StepUP: Students in Recovery

The University of St. Thomas has established a partnership with the StepUP program at Augsburg University. StepUP is an innovative residential collegiate recovery community on Augsburg University’s main campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the largest residential collegiate recovery community in the nation. St. Thomas undergraduate students may participate in Augsburg’s StepUP Program.

University of St. Thomas students enrolled in the undergraduate program who meet the following qualifications:

  1. A commitment to sobriety as evidenced by working a healthy recovery program and having at least 6 months of continuous sobriety
  2. Successful application to the StepUP Program
  3. Agreement to abide by the StepUP Student Agreement while enrolled in the StepUP Program

This program is a cohort-based model, which means that there must be a minimum of three St. Thomas students who have applied and been accepted to the StepUP Program. The Fall deadline is August 1.  

The StepUP Program at Augsburg is housed in Oren Gateway Center. Students are billed at the start of each semester through their St. Thomas account for:

  1. Housing costs are based on a 4 bedroom/4 person/2 bathroom apartment. Current housing costs are available through the Augsburg Residence Life website. St. Thomas students may have other options depending on the number and gender identities of the students in the program.
  2. A minimum requirement is the 5-Plus Meal Plan with 345 flex points. All meal plan rates can be found on the Augsburg Meal Plan website
  3. Program fee: $1400/semester which includes a StepUP program fee, a prorated activity fee, and a technology fee.  

The StepUP Program at Augsburg University strives to help students champion lives of recovery, achieve academic success, and thrive in a community of accountability and support.

Students live at Augsburg and attend classes at St. Thomas and participate in campus life at either or both institutions. Students sign and complete the St. Thomas StepUP student agreement during orientation, which has these program components, among others:

  • remain abstinent from alcohol and other drugs
  • attend at least two recovery meetings (12-Step, SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, etc.) each week including a home group or other recovery support meetings with counselor approval
  • develop a relationship with a sponsor who follows an abstinence-based program or a recovery mentor with counselor approval, and will have at least one contact with them weekly
  • attend StepUP community circle meetings each week
  • meet routinely with a StepUP counselor, who is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)licensed
  • maintain ongoing mental health care relationships with psychologists, therapists, and/or psychiatrists when therapy and medication have been recommended as a part of a recovery plan

To review a copy, go to St. Thomas and Augsburg StepUP student agreement.

St. Thomas students complete the StepUP Application Form, StepUP Application PDF, submit the materials outlined below and meet with a StepUP counselor.

  1. Submit two letters of recommendation from your most recent treatment or halfway house counselor, therapist, or any person intimately familiar with your recovery program, outlining the recommended continuing care plan – view the Recommendation Form PDF
  2. Submit a discharge summary from your most recent treatment program or after-care program, if applicable. Many institutions can quickly fax over any records you need.
  3. Schedule an in-person screening interview with a StepUP counselor.
  4. Once accepted, complete an Augsburg Residence Life Contract.

The StepUP Application form, recommendation forms, and discharge summary may be submitted via fax, email (, mail, or in person.

Office Location: Oren Gateway Center 204

Fax: 612-330-1682                         

Mailing Address:  Campus Box 82

2211 Riverside Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55454

If you have general questions about the program or process, please contact the Dean of Students office at St. Thomas (; 651-962-6050). 

The StepUp program is an abstinence-based approach to recovery. This may include but is not exclusive to, a 12-Step program. We respect various pathways to recovery. Students sign and complete the StepUP student agreement during orientation. To review a copy, go to St. Thomas and Augsburg StepUP student agreement

Participation in StepUP requires students be enrolled at St. Thomas. St. Thomas students will sign a release so that if they withdraw from St. Thomas, Augsburg’s StepUP Director is informed and will work with the student on a transition plan to move out.

Augsburg’s StepUP Director will inform the St. Thomas Dean of Students if a St. Thomas student voluntarily leaves (e.g., returns to treatment) or is asked to leave. A decision regarding continued enrollment at St. Thomas will be reviewed and determined by St. Thomas.

If a student returns to using, moves out, and enters treatment or another such program, Augsburg will prorate housing charges. Generally, a student would not be eligible for a reduction in the meal plan.

Parking Permits: Because St. Thomas students would be living on the Augsburg campus, the resident student parking pass program is open to them. A limited number of permits are available for resident students; first-year resident students may not purchase a parking permit unless they are approved because of a medical exception. The parking permit would be an additional cost. More information is available on the Augsburg parking website.