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Career & Technical Education

Community Health Worker Certificate & Peer Recovery Specialist Programs

​​​​Rowan College of South Jersey, in partnership with Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, is offering free a Community Health Worker (CHW) Program & Peer Recovery Specialist (PRS) Program. CHW and PRS programs are available individually or as combined programs at various times during the year, enabling students to earn a certificate for either one or both programs.​

​​Are you interested in:

  • Supporting the health of people in our community?
  • Helping children, youth, and families that have been impacted by substance use?
  • Building your professional public health skills and beginning a career as a Community Health Worker/Peer Recovery Specialist?
Rowan College of South Jersey in partnership with Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine to offer the Community Health Worker Certificate Program. A Community Health Worker (CHW) plays an important role in meeting the health care needs of people with the navigation of social supports including: substance use, treatment, harm reduction, medical and behavioral health referrals, housing support, food supports, health insurance, transportation and more.

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The Community Health Worker (CHW) program is designed to prepare students to serve as a liaison between communities, health care systems, and state health departments. This course will assist workers in achieving competency in addressing the needs of high-risk or at-risk populations (those with multiple chronic conditions, premature birth), identifying and addressing social determinants of health, reducing hospital readmissions and emergency department (ED) over usage, and providing direct services. This class has a 100-hour internship that need to be completed to receive a grade of completion. Upon completion of this course, students will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion from Rowan College of South Jersey. 

Program Benefits
  • No cost tuition
  • Earn industry recognized credentials
  • Gain knowledge and hands-on skills
  • Students will receive a stipend up to $3750 upon successful completion of the program
​Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine has received a federal grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration's (HRSA) that is funding this program.

Free Professional Development Training

RCSJ CTE provides free training to Community Health Workers. Visit our Professional Development page​ for more information.

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​This certificate program is designed to meet the training requirements of the State Credential “Certified Peer Recovery Specialist” or CPRS. According to the Addiction Professionals Certification Board of NJ, Inc., Certified Peer Recovery Specialists give non-clinical assistance to help fellow peers in their recovery from alcohol and drug use related problems through Advocacy, Mentoring and Education, Recovery and Wellness Support, using the established ethical principles and training.​​

Program Benefits
  • No cost tuition
  • Earn industry recognized credentials
  • Gain knowledge and hands-on skills
  • Students will receive a stipend up to $3750 upon successful completion of the program
​Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine has received a federal grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration's (HRSA) that is funding this program.

Contact Us

John Thompson BS, MS, CPRS, NCPSS​
Director of Community Health & Peer Recovery 
Career & Technical Education /Rowan College of South Jersey 
1400 Tanyard Rd, Sewell, NJ 08080
P: 856-681-6241

Fill out my online form.

​From Our Graduates


With  25 years of continuous sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous since June 23, 1998, I've embraced a journey of personal growth and service to others. While my background was rich in education and knowledge, my experience in the CPRS/CHW program introduced me to transformative concepts such as harm reduction. Prior to this, I held a closed-minded view towards medication-assisted treatment (MAT). However, through immersive learning and hands-on experience, including dispensing MAT to patients as part of my present responsibilities, my perspective broadened significantly. Attaining state certification in this field has fueled my passion for assisting others like myself who seek recovery but lack essential tools. Armed with this newfound credential, I am poised to transition into a career where I can actively contribute to others' journeys of healing and hope.​

As a person who suffers from substance use disorder, I originally came to South Jersey to strengthen my personal recovery and gain insight into the disease of addiction. I first learned about the CPRS and community health worker course offered at RCSJ through a friend that I met in treatment who was interested in taking the course. After attending various levels of care and support in the treatment industry from people working in the field, I found myself inspired. While at RCSJ, I was able to start my education towards becoming a CDAC and gaining skills needed to enter the treatment industry from the amazing teaching staff. Through the CPRS course I got countless hours of fieldwork where I was able to volunteer for a harm reduction non-profit that allowed me to be incredibly fulfilled. The skills and education I received through the RCSJ Addiction Counseling Department and Career Center have changed my life and jump started my career. Through the connections I have made through the course, in the field and my personal recovery, I am now working full time at a treatment center as the case manager and furthering my education getting clinical supervision. Thank you to the teachers and staff at RCSJ for the opportunity to further my education and change my life!



I have always harbored a passion for helping individuals struggling with substance abuse and mental illnesses, drawing from my personal experiences living with mental illnesses and witnessing my family's battle with addiction. However, it was the devastating the loss of my  significant other to a fentanyl overdose that ignited an even stronger motivation to take action, raise awareness, and fight the stigma surrounding these issues. At the start of the program, my life was in complete disarray. I found myself homeless on the very first day of class and had to endure a four-hour daily journey on public transportation just to attend school. Although it was a bit challenging, I was determined to complete the program. I was driven by my commitment to set an example of what recovery can truly look like. Throughout the Peer Recovery program, I experienced immense personal growth. I truly believe I found my calling in the field, by gaining invaluable knowledge and insights into the peer practice and discovering more about myself along the way. Before training was completed, (with the support and guidance of the incredible instructors) I was able to successfully secure my first career ever as a Peer Recovery Program Coordinator at a treatment facility. Choosing to continue my education with Rowan College of South Jersey, despite the initial turmoil in my personal life, has proven to be the best decision I have ever made. Every day, I wake up with gratitude, because I am now able to be of service to individuals at any stage of their recovery journey. The pain that I have endured throughout my life now holds purpose. 

Gloucester; Cumberland