Outside the Classroom
Company: Outside The Classroom, Needham, MA
Company Description: The leader in online prevention, Outside The Classroom has spent eight years focused on tackling high-risk drinking and related epidemic health issues by delivering programs and services designed for population-level application. The company offers a variety of programs for students, parents and faculty. All programs take a non-opinionated, science- and evidence-based approach.
Nomination Category: Company Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year
Nomination Title: Brandon Busteed and Outside The Classroom Aspire to End the Epidemic of High-risk Drinking at America’s Colleges and Universities
Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved since January 1 2008 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
College is a privilege, which is why Brandon Busteed was frustrated by the
destructive role alcohol played in the majority of college students’ lives.
Upon graduating from Duke University, Brandon created a plan to tackle high-
risk drinking by empowering students to address the problem.
After attempting to launch his vision as a non-profit (writing 17 grants, all
of which were denied), Brandon took the advice of trusted advisors and
incorporated Outside The Classroom. The organization’s mission: to tackle
epidemic-level public health issues that threaten the potential of the best and
What began as an idea for changing the alcohol culture on college campuses grew
into the field’s most widely used educational tool for curbing high-risk
drinking. Today, Outside The Classroom’s flagship program, AlcoholEdu®, is used
on over 500 campuses and by 36% of all first-year college students -- becoming
a critical building block for addressing this epidemic. More than 1.7 million
students have taken the program, making it the most widely used course on the
Outside The Classroom had a successful year in 2008. A publication of the
leading association of higher education student affairs professionals published
an independent study on AlcoholEdu, reporting that college students who
completed AlcoholEdu experienced 50% fewer negative academic and personal
consequences than students who did not take the course. Similarly, a randomized
control trial of AlcoholEdu determined that students who completed the program:
• Consumed fewer drinks in one sitting
• Were less likely to make poor decisions as a result of alcohol use
• Were less accepting of others’ negative alcohol use behaviors
Despite AlcoholEdu’s solid results, the organization still faced challenges –
such as how to make an alcohol course more “enjoyable” for students. And so,
Outside The Classroom revised AlcoholEdu, introducing a story narrative and new
features that reflect the way millennial students communicate, such as IM chats
and YouTube-like videos. The new AlcoholEdu presented information in a highly
engaging and entertaining format that students could enjoy. And students paid
attention. In November, a student indicated on Facebook that he saved another
student’s life using skills from AlcoholEdu.
Outside The Classroom’s mission extended well beyond AlcoholEdu. In 2008, the
organization donated $75,000 to students, practitioners, presidents,
institutions, and Greek organizations, in recognition of their dedication to
improving alcohol prevention efforts on their campuses.
Brandon’s efforts have earned him regular guest lecture appearances at Harvard
and MIT, addressing business, law, and medical classes about the importance of
being a corporate entity with a socially responsible bottom line. He has been
featured on the Today Show, NPR, ABC National News and in The Chronicle of
Higher Education and the Small Business Economy Report to the President: Social
Entrepreneurship and Government.
In 2009, Outside The Classroom is launching an innovative new service to
address pervasive issues still challenging the field of alcohol prevention and
help institutions develop enterprise-wide solutions to these challenges.
Nineteen institutions and Greek organizations have already signed on in
anticipation of the tremendous value the organization will continue to provide.
List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:
Brandon has led Outside The Classroom from its inception in 2000 to its status
today as the nation's leading provider of online prevention programs serving
more than 500 college and university clients in all 50 states. AlcoholEdu®,
the company’s flagship program, is the most widely used Internet-based course,
having been taken by more than 1.7 million students to date. Brandon also co-
founded CIRCLe Network, a national non-profit organization that worked to find
solutions to complex campus issues. He is a former Duke University trustee and
former member of Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy
Board of Visitors.