Widener University: An Analysis of the Linkages among Personal Psychosocial Well-Being, Community Well-Being, and Civic Engagement through Participation in a Common First-Year Experience

Category 2: Program Development Grant

Category 2: Well-Being Research Grant

We propose to bring together a team of researchers to study whether students' understanding of the connection between personal well-being and civic purpose is affected by participation in a first-year program that features a common reading with related curricular and co-curricular activities and content focused on civic engagement and community.

Our hypothesis is that a common educational experience devoted to learning in community will promote students’ understanding of well-being as something constructed and maintained in community with others. Faculty will integrate their teaching of a community-oriented common reading with high-impact practices that stress learning in community. Widener University is already committed, through our strategic plan, to existing campus efforts to grow and sustain the use of high-impact practices in the fulfillment of our mission to facilitate student success and transformation. With this study, we hope to go more deeply into the connections among these learning opportunities, our emphasis on community and civic engagement, and the well-being of our students.