Stoupas joins Florida Certification Board
George Stoupas, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Services in Palm Beach State College’s Addiction Studies program, recently joined the Florida Certification Board’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council. The Council provides direction to FCB’s board of directors on policy, ethics and other issues related to the certification of addiction treatment professionals throughout the state.
With Dr. Stoupas’ acceptance onto the Council, Palm Beach State College becomes the only academic institution represented. It’s a distinction that Stoupas believes will ultimately benefit his students.
“Professionally for me this is an exciting opportunity,” Stoupas said, “however, for the College I think it’s also very exciting. The addiction field is constantly changing, with the drive toward increased educational standards and evidence-based practices. Through my involvement with the Council, we can stay on the cutting edge of what’s being discussed, from the ethical issues going on in the profession to new trends, which will allow us to have better programs for our students.”
Stoupas also sees this as an opportunity to be an advocate for his students. “So as they’re crafting policies, as they’re making decisions on ethical issues, I can be a voice for our students’ experiences and have a say in what happens at the state level,” he noted.
Palm Beach State is the only academic institution in Palm Beach County that offers college credit programs in Addiction Studies. Based in the Human Services department on the Lake Worth campus, the programs—an Associate in Science degree and a College Credit Certificate—satisfy all of the educational requirements for Florida certification as an addiction counselor. Graduates may enter the workforce immediately as well as continue their education. Many have gone on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees since the programs were launched in 2012.
The Florida Certification Board is the state’s premier nonprofit organization that protects the health, safety and welfare of Florida’s most vulnerable residents by certifying and regulating the professionals who serve them. The FCB designs, develops and manages programs for 32 health and human services professions, ensuring that they meet education, training, experience and testing criteria. FCB certifies more than 20,000 professionals statewide, including those in the child welfare, mental health and addiction fields.