From 2000 to 2001, staff at the University of North Carolina Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Center (the center), Chapel Hill, N.C., developed a model distance-learning continuing education program as an extension of the sixth annual Tobacco Use Prevention Training Institute (TUPTI). The conference took place September 17–22, 2000 in Denver.
The center initiated the TUPTI in 1995, building on a program it established in 1993 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Office of Smoking and Health (CDC).
With continued CDC funding, the Institute offers in-depth, participatory, skill-building courses, mini-courses and workshops for more than 350 participants from a broad spectrum of public and private agencies in the field of tobacco use prevention and cessation, including RWJF's SmokeLess States® national program and the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The weeklong institute includes such courses as Youth and Tobacco Use Prevention, Strategic Use of Media, and Evaluating Tobacco Use Prevention and Reduction Programs.
- The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Center selected the Institute's course, "Tobacco Cessation Programs at State and Local Levels," to develop a prototype distance-learning program. Following the training institute, this six-month, six-session, online interactive program provided participants and faculty with opportunities to share knowledge and experience about treatment and cessation of tobacco use.
- Core program components included:
- A syllabus with schedule and outline.
- PowerPoint presentations reviewing the Institute course content.
- External links to resources, research papers, Web sites and model programs.
- A computer list serve enabling course coordinators, guest presenters and participants to communicate with all participants at any time.
- Case studies submitted by participants posted online, available to download, print and discuss.
- Online "virtual chat" allowing regularly scheduled, monthly, interactive discussions and other activities viewed by all on their computer screens.
- "Lifeline" consultation calls to course coordinators.