College student wellbeing

Assessing Wellbeing

I'm just back from NASPA's Annual Conference, where I presented with colleagues from Wake Forest University on how we have been creating a wellbeing assessment for college students. 

We've done several pilots of this instrument, and some of the findings include information that tells us wellbeing is a serious issue in college students: 

•75% felt unable to stop worrying

•54% felt depressed

•54% felt isolated

Wellbeing is a huge concept, and so we had to decide what to concentrate on in this assessment. There are three organizing principles that we have been using to craft the instrument.

  1. It needs to include areas of wellbeing that are developmentally appropriate for the institution. Wake Forest is predominantly 18-23 year olds, and so this is the age group we focussed on. This is not to say that they would not be appropriate for older students, but this was our focus. 
  2. The wellbeing components have a substantial body of research behind them. 
  3. The survey is actionable. We are only concerned here with information that provides guidance to practice and policy, so they must be components than can be changed through these methods.

Here is a link to the powerpoint we used. And here is a link to the project as a whole.

This is great work in a crucial area of the student experience.