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Heartland Community College

Recovery Support Specialist

Discover the rewarding work of providing community-based recovery support services.  Help others develop and strengthen their ability to maintain their recovery from substance abuse and mental health disorders.  As a recovery support specialist, you can use your life experiences to help others in treatment and recovery to maintain long-term sobriety.  Through this 8-credit hour program, you will gain knowledge in professional ethics, advocacy, mentoring, recovery, and wellness.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for community health workers and social service occupations is expected to grow 13%-17% by 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.  Labor market data show an increasingly strong need for recovery support positions in Heartland's district and region.


  • There are no prerequisites for this program.

  • This unique certificate program prepares students for entry-level positions as community health workers, specifically in the area of substance abuse recovery.  Through a combination of academic courses, experience, and professional training, students will learn how to facilitate recovery, build resilience in people in recovery, and use principles to guide ethical decision-making.  Upon completion, students will demonstrate competency in mentoring and education, professional responsibility, and recovery/wellness skills.  To be eligible to qualify for certification as a certified recovery support specialist, students must have at least a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, and must have 2000 hours of formal work or volunteer experience in a field related to addictions.

    The required academic courses include:

    • HS 104, Ethics in Recovery Support Services
    • HS 120, Advocacy and Mentoring
    • HS 121, Recovery/Wellness Education and Support
    • SCED 110, Workplace Success

    A post-certificate, optional clinical course offering is also available:

    •  HS 130, Clinical Experience in Recovery Support
  • 1) Apply to Heartland Community College. (Current HCC students do not need to reapply.)

    2) Using your Heartland email address and student ID number, apply to the Recovery Support Specialist program.

  • We strongly recommend you attend one of these informational sessions. All information meetings are held at the main campus in Normal, IL, unless otherwise noted.

    Informational Session(s)
    Day Time Room


    Please register for this event here.


Let us help you get started!

Getting started is easy. Call us or fill out the short form below to have a Heartland team member help you take the next step towards discovering Heartland.

Contact Health

ICB 2800
1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8740
Fax: 309-268-7958

Email Recovery Support Specialist

Doug Bernius

Program Assistant, Recovery Support Specialist
Office: ICB 2424
Phone: 309-268-8668
Fax: 309-268-7958