PREVENTION AND REDUCTION OF UNDERAGE AND BINGE DRINKING

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1 The PASSHE Coalition for the PREVENTION AND REDUCTION OF UNDERAGE AND BINGE DRINKING Executive Summary and Sustainability Recommendations Fall 2012 BLOOMSBURG CALIFORNIA CHEYNEY CLARION EAST STROUDSBURG EDINBORO INDIANA KUTZTOWN LOCK HAVEN MANSFIELD MILLERSVILLE SHIPPENSBURG SLIPPERY ROCK WEST CHESTER

2 BLOOMSBURG CALIFORNIA CHEYNEY CLARION EAST STROUDSBURG EDINBORO INDIANA KUTZTOWN LOCK HAVEN MANSFIELD MILLERSVILLE SHIPPENSBURG SLIPPERY ROCK WEST CHESTER

3 EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW Laying the Groundwork for the PASSHE Alcohol Coalition In an April 2012 publication entitled College Drinking, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reported that high-risk and dangerous drinking on campus, what the popular media have called binge drinking, is a significant public health (problem). The report states that high-risk drinking claims an enormous toll on the intellectual and social lives of students on campus across the United States (CollegeDrinking, NIAAA; April HiVdOl). While eliminating underage and high-risk or dangerous drinking at colleges and universities is extraordinarily challenging given American culture, implementing strategies to reduce the occurrences and the harm associated with high-risk drinking remains a priority for most institutions of higher education (IHE). Well before the 2012 NIAAA report, Student Affairs leaders recognized that the challenges faced on each of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) campuses were similar and agreed to explore the development of collaborative assessment and common prevention and intervention strategies. Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol 1

4 In 2006, under the direction of the Vice Presidents for Student Affairs, PASSHE wrote and received a small grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to support the preliminary steps in assessing the needs of the System and its member institutions and developing a focused, coordinated program to address underage and high-risk, dangerous drinking. With PLCB funding, PASSHE 1) assessed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) regarding the issue of collegiate drinking at PASSHE institutions; 2) conducted an environment assessment of the state of collegiate drinking on each of the 14 campuses in PASSHE, using the CORE survey tools and CARA (College Alcohol Risk Assessment); and 3) assessed the readiness of each of the 14 System institutions to participate in a formal, coordinated effort to address collegiate drinking with evidence-based strategies of prevention and intervention. The promising results of this PLCB-funded project motivated PASSHE Vice Presidents for Student Affairs and their colleagues, to submit a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) grant, which resulted in the successful funding of a $497,971 project entitled, Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol in the Campus Culture of the 14 Universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Through a System-wide Coalition, higher education administrators strengthened and sustained earlier efforts to design and deliver coordinated programs to reduce high-risk alcohol behaviors among the 115,000 students attending PASSHE institutions. 2 Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol

5 EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW The Coalition The primary goal of the $497,971 Department of Education Grant involved the formal establishment of a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Statewide Coalition for the Prevention and Reduction of Underage and Binge Drinking. The Coalition planned, implemented, and coordinated a comprehensive program of evidence-based best practice strategies to reduce high-risk and dangerous drinking among college students. In so doing, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania became the first to not only acknowledge the urgency of this public health issue, but also to create an administrative structure through which to oversee evidence-based alcohol prevention and intervention efforts, assess outcomes, and serve as the catalyst for positive change in the alcohol culture on each of the 14 PASSHE university campuses. The Coalition would: 1) institutionalize a System-wide Alcohol Culture Change Coalition, with a clearly articulated vision, mission, and portfolio of measurable objectives; 2) implement evidence-based programs to reduce underage alcohol use and binge drinking among first-year students by approximately seven percent; and 3) build a culture of evidence to support the development and implementation of university-based alcohol strategic plans. Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol 3

6 PASSHE ALCOHOL STRATEGIC PLAN As members of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the Pennsylvania State System Coalition values each constituent institution s efforts to provide students with exemplary educational programs that foster student learning and student success. We recognize that graduates of our respective institutions must possess and demonstrate contextually appropriate cognitive, social and personal maturity. In support of those goals, the Coalition members strive to reduce the impact that dangerous and illegal uses of alcohol by PASSHE students have upon their full and successful participation in the learning opportunities offered at the respective universities. We recognize that our efforts must be grounded in the student learning outcomes advanced at each institution while assuring that each campus has a program fully able to provide prevention, education and intervention services responsive to its students needs and contextually appropriate to its campus culture. VISION STATEMENT The Pennsylvania State System Coalition will measurably improve the quality of life and student success on its constituent university campuses by implementing innovative and evidence-based strategies for the reduction of high risk and dangerous drinking by students, while promoting harmreducing and health-promoting values, in its academically challenging and culturally rich campus environments. MISSION STATEMENT It is the mission of the Pennsylvania State System Coalition for the Prevention and Reduction of Underage and Binge Drinking to provide education and prevention services that will assist students attending the 14 State System universities in reducing the high-risk and illegal use of alcohol; empower campus communities to successfully establish expectancies for healthy, legal and responsible alcohol use for its constituencies; foster student adoption of healthy, legal and responsible alcohol use behaviors; improve students campus experiences; and promote student success. Through the grant, Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol in the Campus Culture of the 14 Universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the universities will collaborate to develop organizational partnerships and support systems for the efficient delivery of NIAAA strategies and State System best practices in alcohol prevention, enabling participating institutions to achieve the goal of reducing underage and high-risk alcohol use by students System-wide. VALUES STATEMENT The PASSHE Coalition is committed to the principles of respect for the individual, engaged student learning, good citizenship, shared community standards, collective action, extended partnerships, innovative approaches to address complex issues, excellence in programs and services, thoughtful stewardship of resources, and dedication to improving the quality of life on constituent campuses and in the surrounding communities. BEHAVIOR CHANGE Reduce the frequency and severity of alcohol issues on each campus; Increase student adoption of protective behaviors when using alcohol; Reduce the impact of alcohol use on student academic performance. STUDENT LEARNING and SUPPORT Enrich students learning by incorporating issues of alcohol into research, internships, service learning and student employment opportunities in cooperation with faculty and staff partners; Strengthen the universities infrastructures to support and provide programs and services that fully address student alcohol issues. COLLABORATION Continue Coalition s work after the Department of Education grant ends. System leveraging of knowledge and resources advances the efforts on all the campuses; Use technological resources of the campuses to improve collaboration and service delivery while keeping costs down; Seek other grant resources. Campuses need additional resources to assure full program development and implementation System-wide; Seek to cultivate and expand linkages with state agencies, and other non-university partners; Evaluate the effectiveness of efforts through a comprehensive outcomes assessment program with the goal of continuously improving programmatic and behavioral outcomes System-wide.

7 Overarching Principles COMMITTED AND SUSTAINABLE ACTION The PASSHE Coalition is dedicated to the implementation of innovative and proven strategies through direct engagement of universities and surrounding communities, as well as System and agency partnerships to improve student success and quality of life, and to achieve systemic environmental changes. SYSTEM LEVERAGING The PASSHE Coalition will benefit from collaboratively utilizing the expertise and resources of PASSHE and its state agency partners in advancing significant and systemic change. ASSESSMENT-DRIVEN IMPROVEMENTS The PASSHE Coalition will utilize qualitative and quantitative measures to evaluate strategic planning goals, action plans, and program improvements developed to address the issues associated with the drinking culture on PASSHE campuses. Strategic Themes Through five strategic themes the PASSHE Coalition will achieve systemic change. Each of the five broad themes are framed by System-Wide, University-Wide, Departmental Strategies, and Community-Wide strategies. The five broad strategic themes are supported by specific tactics. ORGANIZATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND LEADERSHIP PASSHE universities must develop robust infrastructures and dedicated resources to support programs designed to address the structural, behavioral, and cultural components of substance abuse on the campuses. Infrastructures must be comprehensive and encourage the coordinated engagement of campus and community leaders, faculty, staff and students in creating systemic change. PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT PASSHE and its constituent universities are complex organizations with unique cultures, differing constituent and resource bases and structural designs. The success of the PASSHE Coalition Strategic plan is dependent upon each campus fidelity to planning processes that incorporate the System s shared strategic goals. These strategic goals include implementation and assessment plans that are demonstrative of the respective campus commitment to sustainable action addressing the issues of underage and binge drinking. COMMUNICATION AND INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY USE Effective communication is the foundation for building and sustaining System-wide efforts. With innovative technology, the PASSHE universities will efficiently communicate relevant, critical, System-wide information across campuses. The success of the PASSHE Coalition s Strategic Plan is contingent upon the campuses being up to date and proficient in using the technological resources available within the System. NIAAA AND PASSHE BEST PRACTICES PASSHE Coalition members recognize and embrace the NIAAA s efforts to identify and promote the implementation of strategies proven to reduce illegal and high-risk drinking on college and university campuses. These strategies can be adapted and implemented to produce changes in the alcohol culture on any size campus that commits itself to sustained action. PASSHE Coalition members commit to working together to implement these evidence-based strategies, develop innovative applications, and design new strategies that are shown to be effective in addressing underage and binge drinking on the System university campuses. COLLABORATION AND COMPLEMENTARY PROGRAMS PASSHE Coalition members recognize the importance of partnering with surrounding communities and campus neighbors. PASSHE university efforts to address illegal and high-risk drinking by students have been invigorated by the development of a coalition, increased communication, and collaborative planning that utilizes the expertise of professionals across the System. Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol 5

8 The Coalition sought to employ identified evidence-based programs at participating PASSHE universities for the purpose of reducing underage alcohol use and binge drinking among first-year students residing in on-campus residence halls by: 1) implementing BASICS (Brief Alcohol and Screening Intervention for College Students) on each of the 14 PASSHE campuses; and 2) implementing a Social Norms communications campaign designed to challenge the perception of alcohol use on PASSHE campuses. BASICS is an intervention with college students using brief motivational interventions, with a focus on harm reduction with the students participating in this Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration model program. Social Norms marketing has proven to clarify cultural norms and correct misperceptions about cultural beliefs and practices of individuals within communities. The social norms campaigns were designed to challenge the misperceptions of alcohol use on the PASSHE campuses. The final goal of the grant sought a significant decrease (seven percent) in the frequency of underage and binge drinking of first-year resident students. Using data collected from the 2010 and 2011 administrations of the CORE Survey, the Coalition concluded that there was little change in students self-reports of alcohol behaviors and opinions. 6 Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol

9 The PASSHE Coalition for the PREVENTION AND REDUCTION OF UNDERAGE AND BINGE DRINKING CORE 2010 FINDINGS Response Rate 18% CORE 2011 FINDINGS Response Rate 19% 71.6% of the respondents consumed alcohol in the past year ( annual prevalence ). 52.7% of the respondents consumed alcohol in the past 30 days ( 30-day prevalence ). 52.2% of underage respondents (younger than 21) consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days. 35.3% of the respondents reported binge drinking in the previous two weeks. A binge is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks in one sitting. 90.0% of the respondents believed that the average student on campus uses alcohol once a week or more. 46.4% of the respondents indicated they would prefer not to have alcohol available at parties they attend. 86.5% of the respondents said they saw drinking as central in the social life of male students. 79.7% of the respondents said they saw drinking as central in the social life of female students. 73.6% of the respondents consumed alcohol in the past year ( annual prevalence ). 56.4% of the respondents consumed alcohol in the past 30 days ( 30-day prevalence ). 56.2% of underage respondents (younger than 21) consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days. 38.4% of the respondents reported binge drinking in the previous two weeks. A binge is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks in one sitting. 86.6% of the respondents believed that the average student on campus uses alcohol once a week or more. 44.0% of the respondents indicated they would prefer not to have alcohol available at parties they attend. 86.3% of the respondents said they saw drinking as central in the social life of male students. 79.2% of the respondents said they saw drinking as central in the social life of female students. Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol 7

10 While a reduction in binge-drinking rates for first-year resident students was not found, qualitative evidence suggested that Coalition efforts to implement evidence-based strategies positively affected the campus culture. The use of traditionally designed, implemented, and executed social norms campaigns on all 14 PASSHE campuses in concert with the training of staff to administer BASICS, and the subsequent review of survey data related to this experience appear to have contributed to increased awareness of collegiate drinking in general and binge drinking specifically for students attending the 14 member institutions in PASSHE. COALITION ACCOMPLISHMENTS The Coalition developed an infrastructure to sustain alcohol culture change throughout PASSHE. A PASSHE-wide strategic plan provided the foundation for complementary and supportive efforts on each of the 14 university campuses within PASSHE. The Coalition oversaw and coordinated the use of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) strategies to motivate behavior change. By employing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies through its coordinated, System-wide plan, the Coalition built expertise among each of its 14 institutional members. 8 Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol

11 ...the Coalition concluded that continued improvements in the Coalition s efforts were needed, in order to positively affect the perceptions and behaviors of all students attending PASSHE institutions. Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol 9

12 BENEFITS REALIZED PASSHE COALITION FOR PREVENTION OR REDUCTION OF UNDERAGE AND BINGE DRINKING: Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol in the Campus Culture LEADERSHIP PASSHE System-Wide, University-Wide Developed strategic thinking practices for PASSHE and each of the 14 institutions addressing the prevention and reduction of underage and binge drinking Developed a PASSHE Alcohol Strategic Plan, including Mission, Vision, Values, Themes, and Tactics Through both traditional communications tools and social media, raised visibility of alcohol culture change as an all-institutional responsibility moving from the margins of environmental management concerns to the core of the University s mission Developed and demonstrated the success of a formal PASSHE organizational model to coordinate a proactive, evidence-based approach to addressing alcohol issues Motivated the development of a System-wide research IRB approval process Motivated PASSHE-wide, inter-university, and intra-university networking, communication, coordination, collaboration, and training Provided professional development opportunities in this field System-wide Shifted from siloed and fragmented institutional responses to a coalition addressing underage, high-risk, and dangerous alcohol behaviors Raised visibility, respect, and acknowledgement of the professional acumen of the University professionals addressing alcohol issues on their campuses Modeled the development of an effective PASSHE-wide leadership structure for issues common among the 14 institutions 10 Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol

13 GRANT ACCOMPLISHMENTS NIAAA Evidence- Based Strategies: BASICS NIAAA Evidence- Based Strategies: Social Norms Assessment Implemented BASICS on all PASSHE campuses, through formal, documented curriculum, staff training, and program administration Developed a syllabus and related training materials for BASICS facilitator training Institutionalized BASICS as a common intervention approach Motivated greater awareness among faculty, staff, and administrators regarding BASICS, which was one of several university tactics to address student well-being, community, health, and academic success and thereby positively impacted student retention and satisfaction Opened conversations among faculty colleagues regarding academic-centric activities to promote healthy decision-making Opened university-wide dialogue about other student issues affecting student success, e.g., violence, sexual assault, drug use Developed a System-Wide Social Norms campaign Empowered students to challenge the norms and request alcohol-free alternatives to partyschool drinking Provided voice to the silent-majority of students who engage in safe, responsible, and legal choices related to alcohol use Raised awareness of the need to shift System-wide and University-wide thinking for a deficit-based model to a proactive strengthbased model, emphasizing institutional responsibility and System collaboration Reinforced and developed skills in assessment and the importance of NIAAA evidence-based best practices Applied a methodical qualitative and quantitative evaluation plan for the assessment of the Coalition s efforts to achieve the outcomes envisioned in the U.S. DOE Grant Developed BASICS assessment tool Stimulated the development of a PASSHE assessment tool similar to the CORE Survey Developed a set of benchmarks for all PASSHE universities to measure their individual progress toward the establishment of policies, goals, objectives, and programs to address high-risk and dangerous collegiate drinking Identified issues for continued study, e.g. analysis of student conduct data System-wide Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol 11

14 FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY The evaluation of the PASSHE U.S. DOE Grant Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol in the Campus Culture demonstrated partial achievement of the grant s three overarching goals, which were to: 1) institutionalize a System-wide Alcohol Culture Change Coalition, with a clearly articulated vision, mission, and portfolio of measurable objectives; 2) build a culture of evidence to support the development and implementation of university-based alcohol strategic plans; and 3) implement evidence-based program to reduce underage alcohol use and binge drinking among first-year students by approximately seven percent. Though the data collected through the CORE Survey did not demonstrate a seven percent reduction in underage alcohol use and binge drinking among first-year students living on the campuses of the 14 universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the Coalition concluded that continued improvements in the Coalition s efforts were needed, in order to positively affect the perceptions and behaviors of all students attending PASSHE institutions. With the end of the DOE grant in October 2012 the PASSHE Coalition for the Prevention and Reduction of Underage and Binge Drinking: 1) continued BASICS on each campus; 2) developed a new CORE-like survey; and 3) designed a three-part plan for long-term and sustained commitment to alcohol culture change. The principles in the Coalition Alcohol Strategic Plan serve as a guide to the Coalition s future: Committed and Sustainable Action; System Leveraging; and Assessment-Driven and Improvements. 12 Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol

15 THE PLAN FOR SUSTAINABILITY IS A 3-PRONGED STRATEGY: LEADERSHIP PASSHE would continue to invest in the Coalition as the primary vehicle for leadership in the strategic implementation of culture change within the campus cultures of PASSHE universities. Specifically, the Coalition would: reorganize the governance structure of the Coalition; review and revise the Coalition s mission, vision, and scope of its work to include all students enrolled at PASSHE universities; leverage resources among System universities to sustain the delivery of BASICS and continuing assesment efforts; design a sustainable internal funding model to continue the Coalition s work, which would include external funding; and appoint a Coalition Coordinator, supervised by the Coalition s Steering Committee, responsible for centralized communication, organization, and support for Coalition initiatives. BEST PRACTICES The PASSHE Alcohol Coalition would continue to employ NIAAA, evidence-based, best practices throughout the System. Specifically, the Coalition would continue to use BASICS as the primary method of intervention for students whose alcohol use behaviors present a risk for their health and well-being. ASSESSMENT The PASSHE Alcohol Coalition would design and implement an annual assessment plan. Specifically, the Coalition would administer PASSHE-wide a survey of students perceptions and use behaviors related to alcohol. Challenging the Primacy of Alcohol 13

16 For the Complete Report and Supporting Materials contact: Dr. Doreen Tobin, Vice President for Student Affairs East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania The PASSHE Coalition for the Prevention and Reduction of Underage and Binge Drinking extends its appreciation to Dr. Robert Chapman, who contributed his expertise to the continuous evaluation of the Coalition s work, throughout the grant period. Dr. Chapman s thorough and comprehensive evaluation records provided the content for the Coalition s Final Report and Independent Evaluation. Photography: Keith Boyer, IUP Art Direction and Graphic Design: Michael Maskarinec Printer: IUP

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