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.


Summarizes the data available on suicidal thoughts, attempts, and deaths, and describes risk and protective factors that are common among college and university students. Since there are no national databases or registries, and no single study compiling and analyzing suicide deaths, attempts, and/or thoughts among college and university students, the data presented are from sources that have been selected as the most comprehensive and up to date.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Presents the results of an extensive fall 2014 survey, conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education leaders, showing how to improve retention and completion rates at colleges and universities so that colleges nationwide can think more strategically about how to spend their resources and time on recruiting and admitting students.


The Chronicle of Higher Educaiton

Presents the video footage of a panel discussion at Columbia University's Community College Research Center covering how the guided pathways model for institution-wide reforms has the potential to help community colleges dramatically improve student success. 

Thomas Bailey; Shanna Smith Jaggars; Davis Jenkins; David Baime; Paul Fain

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.

Higher Education Update: Reducing Risk During the First Few Weeks on Campus
Higher Education Update: Reducing Risk During the First Few Weeks on Campus

Details what can be done to keep first-year students safe during their first few weeks on campus, a period of time that college prevention professionals and administrators refer to as the "Red Zone". To view and download this article, click here.

National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning

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

Offers a two-hour course, developed by The National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) and The Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center (UDETC), exploring 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 provides 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. 

The National Criminal Justice Training Center

Presents results from a national survey conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and Excelencia in Education which examined the role of school counselors in preparing Latino and other underrepresented students for the transition to college. Results from the study indicate that compared to high schools with majority white, non-Hispanic populations, high schools serving predominantly racial/ethnic minority students differ in school counseling characteristics that may affect college enrollment rates.

Sarah Hurley; Ann Coles

Presents 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. 

Vanita Gupta

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