94 percent of KU students complete AlcoholEdu course

Even with a number of prompts, it can be difficult to motivate some college students to do anything — including taking a required alcohol course.

The AlcoholEdu class is required of all incoming degree-seeking students to the university under age 22. The class provides information, asks questions of students and displays resources for students who may need further help.

As of Friday, 259 of the 4,375 students required to take the course had yet to complete it — a 94 percent completion rate. Those that don’t comply are stuck with a hold on their enrollment, which happened to 905 students this year.

Though students receive four e-mail reminders before the hold is enforced, it remains difficult to ensure that everyone completes the task on time, said Carol Seager, KU’s director of health services.

The university took some other steps, too. That included shortening the initial window during which students are supposed to take the course from four weeks to two, she said. That helped. As of Nov. 3, KU had 477 students still needing to take the course, compared with 788 during that same time last year.

Seager said it’s too early to tell if the course is having its desired effect; the university has committed to offering it for four years, and this is only its second. The course collects information from students, but it remains confidential — the university only gets aggregate data, Seager said.

“It was good and bad,” said Caroline Olson, a sophomore from Wichita who took the course last year.

She said she did learn a few things, like how much beer, wine and hard liquor constitutes one drink. But the course also harped on “redundant” ideas that she had heard in the past, she said.

“I don’t drink, so it’s frustrating for me when I have to go through all these classes,” Olson said.