FB Pixel Skip to Main Content
Two students chat while walking up a staircase.

Principles of Health Navigation and Peer Support

The Principles of Health Navigation and Peer Support Certificate will empower you to become a resource to adolescents and adults navigating the challenges of substance abuse, mental health struggles and personal crisis. In earning this certificate, you’ll be equipped with a skillset to help others overcome obstacles, set goals, create a support system and navigate challenging circumstances with confidence.

Program Overview

A student participates in a mental wellness activity in the University Center.

Help others discover their inner strength.

The Principles of Health Navigation and Peer Support Certificate prepares you to work as a health educator, health navigator/ “promotore” and peer support specialist in settings such as hospitals, substance use recovery organizations, mental health counseling centers, academic settings, and more. You’ll become familiar with public health-driven applications for promoting behavior change, identifying and navigating barriers to clients’ uses of health systems, effective communication, and the value of “peers with lived experience” in assisting others who have mental health and substance use challenges. If you have a strong background in Spanish, you can also consider pursuing the certificate’s three-credit Spanish enhancement so you can apply your language skills in an impactful and practical way.

An excellent addition to any of Western’s behavioral and social science majors, this certificate will help you enhance your interpersonal skills of rapport-building, effective client advocacy, entry-level crisis management, de-escalation techniques, and assisting clients with confidence-building, motivation, and goal setting.

Contribute to change

The Principles of Health Navigation and Peer Support certificate will help you generate practical solutions for those struggling with mental wellness, addiction, and other challenges.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

A total of 15 credits is required, including: 

Course List
Code Title Credits
COM 371Small Group and Conflict Management3
PSY 100General Psychology (GT-SS3)3
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology (GT-SS3)3
and one of the following:3
PSY 270
Development Psychology
PSY 290
Death and Dying
PSY 368
Psychopathology
PSY 369
Health Psychology
and one of the following:3
SOC 322
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Medicine
SOC 355
Drugs and Society
Total Credits15

Careers


Top Skills

  • Active Listening
  • Advocacy
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Health Literacy
  • Time Management



Career Pathways

  • Case Manager
  • Health Advocate
  • Health Educator
  • Patient Navigator
  • Peer Counselor
  • Recovery Coach

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Students practice breathing technique to help them relax.

Make your time at Western a transformative experience.

  • Alpha Kappa Delta: A society of scholars (undergrad, graduate and professional) that promotes excellence in sociology, conducts research on social problems and involves itself in other activities which attempt to improve the human condition.
  • Sociology Club: A student organization meant to engage students in academic and social activities outside of the classroom.
  • Psi Chi: The International Honor Society in Psychology.
  • Psychology Club: A place to participate in discourse and activities that are psychological in nature.
  • Research: Students can develop their own projects under faculty supervision or participate in internship activities. If you can envision a research project, then the Psychology and/or Sociology program(s) can help you create and execute it.

Practical coursework

The Principles of Health Navigation and Peer Support certificate combines theory and practice, preparing you to become an adept, empathetic professional in a variety of wellness careers.

Department Chairperson

Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D.

Professor of History

Administrative Assistant

Patricia McCarthy

Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences Administrative Assistant

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Kelley Hall 240
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

Apply to
Western
Students pose for a photo on top of Mount Crested Butte in the summer

Apply to
Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit
Western
Colorado Hall with the Palisades in the background on a bluebird day.

Visit
Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni
Community
A group of four alumni look at an old photo that one of them picked up from a selection of photos that were printed and laid out for the Ski Team Social event.

Alumni
Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

Request
Information
A few students pose for a photo behind the Multicultural Center table at the Admitted Student Day Club Fair.

Request
Information

Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.