Community Training & Empowerment: Preparing UCCS Students for a Life of Resilience

Photo of happy students


The Community Training and Empowerment Division takes great pride in offering resilience and coping skills training to both incoming freshmen and current students at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). This past summer, our dedicated CTE division collaborated closely with the Center for Active Living and the Department of Nursing to develop an enriching half-day Coping Skills retreat tailored specifically for nursing students enrolled in the Psychological Nursing class. This innovative retreat, thoughtfully scheduled for the first day of the Fall semester, encompassed a comprehensive program aimed at equipping students with essential tools for managing stress, fostering self-preservation, and enhancing overall well-being.

The retreat was structured to include educational sessions on stress management, emphasizing the crucial role of self-care. In addition to this, we organized breakout groups that delved into crucial aspects of holistic wellness, including nutrition, physical activity, and cognitive skills. To gauge the impact of our efforts, students participated in pre-retreat assessments measuring their coping mechanisms and resilience levels. These assessments will be revisited at the conclusion of the class and at the end of the semester, providing valuable insights into the evolution of students' coping abilities throughout the program.

Our primary objective is to bolster student engagement and retention rates by empowering them with practical life skills that are not only applicable during their academic journey but also throughout their careers. We are thrilled to report that feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive, with students expressing that the skills they acquired were engaging, relevant, and well worth their time. One student even shared, "I really enjoyed this! It was so refreshing to start the school year with this retreat instead of the usual mundane syllabus day or a high-stress lecture."

As the semester progresses, Nicole Weis, the Director of Community Training and Empowerment, will be actively engaged in presenting to students in three GPS Classes. The Gateway Program Seminar (GPS) is an integral part of our university's academic framework, designed to support students in successfully transitioning to university life. GPS plays a pivotal role as the cornerstone of the Compass Curriculum, which is our institution's all-encompassing general education program.

Through GPS, students are exposed to a rich interdisciplinary curriculum led by experienced faculty members from various departments across campus. This approach fosters meaningful connections, promotes inclusivity, and cultivates a sense of belonging, not just during their first year but throughout their entire UCCS journey and beyond. Nicole will be addressing stress education and imparting practical coping and resilience skills that students can readily apply throughout their academic careers at UCCS.

It is well-documented that college students often face significant levels of stress during their initial year on campus as they navigate challenging coursework, explore career aspirations, and adapt to campus life. Our commitment to providing these crucial educational opportunities and skill-building exercises ensures that students are well-informed about the impact of stress and are equipped with the tools to effectively manage and thrive within our campus community.

In conclusion, the Community Training and Empowerment Division remains deeply committed to promoting the holistic well-being of UCCS students. Our collaborative efforts with various departments on campus, such as the Center for Active Living and the Department of Nursing, exemplify our dedication to providing students with essential life skills that will serve them not only in their academic pursuits but also in their future careers. We are confident that through these initiatives, we are fostering a resilient and empowered student body capable of overcoming challenges and thriving within the UCCS community.


Tags: Newsletter October 2023News