Middle Tennessee College and Addiction Recovery Facility Join Forces To Offer College Credit for Completing Treatment
Williamson College has partnered with Spring 2 Life Recovery to offer useable college credits in exchange for completion of the recovery program curriculum. The agreement was signed on October 1st, 2019, and is in affect as of January 2020.
This partnership is the first of its kind, but hopefully not the last.
“We want other universities and other rehabs to do this, and we’re willing to show them how we got to this place,” said Pastor Adam Comer, CEO, S2L Recovery.
How Did It Start?
The seeds of this agreement were planted years ago when Pastor Comer met Dr. Bryan Thomas, Director of Academic and Student Services for Williamson College. Dr. Thomas and Pastor Comer were both members of a small group at Lifepoint Church in Smyrna, TN. They stayed in touch over the years and, eventually, Dr. Thomas learned about S2L’s recovery curriculum.
“As an administrator, I’m always thinking of partnerships and ways to provide educational opportunities for different student populations,” said Dr. Thomas. “Learning about S2L’s curriculum stirred up the idea of offering transfer credit to students that complete S2L’s recovery program.”
Dr. Thomas was impressed by the structure and organization of the 7 Principles curriculum, written by Pastor Bruce Stanley at S2L. In one of Pastor Stanley’s previous roles as a department head at Nossi College, he gained experience writing syllabi and curriculums. The marriage between Williamson College and S2L Recovery was fairly seamless because of the shared values between the two organizations.
“Faith-based recovery and faith-based higher education have officially joined forces. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes,” said Dr. Ed Smith, President at Williamson College.
The 7 Principles curriculum teaches recovery through biblical knowledge. S2L Recovery realizes that everyone’s journey through recovery is different; therefore, the rigid 12 step program wasn’t how they wanted to design their program. Instead, they base their approach around 7 Christ-centered principles so that each student can find their way to recovery at their own pace.
Visit S2L Recovery to learn the latest on their efforts to further the recovery system.
The immediate goal is to help each individual enrolled in the program. S2L Recovery aims to give their students the tools and motivation they need to change their lives in a positive way.
Dr. Thomas’ hope is “those who complete these programs not only have a road to recovery and become contributing members of society, but they can also earn degrees and become leaders.”
On a macro level, S2L Recovery hopes to destroy the stigma of addiction. Through changing the way people view the process and the result, they can give those still struggling a positive example.
“The ultimate goal would be to help end this epidemic through the hope of providing resources and encouraging people,” said Pastor Comer.
The students currently coming out the other side of the curriculum are already showing an improvement in how they interact with the world around them.
“Not only are students who complete recovery programs prepared to enroll in college, they are motivated to pursue excellence. I’ve witnessed it firsthand,” said Dr. Thomas.
Both Williamson College and S2L Recovery hope to be an example to other universities and recovery programs. Although their program will be the first of its kind, similar systems have operated in prisons for years. These prison education systems have been shown to reduce recidivism rates by up to 40%.
There is an undeniable link between furthering a person’s education and healthier choices. Perhaps it’s the expansion of options a diploma affords an individual. Or, perhaps it’s the hope this accomplishment can instill in the graduate. Whatever the cause, the means of achieving these results will be made easier by the partnership between Williamson College and S2L Recovery.
"This partnership speaks volumes to an organization that actually gets it. The stigma is being eradicated, and, in its place, hope and purpose are being offered. This is a huge deal for the national recovery community," said Pastor Comer.
The signing of the articulation agreement was completed at 9a.m. on October 1st, 2019, at 3180 Hill Creek Road, Woodbury, TN, 37190.