Developing Integrated Wellness Infrastructures

Models and Implementation Practices at Small Institutions

Topics: Student Health and Wellness, Student Affairs, Facilities and Operations, Administration and Finance

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Campus emphasis on multidimensional student wellness for academic and lifelong success has encouraged administrators to consider reorganization of administrative units to improve provision of wellness-related programs and services.

This brief examines administrative and physical infrastructures for integrated wellness at four small to medium-sized institutions. Specifically, this report analyzes the relationships between health, counseling, recreation, and athletic services as well as strategies for successful implementation of an integrated wellness model.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. All integrated wellness models employ a central director or dean of wellness that reports directly to the vice president of student affairs; however, models vary in their extent of administrative integration and physical co-location of units.

    2. Administrators should consider space availability, level of interdepartmental communication, and potential resource sharing to determine units for integration.

    3. To facilitate new model implementation, institutions appoint wellness directors and convene wellness advisory groups during the planning phase.