About BACE


With funds from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health – Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (MDPH-BSAS), the Black Addiction Counselor Education Program (BACE) is established to train the Black adult learner in the area of addiction /mental health treatment, while creating access to addiction treatment credentials: Licensure and Certification. Moreover, by providing technical assistance, capacity building, and support to MDPH-BSAS funded organizations, this program will increase the publicly funded treatment system’s capacity to provide culturally competent services to Black populations, thereby addressing health disparities and their impact on Black people in the Commonwealth.

If you are interested in applying for a future program: Visit the BACE Application page to apply now for the waitlist for consideration for the next enrollment period. Watch this website for updates, or contact Della Blake, M.Ed. at drblake@bace-aei.org with questions.

The goal of the Black Addiction Counselor Education program is to increase the number of Black professionals with addiction treatment credentials; to increase the Black community’s access to culturally competent care; and to increase the capacity of the publicly funded system to serving Black people while improving treatment outcomes.


The classes are co-facilitated by Master’s or Ph.D. level and addiction credentialed Black professionals with many years of clinical experience and training delivery.  Training incorporates the blended model of a  computer technology component and in-classroom training utilizing the theoretical frameworks of Social Justice, Culturally Responsible Pedagogies throughout the program. The Training Curriculum has been developed to meet the requirements set forth by the MDPH-BSAS for Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselors (LADC I, II, and III) and the Massachusetts Board for Voluntary Certification towards becoming a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) at the reciprocal level. To this end, participants can receive up to a total of three-hundred (300) hours of participatory classroom instruction along with reading and written assignments, which is divided in the following manner.

  • Ten (10) hours of Laws, Ethics and Professionals Responsibilities;
  • One-hundred twenty (120) hours of Alcohol/Drug Specific Studies;
  • One-hundred twenty (120) hours of Counseling Techniques; and
  • Fifty (50) hours of Behavioral Health Sciences

The Fall 2023 – Spring 2024 cohorts will meet virtually. Each cohort will meet one evening a week (on Mondays or Wednesdays from 5:30 – 9:30 pm) and every second Saturday of the month from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Click here to apply for the Virtual Fall 2023 – Spring 2024 cohort.


CounselorIn addition to the classes, the training component requires participants that are not currently working in the field do an internship for a minimum of 4.5 hours per week at an MDPH-BSAS funded agency that provides substance use treatment services. The internship site will expose intern(s) to at least one Black clients with substance use disorders in individual or group counseling where applicable. Furthermore, agencies with interns are responsible for providing clinical supervision at least once a week to the intern(s) for the duration of the internship. The purpose of this requirement is to help participants to integrate classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. The internship hours can also be used towards the practical work experience requirement for Licensure and Certification in Massachusetts.


Participants will be directed to workforce development resources.

    • Della Blake, M.Ed., LADC I
    • Consultants:
        • Jon Van Rader, Sr., MA, LADC1, DOT/SAP
        • Dr. Lolita Maria Hanley, Psy.D., LADC I, LMHC, LCP
        • Ernest Allen, M.S., LADC I, CSPS, CCL
        • Brenda Westberry, MS

If accepted, a non-refundable seed commitment fee of $250 will be due by the first class.


Della R. Blake, M.Ed.


Click here to apply for the Black Counselor Education Program.

Black Addiction Counselor Education Program

AdCare Educational Institute, Inc.
255 Park Ave. Suite 600
Worcester, MA 01609