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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

    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.

    Day Time Room

    April 13

    5:00 p.m.

    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 HS

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

Kelly Pyle, AuD.

Interim Dean, Health Sciences
Office: ICB 2818
Phone: 309-268-8755
Fax: 309-268-7958

Susan Carl, RN, MSN, FNP-BC

Interim Associate Dean, Health Sciences
Interim Director, Nursing Education
Office: ICB 2820
Phone: 309-268-8745

Monica Fuller

Coordinator, Health Sciences
Office: ICB 2800
Phone: 309-268-8740