group of students wearing masks outside

Penn State Mont Alto Graduates First Certified Recovery Specialist Class

In November, fourteen area residents completed Penn State Mont Alto’s first Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) class, which makes them eligible to take the CRS exam in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

CRS is a credential for individuals with personal, lived experience in their own substance use disorder recovery. By offering insight into the recovery process based on their own experience, recovery specialists can provide a unique perspective while providing recovery support services.

The Mont Alto campus, in collaboration with Franklin County and Franklin Fulton Drug and Alcohol, offered the 54-hour training to meet the educational requirements of the Pennsylvania Certification Board and prepare individuals to sit for the CRS exam.

“Penn State is committed to working with organizations and providers around the state to fight the opioid crisis and eradicate addiction,” said Helen McGarry, director of Continuing Education at Penn State Mont Alto. “Gaining the CRS credential will enable those who have walked that path to find worthwhile work in their community, while helping others along that path of sobriety. It’s a win-win on many levels.”

Participants received training in recovery management, education and advocacy, professional ethics and responsibility, confidentiality, and addictions.

Forging a new career path with meaning is an incredibly important component of recovery. Not only will a job help a recovering individual find stability and security in life, but the self-esteem that goes with it, McGarry said.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the CRS program, please contact Penn State Mont Alto Continuing Education at 717-749-4117 for more information or to be added to a waiting list. The next CRS class is tentatively scheduled for early spring 2021.