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Sources: Pat Bosco, 785-532-6237, bosco@k-state.edu;
and Bill Arck, 785-532-6927, billa@k-state.edu
Web site: http://www.k-state.edu/counseling/student/alcohol.htm

Monday, April 26, 2010

K-STATE IMPLEMENTING NEW ALCOHOL EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS IN FALL 2010; PARENTS CAN PARTICIPATE, TOO

MANHATTAN -- Beginning with the fall 2010 semester, Kansas State University will require most newly enrolled students to complete an online alcohol education program.

K-State is implementing AlcoholEdu for College. The nationally recognized, Web-based alcohol education program will be mandatory for all newly enrolled, degree-seeking students on K-State's Manhattan and Salina campuses who are age 21 or under on the first day of class.

Developed by the Boston-based company Outside the Classroom Inc., AlcoholEdu for College takes approximately two hours to complete and provides information about alcohol and its impact on the body and behavior.

K-State will be using the AlcoholEdu program for at least the next four years. The use of the program reflects the university's commitment to the health and welfare of students, said Pat Bosco, K-State vice president for student life and dean of students.

"We think effective alcohol prevention programs on campus are critically important, and the implementation of the AlcoholEdu program will aid our students in the process of becoming more successful at K-State," Bosco said.

"Alcohol can be a significant issue in the lives of many students," said Bill Arck, director of the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Service at K-State. "By providing detailed information on the effects of alcohol in an easily accessible, interactive format, we hope to help students make wiser choices while here at K-State and throughout their lifetimes."

Used at more than 500 colleges and universities nationwide, the AlcoholEdu curriculum integrates proven prevention strategies and scientific-based findings into a non-opinionated, personalized educational program.

The program's format features a story narrative and activities that reflect the way today's students communicate, according to Arck. In addition, AlcoholEdu includes three confidential student surveys that will help K-State understand the effectiveness of the educational effort.

Parents of new K-State students also can become part of the AlcoholEdu program, Bosco said. Because K-State entered into a multiyear contract to use AlcoholEdu for College, program owner Outside the Classroom is offering its AlcoholEdu for Parents program free to parents of newly enrolled students. The parents' edition is much shorter than the student edition, and serves as an impetus for parents and kids to talk about alcohol and college.

"We encourage the parents and guardians of our new students to participate in this program, too," Bosco said. "The AlcoholEdu for College program was recommended to me by K-State's national parent and family advisory board, and part of this program is being paid for with private funds from parents of K-Staters."

Parents' participation in the AlcoholEdu for Parents program is optional, and more information about it will be made available soon.

With several published studies and randomized control trials documenting its efficacy, AlcoholEdu has been used across the country to address high-risk drinking on college campuses. In a study conducted at Villanova University in fall 2007, compared to the control group, students who completed AlcoholEdu reported a greater reduction in alcohol use, were less likely to expect positive outcomes from drinking, were less likely to make poor decisions as a result of alcohol use, and were less accepting of others' alcohol use behaviors.

Although several other educational, preventative, and intervention services are currently available to K-State students regarding alcohol issues, Bosco said he thinks AlcoholEdu will expand and increase the university's overall efforts.

"The purpose of the college experience is to educate students, to provide appropriate resources for them, and to give them all the tools to be successful," Bosco said. "We're confident the AlcoholEdu program will have a lasting, positive impact on our students."