Penn State Hazleton adds new minor in addictions and recovery 

HAZLETON, Pa. — Penn State Hazleton will offer a minor in addictions and recovery beginning in the spring 2023 semester. 

The 18-credit minor is intended for students who are interested in learning how to support the creation and administration of programs designed to help people struggling with addictions and recovery. 

Though available to any student, the minor is an ideal complement to disciplines in which a graduate might encounter individuals facing addiction and recovery, including degree programs like criminal justice, rehabilitation and human services, health policy and administration, and psychology. 

“With a rise in the number of people struggling with addiction and the efforts to aid their recoveries, the addictions and recovery minor is not only timely in meeting a community and nationwide need, but also an additional credential for students that can make them more marketable to potential employers or graduate schools,” said Interim Director of Academic Affairs Albert Lozano-Nieto. 

The minor is particularly beneficial to students majoring in rehabilitation and human services, as it would not require them to take many additional courses outside of those already required by the program, said Lorie Kramer, associate teaching professor of rehabilitation and human services and coordinator of the program. 

“Students pursuing the bachelor of science degree in rehabilitation and human services must take 17 credits of electives, so they could easily build the addictions and recovery minor around those electives,” Kramer said. “It’s a very practical minor to bring to our campus.” 

Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Services Garrett Huck added, “Anyone in the Rehabilitation and Human Services field will likely work with someone who is currently dealing with substance abuse issues or has in their past. This is the type of education that will transfer to the real world.” 

The minor’s launch at Penn State Hazleton was the result of collaboration between faculty in the rehabilitation and human services and criminal justice programs, as well as campus administrators. 

Pamela Black, professor of criminal justice and coordinator of the program, Kramer, and Huck worked closely with Lozano-Nieto to implement the minor after determining that most of the courses needed for it were already offered at Penn State Hazleton. The only course that wasn’t available will be taught in an online format by Kramer starting in spring 2023. 

Black said she often recommends that criminal justice majors pursue elective courses in rehabilitation and human services since the two fields complement each other. This minor will add a new element to the complementary nature of the two programs for students, she said. 

“It’s a really nice pairing,” she said. “Rather than getting just a minor in criminal justice or in rehabilitation and human services, students can focus specifically on addictions and treatment plans.” 

Black said she is excited to introduce a new criminal justice course, Drug Control Policy in Comparative Perspective, which will be offered as part of the new minor’s 400-level courses. The course examines the drug control policy in the United States Black and compares it with that of other countries. Black will instruct the course asynchronously through the Digital Learning Cooperative

Kramer said the minor can help lead to jobs as a substance abuse/addiction counselor, recovery specialist, crisis intervention specialist and other similar positions. 

"It will complement their education when they get out into the workforce or pursue graduate school because they’ve had these in-depth courses about drugs, alcohol and society,” Kramer said. 

For more information, visit or students can speak with their academic adviser.