Details about the PROSPER Program

July 10th, 2002

PROSPER

PROmoting School/community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience
What is the purpose of the PROSPER project?

The PROSPER project will promote the development of sustainable partnerships among schools, communities and universities, in order to facilitate the delivery of scientifically tested intervention programs. These interventions are designed to reduce adolescent substance use and other problem behaviors and to promote youth life skills.

Why is PROSPER needed?

The need for the PROSPER project is indicated by the prevalence of youth substance use and related problems in both rural and urban areas. In response, numerous programs and practices intended to prevent youth substance use have been developed and widely disseminated. However, few of these programs have been carefully evaluated, and fewer still have been shown to be effective.

How will PROSPER be implemented?

PROSPER will work with local Iowa State University Cooperative Extension offices and public school systems to support effective local delivery of scientifically tested programs and practices. It will promote the development of partnerships among school and Cooperative Extension personnel, other community stakeholders and university prevention researchers. Through these partnerships, up-to-date information on effective interventions and the necessary resources to implement them will be available to assist communities in applying interventions of their choice.

What Iowa communities/school districts will be involved in PROSPER?

Fourteen school districts in Iowa will be involved:

School District
County

Spencer
Clay

Estherville-Lincoln
Emmet

Red Oak
Montgomery

Winterset
Madison

Howard-Winneshiek
Howard

Hampton-Dumont
Franklin

Mount Pleasant
Henry

Fort Madison
Lee

Burlington
Des Moines

Ottumwa
Wapello

Fort Dodge
Webster

Marshalltown
Marshall

Western Dubuque
Dubuque

Mason City
Cerro Gordo

What is the timeline for the project?

PROSPER is a five-year project that includes two successive groups of sixth grade students and their families in 14 communities in Iowa and 14 communities in Pennsylvania. During the first year of the project, with the assistance of state prevention coordinators and ISU researchers, team leaders in selected communities will organize community groups of seven or more people who will serve as the local PROSPER team. In the second and third years, the project will begin to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs on a range of outcomes, and also will evaluate factors influencing local team effectiveness. After the fifth year of the project, the researchers will seek support for conducting a second phase, which will expand the project into additional sites in Iowa and Pennsylvania and, most importantly, gradually include more states as part of a national network of partnerships.

For more information:

Richard Spoth, Iowa State University Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, (515) 294-9752

Contacts: