Purdue students to take AlcoholEdu course starting Friday

July 13, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University on Friday (July 15) will roll out AlcoholEdu, an online course about the impact and responsibilities associated with drinking.

"This program will enhance our existing efforts to encourage healthy choices and impact the alcohol culture and behavior," said Melissa Exum, vice president for student affairs. "Our goal is to provide an environment that will help our students develop both personally and academically."

Students expected to take the course include first-time undergraduates; transfer students under age 21; and students living in University Residences, fraternities, sororities and cooperative housing, as well as residence hall advisers and team leaders for Boiler Gold Rush, the university's orientation program.

AlcoholEdu for College, a curriculum created by Outside the Classroom, is available to 36 percent of all first-year students at America's four-year higher education institutions. It is designed to challenge students' expectations about alcohol and:

* Change high-risk behavior

* Teach alcohol's impact on academic and personal success

* Encourage safer decision-making

* Empower students to create a healthy campus community

AlcoholEdu offers a confidential, personalized experience for each student. The course includes surveys, tests of knowledge and informational charts as well as:

* Five modules of alcohol-related content featuring videos, blogs, instant messaging, 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 and is available at http://www.purdue.edu/alcoholedu/

The first part must be completed by Aug. 21, the day before classes begin for the fall semester. Introduced by a video, this component takes about two to two and a half hours, which can be done in multiple sessions. Part 2 will take about 15 minutes.

On the website, Tammy Loew, Purdue's health advocacy coordinator who oversees AlcoholEdu, tells students, "This is not a 'just say no' program. AlcoholEdu for College offers guidance on how to address the drinking behavior that may occur around you. You will be joining your fellow students, staff and faculty to create an environment that is safe for all of us."

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. These include:

* 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 assisted with the design and implementation of this program. More information is available at http://www.purdue.edu/alcohol/alcoholedu/index.shtml 

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

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

                   Tammy Loew, 765-496-6780, tfloew@purdue.edu