This online collection of resources was created by the NIRSA Assembly to help introduce campus recreation professionals to some of what their peers are doing in the health and wellbeing space, so they can continue developing or enhancing wellbeing programs and initiatives on their campus.
As a campus recreation professional, you may directly oversee fitness and wellbeing programs; or you may be a departmental or program director; or maybe part of a team that has been charged with integrating health and wellbeing within your department or in collaboration with campus partners. Whatever your role, we hope you’ll use the resources in this online guide to:
- Be able to better articulate what holistic health and wellbeing means from a multidimensional approach, be informed on some of the emerging trends in the industry, as well as access resources and tools related to health and wellbeing.
- Gain an understanding of a few of the many examples of integrated health and wellbeing programs and facilities that are being offered on college campuses, as well as how these programs and facilities have been funded at select institutions.
- Learn about the role campus recreation professionals have in leading or assisting with institution efforts to integrate health and wellbeing into campus life and the culture of the institution.
This work aligns with NIRSA’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan. Outlined in that plan is NIRSA’s commitment to be a key player in an integrated approach to health and wellbeing. In those documents, the Association recognizes health and wellbeing as integral to student success and a thriving campus community.
The Assembly’s resource guide is intended as one way to help promote and foster the understanding that wellbeing is holistic and that its multifaceted nature integrates NIRSA’s strategic values. This tool is one of the ways NIRSA will act as—and empower members to act as—a driving force in health and wellbeing. By using this information as a spring board, members will be poised to become proactive innovators in this space, while acknowledging that no single department on a college campus “owns” wellbeing.
Just as NIRSA members are actively working across departments to build cultures of wellbeing on their campuses, NIRSA continues to collaborate with several associations, both inside and outside of higher education.
One such example is when, in October 2017, thought leaders from NASPA, NIRSA, and ACHA gathered at the University of Miami to discuss emerging strategies and best practices for fostering cultures of health and wellbeing on college campuses. A common thread from those discussions was a deep desire to shift from individual efforts—including at an association level—to developing integrated strategies that map and build a shared vision and future. The compelling issues and challenges facing higher education across North America need new leadership approaches. Learn more about the 2017 NIRSA & NASPA Health & Wellbeing Thought Leadership Forum.
Following up on that summit, in March of 2018 NIRSA and NASPA announced a joint statement on wellbeing, which will guide and influence the evolution of this resource. In continued pursuit of truly integrated efforts, this statement will be reissued in late summer 2018 to feature the support of several other student affairs associations. It is hoped the statement, and thereby a shared commitment to wellbeing, will continue to grow. Learn more about the Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education statement.