Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1998


The primary purpose of this study was to determine the nature, scope, and consequences of drug and alcohol use by students enrolled at three southern Appalachian community colleges: Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in Virginia, Northeast State Technical Community College (NSTCC) in Tennessee, and Southwestern Community College (SCC) in North Carolina. An additional purpose was to use this information to formulate recommendations for new and improved preventive substance-abuse programs. The design for this study was descriptive research. The Core Alcohol and Drug Survey (CORE) was selected as the appropriate instrument for use in this study. The 23-item questionnaire was designed specifically to investigate the nature, scope, and consequences of alcohol and drug use of students who attend the three southern Appalachian community colleges. A proportional stratified sampling procedure was utilized to select clusters (classes) at each community college. A total of 1,101 surveys was collected. Four research questions and 22 hypotheses were addressed. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, Chi-square, and Somers' D. The researcher, using the.05 level of significance, rejected nine null hypotheses and failed to reject 13 null hypotheses. Forty-eight percent of the students used alcohol in the past 30 days. Forty-six percent of underage (younger than 21) students drank (indicated alcohol use at least once in previous 30 days). Twenty-six percent of students had "binged" in the previous two weeks. The data in this research showed the following: (1) no relationship existed between the use of alcohol and the age groups, (2) a difference existed between the age groups in their use of marijuana, amphetamines, and sedatives, and (3) a difference existed between the use of alcohol, and marijuana, and grade-point averages. Twenty-five percent of the students have used marijuana (at least once in the past year). The most frequently reported illegal drugs used in the past 30 days were: 17% marijuana, 7% amphetamines and 7% sedatives. Key findings on the consequences of alcohol and drug use are as follows: 38% reported some form of public misconduct and 18% reported experiencing some kind of personal injury at least once during the past year as a result of drinking or drug use. Findings of the study showed that no difference existed between mates' and females' perception of the alcohol and drug policies, regulations and prevention programs on campus. The study also revealed no difference existed among the age groups' perception of the alcohol and drug policies, regulations, and prevention programs.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access