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OCC Wins $220,000 Grant for Alcohol Project

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Orange County Health Care Agency has awarded Orange Coast College's Student Health Center a $220,000 grant to change the drinking habits of community college students.

The grant will fund a campus-wide survey to examine drinking behaviors of OCC students and also warn students about the consequences of excessive drinking.

Similar projects have studied students at four-year universities, but not much is known about students enrolled in community colleges, according to Associate Dean of Student Health Services Sylvia Worden. "No one really knows about alcohol use in community college. We expect to find out a lot," she said. "Our students don't live in dorms and don't participate in the Greek system. It's very different."

Previous data indicates that community college students drink less, but have worse outcomes than students at four-year colleges, Worden reported. Incidents involving "driving under the influence" (DUI) are a major concern.

During the past two years, OCC Health Center has participated in Alcohol e-Checkup to Go (http://tinyurl.com/OCC-electronic-checkup), an alcohol education website designed by the San Diego State University Research Foundation. The data collected helped OCC to win funding for the current grant, which started December 1st, Worden said.