Concordia University Wisconsin continues to diversify its portfolio of mental health and wellness offerings for its students in an effort to meet the practice of alignment with the CUW’s mission.
This past fall, the university launched a life coach pilot program that is available at no cost to all currently enrolled students. Concordia is the only university in the state to include life coaching among its repertoire of services for students.
Life coaches are a type of wellness professional who help individuals make progress in their lives through strategies such as goal setting, accountability, and confronting cognitive distortions. The life coaching program at Concordia is aimed at students who are facing acute struggles that are more short-term in nature, as opposed to those who need ongoing mental health services. Students continue to have access to licensed counselors through CUW’s Counseling Center for the latter.
“We recognize that we have a broad spectrum of students that we serve at Concordia in terms of their cultural backgrounds, belief systems, and wellness needs,” said Professor Tracy Tuffey, emeritus professor and one of Concordia’s life coaches. “The goal is to expand the options they have in front of them so that they can find encouragement, support, and help.”
The coaching program is just the latest in a line of innovative wellness programs the university has implemented. In 2014, Concordia became the first known university in the nation to pilot a program that utilizes a certified comfort dog in a full-time capacity for students’ benefit.
Additionally, Concordia is the only university in the state, and one of few nationwide, to offer SMART Lab services. SMART, which stands for stress management and resiliency training, is a designated space on campus that grants students access to tools including biometric feedback (or biofeedback) and online educational modules that teach strategies like mindfulness and breathing techniques, which have been proven to reduce stress or feelings of panic.