Georgetown University completed its first year and a half of a new course offering which was grant funded by AAC&U’s Bringing Theory to Practice Well-Being Initiative and Student Affairs. Targeted toward first year students, the three credit elective course focused on flourishing in college and in community. The course was co-taught by a Sociology faculty member, and student affairs staff including a Director with an Adjunct Faculty appointment in Human Science, and the Director of Transition and Family Engagement. This created a unique partnership between academics and student affairs. Over 150 students took the class over three semesters.
National survey data show that college students suffer from overwhelming stress and increased frequency and intensity of mental health issues [NCHA 2014]. Georgetown students are less resilient than their national peers [MSL 2014]. This course is designed to provide incoming students with the knowledge, self-care skills, and support systems they can call on to maintain a healthy lifestyle well into their post-graduate life.
A focus on Jesuit values, which are integrated throughout the course, provides new students with an orientation to Catholic and Jesuit education. Preparing students to understand, integrate and incorporate these values into their lives is critical to a Jesuit education. A faculty/student affairs teaching partnership provides students with a meaningful learning environment while bridging the divide between the curricular and the co-curricular.
Primary Investigators: Carol R. T. Day, MSN, Principal Investigator, Georgetown’s First Year Flourishing Project; Director of Health Education Services, Student Affairs; Adj. Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies/Human Science; Sarah Stiles, PhD, JD, Teaching Professor, Department of Sociology; and Justin Smith, MSEd, Assistant Dean, School of Nursing and Health Studies (formerly Director of Transition & Family Engagement, Student Affairs, Center for Student Engagement during 2014-15 academic year)