College ROPE®


The Center has created the College ROPE® to assist colleges and universities in enhancing their process of initiation for freshmen students.

This on-campus efforts works to convene conversations, trainings and presentations for students and their families, student leaders, administrators, staff, and faculty.

It begins by acknowledging students’ natural impulses to create rite of passage experiences to test and affirm their transition from teenagers to adults. It then engages the entire college community in guiding those impulses towards safe, productive leisure-time activities, while supporting academic success.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that first year students who live on campus are at higher risk for misusing alcohol than their non-college attending peers. NIAAA suggests that the first 6 weeks of college are especially important, because that is when students often initiate heavy use of alcohol as part of their transition into college. Particularly in the first year, college students often believe that alcohol helps them navigate the path from their adolescent selves to their adult selves. As a result, students tend to initiate each other into what they believe it means to be an adult.

  • > Key components of the College ROPE® Initiative include:

    • Reframing the Problem: Acknowledging that college is a place of initiation, where young people come of age and are mentored in their growth and development as adults.
    • Development & Training of a Leadership Team: Bringing together the diverse citizenry of a college community – students, staff, faculty and administration – to create and support a team of community elders who take responsibility for creating and sustaining the College ROPE® initiative, and for mentoring freshman.
    • Creating a Positive Context for Declaring Independence: Providing a structure that guides freshmen in investigating and connecting with health promoting recreational activities, while developing their abilities to make responsible decisions.
    • Engaging Parents: Educating parents on how to support their sons’ and daughters’ adjustment to and success in college.
    • Creating Learning Communities: Developing a support structure to sustain the commitment to and skills necessary for academic success for all students.
    • Giving Students Responsibility for Mentoring the Next Class: Creating opportunities for freshmen to give back to the college community in subsequent years by becoming College ROPE® Elders and mentors.
    • Design rite of passage experiences for all faculty and staff to welcome and connect all diverse groups and strengthen a sense of community.

The Rite Way

ROPE® in Action at Keene State College

The first ROPE® College Initiative has been put into action by Keene State College for Fall 2010 freshman orientation. The KSC Rite of Passage Initiative is based upon youth and community development through the Rite of Passage Experience© developed by David Blumenkrantz, PhD, and The Center. It reframes college as a place of initiation, a time of transition where young people come of age.

Click HERE for more on the Keene initiative.