Characteristics of Health and Wellness Courses
The goal of university education is to prepare students for life beyond the university. While this preparation rightly focuses primarily on students’ intellectual growth and development, it must not neglect their physical and emotional well-being. The importance of physical and mental wellness to success in life, as well as instruction in activities that promote and maintain this wellness, are important components of general education. We
recommend as part of the general education curriculum the successful completion of two credit hours of instruction in courses that contribute to students’ understanding of the importance of physical and mental health, and that offer students the opportunity to acquire skills that will help them to achieve and maintain such health. Obvious examples are courses that involve students in athletic pursuits or instruct them on issues related to nutrition; but other examples could also be found. In order to apply to this requirement, a course should meet one or more of the following criteria:
— leads students to a demonstration of skills and knowledge of physical fitness concepts through the performance of activities that will enhance lifelong commitment to personal fitness and wellness
— imparts an understanding of holistic health concepts in a manner that invokes personal responsibility for health and wellness
— encourages and directs students to lifestyle changes geared toward the maintenance of healthy living and the prevention of disease and illness
The instruction in health and wellness within these courses needs to be formal in some way, not just a matter of a few words of advice here and there. The course should address at least ONE of the following goals:
1. Students should be able to demonstrate skills and knowledge of physical fitness concepts (sports, exercise, dance, etc). The skills and knowledge may be demonstrated partly through physical performance; but the course must also include some academic instructional elements that ensure that these concepts become a familiar part of the students’ thinking, thereby heightening their awareness of the benefits of a lifelong commitment to personal fitness and wellness.
2. Students should develop an understanding of holistic health concepts in a manner that promotes personal responsibility for health and wellness. The course must include academic instructional elements that ensure the students’ command of these concepts.
3. Students should learn the means of making lifestyle changes geared toward the maintenance of healthy living and the prevention of disease and illness. The course must include academic instructional elements that direct and encourage students in the understanding and accomplishment of these goals.