Wake Forest Uses MyStudentBody Program to Supplement Mandatory Student Health Course
Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest
University is a small, nationally-renowned liberal arts college with
approximately 5,000 undergraduate students.
Wake Forest’s course offerings and degree programs are
designed to provide a well-rounded, diverse education for its students.
Undergraduates may select among 38 major fields and 55 minors, with over half
of graduating seniors seeking degree credits abroad.
In order to ensure students enjoy not only a well-rounded
academic education, but a thorough health education as well, Wake Forest
requires students to pass a health course that informs students about the
effect of lifestyle behaviors that may lead to disease and other illnesses.
Every undergraduate student is required to enroll in and
pass a course called HES 100: Lifestyle and Health. On the Wake Forest website,
this course is described as “a lecture course that deals with the effect of
lifestyle behaviors on various health outcomes, including cardiovascular
disease, cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases.”
The purpose of the course is to “give students a guide
for living a healthy lifestyle,” said health educator Natascha Romeo. “Every
student must take the class to graduate.”
Since implementing a mandatory health course was
challenging, Wake Forest sought a program that would blur the lines between a
standard lecture course and a personalized wellness tool that students would
find interesting and useful. The campus had taken great pains to ensure this
balance, including bringing in health specialists to elaborate on specific
lifestyle topics relevant to students.
After seeking out a prevention program to supplement the
health course, Wake Forest turned to MyStudentBody in 2003. The program
offers comprehensive courses on drugs, alcohol and sexual violence, as well as
a parent-based intervention, reporting tools for campus administrators and
various online resources promoting a healthy student lifestyle.
According to Romeo, Wake Forest chose MyStudentBody
because it “provided us with a comprehensive series of tools. We were charged
with delivering a variety of health initiatives and this one was
research-based, allowing it to go hand-in-hand with the Health 100 class.”
Wake Forest currently supplements the Essentials Course with the B4UDrink Educator, a
virtual “bar” which allows students to simulate the experience of drinking and
learn about the consequences of binge drinking or other irresponsible choices.
“The MyStudentBody Essentials
Course is especially useful. It points out information that college
students might not know about. About thirty percent of our students say they do
not drink at all and even they say it’s helpful since it gives them insights
about their friends and the potential risks of engaging in certain activities.”
In addition, says Romeo, instructors offer extra credit
to students who pursue other MyStudentBody components including information on
drugs and nutrition.
“It’s been a very positive response. We really try to
make it as relevant as possible for the student,” said Romeo. “We cover
nutrition, alcohol, sex, transitioning from high school to college. We try to
promote a healthy lifestyle from a holistic perspective, educating students
about not just drinking, but drugs, and STDs, etc.”
Wake Forest administrators are able to monitor students’
progress in the courses online, and access anonymous data on students’
self-reported behaviors. Aside from using the data to identify health
challenges on the Wake Forest campus, the Student
Conduct course is also used in judicial matters as well, “to educate
offenders on the risks of their behaviors and how it can affect their
education,” Romeo said.Back To Case Studies