For those interested in graduate health and wellness programs, Centennial College offers its two-semester Workplace Wellness and Promotion offering. It is actually the country’s first post-graduate wellness program. As such, it enjoys a national and international reputation that is recognized by leading employers. The approach Centennial College takes to facilitating the program can be broken down into a few components.
At its most fundamental level, the offering teaches students to promote the importance of total well being to groups and people in both corporate and community contexts. To do so effectively, courses cover topics such as: program planning, program design, program management, physical and psychosocial health issues, mental health management, nutrition, health promotion theory, organizational development, environmental health coaching, research and business skills. This allows students, when they graduate, to offer a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to workplace wellness and community health promotion. Additionally, the Health Promotion Program emphasizes assessing health risk factors.
These topics are taught in an interactive manner that includes a second-semester field placement, which is completed two days a week, for a total of 16 hours per week. In this placement, students integrate and apply theories and skills learned in both semesters. There is also a two-hour class for students to complete the applicable paperwork, to get assistance if needed and to present their professional portfolios. Students present the final version of their professional portfolio, which will incorporate their personal “brand” as well as key activities and projects of their placement experience along with career and contact information to classmates and invited guests. Among the places at which students can complete their placements are respected organizations such as: Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, Telus, Toronto Police Services, Ministry of Education, Health & Stroke Foundation, City of Hamilton and more.
For those returning to school, Centennial College’s approach to preparing students for this field is beneficial, as evidenced by 2009 graduate Amy Langer’s views. “Returning to [this program] … after 25 years experience as a nurse, was the perfect choice for me,” she says. It gave me the skills to take my career to the next level, with formal training in how to integrate wellness, health promotion and program planning. I am now armed with the tools to introduce and deliver wellness programming/ teaching into any organization.”