Implementation

A strategic planning process for developing and sustaining safe, supportive learning environments relies on assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Implementation puts into place strategies, activities, and programs aimed at supporting student success.

Implementation is central to a collaborative process to create and sustain a comprehensive, strategic, multicomponent, coordinated approach to preventing problems related to student alcohol and other drug use and violence and supporting positive student outcomes in a safe, supportive learning environment. That process is described by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a Strategic Planning Framework. Implementation focuses on carrying out the various components of the prevention plan, as well as identifying and overcoming any potential barriers. During program implementation, organizations detail the evidence-based policies and practices that need to be undertaken, develop specific timelines, and decide on ongoing program evaluation needs.

Understanding what science tells us about successful strategies and interventions for reducing problems and developing safe, supportive learning environments helps increase chances for success.

Emerging research literature on violence and drug abuse prevention among college students, as well as on issues such as civic engagement and retention, has led to great advances in the field of college alcohol prevention science. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) report on college drinking and its subsequent update delineated scientifically supported interventions that have been tested in college settings (Tier 1 interventions) or in community settings (Tier 2 interventions).

Selecting interventions that are based on evidence is vital in bringing about long-term changes.

Several literature reviews summarize recent research on sexual violence prevention programs. In general, the college-specific literature is relatively sparse, and so it will be essential to consult studies on community-based programs with similar goals. Many of the studied approaches may be transferable to campus settings.

Implementation should target multiple levels of the social ecological model and be part of a comprehensive system.

Limited resources require colleges and universities to ensure that the programs, strategies, and policies that they implement to reduce problems related to alcohol and other drug use and support positive student outcomes have a multifaceted approach that targets known risk factors and are based on evidence. Implementation of effective environmental strategies is based on strong presidential leadership:  a campuswide task force that includes a broad spectrum of faculty, staff, and students; engagement with the community through a campus and community coalition; and the active participation of college officials in public policy debates, especially at the state level.

References

SAMHSA's Strategic Planning Framework (SPF)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) report on college drinking

 

Featured Resources

Offers quick and easy ways to access information related to the Prevention Research Center topical areas, including Center descriptions and a searchable project database. Prevention Research Centers is a network of 26 academic research centers that study how people and their communities can avoid or counter the risks for chronic illnesses.

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Find Youth Info done

Features evidence-based programs whose purpose is to prevent and/or reduce delinquency or other problem behaviors in young people. Includes information about finding evidence-based programs, looking at the evidence, and challenges of blending programs.

Presents a webinar session on the use of electronic cigarettes. Similar to other monthly webcasts, the session explored cutting-edge scientific evidence and potential impact of different interventions. The session also discussed recommendations for addressing challenges related to electronic cigarette use interventions and offered insight on the direction that should be followed in future research and practice.

CDC

Addresses the seven most common and problematic mistakes that service providers encounter when investigating sexual misconduct allegations. The report provides context and guidance for avoiding these mistakes, and offers strategies for improving policies and procedures to reflect best practices.

Michael Henry, J.D. W. Scott Lewis, J.D. Leslee K. Morris, J.D. Saundra K. Schuster, J.D. Brett A. Sokolow, J.D. Daniel C. Swinton, J.D., Ed.D. Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D.

Recognizes selected programs that are making a positive difference in the educational achievement of Latino students in higher education. Although these programs do not serve Latino students exclusively, data demonstrate that they have been successful with this population.

Deborah A. Santiago

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