Project SUCCESS

Note: The Project SUCCESS program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.

About This Program

Target Population: Adolescents and their parents

For organizations that serve children ages: 13 – 18

Program Overview

Project SUCCESS (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students) is a program designed to prevent and reduce adolescent substance use and abuse. It places trained professionals (Project SUCCESS counselors) in the schools to provide a full range of substance abuse prevention and early intervention services.

Project SUCCESS counselors use the following intervention strategies: information dissemination, normative and prevention education, problem identification and referral, community-based process, and environmental approaches. In addition, resistance and social competency skills, such as communication, decision making, stress and anger management, problem solving, and resisting peer pressure are taught. The counselors primarily work with adolescents individually and in small groups; conduct large group prevention/education discussions and programs, train and consult on prevention issues with school staff; coordinate the substance abuse services and policies of the school and refer and follow-up with students and families needing substance abuse treatment or mental health services in the community.

Project SUCCESS Program Components:

  • Prevention Education Series – An eight-session Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug prevention program conducted by the Project SUCCESS Counselor.
  • Individual and Group Counseling – Project SUCCESS Counselors conduct time limited individual sessions and/or group counseling at school to students following participation in the Prevention Education Series and an individual assessment. There are seven different counseling groups for students to participate in.
  • Parent Programs – Project SUCCESS includes parents as collaborative partners in prevention through parent education programs.
  • Referral - Students and parents who require treatment, more intensive counseling, or other services are referred to appropriate agencies or practitioners in the community by their Project SUCCESS counselors.

Education and Training

Education and Training Resources

Publicly available information indicates there is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is some training available for this program.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Shamblen, S. R., & Ringwalt, C. (2008). The effects of Project SUCCESS on student academic performance: A quasi-experimental study. Journal of Drug Education, 38(1), 1-14. doi:10.2190/DE.38.1.a

Type of Study: Posttest only
Number of Participants: 3,895

Population:

  • Age — Control: Mean=15.71 years; Intervention: Mean=15.63 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Control: 55.12% African American and 40.81% Hispanic; Intervention: 64.93% African American and 32.77% Hispanic
  • Gender — Control: 56.13% Female; Intervention: 39.98% Female
  • Status — Participants were ninth grade students.

Location/Institution: Inner-city high schools in a large metropolitan school district

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study examined the effects of Project SUCCESS on grades, absenteeism, and disciplinary problems by linking individual students’ program exposure data to their academic performance. The study compared 9th graders who were exposed to Project SUCCESS to those who were not exposed. Measures included administrative school data on students’ academic performance in core courses, their absence from school (as a proxy for truancy), and their record of severe disciplinary infractions. Results showed that Project SUCCESS had a positive impact on both grades and absenteeism for two years following exposure. Limitations include the lack of randomization, the significant differences between the groups at baseline, the lack of baseline measures of grades, absenteeism, and disciplinary problems, and the lack of examination of substance use outcomes.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 2 years.

Clark, H. K., Ringwalt, C. L., Hanley, S., Shamblen, S. R., Flewelling, R. L., & Hano, M. C. (2010). Project SUCCESS' effects on the substance use of alternative high school students. Addictive Behaviors, 35(3), 209-217. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.10.004

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 2,249

Population:

  • Age — Control: Mean=16.64 years; Intervention: Mean=17.69 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Control: 78.54% Caucasian, 12.51% Hispanic, and 7.22% African American; Intervention: 74.01% Caucasian, 19.46% Hispanic, and 4.62% African American
  • Gender — Control: 48.98% Male; Intervention: 51.92% Male
  • Status — Participants were students at alternative high schools.

Location/Institution: Washington State

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluated the effects of Project SUCCESS on adolescents' substance use immediately following program implementation, and again one year later. Two successive cohorts of alternative high schools were randomly assigned to the Project SUCCESS group or the control group, yielding seven schools per condition. Measures included items from the Monitoring the Future survey and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to examine use of alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, drinking to intoxication, and cigarette use. Results showed that students in the control schools reported significantly less use of illegal drugs excluding marijuana than those in the Project SUCCESS group at the first posttest; however, this effect did not persist one year later. There were no other outcome effects of even a marginal nature. Limitations include a possible lack of power to detect significant effects, the students' program exposure was low and results may not generalize to main stream schools with higher and more regular rates of attendance, differences between the groups at baseline, and concerns about model fidelity.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 12 months.

Clark, H. K., Ringwalt, C. L., Shamblen, S. R., & Hanley, S. M. (2011). Project SUCCESS' effects on substance use-related attitudes and behaviors: a randomized controlled trial in alternative high schools. Journal of Drug Education, 41(1), 17-44. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.10.004

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 2,249

Population:

  • Age — 10-21 years (Mean=16.70 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — 77% Caucasian, 6% African American, and 16% Hispanic
  • Gender — 50% Male
  • Status — Students at alternative high schools

Location/Institution: Washington State

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study used the same sample as Clark et al. (2010). This study examined the impact of Project SUCCESS on secondary outcomes such as perceptions of harm caused by substance use, resistance self-efficacy, participation in prosocial activities, normative beliefs, positive peer support, peer pressure, and violence and rebelliousness for students attending alternative high schools. Measures included items from the Monitoring the Future survey and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Results showed that Project SUCCESS successfully changed one substance-use related attitude (perceived harm) and demonstrated a trend toward changing a second only for marijuana (normative beliefs), but failed to change many others (resistance self-efficacy, problem behaviors, peer pressure, participation in prosocial activities). In addition, peer support increased more in the control group than in the Project SUCCESS group, and the Project SUCCESS program demonstrated a trend toward adversely effecting respondents’ normative beliefs about alcohol. Limitations include a possible lack of power to detect significant effects, concerns about model fidelity, the students' program exposure was low and results may not generalize to main stream schools with higher and more regular rates of attendance, and the reliance on self-report measures.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 12 months.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Project SUCCESS.

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2019

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: November 2019

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: November 2019