“Now more than ever we need to understand the unique needs and challenges community college students are facing,” said Rob Buelow, EVERFI Vice President of Prevention Education during today’s Think Tank meeting with representatives from community colleges. “With this new report, we hope to offer vital insights so that together we can create learning environments that are both safe and supportive through prevention education.”

The report was announced today during a Sexual & Relationship Violence Prevention Community College Think Tank hosted at EVERFI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where leaders from community colleges nationwide convened to share insights and best practices for preventing and addressing sexual and relationship violence in these often overlooked higher education settings.

Colleges who joined today’s Think Tank to discuss the report and help inform the development of EVERFI’s online prevention course for community colleges included: Northern Virginia Community College, Montgomery Community College, Columbia State Community College, Chattanooga State Community College, Community College of Allegheny County, Butte College, Mt. Wachusett Community College, Germanna Community College, and Pueblo Community College.

The Prioritizing Prevention at Community Colleges report details institutional dynamics that present prevention challenges, with new data* on community college students’ attitudes and behaviors related to critical issues including sexual assault, alcohol abuse, and mental health. Key findings include:

Sexual and Relationship Violence

  • Community college students are 20% more likely to experience sexual assault and 50% more likely to experience relationship violence before arriving at their school compared to students at four-year residential institutions.
  • Community college students are more aware of resources related to reporting sexual assault, and are 42% more likely than students at four-year residential institutions to help someone get support or find resources when they are told about an unwanted sexual experience.


  • There are no significant differences in drinking rates among community college students and their peers at four-year residential institutions.
    • At both institutions, roughly 40% of students indicated that they have not consumed alcohol in the past year and roughly 20% of students have engaged in high-risk drinking** in the past two weeks.
  • Community college students differ from students at four-year residential institutions in the impact of their drinking.
    • Community college students who drink are less likely to experience negative consequences and harms from drinking, including blackouts, hangovers, and academic challenges.
    • These differences may result from lower likelihood of engaging in high-risk drinking behaviors (e.g., pregaming) among community college students.

Mental Health

A 2016 collaborative study highlights the state of mental health at community colleges:

  • Almost 50% of community college students have experienced a mental health issue at some point in the past year.
    • 36% reported struggling with depression, 29% with anxiety, and 11% reported suicidal ideation.
    • 57% of community college students who have experienced a mental health issue reporting that it affected their academics in some way.
    • 70% of community college students who have experienced a mental health issue did not seek professional counseling or psychiatric services

*Aside from Mental Health, all data come from community college students that participated in EVERFI’s online prevention programs on sexual assault (n ≈ 80k) and alcohol (n ≈ 3k)

**4+ drinks for women/5+ drinks for men at least once in the past two weeks


A complete version of the Prioritizing Prevention at Community Colleges report can be found here.


EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology innovator that empowers K-12, higher education, and adult learners with the skills needed to be successful in life. Its comprehensive critical skills platform is focused on Financial Education, Digital Citizenship, STEM Career Readiness, Diversity and Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Character Education, and Health and Wellness. The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 3,300 partner organizations across all 50 states and Canada and annually reaches 6 million learners.

Media Contact:

Monique Waters
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