STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - First-year Pennsylvania State University students will have to take an online alcohol awareness course as part of a new program designed to combat high-risk drinking.

The students would begin taking the course, "AlcoholEdu for College," before arriving on campus. The program created by Boston-based Outside the Classroom is used at more than 500 colleges around the country.

Penn State officials say implementation at the school will be the largest of its kind, being administered to the expected 17,000 first-year students this fall across the university system.

School officials say there are limited but promising data that the program is working at other schools.

- AP