For several years Mason has been working to become a model Well-Being university. Our goal is to help students, faculty, and staff build a life of vitality, purpose, resilience, and engagement. The university has made its commitment known by making Well-Being one of its Strategic goals (goal #7). College can sometimes be a stressful environment for students and staff alike. It is important to be proactive and intentional about how we cope and equip ourselves with the tools necessary to cope. Mason helps develop resilience in the following ways:
- Increasing self-awareness through honest and continuous self-reflection.
- Increasing psychological flexibility.
- Recognizing and adapting to various situational demands that enable and promote values-driven behavior.
- Finding and fostering resiliency to overcome stress and adversity.
- Responding to stressful situations and managing stress in healthier ways.
One of the most innovative ways to enhance Well-Being at Mason is through the Resilience Badge Workshop, which started in the spring of 2016 with four students. To date, over 200 students have completed the workshop and earned the badge. The 5-week hybrid workshop (three weeks in-person and two weeks on-line) helps students acquire and demonstrate skills key to building resiliency, such as problem solving, decision making, flexibility and adaptability. Upon successful completion of the workshop series, students receive a digital credential in the form of a badge that helps capture their learning beyond what is documented on a traditional transcript.
A digital credential is a shareable electronic file that replaces the need for a paper certificate. Badges are secure, web-enabled credentials that contain granular, verified information employers can use to evaluate an individual’s potential. A shareable digital badge gives students a new way to express the skills they are learning. According an Economist Intelligence Unit report (2015), “problem solving, team working, and communication (commonly known as “21st century skills”) are the most-needed skills in the workplace.” This badge, which currently lives on a platform called Acclaim, gives students the ability to share the badge in a variety of ways.
“I would say definitely take [the workshop], it can be an eye opener for some especially being able to realize that I do have strengths, and I can leverage those strengths to my advantage.”
Fall 18 student
Mason is committed to helping students and staff hone this important skill and become more nimble, flexible, while learning to stand firm in the face of adversity. The 5-workshop, focuses on the following topics with participants:
Week 1: What is Resilience?
Week 2: The power of optimism
Week 3: Resilience is a learning process
Week 4: Fear setting instead of goal setting
Week 5: Earning the badge and career application.
The long-term goal is to scale the badge on-line to be offered to all incoming freshman and transfer students at Mason. The current hybrid version of workshop will be offered again this semester. Seats are limited, but still available if students are interested in registering for the workshop. If you student is looking for ways to become more connected to Mason, while learning a life-long skill that will last a lifetime, please share the link below. Registration for the Fall workshop currently open and free to all students. This workshop is not for credit.
For more information, visit: https://ulife.gmu.edu/wellbeing-landing-page/resilience/.
Lewis E. Forrest II
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