Parties all night long. To sleep all day. Optional attendance in class.
Incoming students may have misconceptions about their college experience, including how often their peers use drugs and alcohol.
An online program uses student-generated data to highlight the gap between perception and reality. Developed in Nebraska, the Year One College Behavior Profile asks students questions about their drug and alcohol use before revealing how their campus peers responded.
“We know that students’ alcohol and drug use is influenced by how much they believe their peers are consuming, and that students tend to have large misperceptions of use among their peers,” he said. said Megan Hopkins, project director of the Nebraska Collegiate Prevention Alliance. . “The reality is that most students don’t use it, or they use it in a low-risk way. Providing this information helps to change individual behavior.
The program uses a research-based strategy known as Motivational Interviewing, which involves asking open-ended, non-judgmental questions, such as how many problems a student has experienced as a result of alcohol use.
“It’s a very student-driven process,” Hopkins said. “We want students to accept whatever they see as a problem and then decide what they want to do to change it. “
The Year One College Behavior Profile is used by 18 higher education institutions in Nebraska, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. According to program evaluations, participating students receive fewer penalties for alcoholism and are more likely to stay enrolled until their first year.
To expand the program beyond Nebraska, Hopkins worked with Arpi Siyahian, senior director of technology at NAKEDtechnology companies. As the university’s technology marketer, NAKEDtech Ventures helps protect and license intellectual property.
In the 2021-22 school year, 10 colleges in Missouri are using the program under a statewide licensing agreement. The license helped attract additional funds to pay for platform customization, testing, and ongoing support.
“NAKEDTechnology was instrumental in the licensing process and helped us feel confident moving forward, ”Hopkins said. “We are delighted to offer a high quality program that is more affordable than the existing options, which is essential in helping schools maintain long-term substance abuse prevention programs. “