Purdue to offer AlcoholEdu to students

November 1, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Beginning next fall, the AlcoholEdu educational program will be added to Purdue's current prevention programs in order to enhance healthy choices for new and current students.

The program is designed for all students – whether they are non-drinkers, light to moderate drinkers or frequent heavy drinkers. AlcoholEdu is available to more than a third of all first-year students at four-year U.S. higher education institutions, including Indiana University, Penn State, Iowa, California-Berkeley and Texas at Austin.

Through their participation in the program, Purdue students will have an opportunity to:

* Change high-risk behavior

* Understand how alcohol impacts their academic and personal success on campus

* Practice safer decision-making

* Participate in a healthier campus community

"This program will enhance our existing efforts to impact the alcohol culture and behavior," said Melissa Exum, vice president for student affairs. "Students' personal and professional development is the cornerstone to success that will last during their years here and beyond."

AlcoholEdu offers a confidential, personalized experience for each student. The course includes:

* Five modules of alcohol-related content featuring videos, blogs, instant messaging (IM) chats and comics

* Tools, such as a calculator to measure blood alcohol content and a map of U.S. alcohol laws

* Discussions on policies and issues related to alcohol

* Safe strategies for parties and tips for helping friends

* Access to a social networking site

The course has two parts. The first part takes about two to two and a half hours but can be done in multiple sessions. Part 2 will take about 15 minutes. Successful completion of the course will be expected of all new undergraduate students, including transfers.

The company reports that two independent studies found students who had taken the course later reported using significantly less alcohol than other students.

Along with the AlcoholEdu for College module, additional online courses will be available for the Purdue community:

* AlcoholEdu for Sanctions – designed specifically to help students who have violated alcohol policies make safer and healthier choices

* Alcohol Innerview – brief motivational interventions for students who have violated alcohol policies or who will be attending counseling sessions

An advisory committee representing several campus offices, faculty and students has been meeting for more than a year to discuss the implementation of this program and will continue to provide guidance. Faculty, staff and students interested in being involved with the project should contact Lee Gordon, assistant vice president for student affairs, at leegordon@purdue.edu.

More information is available at http://www.purdue.edu/alcohol/alcoholedu/index.shtml

Writer:  Jeanne V. Norberg, 765-494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Source:  Melissa Exum, 765-494-5776, exum@purdue.edu