University of Wisconsin–Madison

Choices about Alcohol

Choices about Alcohol is an alcohol education program utilized as an educational sanction when a UW-Madison student is found responsible for alcohol (or related) violations through the Chapter UWS 17 nonacademic misconduct disciplinary process. Choices about Alcohol is an evidence-based program that addresses higher risk alcohol use among college students to assist in reducing the risk of negative outcomes in the future. UW-Madison has used Choices about Alcohol since 2011.

  1. What is Choices about Alcohol?

Choices about Alcohol is a group experience with 8-12 other students and consists of two, 90 minute sessions. This program is intended for students who indicate moderately risky use of alcohol or are involved in a policy violation that does not have aggravating factors.  The program sessions are facilitated by professional substance abuse counselors. In the sessions, students will be provided an opportunity to examine their academic, emotional, and physical well-being in a manner that facilitates better choices in the future.

  1. Why are students required to complete Choices about Alcohol?

The University is committed to assisting students found responsible for alcohol-related misconduct in reducing the negative consequences of their alcohol use. Choices about Alcohol is one of the most effective education programs to help students reduce their risk associated with alcohol use. Information about the evidence base underlying Choices about Alcohol is available here.

  1. What does Choices about Alcohol cost?

Students who are required to complete an alcohol education program must cover the cost. The fee for Choices about Alcohol is $125.  Continued alcohol (or related) violations may result in having to participate in BASICS, a one-on-one alcohol education program, which also costs $125. The fees for these programs are in addition to any court ordered fine or forfeiture as well as additional disciplinary sanctions (if applicable). Payment is due as required by the provider to hold a seat in the Choices about Alcohol program and can be made by credit card or check payable directly to the provider.

  1. How do students enroll in Choices about Alcohol?

Choices about Alcohol is provided on campus by two community partner organizations, Connections Counseling and Tellurian UCAN, Inc. Both organizations have extensive experience providing community services around alcohol and drug misuse. Students can enroll in Choices about Alcohol by either calling one of the providers indicated below or registering online. Additional information on program availability is available online.

Tellurian UCAN, Inc.:         (608) 222-7311                          

Connections Counseling:   (608) 233-2100 (extension 10)

  1. How do students verify completion of the program?

Students are generally required to complete Choices about Alcohol within four weeks from their case decision date, and the exact due date is listed in a student’s finding letter issued by the investigating officer.  Students must print the Choices about Alcohol Info Sheet (PDF) and bring it with them to their first session.  Upon completion, the provider notifies the Division of Student Life, which will notify the investigating officer. Documentation regarding completion necessary for any court appearances should be requested from the provider.

  1. What happens if students miss a session or do not complete Choices about Alcohol?

Please refer to the provider cancellation policy for information on charges associated with missed sessions.  Failure to complete Choices about Alcohol would constitute a violation of UWS 17.09(16), “Noncompliance with disciplinary sanctions,” and could result in additional disciplinary action, sanctions, and a hold placed on registration and transcripts.