First-year elective at UBC Okanagan introduces health competencies
UBC Okanagan students have a new elective course to consider this fall, as the university introduces the HEAL 100 course on health and wellbeing.
Developed over the past year by the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, HEAL 100 offers an in-depth look at health studies with an emphasis on student health – focusing on education, research and their impact on a variety of student health issues.
“The course is for first-year students, when they’re making that big transition to university,” says Sally Stewart, senior instructor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. “We want to give students the tools and techniques to really thrive in a university environment. We already offer health programs – human kinetics, nursing, and facets of health and wellbeing in psychology courses, for example – but this course is more for students to develop health competencies.”
A broad-based course, HEAL 100 explores all the dimensions of wellbeing and health including physiology, nutrition, mental health and wellbeing, sleep, and mindfulness.
In 2015, post-secondary institutions from around the world gathered at UBC Okanagan to develop an international charter for health-promoting universities and colleges. Known as the Okanagan Charter, the document is a commitment to embed health in campus policies and services, to create environments which support health and personal development, and to become communities with a culture of well-being.
“This course specifically is a way of putting wellbeing as a top priority for our UBC students,” says Stewart. “We want students to be well, so they can do well in their university life. Wellbeing is linked to academic success.”
Stewart notes that no matter what type of work graduates go into, they will take with them the health competencies learned through the HEAL 100 course.
“To me, that’s another huge benefit of this course,” says Stewart. “It can have long-term health implications in our broader community for years to come.”
Other than students in the Human Kinetics program, students from any faculty at UBC Okanagan may register for HEAL 100. Details are posted in the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar.