Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities
In 1986, Dr. Carl Andersen founded the Center for the Study of Addiction in an academic unit that offered students the classroom portion of the requirements for becoming a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), based on the criteria set forth by the State of Texas. As it turned out, many students involved in the addiction and recovery academic unit were in recovery from substance use. At the suggestion of his wife, Linda, Dr. Andersen developed this group of students in substance use recovery into the framework of what is now known as a Collegiate Recovery Community. Under the leadership of Dr. Andersen, known by students as Dr. “A”, numerous scholarship endowments were established specifically for recovering students and students who had been affected by substance use in some way. To his credit, Dr. Andersen also acknowledged the role of recovery for people with eating disorders, believing that although there may be differences between substance use and eating disorders, many aspects of recovery from both are quite similar.
In 2001, Dr. Kitty Harris agreed to take on the Director role of the Center. Dr. Harris had a true passion for assisting adolescents through the recovery process, and she was determined that more young adults would have the means to obtain a quality college education as they strengthened their recovery. Dr. Harris revised the name of the Center to the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, acknowledging the roles of resilience and strength in the recovery process and in recovering persons.
During Dr. Harris' tenure at the Center, the number of and the amounts of scholarship endowments increased substantially. Also, several endowments to cover operational expenses were garnered. These generous contributions from philanthropic foundations and compassionate individuals have allowed the Center to build a sustained ability to provide students with undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships and the necessary recovery and academic support so students can flourish in recovery, academically, professionally, and personally. Financial commitments to the Center during this time included the endowment that expanded the Eating Disorder recovery program and the endowment that supports the McKenzie Lectureship Series.
Realizing the importance of the Center to students in recovery and the need for more Collegiate Recovery Communities across the nation, Dr. Harris submitted a proposal to create a replication curriculum so that other colleges and universities would have a blueprint for creating a Collegiate Recovery Community at campuses across the United States. A federal grant was awarded to the Center by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the US Department of Education, and the replication process began with the publication of Making an Opportunity on Your Campus: A Comprehensive Curriculum for Designing Collegiate Recovery Communities (Harris, K. S., Baker, A. K., & Thompson, A. A., 2005). Today, there are over 250 Collegiate Recovery Programs in the United States.
In 2014, Dr. Harris turned over the Direction of the Center to Dr. Tom Kimball, who has provided leadership for the Center through his outreach to minority and underserved populations, through his active participation in the Association of Recovery in Higher Education as President, and through his commitment to establishing a Recovery Study Abroad Program at the Center. Under Dr. Kimball's term as Director of the Center.
The Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities (CCRC) now awards scholarships to over 120 undergraduate and graduate students each academic year. In addition to offering scholarships, the CCRC also assists students by providing recovery support and academic support, encouraging students to complete their desired education, including advanced degrees.