STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL 

The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) is entering its second year hosting and facilitating a statewide Collegiate Student Advisory Council consisting of individuals currently enrolled in a Pennsylvania college or university or residing in Pennsylvania and attending an out-of-state college or university.  We are committed to establishing a Student Advisory  Council that is reflective of the diverse communities we serve throughout the state of Pennsylvania. As an equal opportunity organization with a commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), we will proudly consider all qualified applicants.

CPA's mission is to support drug and alcohol prevention professionals in eliminating substance misuse and risk-related behaviors. To better serve prevention efforts across PA, we are currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 CPA Student Advisory Council.  The input and guidance from council members are extremely valuable and can help improve the public and behavioral health of your campus and community.

CPA has been in existence for over 40 years and is a premier voice of prevention in PA.  A few current initiatives and events CPA coordinates include:

  • Annual "Leading the Challenge" Prevention Conference, in June.
  • PA Prevention Week is celebrated every May.
  • The PA Stop Opiate Misuse Campaign (PA STOP).
  • A PA Primary Prevention Media Messaging Campaign (PA START).
  • Conducted a 3-year strategic plan with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Student Position Description

Members of the CPA Student Advisory Council (SAC) advise the CPA board on the needs of college students.

Student Term of Office

A maximum of 20 students will serve for one academic year, approximately October 2021 to May 2022.

Application Deadline

The priority deadline to apply is October 1, 2021.  However, the application will remain open throughout the month of October.  All candidates will be notified of their application status.  CPA reserves the right to extend the deadline date.  

In addition to completing the student advisory council application, please submit your resume and a letter of recommendation (from a counselor, advisor, professor, employer, etc.) to Jeff Hanley, at jeff.hanley@commonwealthpreventionalliance.org.

Advantages and Opportunities for Student Members

  • Developing and honing your leadership skills and becoming an agent for positive change.
  • Networking with amazing student leaders.
  • Adding an impressive credential to your resume.
  • Immediate consideration for a scholarship to attend the 2022 CPA conference.
  • Some level of participation at the annual CPA conference.
  • Interview opportunities and position openings at statewide agencies and coalitions.
  • Career networking opportunities with professionals in the field.

Other Beneficial Experiences

  • Giving you a place to use your gifts and talents.
  • Allowing you to brainstorm solutions to challenges rather than having all the answers.
  • Potentially building relationships with professionals from your hometown community.
  • Collaborate with members of CPA and the Collegiate Committee toward the accomplishment of their goals.

Student Responsibilities

  • Checking email regularly; email is the primary communication vehicle for the Student Advisory Council.
  • There will be 5-6 scheduled student advisory committee meetings during the year.
  • Provide an update to the CPA Collegiate Committee at one meeting over the course of the year.
  • Provide an update to the CPA Board of Directors at one meeting over the course of the year.
  • Promote membership of the CPA Student Advisory Council to other collegiate students.
  • Developing student-level, student-led initiative(s).

Student Requirements

  • Be a current CPA member, or willing to become a member after the selection process, at an annual membership rate of $15.00. See more details below under student membership in CPA (the membership fee is waived for the 2021-2022 school year due to Covid).
  • Currently enrolled in a Pennsylvania college or university. Or, a current resident of Pennsylvania attending an out-of-state college or university.
  • At the end of the term, CPA student advisory council members will provide a short narrative on the successes and challenges of their experience on the CPA Advisory Council.

Student Membership in CPA

The Student Advisory Council members shall agree to become CPA members and remain in good standing (see student requirements above).  Directions will be provided on how to become a member. Your membership in CPA will be valid through December 31st, 2022 (membership fee waived due to the Covid pandemic).

Other Helpful Tips

  • Be yourself, but also represent fellow students.
  • Be a role model. We don't expect perfection, but rather students who generally make good choices when it comes to alcohol and other drugs.  We are here to support and not judge.
  • If struggling with substance and/or mental health issues, we are here to help and guide you to support services, on your campus, or in the community. Our conversations around this issue will be confidential.
  • Actively contribute to meetings and activities of the Student Advisory Council.
  • Be open to discussing challenging topics and campus issues.
  • Be collaborative advocates.
  • Be willing to respectfully challenge and be challenged.
  • Be passionate about working toward a truly inclusive and just Student Advisory Council.

Student Application Instruction

  1. To apply to the CPA Student Advisory Council, please click the application button at the bottom of the page and complete the application.
  2. In addition to completing the student advisory council application, please submit your resume and a letter of recommendation (from a counselor, advisor, professor, employer, etc.) to Jeff Hanley, at jeff.hanley@commonwealthpreventionalliance.org.
  3. If you were a member of the advisory council last year the application process is very brief.  After clicking the button below you will be asked to enter your contact information and answer one question (Question #6 listed below).  You do NOT have to resubmit your resume or a recommendation letter.
  4. All new applicants will have to answer all 6 questions below, submit a resume and letter of recommendation.

Listed below are the questions you will be asked as part of the application.  Please keep in mind that for each answer we ask you to limit your response to approximately one paragraph or no more than 250 words. 

  1. Why do you wish to become a member of the Collegiate Student Advisory Council?
  2. What qualities, strengths, skills, interests, and/or experiences would you bring to the Student Advisory Council?
  3. In your opinion what are two of the most pressing substance use/misuse issues facing students on your campus now? Why?
  4. Have you ever attended substance use/misuse educational event(s) or group(s) on or off your campus? If yes, please list and describe a takeaway or what you remember from the event and/or group.
  5. List any campus organizations and/or departments you are connected to. Is there a leadership role on or off-campus that you are particularly proud of? If so, please explain.
  6. Do you have any thoughts or ideas on how the Student Advisory Council can advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging priorities?
  7. (Optional Question) Do you have anything else you'd like to add that we have not asked?

If you have any questions, please email Jeff, at jeff.hanley@commonwealthpreventionalliance.org.