TIPS for the University
What is TIPS?
Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) for the University was developed by Health Communications, Inc. in order to help students make safe, smart decisions. The TIPS for the University program should not be confused with the TIPS certification program, the latter is often required for employees at both on-and off-premise establishments by many bars and insurance companies. The primary goal of TIPS for the University is to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to reduce high-risk drinking behavior among peers.
The three-hour program facilitates students and administration working together to address drinking behaviors and develop intervention techniques specific to their campuses. It is designed to teach students to prevent intoxication, drunk driving, and underage drinking among peers. The target audience includes such high-risk groups as fraternity and sorority members, athletic teams, and first-year students as well as student health departments, student activities groups, student judicial committees, and student government members.
The content is delivered by a trainer and covers three section areas: information, skills training, and practice/rehearsal. The program can be lead by representatives from the TIPS program or campus administrators and students trained to facilitate the program. The information component covers a variety of topics including behavioral cues of intoxication, blood alcohol content, intervention strategies to use with peers, state-specific laws, and liability information for student groups. During the skills training section students apply TIPS concepts to determine intoxication levels of student characters in videos and to determine the effectiveness of characters intervening for a peer. In the practice/rehearsal section of the program students practice intervening in a group setting through role-playing exercises to advance the skills they have acquired and develop their confidence.
While there is limited research on the TIPS for the University program, researchers studying a group of fraternity members found students completing the program had significant reductions at a 6-month follow-up in their frequency of drinking, heavy drinking, and drinking to intoxication (Caudill et al., 2007). Two other studies reported that nearly all students who took TIPS would feel comfortable intervening with a peer who was intoxicated as a result of participating in TIPS (Prange, 2006; Moore, 2006).
Issues and considerations
TIPS for the University should be considered for use as part of a boarder prevention effort because it targets high-risk groups and focuses mainly on bystander intervention.
Caudill, B., Luckey, B., Crosse, S., Blane, H., Ginexi, E., & Campbell, B. (2007, May). Alcohol risk-reduction skills training in a national fraternity: A randomized intervention trial with longitudinal intent-to-treat analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 68(3), 399-409.
Prange, R. (2006). Millikin University: Comprehensive Alcohol Education Program and T.I.P.S. Implementation. Retrieved September 29, 2009 from http://www.gettips.com/.
Moore, L. (2004). Penn State University Evaluation. Retrieved September 29, 2009 from http://www.gettips.com/.