Enhancing Professional Competencies for Preventing Drug and Alcohol Misuse Among College Students
The Guide to the Eight Professional Competencies for Higher Education Substance Misuse Prevention is designed to promote enhanced professional skills, and ultimately have greater impact, with college students’ decisions surrounding drugs and alcohol. Available as a free downloadable publication, this comprehensive resource documents the range of competencies required to achieve institutional goals of maximizing student success and well-being with a focus on reducing risky behaviors and harm associated with students’ substance use. Further, this resource is “brought to life” with an eight-part webinar series, highlighting each of the individual competencies. Produced by the Drug Enforcement Administration, these webinars roll out on a weekly basis starting the week of July 10 and ending at the start of the academic year. They will be posted as individual videos and also be available below.
Central to increased impact on preventing drug and alcohol misuse is an understanding of the science ungirding effective campus approaches. The first webinar in the series - Prevention Science - emphasizes how to reduce the impact of risk factors as well as strategies for enhancing protective factors. This 50-minute discussion highlights ten competencies within this area and includes attention to student engagement and resources for operating within a comprehensive framework
The second core competency area, Drugs and Alcohol, is essential for anyone working in drug and alcohol misuse prevention. The 44-minute discussion helps the viewer understand what is unique and relevant for higher education, such as the setting, the range of audiences and populations, the continuum of use, and individual/group risk factors.
This area has eight individual competencies and highlights having current knowledge regarding the short- and long-term impact of substances on individuals. This webinar represents the second in an eight-part series surrounding enhanced professional competencies.
This third episode of the webinar series focuses on strategic planning. The episode emphasizes, among other things, the entire prevention effort, including the campus and community context, vision setting, orchestrating a systematic process, and engaging key stakeholders.
Furthermore, you will learn about the importance of effective relationships with key departments and offices, including an understanding and respect for their respective skills, roles and responsibilities, and ethical standards.
This fourth episode of the webinar series focuses on needs assessment, evaluation, and research. The episode explores, among other things, the use of quantitative and qualitative measures to help with programmatic accountability by monitoring outcomes and processes at broad and focused levels. It emphasizes reasonable and locally appropriate goals for your efforts, cultural humility, and focuses on improvement. Additionally, you will learn how needs assessment and evaluation activities provide opportunities for faculty and student engagement.
This fifth episode of the webinar series focuses on program management. The episode highlights, among other things, oversight and implementation of the campus’s efforts to prevent alcohol and drug misuse among its students, including attention to staff, resources, advisory groups and task forces, and extensive collaboration.
Also, you will learn how program management incorporates organizational structure, coalition building, and the engagement of key campus individuals and groups such as student leaders, student groups, and faculty.
This sixth episode of the webinar series focuses on policy and environmental strategies. The episode emphasizes, among other things, the importance of a systems approach to policy development, implementation and review, consistency in enforcing the campus’s policy, and communicating the policy to all students, faculty, and staff.
This seventh episode of the webinar series focuses on leadership. This episode covers, among other things, the importance of clearly defined roles and responsibilities, supervision, and programmatic monitoring with an aim of continuous improvement, as well as vital aspects around ethics, cultural humility, and professionalism.
This eighth and final episode focuses on communication and advocacy. The episode examines, among other things, the importance of clear and concise communications with various audiences, as well as monitoring messaging and outcomes. This core competency also places attention on campaign development, student involvement, and varied approaches including the use of marketing, persuasion, communications science, technology, and communications and marketing specialists.