Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education: A Commitment to Student Success was first published in March 2018 and has been steadily gaining support and partnership ever since. Among the Commitment’s calls to action is one focused on convening efforts, led by ACHA, NASPA, and NIRSA, to lean into research and develop evidence-based activities to improve health and wellbeing of the entire campus community.

To fulfill the Commitment’s “Research Frameworks” Call to Action, the three associations opened a request for research applications in late 2019. Successful applicants would seek to conduct innovative research that utilized the current inter-association wellbeing definition and contributed to the larger conversation around collegiate wellbeing.

CUNY + WELL Framework

Dr. Micah Griffin, formerly director of health programs at Kingsborough Community College – CUNY and currently Senior Director of University Health Services at Pennsylvania State University, was awarded the inaugural research grant. Despite the many disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Griffin was able to complete his research on how the organizational structure of wellbeing programs varies by institution size and scope to best support the dimensions of student wellness on campus. This research aims to support institutions of higher education in applying a framework for developing interdepartmental wellbeing programs on campus.

NIRSA members can access the full report, “CUNY + WELL: A Framework for Integrating Well-Being in College Health Services across a Multi-Campus University System,” in the NIRSA Connect library.

Read the report (members only)

Advocacy, education, and outreach

Dr. Griffin notes, “The CUNY+WELL framework supports a set of guiding principles that should serve as a foundation for incorporating well-being into student health services. The priorities were developed based on interviews conducted with current CUNY staff from various campuses across the university.”

Within those guiding principles, the report offers a deeper, more detailed examination of two – health equity and elements of advocacy, education, and outreach (AEO) – because so much of the feedback from participants was centered in these areas.

Ultimately, “The CUNY +WELL Framework supports universities that seek to be intentional in transcending the traditional, siloed approaches to campus well-being and progress towards more proactive upstream approaches that impact the entire campus community.”

Inter-association webinar

Dr. Griffin will present his work and discuss his findings at an inter-association webinar on Tuesday, October 26 at 10:30am ET. This free event is open to all; members of associations who have signed on to the Health & Wellbeing Commitment are especially encouraged to attend. Come join in the shared conversation and learning!

Register today

  • For more information, contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at | NIRSA Profile

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.