Research shows that a student’s health directly affects his or her educational achievement and capacity to learn (Mcglynn, 2004). The Wellness and Health Promotion students at NWTC complete a variety of courses to foster their own personal wellness growth.
In discovering their own journey towards wellness, these students will be better equipped for being professionals in the field and more adequately prepared to guide others towards making healthy lifestyle choices. By discovering and sharing their own success stories, the students have become a motivating and supportive cohort. They are living examples of the program.
My challenge to you as faculty is to be sure to promote health and wellness not only in your everyday life, but also to your students. Simple things, such as offering positive stress management techniques for students, or encouraging school/life balance can go a long way in regard to student success. Students who are in touch with the various dimensions of wellness will have a greater likelihood of persistence in all areas of their lives.
Healthy Schools, Healthy Students. Mcglynn, Cindy. CrossCurrents – The Journal of Addiction and Mental Health, Autumn, 2004, Vol.8(1), p.14(2)
Suppose you have been hired as a wellness specialist by a mid-sized company. Despite the work site’s clean exterior and neat appearance, your environmental assessment reveals that the work environment is unhealthy due to wide-scale smoking, vending machines filled with junk food, and cramped work areas. Your supervisor asks you to recommend specific changes to improve the work environment. What Would You Do?
In the classroom I like to use What Would You Do? (WWYD) activities, like the above example. These are activities that focus on a particular situation the student will likely face in his / her professional career. When implementing the WWYD activities you can use a variety of tactics:
- Structure some portion of the weekly instruction or out-of-class assignment around a particular WWYD exercise.
- Use a WWYD exercise as an end-of-the-chapter platform for individual students or teams to use for in-class or online discussions, presentations, debates, and so forth.
- Use a WWYD exercise (or an adaptation) as a possible exam question.
- Consider having students critique the relevance or applicability of a particular WWYD scenario in various professional settings (i.e. industry, size, locations).
Perhaps you have other options that you’d like to explore in using the WWYD exercise. Whatever they might be, I encourage you to use your imagination to get the most from each WWYD exercise.
An estimated 20 million people worldwide will die this year from cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) of Green Bay is doing their part to help fight this leading cause of death by hosting its annual Heart Walk right here on our campus. The AHA’s mission is to build healthier lives that are free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke – the nation’s number 1 and number 4 killers.
The students in the Wellness and Health Promotion program at NWTC are not only preparing to become professionals that will assist others in lowering these statistics, but will also be participating in a service learning opportunity by organizing the Heart Walk for our campus. Through their Wellness Programming and Design course, students will:
- Volunteer on various sub-committees to plan the event
- Coordinate everything from the interactive activities offered for participants to the food and drinks that will be available the day of the event
- Help in recruiting corporations to participate in the event
This opportunity gives the students real-life experience in event planning as well as beneficial experience in collaborating with other organizations to reach a common goal. The students truly help with the event from start to finish and do their part to make an impact in the fight against heart disease. Be sure to join this fight and save the date to participate – September 19, 2015 – and see our students’ service learning in action.