Andrew Finch is program coordinator for the online M.Ed. in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling. His research interests include the role of schools as continuing care for substance use disorders, counseling and human development and the ecology of schools.
Areas of Expertise (17)
Addiction and mental health counseling
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Addiction & Recovery
Organizational Theory, Leadership, and Public Policy
Ecology of Schools
Role of Schools in Recovery from Substance Use & Co-Occurring Disorders
Recovery High Schools
Teen Alcohol Abuse
Drug Addiction and Treatment
War on Drugs
Alcoholism and Recovery
Advocate for Action (professional)
Presented by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
Counselor Advocate of the Year (professional)
Presented by the Middle Tennessee Counselor Association
Outstanding Individual Program (professional)
Presented to Chapter Executive Committee by the Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional International Honor Society
Vanderbilt University: Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University: M.A.
University of Kansas: B.S.
- Member, American Counseling Association
- Member, American Educational Research Association
- Co-Founder and Board of Directors Senior Advisor, Association of Recovery Schools
Selected Media Appearances (3)
Readin'. Writin’. Recovery: Faith-based high school new option for Lehigh Valley students battling addiction
Allentown Morning Call online
That’s typically why recovery high schools are successful, said Andy Finch, a professor at Vanderbilt University who has studied recovery high schools. Studies have shown that recovery high schools have a positive impact on students, and that can be attributed to the small class sizes and support systems. “You’ve created a culture of peers who are ... trying to change their alcohol and drug use, and trying to stop,” Finch said. “When a kid starts to struggle, people are aware of it.”
Ohio Opens School For Students With Addiction
WILL News - Illinois Public Media online
Research on these small schools is limited, but Vanderbilt professor Andrew Finch says outcomes have been encouraging. "The scientific findings have shown so far that you do see a positive effect of having a recovery high school even for a short period of time," Finch says. Finch is co-founder of the Association of Recovery Schools. In a 2017 peer-reviewed study, he and his research partner found that recovery schools have a variety of beneficial effects.
Fresh Times at Rehab High
Pacific Standard online
Because recovery schools are all run independently of one another, they vary greatly in almost every other way: size, structure, curriculum, funding sources. Schools range between five and 100 students. "It's not a one-size-fits-all approach," says leading researcher on recovery high schools Andy Finch, an associate professor at Vanderbilt University and co-founder of the ARS.
Selected Articles (6)
Readin'. Writin’. Recovery: Faith-based high school new option for Lehigh Valley students battling addictionThe Morning Call
Recovery high schools: Effect of schools supporting recovery from substance use disordersThe American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Andrew J Finch, Emily Tanner-Smith, Emily Hennessy, D Paul Moberg
2017 A quasi-experimental design comparing outcomes for adolescents with treated SUDs who attended RHSs for at least 28 days versus a propensity-score balanced sample of students with treated SUDs who did not attend RHSs. The sample included 194 adolescents (134 in RHSs, 60 in non-RHSs) enrolled in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Texas schools (M age = 16; 86% White; 49% female).
The ecological and developmental role of recovery high schoolsPeabody Journal of Education
Andrew J Finch, Gina Frieden
2014 Recovery high schools are secondary schools designed specifically for students recovering from substance use or co-occurring disorders. Studies have affirmed the chronic nature of substance use disorders and the developmental value of social supports for adolescents. As part of understanding human growth and development, training programs for human service professionals (teachers, counselors, and social workers) emphasize comprehension and application of developmental theories.
Recovery high schools: Students and responsive academic and therapeutic servicesPeabody Journal of Education
D Paul Moberg, Andrew J Finch, Stephanie M Lindsley
2014 This article reviews findings from the authors’ studies of recovery high schools (RHS), including a 1995 program evaluation of a school in New Mexico (Moberg & Thaler, 1995), a 2006–09 descriptive study of 17 recovery high schools (Moberg & Finch, 2008), and presents early findings from a current study of the effectiveness of recovery high schools. Descriptive and qualitative findings are presented.
Continuing care in high schools: A descriptive study of recovery high school programsJournal of child & adolescent substance abuse
Andrew J Finch, D Paul Moberg, Amanda Lawton Krupp
2014 Data from 17 recovery high schools suggest programs are dynamic and vary in enrollment, fiscal stability, governance, staffing, and organizational structure. Schools struggle with enrollment, funding, lack of primary treatment accessibility, academic rigor, and institutional support. Still, for adolescents having received treatment for substance abuse, recovery schools appear to successfully function as continuing care providers, reinforcing and sustaining therapeutic benefits gained from treatment.
Recovery high schools: Opportunities for support and personal growth for students in recoveryThe Prevention Researcher
Andrew Finch, Holly Wegman
2012 Every day, teenagers who have made a decision to stop abusing drugs and alcohol are required by law to return to their assigned high schools. While many teenagers are able to withstand peer pressure and the daily presence of drugs or alcohol in their midst, studies have shown that most succumb to relapse within three months, and about half return to full-blown use within a year.