Engaging Academic Assistance

Engaging Academic Assistance

Promoting student achievement through reducing excessive drinking and related problems


Research shows that excessive drinking and substance use during colleges can increase risk for academic performance problems, including lower grades,1,2 lower academic engagement (e.g., skipping class,1,2 discontinuous enrollment,3 dropping out,4 and delayed graduation.5

Systematically screening for possible obstacles to academic success within academic advising or other places on campus where students who are academically struggling are directed is a prudent way of uncovering the root causes of a students’ difficulties. It is important to include excessive drinking, substance use and possible untreated mental health problems in the list of possible obstacles to success. Comprehensive screening and referral to personalized interventions is a crucial step to stimulate self-reflection and facilitates behavior change.

The Maryland Collaborative provides customized protocols and training to academic advisors, whether centralized in an office or distributed among faculty, the Maryland Collaborative will work to build their skills in screening and identifying students at risk for academic disengagement.


1. Arria, A. M., Caldeira, K. M., Bugbee, B. A., Vincent, K. B., & O’Grady, K. E. (2013). The academic opportunity costs of substance use during college. College Park, MD: Center on Young Adult Health and Development.
2. Conway, J. M., & DiPlacido, J. (2015). The indirect effect of alcohol use on GPA in first-semester college students: The mediating role of academic effort. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 17, 303-318.
3. Arria, A.M., Garnier-Dykstra, L.M., Caldeira, K.M., Vincent, K.B., Winick, E.R., O’Grady, K.E. (2013). Drug use patterns and continuous enrollment in college: Results from a longitudinal study. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 74(1), 71-83.
4. Swaim, R. C., Beauvais, F., Chavez, E. L., & Oetting, E. R. (1997). The effect of school dropout rates on estimates of adolescent substance use among three racial/ethnic groups. American Journal of Public Health, 87(1), 51-55.
5. Arria, A.M., Caldeira, K.M., Bugbee, B.A., Vincent, K.B., O’Grady, K.E. (2015). The academic consequences of marijuana use during college. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.