Since graduating from high school a few years ago, Emily, a 21-year-old from South Carolina, has studied at the College of Charleston, the University of South Carolina and a few community colleges.
At each college, her story was the same. “I kept messing up,” she says. “I was caught up in the party lifestyle and got involved in drugs. Everywhere I went, it ended terribly.” But after Emily hit bottom and went to detox, her family helped her enroll at a different kind of institution, where long-term recovery and academic success are both priorities.
Since January, when she arrived at Sober College — an inpatient rehab center for young adults in Woodland Hills, Calif. – Emily, who asked that her last name not be used, has finished two college-credit courses; she is now taking two more. “I proved that I can do it and actually pass,” she says. “I just needed to get my life straight first.”
After trying out academic offerings from several colleges and universities, Sober has just signed a partnership agreement with Woodbury University, a master’s level, nonprofit institution located 20 miles from Sober in Burbank. Woodbury faculty will develop courses that are based on the university’s offerings but tailored to Sober’s students, and deliver online lectures. Staff at Sober will follow up with in-person instruction and academic coaching. Both institutions will be able to use the other’s name in some marketing materials. The initial agreement will last for one year but be renewable.