Campus: CSU Chico -- August 5, 2005

Alcohol Abuse Prevention Course Required For Freshmen

All first-time freshmen at California State University, Chico will be required this fall to complete an online alcohol abuse prevention course.

The Web-based program, AlcoholEdu for College, is used at more than 350 colleges and universities nationwide. It takes approximately 2½ hours to complete.

Freshmen will not be permitted to register for spring 2006 classes until they complete the course with a passing grade.

AlcoholEdu for College uses science-based research to educate students about alcohol and its effects and to prevent alcohol abuse. As part of the course, students are surveyed before and after the material is presented during the online session, and then 30 days afterwards in a mandatory follow-up session. The surveys check on how students’ perceptions and attitudes regarding alcohol may have changed. Student responses are treated confidentially.

For the past three years, a related version of the course, AlcoholEdu for Sanctions, has been taken by CSU, Chico students who have violated University alcohol policy.

Shauna Quinn, director of the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC), said AlcoholEdu for Sanctions has been effective in educating students about alcohol. Of the 392 students who took AlcoholEdu for Sanctions last year, 17 percent said they were well educated about alcohol and its effects prior to taking the course. After completing the course, 40 percent said they were.

“I am excited about this important effort to increase the University's commitment in helping educate students about the effects of alcohol abuse,” said Jim Moon, CSU, Chico vice president for student affairs. “This is one of many initiatives that Chico State is undertaking this year to emphasize the importance of student success and student safety.”

Letters are being sent to incoming freshmen and their parents informing them of the course requirement. Students can take the online course starting Aug. 9 and have until Sept. 9 to complete the first part of the course. The final, follow-up portion of the course must be completed by Oct. 14. The course can be taken from any computer with Internet access and audio capabilities.

Parents of freshmen will have access to the online course so that they can discuss the material with their children if they so choose.

The AlcoholEdu course is one of a number of drug and alcohol abuse prevention efforts utilized by CADEC. The center produces informational pamphlets, gives presentations, trains peer advisors and oversees educational and safety programs, such as Chico Safe Rides, which provides a safe alternative for students to choose not to ride home with someone who has been drinking. CADEC also coordinates the popular Fun Without Alcohol Fair for school-age children.

AlcoholEdu is produced by Outside the Classroom, a Boston-based company founded in 2000. Outside the Classroom produces educational programs designed to prevent alcohol abuse. It is unaffiliated with the alcohol industry.

Utilization of the AlcoholEdu for College program will cost CSU, Chico $60,000 for three years. Along with the availability of the course for all freshmen, the University will receive student survey data and analysis from Outside the Classroom.

Contact: Joe Wills, 530-898-4143

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