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Young adults are typically eager to learn about relationships and how to succeed in them. Some are considering engagement/marriage whereas others are looking for guidance on how to make smart choices when it comes to dating partners. With a rate of 3.5 divorces per 1,000 people, many young adults have experienced the break up of their parents and are fearful of that same fate. College students are desperate to have only one, happy marriage, and they don’t know whether this is possible anymore.

The college years bring the need to negotiate new life roles and relationships. These years in particular are a time during which skill-based education may positively influence future relationships. University students polled about marriage responded that one receives the same benefits from a committed relationship as from a healthy marriage. During this time of emerging adulthood students have an opportunity to test their beliefs about sex, fidelity, relationships and commitment.

The vast majority of marriage preparation courses are designed for high school students or for couples who have already decided to marry. Little work has targeted college students, a group old enough to have had substantial dating experience but not yet be committed to a particular partner.

This How-to Guide is intended for practitioners and community-based organizations that wish to effectively provide marriage/relationship education (MRE) programs to college students. This guide outlines how to market, prepare, and deliver MRE in a university setting. (Author abstract)