CREATING AN ENGAGING & INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT (read more: pp 48 - 60 in the JITT Guide)
WHAT IS IT?
Asset-based approaches to student wellbeing are policies, practices, and strategies that identify and draw upon the strengths of individuals, families, and communities. Asset-based (aka strengths-based) practices involve shifting away from deficit approaches that tend to emphasize problems and instead focus on the positive contributions that students make in the classroom.
Wellbeing is a multifaceted construct and can be conceptualized into five dimensions: Career, Community, Financial, Social, and Physical and Psychological (Rath & Harder, 2010)1.
Asset-based approaches benefit students by:
- encouraging them to engage in campus services and support structures;
- empowering them to more effectively participate in class;
- helping them to build positive support networks through relationships with peers and instructors (Green et al., 2004).
- of UCD students report that inconsistent access to housing or homelessness is an obstacle to school work or academic success.
- of UCD students report that they could not afford to eat balanced meals in the past year (UCUES, 2018).
- “I once had a class where our instructor had us meditate and practice mindfulness in class…like when we visualized being successful on exams.”
- “Some of my professors are really good about encouraging students to talk to them in office hours or through email if we are struggling with food and/or housing insecurity. This makes me less afraid to approach them about my challenges.”
- The whole catalog of open-access resources can be found here: Healthy UC Davis: Open Access Resources. How might you connect students to this website at the beginning of and throughout your course?
- How can you build flexibility into your attendance and late-work policies in order to work with students (e.g., to establish plans for getting back on track if they fall behind)?
- 1. List of all references in the complete JITT Guide.