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The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World
The University of Texas at Austin Division of Student Affairs

Texas Well-being

Departmental Activites

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We really need to make a cultural change. We need to ask ourselves how we can build relationships and connections with students not only in our classrooms but across our college. How can we get more folks on board with thinking about and supporting student well-being?
—Renee' Acosta
College of Pharmacy

In addition to the role of individual faculty members in supporting student well-being, administrators within colleges and departments can work to coordinate these efforts. Such coordination can help faculty more easily support students. Administrators may also consider embedding conditions for well-being into various departmental activities to positively impact the well-being of both students and faculty.

  • Communicate the importance of faculty members taking care of their own states of well-being.
  • Create a student-led wellness group that makes recommendations for improvements in departmental policies and practices.
  • Provide training for faculty in recognizing and responding to students in distress. Contact the Counseling and Mental Health Center or Student Emergency Services to learn more.
  • Create consistent systems for gathering and implementing faculty and student feedback within the department.
  • Create a first-year (or longer) informal course that combines mentoring from both a faculty member and a peer mentor (e.g., third-year student) with well-being lessons/activities.
  • Provide training and support to teaching assistants in well-being practices (e.g., through Center for Teaching and Learning courses).
  • Create informal activities/events for faculty and students to get to know one another.
  • Allow time for faculty to share well-being practices they are incorporating into their classes.
  • Plan wellness activities. Examples include:
    • A wellness week with different activities like a petting zoo, mindfulness group or self-care class.
    • Ongoing classes such as yoga, Zumba or meditation.
  • Support faculty well-being.
    • Within a professional development series, build in classes related to mindfulness, self-compassion and self-care.
    • Set up ongoing classes for faculty in yoga or meditation.
    • Plan book studies related to wellness topics (e.g., using the book The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky).

Instructor and students practice yoga together

The whole student