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About our Collegiate Recovery Program

Oren Gateway Center residence hall

Is the StepUP Program a Treatment Center?

The StepUP Program is not a treatment program, but a recovery-based support program that provides structure for the students enrolled. The StepUP Program requires that each student attend classes regularly, be responsible for attending mandatory meetings, and most importantly, refraining from using drugs or alcohol. Students are also expected to attend weekly counseling sessions and attend our community Circle Meetings. Unlike treatment, however, there is no curfew and there is little monitoring of students’ daily activities. The program is designed to give students a full, enriched collegiate experience, with the support and encouragement that they need.

What Makes StepUP Unique?

  • We are one of the oldest and largest residential collegiate recovery programs in the United States
  • We can address addiction and mental health concerns all in the same office, to best support new and ongoing recovery efforts

What Specific Services are Provided to Students Enrolled in StepUP?

  • Housing in the substance-free residence hall located in the Oren Gateway Center.
  • Weekly meetings with alcohol and drug counselors in the StepUP Program. These meetings are designed to monitor and enhance a student’s recovery protection plan, academic success, and community living issues.
  • Big Circle Meetings where our entire community comes together.
  • Access to a variety of on-campus support services.
  • Access to a strong alumni community of support.

Who is in the StepUP Program?

The StepUP Program is for young adults, ages 18-26, in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction who wish to pursue an undergraduate education. In order to enter the program, students typically must have at least 6 months of continuous sobriety to live in our sober residence, Oren Gateway Center.

What Do I Need to Apply to the StepUP Program?

  • Typically six months of continuous sobriety by the date on which the student moves into StepUP housing.
  • A commitment to an abstinence-based recovery program outside of StepUP
  • An interview with a StepUP Program counselor.
  • A completed StepUP Program recommendation form from a recent treatment counselor, after-care counselor or therapist.
  • Students MUST be accepted into Augsburg AND StepUP – meaning that you will need to complete the Augsburg University Application as well as the StepUP application

Click here for details on the application process and forms.

What is Augsburg’s Admissions Philosophy?

In the admissions process, Augsburg seeks the academically well-prepared student with strong high school grades and test scores.  However, the admissions staff at Augsburg also looks at the total picture, such as student circumstances. Augsburg is best suited for the well-rounded individual who has an inquiring mind and the motivation to learn.

What Are the Costs for Students in the StepUP Program?

Students in the StepUP Program are responsible for the same tuition, activity fees, room and board costs required of all students. Students in the StepUP Program are eligible for the same need and merit-based financial aid available to all students at Augsburg University.  There is no additional cost for the StepUP Program services.

Once a Student is Accepted into the StepUP Program, are They Required to Remain in the Program and College Housing Until Graduation?

The StepUP Program does not require that students remain in the program until graduation. Many students indicate they want to stay in the program until they graduate, while other students have chosen to participate in the program for one or two years and then live elsewhere as they finish their degrees.

How Many Students are in the StepUP Program?

The program can currently accommodate up to 106 students and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Approximately 300 StepUP Program alumni remain in close contact with the StepUP Program.

Has the StepUP Program Been Successful?

The StepUP Program has been successful in supporting its students in their academic studies and in their recovery.  The current mean cumulative grade-point average of the StepUP students is 3.2 and the cumulative abstinence rate is 92%.

When and How did the StepUP Program Begin?

The program began in September of 1997 with 23 students enrolled.  A significant number of students in recovery were enrolling at Augsburg University and seeking academic skills counseling.  Realizing that Augsburg had no chemical-free living environment or formal support program for students in recovery, a proposal was created for the StepUP Program.  The proposal was approved by the President’s Council and the StepUP Program began.

Do Augsburg’s Administration, Faculty, and Staff Support the StepUP Program?

The President’s Leadership Team offers solid support, encouragement, and counsel to the StepUP Program.  Professors often comment on the positive qualities students in StepUP bring to their classrooms, such as honesty and a desire to learn.  The Department of Residence Life and the StepUP Program collaborate to provide safe, comfortable housing, as well as leadership opportunities for StepUP students.

What if I Do Not Have 6 Months of Sobriety, but Want to be Part of the StepUP Program? We now have a tiered model!

If you are thinking that you may have a problem, or are concerned about your use, please come and talk with us! Students must have 6 months of recovery in order to be able to live in our sober residence, Oren Gateway Center, however, if you are wanting support, there are ways that we can work with you to help you achieve your goals. Please contact us at the email or phone number below!

If you do not yet have 6 months of recovery, or, if you are a graduate level student who does not live on campus – we are introducing our tiered model:

STEPPING IN – This is our model for students who do not yet have 6 months of recovery time, OR, graduate students who do not live on campus who would like support, but for various reasons may not be eligible for living in Oren Gateway Center can apply to the program and work with a counselor weekly. Based on the student’s needs – it may or may not be appropriate or needed to also attend our circle meetings

 STEPUP – This is our traditional residential model for undergraduate students aged 18-26, students have at least 6 months of recovery, live in Oren Gateway Center and participate in the full StepUP Program.

STEPPING FORWARD – This is a model of support for students who are graduating from Augsburg, or who have recently graduated that are wanting either short-term or one-time support as they make transitions. This may be with a member of the StepUP staff, or working with one of our alumni volunteers – persons who access this program would have needed to participate in the StepUP Program.

For more details on our tiered model – please contact us!

Have a question you don’t see here?

Give us a call at (612) 330-1405, or email us at: