Capacity Building

On every college campus, there is a certain capacity for helping students in recovery to thrive. These capacities reflect the diverse ways that college-specific partnerships and coalitions can form to create activities, services and programs that best support their students. Our intention is to inspire you to cultivate those relationships that we have seen capable of overcoming barriers to helping students in recovery live their best lives.
 

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The Language of Capacity Building

For our purposes, ‘capacity’ refers to the community-based assets that combine to create practices and local coalitions that support students in recovery in their desire to thrive in the fullness of the college experience. ‘Capacity building’ refers to the activities that make visible and mobilize those assets into practices and coalitions to help students in recovery to live their best lives while getting the most out of everything a college experience has to offer.

—Our intention is to encourage every collegiate community to build capacity for helping students in recovery to thrive in the fullness of the college experience.

In our capacity-building efforts, these terms will be useful to us and those we serve:

Advocates
Those who stand ready to assist, support and encourage students in recovery who organize to lead local capacity-activities.

Asset
An individual, association or institution that a student in recovery can draw from to thrive in the fullness of the college experience.

Capacitype
A certain type of capacity that can be replicated across similar colleges and from one campus environment to another.

Coalition
The college-specific collection of advocates whose composition and shared objective offer credibility, influence and leadership on campus for local collegiate recovery efforts.

Collegiate Recovery Efforts
The overall effort to support and serve college students in recovery that, at any given college, establishes a collegiate recovery experience that may mature into a formal collegiate recovery program.

Collegiate Recovery Experience
A set of practices drawn upon by students to create an experience that fulfills both recovery and academic goals.

Early Stage Collegiate Recovery Efforts
The period of time that starts when there is the earliest notion that an individual or group have set their sights on supporting students in recovery and then continued until the establishment of a collegiate recovery experience.

Fullness of the College Experience
The common, conventional, normal, regular, inclusive channels that students use to maximize access to the resources of higher education.

Practices
The mobilization of assets into a clearly defined, easily accessible recovery service that honors the uniqueness of individual recovery paths.

Program
A formalized set of practices that can be replicated across similar capacity-types from one campus to another.

Recovery
A process of change through which people achieve abstinence, improve their health and wellness, and strive to live the best life they can.

Thrive
The condition of students in recovery “living their best lives,” succeeding intra-personally (I am well), inter-personally (we are well) and extra-personally (I am achieving my academic and recovery goals).

Validated Learning
Learning that has been confirmed by the outcomes of frequent testing of each element of an overall effort, the fundamental unit of progress for early stage capacity building.

Well-Being
A recovery lifestyle is one which allows for a thriving state of personal well-being characterized by a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous.

How Capacity Building Works

The capacity-building approach being championed for early stage collegiate recovery efforts can be best expressed through a conceptual framework of keystone activities.

These reflect a progression that students in recovery, and the advocates that support them, can go through to initiate and undertake capacity building on their college campus.

The Keystone Activities for Capacity Building