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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 7-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 1000 hours of formal work or volunteer experience in a field related to addictions.

    The required academic courses include:

    • HS 104, Ethics in Healthcare
    • HS 120, Advocacy and Mentoring
    • HS 121, Recovery/Wellness Education and Support
  • 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

    Please note:  Beginning October 4, 2021, some information meetings will be held in person on the Normal campus and some will be held virtually via Zoom.  Please look carefully at the meeting(s) that you are interested in.

    Monday, October 4, 2021

    5 pm

    Nursing Program

    Room ICB 1809

    Monday, October 4, 2021

    5 pm

    Work Ready Programs

    Room ICB 1706

    Monday, October 4, 2021

    5 pm

    EMT/Paramedic Programs

    Room NRC 1008

    Wednesday, October 6, 2021

    5 pm

    Radiography Program

    Room ICB 1813

    Thursday, October 7, 2021

    5 pm

    Medical Assistant Program

    Room ICB 1806

    Thursday, October 7, 2021

    5 pm

    Physical Therapist Assistant Program

    Via Zoom.  Please contact the program coordinator listed below to request the ZOOM link for this Physical Therapist Assistant meeting.

    Please contact the following program coordinator and request the ZOOM link for the meeting that you would like to attend:

    EMT/Paramedic - Please contact Travis Wilson at

    Medical Assistant - Please contact Martha Stearns at

    Nursing - Please watch this brief informational video. Then contact Jennifer O'Connor at

    Physical Therapist Assistant - Please contact Daryl Menke at

    Radiography - Please contact Jo Gramley at

    Work Ready Programs* - Please contact Kelly Pyle at

    * Work Ready Programs currently consist of Pharmacy Technician, Dental Assistant, Phlebotomy, Veterinary Assistant, and Recovery Support Specialist.

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

Jennifer O'Connor, MSN, RN-BC

Dean of Health Sciences
Director of Nursing Education
Office: ICB 2821
Phone: 309-268-8747
Fax: 309-268-7958

Darcia Gillan

Administrative Assistant - Health Sciences
Office: ICB 2800
Phone: 309-268-8740