Funding Available to Combat Critical Addiction Counseling Shortage in North Dakota

Counseling session

BISMARCK, ND — Through collaboration with the Heartview Foundation in Bismarck, the University of Mary is accessing state grant money awarded to the North Dakota Training Academy for Addiction Professionals (TAAP) Consortium to offer each junior or senior upper-classman college student up to $10,000 in scholarships to finish their degree in addiction counseling. 

Any student who either wants to switch to addiction counseling or is currently in the addiction counseling program qualifies for the scholarship. This includes Bismarck State College students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree in addiction counseling from the University of Mary after completing their associate's degree.

The scholarship also extends to those who currently have their bachelor’s degree in another field wanting to pursue an addiction counselor license, with the goal of increasing the workforce in addiction counseling. 

“This scholarship is a great opportunity for our current and future students in the online addiction counseling program,” commented Heidi Nieuwsma, chair of behavioral sciences in the Liffrig School of Education at Mary. “Each student has a unique situation when they apply to our online program, and this scholarship aligns well with many of those situations. Partnering with Heartview has significantly enhanced the ability for our students to be successful in reaching their goals and we look forward to helping them through this process.”  

The funding is available starting this upcoming fall semester of 2024. Students are encouraged to inquire and apply quickly due to the limited number of scholarships awarded through the TAAP granting system. Apply now by contacting Jen Eberle, University of Mary coordinator of Enrollment and Partnerships (701) 355-8372, (701) 355-8030, or

During the 2023 legislative session, North Dakota lawmakers enacted a law that created the Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee and appropriated $8 million from the Opioid Settlement Fund to North Dakota’s Health and Human Services (HHS) for the 2023-2025 biennium. The grant application process is open to entities, like TAAP, interested in providing services in North Dakota that address a wide array of categories. Among them are treatment and rehabilitation, preventive initiatives, training and education, and support for families and communities. 

The North Dakota Training Academy for Addiction Professionals (TAAP) is a consortium of addiction counseling agencies in North Dakota collaboratively working together to offer quality learning experiences for licensed addiction counselor trainees in the state. The consortium aims to enhance education and opportunities available to individuals pursuing careers in addiction counseling by pooling resources, expertise and networking connections among participating agencies. Currently, the participating agencies in the TAAP Consortium are: Lake Region Human Service Center in Rolla, Sharehouse in Grand Forks and Fargo, Heartview Foundation in Cando, Dickinson and Bismarck, Coal Country Community Health in Beulah, Eckert Homes in Williston, Badlands Health and Human Service Center in Dickinson, Home on the Range in Sentinel Butte, Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center in Dickinson, and Dakota Women’s Correctional Center in New England.

For more information on the scholarship and degree opportunities, contact the University of Mary at (701) 355-8372, (701) 355-8030, or For more information about TAAP, contact: Denise Andress, director of ND TAAP.  701-751-5702 or email More information can be found at or ND TAAP Facebook page.

Anyone who wishes to learn more about the University of Mary can do so at, or by calling (701) 355-8030. The University of Mary is one of only 15 Recommended Cardinal Newman Society Residential Colleges and Universities in the US. 

About the University of Mary: True to its motto “lumen vitae”—The Light of Life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 18 master’s, and five doctoral programs—in Business Administration, Education, Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The 20-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and the USA College Clay Target League. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings.