St. Cloud State University’s IMPACT/Diversion Program has received a 2016-17 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Academic and Student Affairs award for Innovative Student Affairs program.
“It’s affirming to have Minnesota State recognize the work,” said Jen Matzke, assistant dean of students. “This is truly a collaborative effort and so many partners have had a hand in the success. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished and it’s wonderful to have a platform to highlight this program and how it serves our students, our campus and our community.”
Awards were based on adaptability, collaboration and enhanced student development and selected by peer academic and student affairs campus and system administrators.
Created in 2010, the Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program (U-Choose) at St. Cloud State partnered with the St. Cloud Attorney’s Office and the St. Cloud Police Department to introduce and implement the IMPACT Diversion Program.
The collaborative program is designed to offer individuals who have been charged with an underage alcohol violation the opportunity to receive alcohol education and prevention services in lieu of a criminal citation on their permanent record.
“The citizens of Minnesota look to our colleges and universities to provide creativity and excellence as we continually strive to meet the needs of students and the state,” said Ron Anderson, Minnesota State’s senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “This program exemplifies those characteristics that result in excellent programs that produce graduates ready to take o the challenges of life after their college or university experience.”
The program has made a difference at both an individual and community level. Recidivism rates have fallen and individuals completing the 90-day post assessment report a 46 percent reduction in peak Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
The program was expanded in 2016 to include the communities of St. Joseph and Waite Park.
As of 2017, the high-risk drinking rate for St. Cloud State has fallen to 24.9 percent, a rate well below the national average. This is a 57.5 percent decrease from our peak high-risk drinking rate of 58.6 percent in 2005.
These efforts have created a healthier campus environment for our students and have improved neighborhood livability for students and non-students.
“We are truly an engaged University and this is an excellent example of how we engage with students and our community. We recognize the holistic nature of serving students and strive to provide programs and services that address the whole student,” Matske said.