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 AACC Project Brief 

-- HIV Prevention Strategies for Community Colleges:  Lessons Learned from Bridges to Healthy Communities
-- Bridges to Healthy Communities, 1998 

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HIV Prevention Strategies for Community Colleges:  Lessons Learned from Bridges to Healthy Communities

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) instituted the Bridges to Healthy Communities project (1995-2000) to develop campus-based programs for preventing HIV infection and related health problems among college students. Twenty-two community colleges, selected through nationwide competition, participated.

With financial support from AACC grants, technical assistance from mentors and other experts, and nurturing from a learning-community network, the Bridges colleges conducted an array of HIV prevention activities to promote individual and systemic change. The core strategy for these changes included building strong connections between service learning and HIV prevention. The colleges developed their own programs for HIV testing, curriculum infusion, peer education, administrative policies and practices, and outreach and collaboration with community partners. Some of the work was influenced by the findings of the National College Health Behavior Risk Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The importance of developing cultural competency, a prerequisite for meeting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) goal to reduce health disparities (Healthy People 2010: Objectives for Improving Health), grew throughout the project. HHS’s health objectives, developed during the same period as the Bridges project, became integrated into the goals and objectives of several Bridges college projects.

Download the entire report (pdf format). If you do not have Acrobat Reader, download it for free at adobe.com.

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Bridges to Healthy Communities, 1998

The Bridges to Healthy Communities project aims to help community collges offer education and information programs and services that lead to the prevention of HIV infection and other seriuos health problems in students. The five-year Bridges project emphasizes service learning as a community-building and intervention strategy for this AACC national initiative features national data collection and dissemnination, an information clearinghouse, advisory groups, mentor team, and demonstration colleges.

The Bridges project acknowledges that more than information is needed to create behavioral changes a culture that increases the likelihood of healthy behavior. Creating that culture involves educating policy- and decision-makers, supporting institution-wide health promotion programs, and infusing HIV and related health issues into the curriculum. Comprehensive intervention programs can bring together campus and community, and involve individuals, families, schools, and communities. The Bridges project supports and encourages community college to improve student and community health through integrated activities in a variety of campus settings. The service learning approach aims to stimulate community-building activities that will move participants beyond self-defense education to caring, accountability, and active commitment to community health.

Ten institutions won grants to become Bridges Colleges in a September 1996 national competition. Five others participate as members of the mentor team.

Download the entire report (pdf format).  If you do not have Acrobat Reader, download it for free at adobe.com.

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You may order these briefs online, by phone, or mail: 1/800-250-6557, PMDS, PO Box 311, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. Order #35;1510. $20 for 20 briefs.

For further information, please contact Quintin Doromal, Manager, Health & Wellness, at 202/728-0200 ext. 267 or qdoromal@aacc.nche.edu. The mailing address is One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036-1176.

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