 7420 Program Evaluation 2
SOWK 7520 Field Practicum and Seminar I 5
Semester 3 - 16 Credits
SOWK 7330 Advanced Clinical-Community Practice 5
SOWK 7430 Data Analysis & Interpretation 3
SOWK 7530 Field Practicum and Seminar 2 5
  Potential Certificate Elective  
Semester 4 - 13 Credits
SOWK 7440 Capstone Seminar 2
SOWK 7540 Field Practicum and Seminar 3 5
  Potential Certificate Elective  
  Potential Certificate Elective  

Application Process


Contact Parker Sternbergh or Jessica St. Pierre with any questions and to schedule an interview.

Parker Sternbergh, MHA, LCSW-BACS
Director of Porter Cason Institute and
Center for Life Long Learning
127 Elk Place, Office 416
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 231-6618

Jessica St. Pierre
Administrative Assistant of Porter Cason Institute and
Center for Life Long Learning
127 Elk Place, Office 408
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 247-1446

Tulane School of Social Work
Porter Cason Institute
Center for Life Long Learning