Alcohol abuse among college students remains a serious public health problem. Concerted efforts to reduce alcohol abuse and the associated consequences have been made by most colleges and universities, with varying degrees of success. Most efforts to date, however, lack the scientific approach necessary for effective prevention. This project capitalizes on the latest research in college alcohol abuse, instructional technology, and telecommunications. The primary goal of this project is to develop an online alcohol education course that can be used by any college or university. The curriculum will target mediators known to predict college alcohol use and abuse: alcohol intentions, expectancies, and normative beliefs. The course content will model existing comprehensive alcohol education curricula, but will employ unique features of the Internet that will make it highly interactive and student-centered. Online chat rooms, bulletin boards, e-mail, survey questions and results, and hypertext """"""""stories"""""""" will be used to present accurate information and personalized feedback about alcohol-related behavior, attitudes, and consequences. Many of the assignments will be used to provide students with normative feedback regarding college drinking. This course has the potential to reach both nontraditional and traditional college students, with the goal of reducing alcohol abuse among this population.
Colleges and universities are in need of research-based educational programs that are effective at reducing alcohol abuse among students. Passage of the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act provided further incentive for offering alcohol education. This course will help institutions meet their educational and prevention needs easily and economically. Over 90 percent of all colleges and universities offer distance learning, making this online course a perfect fit for virtually all educational infrastructures.