Ashley Maloff and Leslie Johnson of RCPD came together and created a brand-new Health and Wellness course in the already well-known UGS department.
UGS 110, with two years in the making, had the first section in Fall 2018. There were 19 students in the class making it the largest UGS section, while also achieving the highest success rate. The course was 80 minutes per session and was 11 weeks long.
“This course welcomes new students with vital skills for increased resilience; ultimately expanding ability which is a core objective in our mission,” said Michael Hudson, director of RCPD.
The topic of this UGS course came from new statistics about freshmen. There is an extremely low persistence rate among freshmen and this course is designed to help give them a good and solid start while also maximizing ability. The health and wellness course focused on Dr. Bill Hettler’s six dimensions of wellness.
The six dimensions are: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental and social. Maloff and Johnson wanted to make sure that the students would be learning life lessons that focused on their environment and what they could change about them. The course itself is designed to be extremely interactive and help meet new students.
“As a freshman in college, lots of people worry about finding the right group of friends at the beginning of the year, including me,” said Jacob, a UGS 110 student. “By starting off this class learning and talking about friendships, it made it very effective because I was able to relate to this topic at that very moment. One of my biggest takeaways from this class was that almost every freshman goes through the stress of finding their “group” and as long as it may take, you will find your close friends.”
The class outline starts with building community and then gets into the grit of the health and wellness portion of the class to help benefit the new students. Johnson and Maloff invited several guest speakers which helped students gain insight and helped make the six dimensions of wellness more engaging.
Financial, nutrition and emotional are a few of the most vital areas of learning within the UGS course. This course is especially important because it builds a foundation for the student living away from home for the first time.
“By embracing these dimensions, you are better equipped to manage the complexities and spontaneity life presents to us,” according to Hettler.