Addiction Studies Success Stories

Ron Ottobre - DVC addiction studies graduate

Ron Ottobre, man smiling"I attended DVC from the summer of 2014 through the spring term of 2016. I had been out of school since the seventies having established a career in the restaurant industry after college. I think the thing that surprised me most about DVC was the level of academic quality. I had previously attended UCSB and SFSU, and the level of teaching at DVC was equal to or surpassed those schools. The amount of personal attention that the professors gave students easily exceeded what I had received at the university level. 

After retiring from the restaurant industry in 2010, I was encouraged to become an addiction counselor by my counselors at John Muir Center for Recovery where I had become a group co-facilitator. My goal was to take a few courses and see if I had the academic skills to complete the program. I ended up loving it and completed my Associate of Science Degree in Addiction Studies in the spring of 2015 and my Addiction Studies Counseling Certificate in the spring of 2016. I took the state certification test in August and easily passed.

I loved all of my instructors. They are all truly dedicated to teaching and guiding the students through the material that at times can be difficult. Barbara Hewitt set the tone of performance needed to be successful not only in the ADS program but in future college courses, and Steven Peterson not only taught several of my courses but he also became my supervisor and mentor during my internship process. Both instructors gave me the personal attention and encouragement that I needed to succeed.

My DVC experience has given me a confidence to achieve new goals as well as a thorough background to help me better understanding the disease of addiction. The experience also helped me develop an ability to work as a team member as many of the class projects came from a group process approach. More importantly I have a greater understanding of the ethical responsibilities that must be inherent for all individuals who want to help others  Primum non nocere (first, do no harm) – if you don’t have the knowledge or skills, find someone who does."