Health and Wellness
The Health and Wellness portion of Active Community Engagement deals with college-sponsored, educational programs geared towards arming students with the knowledge they need to make informed and healthy decisions in life. We ask that students attending in their first semester complete an additional two credits (provided as mandatory workshops during student orientation) for a total of six credits, and four credits each of their first three semesters. While students with an interest in this area may (and are encouraged to) put on programs of their own in this category, there is a set curriculum that will be presented by Health, Counseling, and Student Life staff each semester covering information deemed vital to healthy student development. Topics in this curriculum include safe sexuality, alcohol education, stress management, sleep education, healthy eating, drug abuse education, healthy relationships, winter depression, headache prevention and treatment, time management, hygiene, and recognizing healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms. As mentioned above, students are encouraged to put on programs of their own, though we ask that they work in conjunction with an appropriate staff member to ensure that the information being disseminated to students is correct.
Athletics and Recreation
To increase physical engagement on campus, First Year students will have the opportunity to register for one or more classes, from a list posted and distributed by the Director of Athletics, during the summer prior to their first semester. Returning students may register for these classes during registration day at the end of the preceding semester. These courses each offer one to two credits (for competing team sports), and there are usually over 20 different types of athletics to choose from, from team sports to gentle yoga. The athletics curriculum is designed to accommodate students of all fitness levels and engage them in fun and active programs. While the program is not a full fitness regimen, its goal is to help students find physical activities that fit their schedules and interests, and demonstrate that an active life can be a rewarding experience for everyone.
Participation and Service
The final component of the Active Community Engagement program is the Participation and Service section. Students would be required to obtain four credits per semester in extracurricular lecture attendance, community service initiatives, or a combination of both. In order to achieve their credit requirement, community service opportunities will be made available weekly at a variety of locations. Community service has been completed in the past with Greenagers, Railroad Street Youth Project, Fairview Commons, Breaking Bread, our own community garden, CATA, Berkshire South, Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center, Adopt-A-Highway, and Purradise, a local animal shelter, as well as work with the local schools. Students can fill their requirement in two other ways: either by attending lectures and events by faculty, guest speakers, and students (at ½ credit per event, as explained below), or by putting on ACE programs of their own.
Off Campus Credits
Students with community service hours not set up through the college will still be eligible to receive ACE credit for the hours they have worked. In order to receive credit for hours worked this way, students must notify the ACE Coordinator in advance of their intention to complete their hours in this manner, and submit their supervisor’s contact information on organization letterhead. After completion of their service they must also submit to the Coordinator an hourly timesheet signed by their organization’s supervisor.
Credit Values and Making Up Credits
In general, one credit is assigned for one hour of time committed to participation in an activity (excluding travel time), with two exceptions: Athletics and Recreation assigns one credit for full participation in an athletic course throughout the semester to encourage consistent attendance, and lectures and concerts attended under the Participation and Service section of the program receive ½ credit, since participation in those events is considered passive rather than active. Students who complete extra credits in any category will see those credits roll over to the next semester.