The College of Professional Studies introduced the Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) program in Fall 2015. The program, which is approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, is built for students interested in enhancing their counseling career by providing recovery support services to those individuals dealing with dependencies. The CRS works peer-to-peer to identify needs and connect participants with the required available resources. In doing so, this community-based service intends to reduce the risk of relapse.
Jackie Johnston, a 2002 Villanova University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology, is a member of the program’s first cohort. She is director of Community Relations for Baker Industries, based in Malvern, Pa., – an organization providing nonprofit work rehabilitation to vulnerable adults – specifically men and women with intellectual and physical disabilities, individuals on parole or probation, recovering substance abusers and the homeless. After taking several years off to raise children, Johnston returned to the workforce. While at Baker, she recognized the need to be more deeply versed in recovery and provide her participants with the necessary support to be successful while maintaining a safe environment. Johnston chose Villanova.
As a Certified Recovery Specialist, Johnston attributes much of her success in the program to the convenient course scheduling and the highly qualified instructors who provided real world experience and insight from varying perspectives and backgrounds. “The quality of education is excellent, as are the instructors. The instructors and the students added to the overall education and experience.” She feels the program has allowed her to provide her participants with safe and positive atmosphere at Baker necessary for successful recovery.
The Certified Recovery Specialist program begins January 16, 2016. To explore the program in further detail and to apply, click here.