Enroll now - free CRSS tuition through June 2025!

Offered through USF’s Psychology Department, this certificate prepares students with lived experience in recovery from mental health and/or substance use challenges to provide recovery support services.

Legislation was recently signed that expanded access to mental health care, including funding for an enhanced 988 line—the new emergency number for behavioral health crisis response. People are needed to assist individuals in a variety of capacities including outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, sobriety maintenance, mental health and more.

Tuition is free for accepted applicants through June 2025 as a result of state grant funding from the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health.

Through coursework, practicum and field training, students learn to assist clients in rebuilding their lives. Students receive instruction that will prepare them to take professional certification exams and provide them with competitive job skills in a career that is projected to grow significantly in the future. 

The Recovery Support Specialist program is based in recovery-oriented systems of care, a newer model of treatment for substance abuse and mental wellness. This model recognizes the value of people with lived experiences in substance abuse, mental illness, or the legal system in providing support to others going through these challenges. It’s a really exciting field, and the need for recovery support specialists is growing.

The certificate is a one semester, on-campus program. Students earn certification and 14 college credits that can be used toward a degree program at USF. 

Student Outcomes

The student outcomes of the Recovery Support Services certificate program are:

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in four areas, as required by the Illinois Certification Board: Advocacy, Mentoring/ Education, Recovery/Wellness Support and Ethical Responsibility.
  • Students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of ethics and social responsibility in the diverse world of recovery support.
  • Students will achieve more than 50% of their goals in fieldwork/internships.

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