Undergraduate Certificate for Peer Support Specialist in Behavioral Health – 12 Credits

The Peer Support Specialist (PSS) Certificate is specifically designed for those with “lived experience” who consider themselves in recovery from a substance use or mental health disorder. Peer support includes relationship building in order to provide support, advocacy, wellness, and community engagement services to individuals. Program participants complete four university courses and spend 120 hours in the field where knowledge is put into practice within a behavioral health agency. This certificate provides students an opportunity to experience the professional side of the field and may be utilized as a stepping-stone for further career advancement.

Applicants must be enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno. See University of Nevada, Reno Admissions for more information.

With a focus on behavioral health, the PSS Certificate explores the wellness model, multiple definitions of recovery, mentoring and coaching skills, and professional ethics.

Required courses for completing the certificate include:

CAS 154: Problems of Substance Abuse and Addiction (3 credits)

Overview of how involvement with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can affect health, personal and social development.  Relates social, philosophical, cultural, prevention and treatment issues.

CAS 257: Fundamentals of Behavioral Health
(3 credits)

An overview of wellness dimensions, peer support specialists’ ethics, patient advocacy, and systems of care navigation for the mental health and substance abuse services provider.

CAS 354: Screening and Client Engagement
(3 credits)

Overview of philosophical and procedural components for providing addictions services, professional characteristics, ethical/legal issues, helping process and initial assessment.

CAS 457: Peer Support Specialist Practicum*
(3 credits)

Field placement in a community-based organization where students practice applying knowledge and skills attained in peer support specialist certificate classes.

*Students must be pre-approved to enroll in CAS 457!

  • Interview required for approval consideration and practicum placement. Email dleone@casat.org by October 1 or March 1 for the following semester enrollment.
  • A GPA of 2.0 in the first three classes is expected for admittance into CAS 457.

Peer Support Specialist Certificate Application Requirements

  • Make sure you are a University of Nevada Reno Student with a valid UNR netID
  • Submit the UNR Declaration form can be faxed to 775-784-1840 or bring to the CASAT office in the National Judicial College Building, North side. Attention Debbie.  Email/scans are NOT accepted by Admissions and Records.
  • Fill out the application below.

Behavioral Health Workforce Education & Training (BHWET) Tuition Assistance grant:
CASAT received a grant to assist eligible PSS students with tuition. Click  CASAT BHWET Grant Application to apply.  Please note – this application is separate from the required PSS Certificate Application.

For questions or further information about the PSS Certificate Program, please contact Terra Hamblin thamblin@casat.org, Kim Prokosch kprokosch@casat.org ​or the CASAT office at (775) 784-6265.

Peer Support Specialist Certificate Application

Contact Information
Student Information
    CAS 154 is prerequisite!
    SAMHSA's working definition of recovery from mental health and/or substance use disorders is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
Final Application Information
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
    ** UNR will request that any student completing a certificate apply for graduation. The $95 fee pays for UNR admission staff to do a degree(certificate) audit and a stamp of completion to be posted on your transcript. Only students also completing a Bachelor's degree will be invited to UNR's official Commencement.
    ** Your UNR Declaration form is required to process application. You will receive further instructions in your confirmation email.