Higher Education


Higher education includes a wide range of institutions providing study beyond the level of secondary education, such as colleges and universities, community colleges, and vocational and technical schools. Higher education administratorsprevention coordinatorsand community members play an important role in addressing risk factors and promoting safe and supportive environments to maximize opportunities for student success and academic achievement.

NCSSLE training and technical assistance activities and resources are based on evidence-based approaches that promote positive behaviors and norms and include:

  • environmental management through policy change
  • intervention and treatment programs for students experiencing problems
  • health promotion programs to support positive behaviors and student success

The following pages are organized by the five-step process of The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), which is based on findings from public health research along with evidence-based prevention programs to promote resilience and decrease risk factors in individual students and on campuses and in surrounding communities. Each step includes a number of resources to guide your efforts. Be sure to contact us for personalized assistance and guidance!

Featured Resources

Reviews a two-year effort among 32 colleges and universities aimed at learning about and implementing a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach using both a public health and improvement focus, in addressing high-risk drinking on their campuses.


The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has released Suicide Among College and University Students in the United States, an information sheet that summarizes the data available on suicidal thoughts, attempts, and deaths. The document also describes the risk and protective factors that are common among college and university students.

Boston University's School of Public Health has released their final report, Workshop on Social Media, Web & Mobile Interventions for College Drinking, which details how emerging technologies can be coupled with Screening, Brief, Intervention and Referral to Treatment Programs (SBIRT) or other effective screening and intervention methods to reduce alcohol-related harm. To learn more and to access the report, click here

The Community College Research Center (CCRC) convened a book talk and panel discussion, Redesigning America's Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success, on May 14. Panelists discussed how the guided pathways model for institution-wide reforms has the potential to help community colleges dramatically improve student success. To watch an archived recording of the panel discussion, click here.

Analyzes the most recent, reliable data about rape and sexual assult in our country. Identifies those most at risk of being victims of these crimes, examines the cost of this violence and describes the reponse of the criminal justice system.

National Center for Campus Public Safety

The National Center for Campus Public Safety is a new resource for campus police chiefs, directors of public safety, emergency managers, and key campus safety stakeholders. With this in mind, the National Center will be a catalyst that brings together all forms of campus public safety, professional associations, advocacy organizations, community leaders, and others to improve and expand services to those who are charged with providing a safe environment on the campuses of the nation's colleges and universities.

Higher Learning Research Communications: Special Issue on Retention

Retention and persistence are complex issues. While a single special issue won't address the multifaceted challenges associated with getting students to graduation, Higher Learning Research Communications' Special Issue on Retention, can foster ideas that inform the next generations of research in this area.

Burkholder, G.J.; Holland, N.; Jobe, R.L.; Lenio, J.; Swail, W.S.; Brill, J.L.; Balcanoff, K.K.; Land, D.; Gogarty, M.M.; Turner, F.; Yob, I.M.

Offers a series of webinar events that provide constructive information and strategies institutions of higher education (IHE)—including community colleges, technical colleges, and 4-year institutions—and surrounding communities can use as they proactively strengthen their learning environments and address problems of violence, mental and behavioral health and substance use.

Guides the development of high-quality emergency operations plans for institutions of higher education. It incorporates lessons learned from recent incidents, and respond to the needs and concerns voiced by stakeholders following the recent shootings in Newtown and Oak Creek and the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. It can be used to create new plans as well as to revise and update existing plans and align their emergency planning practices with those at the national, state, and local levels.

REM Center

The final report of Virginia's Governor's Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence details the 21 approved recommendations to prevent campus sexual assault. The recommendations focus on ensuring survivors feel safe and are willing to report the crime, a survivor-centered response, and that justice is properly sought against offenders.

The National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) and The Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center (UDETC) are offering a two-hour course which explores the benefits of collecting and analyzing available data from a variety of sources when trying to identify appropriate strategies to address underage alcohol use at the community level. The course will provide participants with an understanding of the values and process of making data-driven decisions regarding strategies with a focus on prevention and enforcement of underage drinking. To learn more and to register for this course

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has released a report detailing the growth and under-representation of Hispanic students at two-year and four-year colleges. The report also examines the challenges of being a first generation undergraduate Latino student. The report presents results drawn from a national survey as well as observation of counseling at six high schools serving large numbers of underrepresented students.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published the results of a survey on how to improve retention and completion rates at colleges and universities. Colleges nationwide spend vast amounts of resources and time on recruiting and admissions to get students in the door. Whether or not a student succeeded once they arrived on campus can be seen as the responsibility of academic departments and individual faculty, not an institutional priority.

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice have released a statement on the work of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to address and prevent sexual assault in schools and communities across the country. The statement details the importance of cross-sector collaboration with law enforcement, prosecutors, and schools as well the individual responsibility that each sector has to the victim or survivor.

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