Going to college or returning to college in recovery can be a stressful. By now, you know that a recovery-friendly support network is crucial to your recovery and your academic success. Finding a Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) or Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) on a college campus is a big decision. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) aims to help change the trajectory of recovering students’ lives and offers resources and information for those looking to be a part of a this kind of support system.
In searching for a CRC/CRP consider the following below:
- Ownership and Autonomy. While your parent/family member may be exploring programs with you, remember, you are the one that will be a CRC/CRP member. You are the one that needs to take the lead in asking questions, completing applications, and identifying what your priorities are in the CRP that’s right for you.
- Healthy Compromise. You and your family member may have differing priorities when considering a school and CRC/CRP. Be sure to discussing all options and possibilities together with your family member so that you may reach a compromise that works best for all of you.
- Support. CRPs are not designed as treatment programs, they are designed to offer recovery support on college campuses so you have a safe place to navigate what can be a hostile environment; a college campus.
While sharing the goals of providing support, preventing relapse, and promoting academic performance, individual CRCs/CRPs vary greatly. Once you’ve decided that a CRP/CRC is the way to go, there are several things to consider when choosing which CRC/CRP is the best fit.
- Housing. Does the program offer housing? Is it specifically recovery-based or simply substance free? Do they offer housing on and/or off campus? Will your student be living with others in recovery? What is their policy on relapse?
- Programming and Support. What type of supportive programing do they offer? What is the focus of their CRP? What kinds of opportunities and activities are provided?
- University/College involvement. Is the CRC/CRP a program run by university/college faculty and staff or a student organization? Does this make a difference to you?
- Space. What kind of gathering space (e.g., building, office, recovery meeting space) does the program offer? Does the program have designated space for their CRC/CRP? Organizationally, where within the institution is the program housed
- Scholarships/Financial Aid. Does the program incur any additional expense? Offer any type of financial help? What is the level and nature of this help? What about in-state versus out-of-state tuition?
- Admittance Requirements. What are the requirements for admittance to the university itself and to the CRC/CRP? Each university and CRC/CRP may have different qualifications for applying to their program. Each program will have a checklist of things that need to be completed to apply.
- Student Involvement. What is required of CRC/CRP students in each program once they are admitted? Each program has requirements for participation that are unique to their program.
- Resources. What resources are available in the CRC/CRP and also at the university/college level for those in recovery?
We hope that by offering you these factors to consider, making the best decision for you will be a bit easier. CRCs/CRPs offer a great support system to students as they pursue higher education while growing in recovery. We hope to be a helpful source of information as you move along in the process.