Belmont’s new WELL Core program lowers the number of WELL Core credits students are required to have for graduation.
Out of 10 dimensions of wellness, the program requires students to attend five events in each category. This lowers the number of required WELL Core credits to 50, rather than the 60 that Belmont students saw last spring.
WELL Core is a graduation requirement meant to “nurture in each student the capacity to live a life that is satisfying, with a sense of meaning and purpose, encompassing all dimensions of human life,” said the program website.
“We’re trying to come up with more creative ways for students to fulfill their credits, more active ways to do it instead of sitting and doing programs,” said Adam Pace, Be Well BU director.
Until this year, the convocation system was a part of the BELL Core office.
“The goal is to make it more about habits, practices, behaviors - less about sitting in a room being told things,” said Nathan Griffith, BELL Core director.
The WELL Core office now works with Be Well BU working to coordinate wellness for everyone on Belmont’s campus, including undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff.
With the new Be WELL BU partnership, the dimensions will be different than the previous WELL Core system. Instead of having six WELL Core categories, there’s ten.
These are spiritual, cultural, emotional, occupational, physical, social, environmental, intellectual and financial, all which align with Be Well BU. There's a 10th additional category for community service - a tenet of the old WELL Core programming.
The new system is meant to provide clarification for each WELL Core category.
“There was a lot of overlap between the categories in the old program,” said Pace. “We thought it would be better to have it separated, so that students would be guaranteed to have a holistic experience.”
One example of this is the breakdown of the old WELL Core category of “Interpersonal/Emotional/Physical.” Under the old framework, students could get all their credits in “emotional” events, never doing anything with “physical” events. This new proposal would allow for equal distribution of events for each category.
WELL Core’s new home with Be Well BU also allows cross-promotion for each program. Be Well BU now posts WELL Core events on its Instagram, showcasing the different events.
Sydney Barton, a freshman, works as a team leader with Be Well BU to coordinate these social media promotions.
Although she’s only ever known the new WELL Core system, she says the new system will prove to be useful for students.
“I think when you actually show up and pay attention, and want to hear what’s going on, and want to learn, there’s no negative effect that it could have on your life,” said Barton.
This is a point the new WELL Core system is trying to hammer home.
“We’re trying to come up with more creative ways for students to fulfill their credits, more active ways to do it instead of sitting and doing programs,” said Pace.
The new system allows students to receive an “advanced achievement pathway” cord at graduation if they take an additional 25 Well Core credits.
“It doesn’t matter what category they’re in,” said Pace. “Once you hit five in Spiritual wellness, for example… every time you go to chapel beyond that for spiritual, it’s going to count for your advanced achievement.”
He said he hopes the reduction of requirements and clarification in each category will allow students to achieve their WELL Core requirements more easily and in a way that they’ll enjoy.
“It’s really all about rounding out the experience,” said Pace. “Learn from what you’ve learned in the classroom, learning how to apply it to your life after graduation… the Belmont experience adds value to your degree that you wouldn’t get everywhere.”
This article was written by Katie Beth Cannon