New Hope School of Counseling CRSS/CPRS Program

About the Program

New Hope School of Counseling CRSS/CPRS Program is for individuals with lived experience in recovery from mental health and/or substance use. The program is geared to help students utilize their personal lived experience to help facilitate a supportive recovery environment that builds the resilience of individuals with mental illnesses, substance use disorders and/or dually diagnosed with both. 

Through course work and internship, CRSS/CPRS students will be able to apply their learned skills in combination with their lived experience and provide a holistic supportive approach to individuals in need. Course material focuses on advocacy, ethics, mentoring, and recovery support.

Tuition, Internship Stipend and other resources are paid for in full or in part by a grant from IDHS/Division of Mental a grant from IDHS/Division of Mental Health.

For more information:

Melanie Hernandez


We want to hear from you

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CRSS* /CPRS** Program 

*Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS)
**Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS)

New Hope School of Counseling and Rincon Family Services are thrilled to soon be offering this program, paid for in part by a grant from IDHS/Division of Mental Health. 

While we are still in the development phase of the program, we would appreciate you letting us know more about your interest in the program. 


Q: How do I obtain information regarding the CRSS/CPRS Certification & Recovery Support Specialist Studies Program?

o You can email the Dean of New Hope School of Counseling (NHSC), Kimberly Skoczelas, at for more information.
o You can visit us at and submit your application.
o You can call any office number and our care-representatives will be able to guide you in the correct direction.

When do classes begin?

o Classes will begin on Nov. 15th 2022
o On-going enrollment will be based on interest and need

What is the class schedule?

Two course schedules are available
• Tuesday and Wednesday 6-8pm
Instructor: Roberto Montanez
• Tuesday and Thursday 3-5pm
Instructor: Carlos Freytes

Where can I find CRSS/CPRS application?

o You can email NHSC Dean Kimberly Skoczelas at
o Visit our website at

What supporting documents are needed with my application?

o Copy of Driver’s license or State ID
o Copy of GED/H.S. Diploma or evidence of higher education (school transcripts)

How do I submit my supporting documents?

o You can submit them directly with your application:
o You can submit them in person at 3710 N. Kedzie Chicago IL 60618
o You may email them directly to Kimberly Skoczelas

What is a CRSS/CPRS?

o CRSS: Identify has an individual with lived experience and in recovery from either a mental health diagnosis or a co-occurring diagnosis.
o CPRS: Identify as an individual with lived experience and in recovery from a substance
o 40 hours recovery specific (10 in each domain)
o 16 hours in professional ethics and responsibility
o 60 hours in core functions (5 youth and 5 family)

What are the domains for this program?

4 Domains
• Advocacy
• Professional Responsibility
• Mentoring
• Recovery Support

What is the virtual vs in person learning?

o Virtual learning: classrooms and subject materials are all covered virtually/online.
o In-person learning: is where students attend in person face-to-face classes at allotted times. This will take place at 3710 N. Kedzie Chicago IL 60618

How long is the internship?

o 300 hours of direct services
• Minimum of 3 months in length

Students are encouraged to consult with their academic instructor and the director when confronting academic or financial issues that can interfere with their academic performance or the completion of their studies. The school has an open policy regarding to communication, addressing issues and attempting to support and retain students. Students may also direct their complaints to if unaddressed.
If complaints cannot be resolved by direct negotiation with the school in accordance to its written grievance policy, may be filed with the Illinois Board of Higher Education, I N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333, Springfield, IL 62701-1377, Phone # 217 557-7339, Fax # 217 732-8548, Website: