Connection AOD Program

The Connection AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) Program's mission is to cultivate a sense of personal accountability and empowerment within our students. We strive to educate, so students can make healthy choices and responsible decisions regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Director's Welcome

Greetings from the The Connection AOD Office,

College is often described as the best time of your life. It is a time to grow, make new friends, become independent, learn, and create lasting, meaningful memories. Along this path of growth can come challenges. Misuse and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can impede, derail, and destroy the ability to experience all of the wonderful things college can offer. The Office of Connection educates and supports Shippensburg University students regarding alcohol and other drug use so they grow and meet all of their goals during their experience here at Ship.

To Our Current Students: Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office at or 717.477.1164, we have a number of different resources available to students.

To Our New Students: Look into utilizing our free online resources such as e-toke and e-chug, we look forward to meeting and working with you. 

To Our Community Partners: We looking forward to continued partnerships with our neighboring coalitions.

Through our comprehensive program that includes prevention, education, intervention and community coalition resources, we help our students persevere and find support at Ship.

Kurt Dunkel, MS - LPC

Program Coordinator - Connection AOD Program

Faculty Advisor's Welcome

Greetings Ship Students and Parents,

I welcome you to the Connection Program, Shippensburg University’s alcohol and drug education, prevention, and intervention program. The program here has been in existence for over twenty years and provides education, referral and support to those who have alcohol and drug infractions or issues. I am the faculty advisor to the program and offer support, education, and training to the many staff members who make up this quality program. My experience as a drug and alcohol counselor and as a faculty member in the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel here on campus allows me the opportunity to help the staff provide the best services to students referred to us each semester.

The Connection Program offers a variety of services starting with a preliminary assessment by one of our staff members. From there the staff meets each week to make the best referral for services which can include one or more of the following: A Basics Protocol, Early Intervention Group, Counseling, Professional Assessment, Outpatient Treatment, Detoxification, and Inpatient Treatment. Our mission is to best educate the student on at-risk behaviors and to provide services and referral dependent on the preliminary assessment.

It is my hope, and the hope of the Connection Staff, that this program will be of help in making the academic and personnel experience of students here at Shippensburg University, exceptional.


Dr. Ford Brooks

Connection Program Advisor

Professor-Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel

BASICS is designed to assist students in examining their own drinking behavior in a judgment-free environment. BASICS is not an abstinence-only program. Instead, goals of the program are selected by the student and aimed at reducing risky behaviors and potential harmful consequences. There is a $40 blanket educational fee associated with all of our services. 

BASICS Meeting Expectations

Services provided through BASICS are non-judgmental, non-labeling, and confidential. BASICS involves two meetings with a BASICS Facilitator:

Meeting #1. The initial meeting is a meeting with a BASICS Facilitator. Together, the facilitator and student discuss an overview of the program and issues related to their drinking. Approximately 1 hour.

Assessment. As part of the initial session, the student is expected to complete an assessment in our office.

Meeting #2. The second meeting is a one-on-one follow-up meeting. It is held about two weeks after initial meeting and provides the student with personalized feedback based on the assessment and focuses on ways to reduce future risk. Approximately 1 hour.


  • Promotes safer alcohol use choices
  • Provides students with information on alcohol and its effects on the body
  • Increases students' awareness of the risks associated with alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Students gain increased awareness of alcohol-impaired choices that can lead to health problems, social difficulties, and/or legal problems

Early Intervention Groups (EIG) provide support and education for students involved in high-risk incidents or who could benefit from peer support in making positive changes in their lives. These groups meet for one hour a week for five weeks, are co-facilitated by Professional Connections staff members. These are closed meetings and consist of no more than 7 students.

EIG Topics:

  • Values and decision-making
  • Positive ways to Reward Successes
  • Risk Factors and Progression of Use
  • Effective Communication and Refusals
  • Peer Pressure and Campus Climate Issues
  • Identifying "Triggers" and Managing Stress
  • The Stages of Change and Developing an Action Plan
  • Identifying Needs, Social Supports, and Referral Resources

The ARD/DUI Program is considered a pre-trial diversion program that is generally designed to handle cases involving first-time DUI offenders charged with minor crimes. Some examples may be DUI, underage drinking, possession of marijuana, and others. More information is available through Cumberland County's website.

The ARD Program is administered by the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office; however, supervision is handled by the Adult Probation and Parole Department.

In certain cases, the county will allow Shippensburg University students to complete certain components of the ARD requirements in the Connection AOD program. The primary benefit to Shippensburg University students is convenience of location. Please note: Certain program fees may apply which are based on the level of assessment necessary.

If you are a Shippensburg University student enrolled in an ARD program and would like to schedule an initial appointment, please email or

What may be required:

1. Attend initial Brief Alcohol Screening and/or Cannabis Screening and Intervention for College Student Assessment. BASICS/CASICS is designed to educate and assist students in examining their own drinking/cannabis behaviors.

2. Students may be required to attend assessment and evaluation screening with an off-campus certified addictions specialist. The practice of assessment entails the collection of information in order to identify, analyze, evaluate, and address the problems, issues, and circumstances specific to the student. Assessment is used as a basis for identifying problems, planning interventions, evaluating and/or diagnosing clients, and informing clients and stakeholders.

3. Attend Early Intervention Group Meeting (EIG). Early Intervention Groups (EIG) provide support and education for students involved in high-risk incidents or who could benefit from peer support in making positive changes in their lives. These groups meet for one hour a week for five weeks, are co-facilitated by Connections staff members. These are closed meetings and consist of no more than 10 students facing similar circumstance.

*These sanctions are subject to change depending on severity of each conduct and criminal case*

**It is important to note: Shippensburg University does not coordinate the ARD Program and has no say in acceptance into the ARD Program. If the County DA Office grants the ARD Program, and permits the completion of certain requirements by the Connection Program, the student will need to (and is expected) to initiate the scheduling of appointments, will need to fulfill all professional recommendations, and pay all associated fees.**

Self-Referral/Referral Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) - Member run support group for those struggling with an addiction to alcohol.

Al-Anon/Alateen Family Groups - Member run support group for friends and families of problem drinkers.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) - Member run support group for those struggling with an addiction to any drug.


We have a variety of information about alcohol and other drugs, including online resources and assessment tools. These resources allow student's the opportunity to learn more about their own personal experiences and values.

Professional Assessment

Connection staff members can provide referrals to professional assessments at community agencies that are able to determine an individual student's personal level of need in terms of support services and/or possible treatment.

Campus Support

Staff can also provide referral recommendations to numerous campus support departments that may be of interest or need for students such as: