Educate, Motivate, Refer!
Created in 2011, The Institute for Wellness Coaching has trained and certified more than 800 students to become Wellness Coaches. They aim to support their peers by discussing personal health behaviors, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and skills to develop actionable goals and strategies to become healthier and feel well. Wellness Coaches are trained to facilitate individual coaching sessions in the following three areas:
- BeWell: focused on all general health topics such as sleep, nutrition, body image, exercise, substance use, stress and time management, academics, relationships and social life, mental health, spirituality, and community involvement
- NourishWell: focused on food, body image and movement and how to develop positive perceptions and beliefs about weight, activity, nutrition, and body image
- ChooseWell: focused on alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs and how to develop strategies for safe use or receive support and mentorship around navigating the social culture if you choose not to drink
The Institute for Wellness Coaching (IWC) trains and certifies students to become Wellness Coaches who educate, motivate, and refer their peers in a variety of health topics. The Wellness Coaches provide health education and communication through facilitating individual and group conversations. The goal is to empower students to make healthy decisions and foster a culture of health central to academic success and student formation.
The philosophy of the Institute for Wellness Coaching is to educate students about health while using awareness, prevention, and behavior change techniques, such as motivational interviewing to enhance low risk strategies, decision making, and behavior change. Based on the four years that students are at the University we hope to guide and support them with Wellness Coaches as the cornerstone of their health.
Our Wellness Coaches live by the mantra: Educate. Motivate. Refer.
Wellness Coaches are trained in Readiness to Change, Motivational Interviewing, Appreciative Inquiry, Positive Psychology, how to facilitate a wellness conversation, set SMART goals and strategies, and demonstrate empathy and active listening.
Wellness Coaches meet with students individually to discuss personal well-being through exploring their strengths, values, goals, and motivations and help them to develop a personal plan with short and long-term goals and strategies. Wellness Coaching is holistic and utilizes a mind, body, and soul framework where students learn tangible skills to thrive personally and academically at BC. They also facilitate outreach programming through Express Health in areas of managing time and stress, striving for healthy sleep habits, learning about healthy eating and exercising, and supporting and educating around alcohol and drug use.
Education, behavior change, and student formation are the cornerstone of the Institute for Wellness Coaching.
The Wellness Coach Curriculum includes 20 hours of training and certification and weekly continuing education throughout the academic year. TEach of these specialty areas have a dedicated curriculum and each Wellness Coach is encouraged to add their own personality. The Wellness Coach Playbook is a curriculum guide for each specialty area with everything they need to know, organized into the following three sections:
- Wellness Education: What They Coach On
- Coaching Processes: How They Coach
- Coaching Structures: Where They Coach
Our Wellness Coaches' three main responsibilities:
- Education: Attending annual training and weekly continuing education to sharpen their skills
- Facilitation: Coaching with their peers in individual and group settings
- Outreach: Spreading awareness through signature health programs across campus.
By becoming a Wellness Coach you will:
- Learn about health, become healthier, and increase your own health knowledge
- Develop coaching and facilitation skills
- Empower others to reach their personal goals
- Gain career and leadership skills
- Develop lasting relationships with other Wellness Coaches
- Serve the Boston College community
To become a Wellness Coach you will need to apply and be selected for an interview and callback related to your specialty area of interest. After you are selected you will need to:
- Attend a two-hour training session in April
- Attend a two-day training in late August, which requires early move-in for the fall
- Attend weekly continuing education through the academic year
- Attend once a month all Wellness Coach meetings
- Submit service logs each semester