National Center Assists Colleges with Their Alcohol and Drug Prevention Interventions

Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention

The US Department of Education's Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Other Drug and Violence Prevention helped colleges and universities promote evidence-based "environmental management" policies designed to prevent alcohol and other drug abuse.

The project focused on helping colleges and universities implement programs to reduce the availability of alcohol, promote alcohol-free social options, and enforce laws and regulations.

Key Results

  • The Center:

    • Created the Presidents Leadership Group of six university presidents to review approaches for curbing student substance abuse and create a blueprint for student alcohol and other drug prevention.
    • Carried out an extensive media plan associated with the release of the leadership group's booklet of policy and program recommendations, Be Vocal, Be Visible, Be Visionary: Recommendations for College and University Presidents on Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention.
    • Developed a companion videotape, Be Vocal, Be Visible, Be Visionary: A Report from the Field by the Presidents Leadership Group.
    • Conducted eight professional development seminars reaching up to 290 leaders of institutions of higher education.
    • Conducted 76 training events at colleges and universities across the country and made 122 presentations.
    • Convened the first and second Statewide Initiatives Leadership Institute for alcohol and other drug prevention leaders from institutions of higher education, communities and government.

Evaluation

  • Under a subcontract from the Education Development Center, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Donahue Institute evaluated the Center's work.

    According to the evaluators:

    • The substance abuse field was enthusiastic about the Center's services.
    • The Center could improve its services in several areas, including:
      • Accessibility (e.g., installing a 24-hour automatic telephone monitor).
      • Team training (e.g., offering technical assistance on a set schedule).
      • Reaching new constituencies (e.g., developing a publication on student involvement).