50 Scholarships to Train Recovering Individuals with an Opioid Use Disorder

by Annika Freiburger

Virginia, MN –The Minnesota Department of Human Services awarded the Minnesota North College-Mesabi Range Virginia campus a $543,243 grant to train recovering individuals with a diagnosis of Opioid Use Disorder for a portion of the Associate in Applied Science degree to become an Alcohol and Drug Counselor-Trainee or full certificates for bachelor degreed individuals to apply as Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LADC). This is a direct response to answer the need for substance abuse treatment services in our state. According to the Addiction Studies Department Head, Mary Kay Riendeau, “I believe this innovative idea is realistic and we should be enlisting recovering persons to be involved in the helping process.  This is about of one human being helping another and enlist people to be part of the solution to the substance use problems in our region.  Along with my colleagues, our passion is to assist in the response to substance use in new and different ways.”

For over 28 years, the Mesabi Range Campus Addiction Studies Program has been preparing individuals to become Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors while also adapting the program to fit the current needs of the profession. “Since 2010 we have used technology, such as ZOOM Rooms, webcams, Telepresence, and online classroom which makes it possible to extend our classes into the homes of students all over the state. Because we have used Zoom type programs for over 12 years, we have the experience and knowledge to bring quality education in a non-traditional classroom setting,” said Mary Kay.  Fall semester begins August 22,2022 these classes will be offered mostly Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-9 pm depending on your prior education and background.

A total of 50 Scholarships are available to eligible students looking to fulfill the demand for qualified LADC professionals across the state of MN. We have divided the State into 8 Different Regions with each region having 5 scholarships available and 6 scholarships available to the Metro Area. The main criteria require all potential students to have an Opioid Use Disorder Diagnosis, live in the state of MN, have one year free of problematic substance use. Special preference given to BIPOC, treatment court participants, and low-income individuals that meet federal guidelines. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Addiction Studies Grant Coordinator via phone 218-749-7779.