Last year’s National College Health Assessment reported 30 percent of college students said they experienced enough stress to negatively affect academic performance and more than 85 percent experienced feeling overwhelmed, numbers that have held steady since at least 2013. The NCHA also found 15.8 percent of students reported being diagnosed or treated for anxiety while 13.1 percent had been diagnosed or treated for depression. Arkansas colleges have responded to the growing problem of stress on campus through a variety of outreach, campus organizations, health services and recreation to help students manage the stress of college life.
|Residence Hall room at Arkansas Tech|
BAPTIST HEALTH COLLEGE LITTLE ROCK
Baptist Health College Little Rock provides a dedicated Academic and Spiritual Counselor on campus; this highly specialized and trained professional is accessible to students at all times. The school also offers a Family Night each semester to students to educate and encourage all students. Speaker panels comprised of former students and graduates, as well as resources for families, help nursing students ease the sometimes-stressful transition into healthcare specific careers.
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY-BEEBE
The university strives to help students deal with the challenges college presents academically and mentally. ASU-Beebe maintains a counselor on campus who helps individuals deal with a range of issues including stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, drug and alcohol addiction and relational and family problems.
Student Success Center staff is dedicated to assisting in career development and navigating today’s job market. Expert counselors offer guidance for students as they formulate a career path, utilizing a full range of resources and services to assist in developing the necessary strategies and skills to stand out during the job search and beyond.
The campus Learning Center is a free tutoring service to all students, offering individual and small group tutoring, workshops, online tutoring and an open computer lab with Internet access.
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
The Learning Commons is A-State’s initiative to bring students and faculty together in a productive way to assist students with tutoring and mentoring. A-State’s retention rate from first to second year is at a record level, due in part to increased monitoring and student academic services.
ARKANSAS TECH UNIVERSITY
Arkansas Tech University’s Health and Wellness Center, along with the Arkansas Tech Counseling Center, regularly partner to create programming that is open to all students and addresses issues such as school-life balance, stress management, depression and health issues. This proactive approach is designed to help students grow in a way that will allow them to succeed in college and beyond.
The Office of Campus Life offers wide-ranging opportunities for all students to become involved on campus. Campus recreation, Greek life, leadership programs, orientation, outdoor recreation, registered student organizations, service initiatives and spirit squads are some of the programs that connect Tech students to each other and the world around them.
On Track is an undergraduate co-curricular experience designed to enhance student development beyond the classroom, encouraging students to network socially among peers and to include students in traditional and signature university events. Undergraduate students who choose to complete all seven tracks become eligible to apply for an expenses-paid trip following the completion of the last track. Recent destinations for On Track trips have included Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
COLLEGE OF THE OUACHITAS
A mandatory new student orientation eases the transition into college by acquainting students with the college environment and the various aspects of college life. The Student Opportunities Seminar (SOS) and Principles of Collegiate Success engage students in real-life opportunities and learning strategies for academic and professional behavior applicable to college, career and life success.
A master’s level student intern from Henderson State University is available to meet with both students and employees on campus for free counseling opportunities. The federally funded TRiO/Student Support Services provides workshops to students on topics such as stress management, time management, study skills, note-taking skills, et cetera.
The college has several student organizations that promote social interaction and activities that enhance students’ social health. These include Fishing Club, Psychology Club and Student Government Association, as well as professional organizations such as Student Nurses Association, SkillsUSA, Student- Arkansas Education Association, National Technical Honor Society and Phi Theta Kappa-National Honor Society. Faith-based organizations include Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship and Total Christian Experience.
JOHN BROWN UNIVERSITY
JBU provides students with a variety of extra-curricular activities, ministries and student services to help them connect with the campus and the community. Student government, internships, student-led ministries, the student newspaper and intramural sports teams are just a few of the ways to get involved. The Walton Lifetime Health Complex, currently under a $5 million renovation, provides our students, faculty and staff, and the Siloam Springs community access to athletic facilities and equipment for exercise and activities. Through the student counseling center and student support services, JBU is committed to providing resources to help every student achieve success in academics as well as developing healthy emotional, physical and spiritual habits.
NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE
NPC has a newly-renovated, well-equipped Wellness Center that is available for student use free of charge. There is a weight room, cardio equipment, workout space and fully-equipped gymnasium. On-campus food service is provided by a local provider who is willing to prepare individual, special requests. NPC employs a full-time campus nurse.
|National Park College student, Daniel, in the Wellness Center.|
NPC also employs a full-time mental health professional whose services are available to students free of charge. Issues of depression, stress management and school-life balance are all addressed largely through a College Seminar course. Outside that structure, workshops are provided to students through grant programs and through the campus mental health professional. NPC also has a Veterans Center for students transitioning from military service.
NPC offers student groups, clubs and organizations and sponsors campus-wide student activities twice per semester. As part of a three-tiered shared governance structure, the NPC Student Government Association provides the student body an audience with college administration. Beginning in fall 2016, a robust Intramural Program will include basketball, volleyball, softball and flag football.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The college hosts a number of events meant to help students connect on campus, both with peers as well as faculty and staff, sponsored by Student Ambassadors and Activities Board. Activities include Welcome Week, Fall Clubs Fair, Pizza with the President, Volunteer Fair, Fall Festival and more. Staff members and student leaders also cook free pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for students during the stress of Finals Week. At the request of students, NWACC is adding a hammock farm where students can study or relax.
The college offers a tutoring center, a math center, a reading center, and a writing center to assist students. The Pauline Whitaker Library and Information Commons are being updated with modern furniture and areas for both quiet and group study. For those experiencing academic or any other sort of issue, counseling is available through the Dean of Students Office and many faculty and staff members also maintain an open door policy for impromptu counseling sessions.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-FAYETTEVILLE
The University of Arkansas orientation provides key information about the university’s support programs to incoming freshmen to keep them healthy in mind and body both in person and through an online “patient portal” that allows students to maintain a record of their health, schedule appointments at any time of day, exchange messages with health center staff, and request prescription refills via secure messages. The Pat Walker Health Center’s Wellness and Health Promotion Department helps students achieve a holistic balance between their schoolwork and life outside the classroom. The team provides individual wellness coaching sessions and group presentations.
Aside from health, the university has created an early-warning system to help spot students who are having difficulty in their first year and offer direct extra academic guidance and tutoring. Recognizing that the step from high school to college can feel like a huge leap for some students, the university seeks to provide help in academics, wellness and social tools to allow each student to achieve the dream of a college degree.
The University of Arkansas has over 400 registered student organizations with activities ranging from small groups up to concerts by national acts such as Foo Fighters, Snoop Dog and John Legend and distinguished national and international lecturers to address the campus.
The department of University Recreation offers two facilities for student exercise and recreation. The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building offers comprehensive fitness and recreational opportunities for all students on campus, from club sports to intramurals, outdoor activities to fitness offerings as well as inclusive activities such as wheelchair basketball. The second facility, a smaller, exercise-intensive center, features weights, ellipticals, treadmills and a workout studio.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-FORT SMITH
UAFS requires all new students to attend New Student Orientation (NSO), which includes a simultaneous parent’s program covering topics important to families sending their student to college. The university also offers an optional extended freshman orientation called Cub Camp, a three-day freshman experience of small groups led by upperclassmen who teach about the many resources and involvement opportunities on campus. Cub Camp also covers a number of important topics including alcohol education, Title IX, and teen pregnancy.
The Student Affairs Division supports #Umatter, which provides programming around a different topic each semester. A sample of the topics slated for the upcoming academic year includes alcohol awareness and drug prevention, hazing prevention, depression, bullying and relationship issues. UAFS has 104 registered student organizations, and adds about ten new organizations annually, which put on 300 different events and activities last year.
The university’s brand new Recreation and Wellness Center offers expanded cardio and weightlifting areas, two basketball courts, a 35-foot rock climbing wall and a 15-foot bouldering wall. Students also have free access to a licensed nurse practitioner in the Powell Health Clinic and are allowed eight free visits at our Counseling Center, staffed with a licensed professional counselor.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK
Living on campus at UALR comes with many perks, including a greater chance at academic success through a living-learning community and social activities including intramurals and Greek life. The Office of Campus Living works with students to find a good fit in roommates and will step up to manage disputes that may arise.
|Students enjoy some down time relaxing in hammocks near Campus Drive at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.|
For additional ways to get involved, just a few of the numerous registered student organizations are The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Ethics Bowl Team, Student Government Association, Colleges Against Cancer, Cyber Security Club, Pre-Law Society, and Trojan Elite Dance Team, along with numerous honor societies and social groups.
UALR Counseling Services has clinically trained mental health professionals who promote mental health and wellness in an individual, group and community format. Counselors help students overcome personal barriers and life’s stresses, as well as assist the student in exploring and accessing strengths and developing healthy and sustainable coping skills. The UALR Disability Resource Center works with students who may need accommodations for any mental-health related disabilities.
In addition to events, fairs and workshops held throughout the year, every student receives Student Health 101, a monthly newsletter addressing issues of school-life balance, stress management, depression, and health issues. UALR has a behavioral intervention team that meets to assess whether a student’s behavior warrants attention and needs appropriate intervention of some kind. Other assistance and support is available through the Trojan Food Pantry, Trojan Career Closet, and The Alliance, an organization for LGBTQ individuals.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-MONTICELLO
UAM Counseling Services helps students cope with a variety of educational, adjustment and mental health issues including recent loss, anxiety, depression, loneliness, eating disorders, alcohol and drugs, anger management and shyness, among other topics.
Over 80 organizations, 12 of them Greek, allow students the opportunity to form social circles and enjoy activities. On-campus activities include movie nights, bowling, karaoke, cookouts, awareness events, step shows, bingo, ice skating, fireworks, bed races, late-night breakfasts and crawfish boil.
Students maintain physical health and wellness at the Randy S. Risher Wellness Center while tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, disc golf and the Weevil Walk around the campus pond provide opportunities for outdoor recreation. A full slate of intramural sports is also provided.
UAM students also have the opportunity to attend a variety of residence hall programs, increasing their social life and well-being by spending quality time with those around them. The students are given the opportunity to choose their own roommates in housing or are assigned one based on points of mutual compatibility. Residence hall staff is trained in handling difficult situations involving persons of concern, roommate conflict mediation and other guidance on an as-needed basis. The staff manages a booth at the campus wellness fair and leads presentations on personal, social and academic development, diversity awareness and other topics.
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
The Learning Institute and Opportunities for New Students (LIONS) program is one of the largest bridge programs offered at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. With more than 200 students enrolled each summer, student can take six hours of courses, enjoy social and entertainment activities, attend tutoring sessions and engage in “College Knowledge” enrichment courses on everything from time management to career planning.
The STEM Summer Academy is available for students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to help prepare them for college life. Students are involved in team building activities, networking, bonding, and study groups, and meet professional STEM role models and gain an understanding of the expectations of a STEM professional.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has more than 100 student organizations and intramural sports opportunities. Most activities are coordinated through the Union Programming Board, a student-led organization that plans concerts, movie nights and more for the enjoyment of the student body.
The Office of Student Counseling, Assessment and Development is available to provide effective counseling and psycho-social support. Faculty and staff also have an open door policy with students, addressing matters of stress, academic issues and general coping.