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Information for Parents, Families and Students

Oren Gateway Center exterior

StepUP AT A Glance

  • A 20-year-old program built on evidence-based and proven techniques, with highly-successful outcomes
  • A sober living environment paired with weekly counseling sessions to address ongoing addiction recovery and mental health
  • Weekly Community Meetings
  • Staffed by experienced, caring, knowledgeable, and licensed counselors in addictions and mental health
  • Students who are excited about making a difference through service, and are offered the chance for leadership opportunities within the program, on campus, and in the greater Twin Cities community
  • StepUP serves more than 100 students annually (more than 650 since its inception) and is the largest residential collegiate recovery program in the country
  • StepUP students’ average GPA is 3.20 (of 4.0)
  • StepUP abstinence rate has averaged 93%
  • There is no fee for students to participate in the StepUP Program
  • The Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area is a high-density location for 12-step support meetings

Click here to view our most Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about our program, feel free to contact us directly at (612) 330-1405 or at


Accepted? Welcome to your home away from home!

Oren Gateway Center Residence Hall

All StepUP students live in Oren Gateway Center – a contemporary residence hall designated for students in recovery.

The residence hall is filled with other students in recovery, giving students the unique chance to not just meet people who understand their sobriety – but to live within that supportive community.

This is not your typical residence hall – students can enjoy skyline views and the welcoming common spaces simultaneously. Styled after urban lofts, Oren Gateway Center includes individual rooms, flats, and apartments to create a unique living space. There is no additional housing fee for Oren Gateway Center – it’s exactly what you would pay to live anywhere else on campus.

Click here for more information about the building and amenities

Oren Gateway Center Also Hosts:

  • A Barnes & Noble bookstore
  • Meeting rooms
  • Nabo café (freshly prepared food)
  • Spacious common areas
  • Study spaces
  • A rapidly rotating art gallery
  • A mediation room
  • The StepUP Program Office and Counselors

Worried about Minnesota Winters?

Don’t be! Oren Gateway Center connects to classrooms, the library, and the cafeteria via skyways and tunnels – you never have to put on a jacket to get to class! Students with cars may also take advantage of our underground parking system.

Program Outcomes

As a Collegiate Recovery Program we focus on helping students sustain their recovery, achieve academic success, and reach a level of thriving as a community.  Each year we track these outcomes and are consistently amazed at the transformation the students experience and the successes they achieve in recovery.  The following data illustrate these successes by the numbers.

Sustained Recovery Success (Abstinence Rates)

A Collegiate Recovery Program is intentionally designed to support recovery in a typically recovery-unfriendly environment.  The program and its students foster a culture of recovery which supports abstinence from alcohol and illicit drugs.  The cultural norm is to stay in recovery and protect against relapse.  The average rate of successful abstinence is well above 90% year to year (average of 93% successful abstinence from ’07 to ’16).

Student Academic Success (1997 Through 2016)

Our students arrive at Augsburg StepUP with varying degrees of readiness for college and its demands.  However, with the academic support resources available on our campus as well as the community of supportive peers, our students achieve what many of them once thought impossible – a successful college experience towards completion of a degree.  The overall grade point averages (GPA – on a 4 point scale) of our community reinforces a culture of success.

Mean GPA 1997-2016: 3.2 out of 4.0

This statistic was calculated by taking the cumulative GPA of all students served by the StepUP program while they attended classes at Augsburg College. Any other academic work done at other colleges and/or universities was not considered. The cumulative GPA’s were then used to calculate the mean. The statistics were not weighted based on number of credits. 

Service and Outreach

As a collegiate recovery program, we believe recovery is more than simply remaining abstinent from alcohol and illicit drugs.  Recovery is about growing and thriving.  As a college (Augsburg) we believe we have a responsibility to make a difference for others beyond our own community.  Each semester StepUP students volunteer for off-campus service commitments in the surrounding metro community.  They may present as panels to large school groups or speak in small groups at treatment centers or in classrooms speaking to the issues of addiction and recovery.  They impact hundreds of individuals in a wide array of settings helping to reduce the stigma of addiction and educate others about the hope and life transformative possibilities of recovery.

The StepUP Program students are frequently asked to share their personal experiences and individual stories with various audiences across the Twin Cities. The students are encouraged to participate in service and outreach opportunities as part of their recovery journey.  For many, their transformative stories inspire others and slowly lift the stigma connected with addiction and recovery and bring understanding, acceptance, and compassion.

Each year, StepUP students engage in over 175 hours of community service outreach, including presentations at:

  • Public school settings
  • Recovery high schools
  • College and university classes
  • Community parent groups
  • Chemical Dependency treatment settings

Click here to view

what to bring and what to leave at home