WMC wins $18,000 grant for alcohol education effort Funds are to be used to teach new students

March 30, 1997

An $18,000 grant from the Prevention Research Institute will enable Western Maryland College to include an in-depth alcohol awareness program in its New Student Orientation curriculum for at least the next four years.

Selected staff members will be trained to teach the On Campus Talking About Alcohol (OCTAA) program this summer, according to Bonnie Bosley, medical services coordinator.

The grant will cover training for about 35 people.

OCTAA, which educates college students about making safe choices on alcohol, is one of PRI's nine educational programs targeted to a variety of audiences within a community.

Other programs target younger students, military members and employees.

The seven- to nine-hour OCTAA program was scheduled to be used only with repeat offenders of the college's alcohol policy, Bosley said.

"But we realized this program would be beneficial to all students, not just those who have already made high-risk choices," she said. "OCTAA doesn't dictate or moralize, and the information they gain will benefit them at WMC and throughout their lives."

OCTAA is designed to reduce high-risk use of alcohol, increase abstinence and delay the onset of first use of alcohol.

The program will be required during orientation of all first-year students, and will continue to be required for students with repeat violations of the alcohol policy. OCTAA might also be implemented as part of training for student resident assistants.

Bosley heard about the program last year while consulting with Teresa Daub, assistant prevention coordinator at Junction Inc., a Carroll County drug-treatment program.

"Alcohol abuse continues to be one of the major concerns on all campuses, big and small, so we are always looking for ways to provide students with solid information they can use to help them as they confront this issue," Bosley said.

"This is one of the best programs available," Bosley said, "and I think the students will appreciate it now and later."

Pub Date: 3/30/97

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