UT Helps Launch Recovery High School Program


When a coalition of group companions started working final 12 months to ascertain the primary restoration highschool program in Knox County, college and college students on the College of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been fast to supply their assist.

Jennifer Tourville

“If we’re going to mitigate the opioid disaster in Tennessee, we have to begin with our college students,” stated Jennifer Tourville, a medical nursing professor. “They want our sources, firstly.”

Tourville, who leads UT’s Substance Misuse Community of Scholars, is a part of a trio of college members serving to to launch the initiative—generally known as the Elevate Program. A partnership between Knox County Colleges, the Helen Ross McNabb Middle, the Metro Drug Coalition, and different native organizations, the Elevate Program is designed to assist Knox County highschool college students who’ve a historical past of drug or alcohol use.

In accordance with the Affiliation of Restoration Colleges, solely 43 other recovery schools or programs exist nationwide. At the moment no such program exists in Tennessee.

Additionally concerned from UT are Shandra Forrest-Financial institution, affiliate professor of social work and director of the Social Work Workplace of Analysis and Public Service (SWORPS), and Courtney Childers, affiliate professor of promoting and public relations. In spring 2020, Forrest-Financial institution and Tourville have been awarded a UT One Collaboration and Innovation Grant to supply program analysis. Childers’s summer time 2020 promoting campaigns class developed the Elevate title, brand, swag and promotional mockups, and social media technique.

“The title is supposed to be seen as a reminder that regardless of the place you’re in life, you possibly can at all times increase or elevate to higher your self,” wrote Childers’s college students, the ADvocates, of their government abstract for the venture.

In contrast to the standard mannequin for restoration excessive faculties, Elevate won’t require college students to switch in from base faculties. Weekdays college students will go to the McNabb Middle’s John Tarleton Campus, the place they may obtain intensive outpatient remedy and classroom instruction. On Friday afternoons, they may meet with group companions, together with restoration consultants, for enrichment. Their transcripts won’t present they participated in Elevate. And if their commencement coincides with finishing this system, they may graduate with a diploma from their unique faculty.

“This isn’t a separate highschool; it is a program,” stated Daphne Odom, particular schooling and gifted and proficient supervisor for Knox County Colleges. “It’s essential to make that distinction. To defeat stigma, we have to present these in restoration will not be separate from their communities.”

Odom leads the native job power, which incorporates UT college and is charged with establishing this system.

Shandra Forrest-Bank
Forrest-Financial institution

“Though there are finest observe pointers obtainable, the proof to assist restoration highschool design is scarce and prior outcomes are blended,” stated Forrest-Financial institution, who labored for years as an administrator of community-based dependancy remedy applications. SWORPS Senior Analysis Affiliate Emily McCutcheon will lead program analysis for Elevate.

Along with decreasing stigma round substance misuse, Elevate’s said objectives are to assist sustained sobriety by means of a wholesome campus setting and coordinated care with referring off-site organizations and to supply high quality schooling that addresses the training types of every pupil and grows their tutorial abilities to enhance their choices after highschool.

For Tourville and Forrest-Financial institution, the hope is that this system’s success will assist the event of a collegiate restoration program at UT. Tourville presently chairs an advisory board that goals to ascertain a restoration program on every campus within the UT System.

“This might function a pathway for college students who full Elevate to proceed to be supported as they pursue greater schooling,” Tourville stated.

Elevate is supported by funds from the Boyd Basis, Knox County Mayors Workplace, and McNabb Middle. It launches within the 2021–22 tutorial calendar 12 months and coincides with the Knox County Colleges schedule.



Brian Canever (865-974-0937, bcanever@utk.edu)

Heather Peters (865-974-8674, heatherpeters@utk.edu)


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