College Recovery

Collegiate Recovery

Yes, your recovering child can go to college, go back to college, and thrive on a campus.  Some savvy colleges understand that students in recovery are at school for all the right reasons.  Collegiate Recovery programs are not treatment.  As the CLEAN Recovery Services at St. Scholastica says well, “Recovery Services are NOT treatment. Programming is focused on supporting those who have admitted to the powerlessness and unmanageability in their life and are active in their recovery.” Patrice Salmeri, President of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education and Program Director at StepUP at Augsburg College says it with conviction, “No one should have to choose between their recovery and a college education.”

StepUP Collegiate Recovery Program, Augsburg College


Ted was in treatment and looking for some hope of a future, having flunked out of college twice while using alcohol and other drugs. He wanted his degree. How could he return to that kind of environment and survive? At a 12-step program Halloween party I chatted with a mom whose daughter was in treatment with Ted.  She told me that Emily was enrolled at Augsburg College that fall where she would be under the wing of a program for students in recovery called StepUP.

As a part of an existing college campus in Minneapolis, the StepUP program has their own beautiful new dorm, licensed counselors and an organized community of student recovery.  Staff works with StepUP students to guide and challenge them to acclimate back into academic and social settings in recovery — and succeed. I know!  Who knew? After two years in StepUP at Augsburg, Ted graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English Literature, a scholarship award and  a whole lot of new self-confidence. The wonderful staff become family on the very first day.

CLEAN Recovery for Life, The College of St. Scholastica

CLEAN logo

Head just over two hours north of Minneapolis and you will discover the beautiful shoreline of Duluth, Minnesota and the College of St. Scholastica.  Majestically high on a hill, St. Scholastica offers another sober living program for college recovery called CLEAN Recovery for Life.  A  more rural experience, students get the accountability, coaching and recovery community environment that allows them the freedom to have the best college experience possible with the help and camaraderie of the CLEAN staff and students.  To find out more, contact our friend Julie at for more information. She’s the best.  Check out this video from the lips of CLEAN students.

Ted was on staff with CLEAN and so yes, I can vouch that it does in fact get quite cold and snowy in Duluth but that’s a very small price to pay in recovery for a diploma, a handshake and a few tears of joy.

Texas Tech University Collegiate Recovery Community 

Pioneers in college recovery, this program has been fine tuned over the years and one of the leaders. They’re all for making dreams come true.

Guess what?  We have them in Wisconsin!    Bucky Badger WI outline

University of Wisconsin in Madison and UW LaCrosse have created their own collegiate recovery. Very cool news.



Other Collegiate Recovery Programs Around the Country

More are added yearly.  I’m such a fan, don’t get me started.Texas Tech Logo