Champlain College Well-Being Resources and Initiatives

From academic tutoring to counseling and healthcare, Champlain is committed to providing the highest quality support to our entire community.

As the pandemic continues to intensify mental health issues that were already prevalent among college students, Champlain College is doubling down on its well-being programs. We want to make sure you’re aware of everything we have to offer, so we’re rounding up all of our well-being resources and initiatives here.


HEALTH & WELLNESS

Cultivating Well-Being Initiative

A team of stakeholders and experts from across Champlain College is working to embed positive education and well-being knowledge, strategies, and practices in everything we do. You can see this initiative at work in Champlain’s new academic schedule. Wednesdays are now free of daytime classes to ensure we have a day during the school week to recharge and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. Champlain is also bringing on board new people to help lead and expand this important work: a Visiting Fellow for Well-Being and Resiliency and a Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging.

The Student Health & Wellness Center is located in the ground level of Whiting Hall at 203 S. Willard Street. You can get in touch with them by calling (802) 860-2711 or emailing healthservices@champlain.edu.

Student Health & Wellness Center

Champlain’s Student Health Wellness Center provides health care through preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services. The Center also offers health and wellness education on a one-to-one basis and through campus-wide programming. Getting in touch with a nurse is as simple as emailing healthservices@champlain.edu or calling (802) 860-2711 to schedule an in-person or online appointment.

Skip Harris, Director of Champlain’s Counseling Center, gets the word out about the Center’s services during this year’s Activities Fair. The Counseling Center is located in Skiff Hall, 163 South Willard Street. You can contact them by calling (802) 865-5731 or emailing counselingcenter@champlain.edu.

Counseling Center

Services offered through the Counseling Center include individual and group counseling, psychiatric medication management and referrals, alcohol and drug education programs, case management, crisis services, and wellness programming. You can make an appointment by calling (802) 865-5731 or emailing counselingcenter@champlain.edu. There is also an on-call counselor available 24/7 at (802) 865-5745.

“Let’s Talk” With a Counseling Center Counselor

Students can sign up for individual “Let’s Talk” 20-minute consultations with a counselor to problem-solve, de-stress, discuss a concern about a friend, or learn about Counseling Center services. These sessions are offered every weekday via Zoom or phone.

Champlain’s Well-Being & Success Coach, Dr. Kimberly Quinn (right), teaches a positive psychology course called Mindcraft, and is known for wearing wizard robes in her weekly “Defense Against the Dark Arts” meetings where students discuss positive mind sets, social media, and strategies to reduce anxiety. She also hosts a weekly podcast called Mindcraft: Become the Boss of Your Brain & Live Your Best Life and writes for Psychology Today.

Well-Being & Success Coach

Campus well-being wizard, Dr. Kimberly Quinn, offers fun and information programs, podcasts, and classes for students, faculty, and staff on topics ranging from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and distorted thinking to mindfulness, social media usage, and overall well-being. Dr. Quinn’s Guide to Quarantine Mental Health contains loads of helpful tips for taking care of your mental health—even when there isn’t a pandemic!

Defense Against the Dark Arts Club

The Defense Against the Dark Arts Club is a student-led club that meets weekly to discuss positive mind sets, social media, and strategies to reduce anxiety.

Champlain’s Wellness & Fitness Center

Students, faculty, and staff can find everything they need in order to lead an active and healthy lifestyle through our state-of-the-art fitness center and online wellness and physical fitness programming.

Located in the heart of the IDX Student Life Center, Champlain’s Wellness & Fitness Center has a variety of exercise machines available, plus free classes like Zumba and Pound Fitness, and intramural sports, such as badminton, rugby, soccer, and ping pong. If fitness isn’t necessarily your thing, the Wellness & Fitness Center also offers a variety of options to get you out meeting people and staying healthy.

JED Campus

The JED Foundation’s mission is to empower young adults with the skills and support they need to grow into healthy, thriving adults. Since 2019, Champlain has partnered with JED Campus to develop comprehensive mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention systems, programs, and policies. To learn more about JED Campus, click here.

Student Care & Response Team (SCART)

The Student Care & Response Team is a multidisciplinary team that meets regularly to evaluate behaviors by college students that are perceived to be threatening, harming, or disruptive to themselves, to others, or to both, and coordinate an appropriate response. The SCART Team supports students by providing academic triage and intervention when they are missing work and/or classes and their academics are suffering. If you have a concern about a student who is displaying behaviors that may interfere with their ability to be successful in the college environment, please let the Student Care & Response Team know.

Collaboration With MGH & Harvard Medical School

As evidence continues to show that the pandemic is taking a toll on the mental health and well-being of college students, Champlain announced a new collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital Child Resiliency Program (MGH CRP) and Harvard Medical School that will enhance both mental and physical well-being on our campus. MGH CRP will provide resiliency workshops for Champlain students, teach faculty and staff how to deliver resiliency training, provide support for the College’s existing well-being programs, and work with Champlain on a curriculum to promote personal and academic resiliency

Good Morning America said Champlain’s collaboration with MGH’s Child Resiliency Program “includes students and educators in its first phase, recognizing the value of a multi-pronged approach and paving a path for other universities.”

Resiliency Workshops

Offered through a partnership with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital, these groundbreaking workshops give students the tools and support they need to face life’s challenges. Students will learn how to recognize personal stress triggers, stay calm in stressful situations, reduce anxiety, improve memory and concentration, improve academic performance, and increase their self-esteem. By engaging in weekly sessions over six weeks, cohorts of student and educators will discuss physical and cognitive responses to stress, develop and practice self-care and resiliency skills, build social connection, and improve their overall well-being.

Keep an eye out for a new round of workshops being offered next fall and read more about the initiative in this Q&A with Psychology student Reid Anctil who participated in the first workshop.

Mindcraft

Open to all students, Mindcraft: the Scientific Study of Optimal Well-Being & Life Satisfaction is an academic course steeped in positive psychology. Through the class, students explore different concepts related to positive psychology and gain knowledge and skills they can apply to their own mental health. “Students are thirsty for a better, more authentic existence, and through Mindcraft they learn to take charge of their minds,“ says Dr. Kimberly Quinn who teaches the course. The ability to understand how thoughts influence emotions, which in turn affect behavior, will provide insight into how changing our thinking can change our lives.

In past years, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion has hosted a special graduation ceremony during which students chose their stoles and celebrated with family and friends (and future Champlainers?!)

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI)

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) focuses on advancing Champlain College’s commitment to diversity, community, and inclusion by serving as a central resource on issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, and inclusivity. The ODI accomplishes this through academic and sociocultural advising, developing and facilitating various programs, and advocating on behalf of students and communities. Programming includes campus-wide education and training, intercultural engagement, and efforts that promote the matriculation quality of students of all identities. Partnered with students, faculty, and campus colleagues, ODI staff provide anchors of support to historically underrepresented students.

Located in Skiff Hall, the Women’s & Gender Center is a welcoming place on campus. It’s open Monday–Friday from 9 AM–5 PM.

The Women’s & Gender Center

The Women’s & Gender Center provides a comfortable, inclusive, and fun place for students to hang out, meet new friends, and have good conversation. Students of all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome to call this place home. The Center also facilitates educational and supportive programming around three major themes: empowerment & leadership development, gender identity & sexual orientation, and sexual violence prevention. You can browse through upcoming events organized by the Women’s & Gender Center at this link.

COVID Response

Champlain mobilized a team of experts and developed a robust plan for students to return to campus safely. Thanks to the incredible efforts of this team, the broader Champlain community, and the state of Vermont, Champlain has seen some of the lowest infection rates in the nation. In fact, the infection rate on our campus is well below that of the state overall, which is truly remarkable because Vermont has the lowest rate in the country. In The New Yorker, environmental writer, Bill McKibben, attributed Vermont’s low infection rate to the neighborliness of its people: “Vermonters entered the pandemic with remarkably high levels of social trust,” he said.

To keep the community safe during the pandemic, people on campus adapted in remarkably resilient ways. Above, Associate Professor of Journalism, Keith Oppenheim, took his class outside.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT

Strengths-Based Academic Advising

Academic advising at Champlain is grounded in the science of positive psychology and positive education. We draw on students’ strengths and personal motivation to promote learning and academic success. For example, instead of placing a student on academic probation, we support them through academic recovery.

Located on the second floor of Champlain’s library, The SMART Space offers academic tutoring and coaching as well as massage chairs, meditation space, biofeedback training, and weekly therapy dog visits—plus plenty of books to read and spectacular views to soothe the soul. (Viewing nature, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health study, can lessen stress and increase our ability to pay attention.)

The SMART Space

The SMART (Study, Mentors, and Resource Tutors) Space is the headquarters for our students’ academic success. The resources and programs offered through the SMART space are designed to help students meet their educational and career goals through personal academic coaching, program-specific academic tutoring centers, and 24/7 online tutoring.

The SMART Space is located in Champlain’s Miller Information Commons.

Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching offers each student an opportunity to work one-on-one with a professional who is trained in providing academic and motivational support customized to each student’s own strengths and goals. The coaches will help you manage your time, get organized and stay organized, stay on track throughout the semester, set goals, navigate Canvas, build your reading comprehension, improve your study skills, create a personal plan for academic success, discover the power of mindfulness, advocate for yourself, and take advantage of all the resources and learning opportunities Champlain has to offer.

Our coaches—who are all certified health and well-being coaches through Wellcoaches International and the International Coaching federation—incorporate well-being strategies into each 1:1 coaching session. They provide both well-being and academic skill-building workshops to promote student success and overall well-being. Their background in Appreciative Inquiry means they approach every topic with a positive framework and help students navigate their higher education experience in a holistic way.

You may choose to work with a coach once a week, a few times a month, or on an as-needed basis. It’s easy to book an appointment for a one-on-one virtual coaching session through The SMART Space site. You are also welcome to give the Academic Coaches a call at 802-865-6442 or send them an email at smartspace@champlain.edu.

Academic Tutoring Centers

 Our tutors are nationally accredited by the College Reading and Learning Association and incorporate appreciative coaching into each lesson plan. Drop-in study hours, group study sessions, and embedded tutors also offer opportunities for students to dive into their studies in a variety of ways. We help them discover how they learn best and set them up to be successful in this new environment.

Peer tutors, recommended by Champlain faculty and trained by SMART Space staff, offer one-on-one virtual appointments for help with course content, homework assistance, and test preparation. Peer writing consultants provide writing support for all members of the Champlain community. We also have dedicated tutoring centers for the following areas:

24/7 Online Tutoring

In addition to the resources above provided by Champlain coaches and tutors, students can find online tutorials in math, business, writing, and the sciences, as well as a full range of study resources including writing manuals, sample problems, research tools, and study skills manuals at Smarthinking.

Education Empowerment Sessions

Sign up for an empowerment session with people like Dr. Scott Stevens (ITS Dean), Faith Yacubian (EHS professor), Rebecca Mills (Center for Learning & Technology), Dr. Mike Kelly (Core professor), and Neil Preston (SMARTSpace), and get some help with schoolwork or academic motivation. These events happen remotely and in person, and are hosted through the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

Focus on Positive Education

For many years, Champlain has prioritized positive education and well-being as key components of its strategic plan for 2030, embedding well-being knowledge, strategies, and practices throughout its academics and culture. In 2018, through a $1 million gift, Champlain co-hosted a Positive Education Summit and adopted a strength-based approach to student learning and success. This has served as the foundation for the integration of well-being into its campus, from academic tutoring to counseling and healthcare to ongoing well-being programming.

In June 2018, more than 800 people from 30 countries gathered in Fort Worth, TX to turn inspiration into action at the World Positive Education Accelerator (WPEA). Co-convened by Champlain’s David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry and the International Positive Education Network (IPEN), the event featured speakers such as Angela Duckworth, author of Grit, and Martin Seligman, a leading authority in the field of Positive Psychology.

CAREER CONFIDENCE & RESILIENCE

Career Collaborative

Every student is partnered with a discipline-specific Career Coach from the Career Collaborative who provides career-preparation guidance. They help students develop their resumes and cover letters, conduct job searches and prepare for interviews. The entire Career Collaborative team works with our students continuously over the course of their four years to develop their career confidence by recognizing and building on their own personal strengths. We push our students to self-reflect and articulate the value they offer to hiring managers. Our goal is to get them ready to succeed in the real world. It’s competitive, and we want them to be fully prepared. Students can set up an appointment with a Career Coach at this link.

Students can also take advantage of our twice-yearly Career Fairs; learn how to get out of their comfort zone and deliver a 60-second pitch about themselves, an idea, or a start-up through the Elevator Pitch; and start preparing an action plan for their career through the Sophomore Summit, which includes a full day of career-related activities, panels, and workshops.


FINANCIAL WELL-BEING

InSight Program

Personal finance education is at the heart of the Champlain experience. By the time our students graduate, they will have learned how to create and follow a budget, establish credit, manage debt, and invest their money through our innovative InSight curriculum. Personal Finance Peer Coaches are trained on financial topics—credit, salary negotiation, budgeting, cost of living analysis, investments and student loan repayment strategies—and help other students make informed financial decisions.

Center for Financial Literacy

Established in 2010, Champlain’s Center for Financial Literacy (CFL) was designed to promote and develop financial literacy skills among individuals, allowing them to make more sound decisions about spending, credit, debt, investments, and complex financial situations such as buying a home and saving for retirement. The CFL is nationally acclaimed for its efforts to increase the personal finance knowledge of our citizens and has become the credible, go-to source for national media coverage of financial literacy. The Center offers free training sessions for K–12 teachers to learn how to promote financial literacy in their classes.


UPCOMING WELL-BEING INITIATIVES

Olfactory VR For Well-Being

Champlain’s Emergent Media Center (EMC) is partnering with OVR Technology and our very own Psychology department to develop an olfactory virtual reality experience that supports our students’ well-being. Click here to learn more about the EMC!

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