Peer Educators are NMSU students working through WAVE to deliver information and strategies about wellness and risk reduction to their NMSU peers. Students share with students the facts about hot topics so their peers can make well-informed decisions.
An abundance of research exists on the effectiveness of particular prevention efforts. WAVE utilizes these research findings to develop and implement programming with proven track records, while still employing innovative strategies. Further, by using existing research to avoid interventions proven to be ineffective, WAVE can maximize its resources and minimize wasted effort.
Social Norming is an approach with a demonstrated success record. Students tend to make decisions based on their perception of how their fellow students would behave in a similar situation. Unfortunately, students have many misperceptions of how their fellow students really do behave; they overestimate the amount of alcohol fellow students consume and underestimate the desire to intervene in dangerous situations. Social Norming clarifies the actual behavior of fellow students, so students can make better decisions regarding their own behavior.
Multiple Exposures to Information:
Recognizing that one exposure to information will have little impact on behavior, WAVE strives to provide many opportunities for students to receive prevention information and tools, using both written and verbal materials. Essentially, WAVE attempts to ‘catch them early and catch them often.
Movement from Knowledge to Empowerment to Behavioral Adaptations:
Knowledge alone is not enough to impact behavioral change. Students must examine their own behavior, see how the information is relevant to their own lives and experiences and understand their own ability to change their behavior to protect themselves. WAVE programming encourages students to not only understand the basic prevention strategies on an intellectual level but also to realize their power in changing/adapting their own behavioral decisions.