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Wondering what you can do to help level the playing field for your BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students so that they can better thrive at college and beyond? Start by taking a look at your school’s role in the social determinants of health—factors such as access to health care services and health education, affordable nutritious foods, and social inclusion of marginalized groups. Your students’ well-being, educational attainment, and career success are all affected by these factors. Lowering the barriers to these social determinants is one big step in creating a more equitable school environment.

Over the past decades, more and more BIPOC students are enrolling in degree programs. The proportion of students of color has grown across all types of institutions. The greatest increase is seen at minimally selective and open admission four-year schools. Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other students of color now account for almost half of the student body across all schools (Pew Research Center data). “It remains the case—as the data in this and other studies show—that race is a prevailing factor in many educational outcomes,” according to the American Council on Education. With Black students in particular, there are still substantial barriers in place that result in them having the highest undergraduate dropout rates.

While systemic change often occurs slowly over time, there are many things you as a college administrator can do right now to improve the conditions in which your BIPOC students learn, live, play, and work to help them succeed at school and life.

One example is the wellness programming you provide to your students. Wellness is about more than just physical and emotional health—it integrates all aspects of your students’ lives. This includes intellectual, occupational, social, financial, environmental, and spiritual wellness. You can provide your students with evidence-based information to build their confidence and skills in these areas and to continue overcoming and addressing many of the barriers that disproportionately affect students of color.

CampusWell is proud to work with our client schools to ensure that all students can access the same high-quality science-backed wellness resources. Student-focused articles are available online 24/7 on topics such as affordable healthy eating, accessible fitness routines, sleep strategies, sexually transmitted infection prevention, and recommendations for health center visits. With your school-wide subscription, this information is available free of charge to all of your students. We also provide resources to enhance their social, mental, and spiritual health on topics including positive relationships, communication skills, stress relief, sexual consent, and mindfulness.

Beyond physical and mental health resources, CampusWell can also help your school contribute to a culture of equity with our articles on intellectual, financial, and occupational wellness. Providing your students with strategies to better handle online learning, improve their financial literacy, manage their time more effectively, and ace their job interviews are regular themes in our publication.

Our online platform also helps your school’s departments direct students to campus resources and safe spaces to seek guidance and support when they need it. These can include your Health Center, Diversity and Inclusion Office, Career Center, Financial Aid Office, Title IX Coordinator, and Disability Office.

Our primary goal is to help schools positively impact their students’ success and wellness by supporting their knowledge, skills, and behaviors with our weekly content. By providing your students access to our evidence-based information from a diversity of voices, we are proud to help you promote a culture of equity and inclusion.

At CampusWell, we too have a policy to represent diversity and amplify BIPOC voices and experiences in our publication. Our goal is to help you provide excellent resources and guidance to your students from all backgrounds so that they feel welcome and empowered. We can work together to help your students overcome obstacles to succeed in school and life.

CampusWell is a versatile platform that helps make a multi-departmental wellness initiative simple, sustainable, and engaging. Using technology, high quality, research-based content, and proven marketing strategies, together with your existing assets, we deliver a campus-wide wellness platform that will positively impact your students and institution.

Sources

Espinosa, L., Turk, J., Taylor, M. & Chessman, H. (2019). Race and ethnicity in higher education: A status report. American Council on Education. Retrieved from https://www.equityinhighered.org/resources/report-downloads/

Fry, R. & Cilluffo, A. (2019). A rising share of undergraduates are from poor families, especially at less selective colleges. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/05/22/a-rising-share-of-undergraduates-are-from-poor-families-especially-at-less-selective-colleges/

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health