Alcohol-Wise: On-Line Alcohol Education Program

Posted on 3/13/2008 10:24:00 AM

In the summer of 2008, IUP started using Alcohol-Wise as its on-line alcohol education program for incoming students. According to the Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs, Alcohol-Wise is a Web-based alcohol education program designed to assist students in making healthy decisions regarding alcohol use in college. The program takes about two hours to complete and includes information on the following:

  • How expectations influence behavior
  • Alcohol’s effect on learning and memory
  • Recognizing and responding to an alcohol-related emergency
  • Blood-alcohol concentration and low-risk drinking strategies

Based on students’ responses to a confidential questionnaire at the beginning of the program, Alcohol-Wise provides personalized information based on gender and drinking behavior. Alcohol-Wise is relevant to both students who drink and those who abstain from alcohol.

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Alcohol-Wise:

How do students access the course?

Students can access Alcohol-Wise using any computer with Internet and audio capabilities. If you are using a computer in a public space, you may wish to use earphones. All incoming students will receive a letter with more information in their orientation packets. Please access the Enrollment Instructions prior to beginning the course. You may want to print these instructions for assistance when accessing the course. Follow this link to access the Alcohol-Wise website.

What if I run into technical difficulties while trying to access the program?

Technical support is available by e-mail at and toll free, twenty-four hours a day at 888-810-7990.

What about students who do not have easy access to computers at home or in their community?

We ask that you consider all the possibilities for accessing a computer. A friend or family member may be willing to let you use his or her computer for this purpose. Also, many local libraries have computers available with Internet access. If it is truly impossible to access a computer with necessary technical capabilities, you may receive an extension to complete Alcohol-Wise in the Fall semester in order to take the course on an IUP computer. If this is the case, please contact Ann Sesti at or call 724-357-1265.

What if a student’s home computer will not run the program?

Contact Alcohol-Wise’s twenty-four-hour technical support at 888-810-7990 to see if something can be done to optimize the performance of your computer. If technical support is not able to help you, the program can be completed at any computer lab at IUP once the student arrives on campus. If you have additional concerns, you may contact Ann Sesti at or call 724-357-1265.

Why is IUP implementing Alcohol-Wise? Is there a drinking problem here?

IUP is pretty typical of most college campuses when it comes to alcohol use. Many students choose not to drink, and most students who do, make lower-risk choices. The information on Alcohol-Wise is really about helping people think through decisions related to alcohol use. On-line alcohol education is another strategy available for addressing the college’s ongoing goal of reducing high-risk drinking and decreasing negative consequences related to alcohol.

What does research say about Alcohol-Wise?

Preliminary research on Alcohol-Wise is promising. Research conducted with Alcohol-Wise and on one of the program’s components, e-CHUG, has shown encouraging results for college-retention rates, grade-point averages, and decreased weekly alcohol consumption (go to Alcohol-Wise for links to research articles).


For more information:

Ann Sesti, Assistant Director
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Program
Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

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