In 2016, Transforming Youth Recovery could identify only six community colleges offering recovery support programs and services. Based on this finding, Transforming Youth Recovery (TYR) identified a need for pilot programs to better understand programmatic models that may be effective for supporting students in recovery at community colleges.

TYR’s Bridging the Gap grant program supports these pilot programs and is intended to act as a catalyst for building capacity for recovery support on community college campuses across the U.S. The goal of the program is two-fold — first, to help more two-year institutions initiate recovery support and second, to study what programs and services are viewed as helpful and useful so that best practices can be shared.

The following forum is based on conversations led by Kristen Harper, TYR’s technical assistance coordinator, that took place during the summer of 2018.


Kristen Harper is currently partnering with Transforming Youth Recovery to bring technical assistance to collegiate recovery programs that have received one of TYR’s highly sought-after Seeds of Hope or Bridging the Gap grants. From 2013 to 2017, Harper served as the first full-time executive director for the Association of Recovery Schools, the nation’s first organization devoted entirely to the creation, growth and sustainability of recovery schools. In 2016, she was invited to join the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services National Advisory Council as an expert adviser to the director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Erin Jones is a research partner for TYR and a principal at sr4 Partners. Jones has acted as the principal investigator on TYR’s research efforts since 2013, authoring the following: Recovery Support in and Around Community Colleges in the U.S.; Closing the Gap: An Examination of Access to Best-in-class Evidence-based Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Programs for K–12 students in the U.S.; The State of Recovery High Schools, 2016 Biennial Report; and The Assets for Building Collegiate Recovery Capacity. Jones has degrees from Northeastern Illinois University and Tulane University.

Bret Frazier is the program coordinator of the Center for Addiction Recovery at Georgia Southern University. A former collegiate recovery student who found community colleges to be an important bridge to furthering his educational goals while maintaining his recovery, Frazier has a bachelor’s degree in business.


Kristen Harper: Erin, thank you for speaking with me today about TYR’s Community College Pilot Program and why it is a critical piece of collegiate recovery support. Can you briefly explain the goals of this project?

Erin Jones: Back in 2016, TYR published Recovery Support in and Around Community Colleges Campuses in the U.S. We were getting feedback from the collegiate recovery directors at four-year schools that local community colleges were interested in initiating collegiate recovery efforts. Additionally, we had been identifying service gaps for a few years through our technical assistance work with TYR grantees as well as the work with recovery high schools and the Association of Recovery Schools. We did a landscape study with established collegiate recovery programs and recovery high schools in 2016.

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