George Mason Receives Grant from Dept. of Education

Posted: July 28, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason has been awarded a two-year, $226,818 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to promote substance-free college transitions for incoming freshmen. David Anderson, Center for Advancement of Public Health director, is the principal investigator and Nancy Schulte, Drug Education Services coordinator, is the project director.

The grant is effective beginning in October and will be used to create the Healthy Expectations program, which is designed to better prepare new students for their first year of college, with a specific focus on helping them make healthy decisions regarding alcohol and drug use.

“Healthy Expectations emphasizes correcting misperceptions regarding drugs and alcohol on the college campus, as well as promoting positive life health behaviors,” says Schulte. “We want to improve the quality of life and lower the drug/alcohol use to produce a campus setting more conductive to academic pursuits and heightened retention.”

The Healthy Expectations program will sponsor activities that further its goals. For example, George Mason students will be encouraged to work with area high school student-leaders to promote a smooth transition into college. Town Hall meetings with incoming freshmen discussing drug and alcohol issues will be shown on GMU-TV, and focus groups for first-year students will be formed.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to work collaboratively with local schools in the students’ transition efforts to college, and it gives us an opportunity to look at a wide range of approaches to working with our young adults as they move into the next stage of their lives,” says Anderson. “It is also an honor to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for this needs-based innovative effort that incorporates health planning, realistic expectations, technology, and parents.”

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