Date of Award

Spring 1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Ryan Guffey


Through empirical research, this dissertation examined whether a substance abuse intervention program implemented at a Midwest university could prove beneficial in addressing the problem of substance abuse on college campuses. Drawing on multiple resources, including Department of Education, psychologists, scholars, and other professional sources, this dissertation provides information on the importance of intervention and behavioral adjustment. This study covered statistical data over a two year period on an intervention program including measurements such as: grade point average, attendance, number of months in the program, and degree persistence. A second area of research was directed at determining the effect of the intervention program regarding retention. The methodology used in this study was mixed and included examination of program implementation, through use of qualitative and statistical data. It concluded, based on research and final statistics, that participating in a substance abuse intervention program not only increased the potential for student success and behavioral change, but slightly improved the percentage of retention and graduation persistence. It also identified the need for further study based on availability of resources needed to maintain and sustain a viable program. Implementation of the intervention program took place during the study. Therefore, adjustments in procedures were made based on feedback received and data gathered. The process for collection of samples was changed to provide secure handling of the sample and subsequent valid test results. Also, as a result of researching discipline measures for substance abuse at universities within the same sports conference, consequences for NCAA athletes changed from suspension from competition for a year to removal from competition until a clean drug screen was provided. Studies in the future should include following students who left school prior to graduating to determine the mortality rate of persistence to degree among program participants. Conducting a survey with the fall semester incoming freshmen class would improve study design and provide a better picture of the extent of substance abuse, rather than surveying the spring semester after many freshmen have lived on campus for half of the academic year.


Copyright 2015