Tarleton implements changes to CampusClarity program
Tarleton State University changed the requirement for the CampusClarity program to target not only freshman, but the whole student body. CampusClarity’s purpose is to educate students interactively about drugs and alcohol and to help with prevention of drug and al on campus.
For many years, Tarleton has required all incoming freshman to participate in a course dedicated to raise alcohol awareness along with other topics of concern. The course was called AlcoholEdu. Tarleton later decided to change to a different program in 2014 called CampusClarity.
CampusClarity is an online training program that touches base on topics like, violence, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse, relationships and healthy sexuality. The program is designed to educate students on the dangers and risks associated with these topics so that students can make smart decisions when faced with these challenges.
According to Tarleton’s website, CampusClarity combines sexual assault and substance abuse prevention in a comprehensive online training program. It is a university requirement for all first-time students, (including those with less than 30 hours) and it is broken down into three parts.
The coordinator of substance abuse and violence prevention, Caris Thetford said, “The purpose of the course is just providing that baseline education about alcohol use, about sex and relationships, and healthy sexuality and touching on some prevention in regards to violence consent, red flags in dating relationships, those kinds of things. We can feel fairly confident that all of our incoming students get some content on this.”
Thetford said CampusClarity is an interactive program that also asks knowledge-based questions regarding a student’s attitude, beliefs and behaviors to gauge an individual’s perception and understanding. All of the responses are anonymous and confidential.
“The only things I have access to individually is whether or not a student has logged in, are they in the system and have they finished. Beyond that, I do see data about all of those questions that get asked in CampusClarity, but I only see it in aggregates. I just see percentages, so that’s one tool that helps inform some of the work that we do out of our office so that we’re not just making assumptions; we’re trying to use data to drive the things that we do,” Thetford said.
Thetford said after the data is collected, her department uses the information as “insight into our students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.” This data highlights “certain topics that need attention in our outreach efforts.”
While CampusClarity was first designed to be a requirement for incoming freshman students, Tarleton is now working on a new approach to expand its use of CampusClarity to every student enrolled at Tarleton.
“Our sophomore, junior and senior students will complete a different course and the content of that course changes each year. We also have another course that’s for our graduate and our professional students so we are working towards looking at a 4-year plan as far as prevention and outreach, and CampusClarity is just one piece of that,” Thetford said.
Thetford said Tarleton is not the only campus to provide online training for their students regarding alcohol use. Many universities use different programs, but most college campuses use some form of training tool to lecture students on the dangers and concerns of alcohol use.
“We have really a moral and an ethical obligation to talk about these topics,” Thetford said. “We are invested in our students’ wellness on this campus. If our students are not doing well, physically and emotionally, they are going to have a really hard time doing well in the classroom, so we have an obligation to talk about things that aren’t always easy to talk about.”
(photo courtesy of campusclarity.com)