Learn About the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Preventing Underage Drinking’s Policy Academy for Implementing Community-Level Policies

A groundbreaking opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in the U.S.

What is the Policy Academy for Implementing Community-Level Policies to Prevent Alcohol Misuse?
The Policy Academy for Implementing Community-Level Policies to Prevent Alcohol Misuse (Policy Academy) is a year-long opportunity for selected coalitions to engage in state or local policy efforts to prevent and reduce underage drinking and related harms. Participation will be granted through an admissions process and is limited to 14 coalitions (two representatives each) to allow for the optimal exchange of ideas and to enhance productivity. Accepted participants will receive coaching, technical assistance, and training from nationally and internationally known subject matter experts.

The Policy Academy provides an opportunity to collaborate with leading experts on alcohol policy, learn about how to implement evidence-based population-level strategies and engage with coalitions from across the United States who are also committed to making change. The Policy Academy is intended to directly complement SAMHSA’s “Community Level-Policies Guide to Prevent Alcohol Misuse and will allow participants to explore this work through a health equity lens. Findings from Policy Academy proceedings will be used in communications to advance policies to prevent underage drinking and alcohol misuse such as white papers, journal articles, social media content, and more.

The Policy Academy is a collaboration among the Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD), the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).

What are the goals of the Policy Academy?
The Policy Academy’s goals are to:

  • Reduce demand for, the availability of, and access to alcohol by persons under the age of 21
  • Build a foundation for continued implementation of state alcohol policies, programs, and practices for implementation and leadership by those states, tribes, territories, and jurisdictions interested in and committed to using evidence-based tools to establish a multifaceted approach to preventing or reducing underage drinking and/or alcohol misuse

When is the Policy Academy?
The Policy Academy will run from November 2023 through September 2024, with an in-person convening at the Alcohol Policy 20 Conference in Arlington, VA, May 14-17, 2024.

How much does it cost to participate in the Policy Academy?
Nothing! Application to and enrollment in the Policy Academy are free. SAMHSA will also arrange and cover travel and lodging expenses for the required in-person meeting.

What will coalitions gain from attending the Policy Academy?
Accepted participants will receive coaching, technical assistance, and training from nationally and internationally known subject matter experts. Policy Academy participants will:

  • Engage in the 10-step policy process for specific population-level evidence-based prevention policies
  • Receive individual coaching calls with a dedicated alcohol policy expert each month
  • Participate in monthly webinars and trainings with the full cohort to train on each of the policy steps
  • Have the opportunity to learn from other coalition members from across the U.S.
  • Complete homework activities that will directly support the policy process
  • Receive a free trip to the Alcohol Policy 20 Conference in Arlington, VA in May 2024
  • Participate in a special Policy Academy track at the Alcohol Policy 20 conference
  • Engage in a one-day intensive workshop with fellow Policy Academy participants
  • Learn from nationally and internationally renowned alcohol policy experts

If accepted, what are the commitments for and expectations of participants?
The Policy Academy is an intensive training designed to guide participants through successful policy change efforts. The goals require participants who are willing and committed to engage in every aspect of the Policy Academy. Participants must agree to:

  • Continuously use their training to work towards their outlined alcohol policy goals
  • Regularly connect with their designated Policy Academy coach
  • Complete all homework assignments to further their progress along the policy process
  • Participate in each of the monthly webinars and communities of practice calls. Topics may include:
    • Overview of alcohol epidemiology – trends and related harms across demographics
    • A multisectoral approach to prevention
    • Key steps for policy implementation
    • Equity considerations for prevention policies and enforcement
    • Local policymaking
    • State legislative action
    • Community engagement
  • Participate in a one-day intensive in-person academy meeting and attend the Alcohol Policy 20 Conference May 14-17 in Arlington, VA

Who can apply to the Policy Academy?
The application is open to all coalitions who work to prevent and reduce underage drinking, have the capacity and interest in participating in local or state alcohol policy change, and are free from alcohol, tobacco, or other drug industry influence. Candidates should demonstrate their capacity through the following criteria:

  • Show that their fiscal agent supports the coalition’s involvement in policy change
  • Identify a city/county alcohol policy and/or an organizational alcohol policy for adoption and implementation in the next 12 months
  • Have an existing relationship with or willingness to work with an alcohol-related organization at the state level, such as a state alcohol policy alliance, single state authority (the lead agency in each State or jurisdiction responsible for managing federal funds dedicated to addressing substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery), or state public health department

How can my coalition apply?

arrows showing letter of intent, informational webinar and application

All coalitions engaged in state-level policy work will be highly encouraged to apply. Application is a three-step process:

  • Submit a letter of intent (LOI) no later than September 13th, 2023. Click here to upload and submit your LOI. The letter should include:
    • Name of your coalition and fiscal entity
    • How long your coalition/group has been in place
    • One to two sentences about the problem you are trying to address
    • The policy(ies) that you are considering implementing to address the problem
    • A description of the geographic area that the policy will impact or the organizational reach your policy will have
    • A description of how attending the Policy Academy will enhance your work

Note: Academy staff may conduct follow-up phone calls once letters have been submitted to clarify any questions.

  • Attend an informational webinar. A select number of applicants will be invited to learn more about the policy academy and ask questions during a webinar to be held on October 4, 2023.
  • Submit a full application no later than 11:59 p.m. PST on October 17, 2023.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by November 3, 2023.

How will applications be evaluated?
SAMHSA will award admission to the Policy Academy based on the strength of the application and geographic representation. Application does not guarantee acceptance to the program. (Enrollment is limited to 14 coalitions with two representatives each). Accepted participants will be notified by email by November 3, 2023.

Whom can I contact with questions?
Please contact Dr. Alicia Sparks at asparks@seiservices.com with any questions.