With topics ranging from “Positive Thinking” to “Resilience” to “Time Management,” the course will help new students be better students.

While classes aren’t scheduled to resume on the Keuka College campus for another six weeks, the College is nonetheless giving incoming students a leg up on their studies.

Keuka College is introducing a wellness course designed to help students thrive in their college experience. The online one-credit course, called “Survive or Thrive” and taught by Associate Professor of Child & Family Studies and Psychology, Dr. Nicholas Koberstein, is free and fulfills one of students’ mandatory general education requirements. 

“Keuka College wants to create an environment of excitement for new students that they didn’t get this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brad Fuster. “This course will be an opportunity to make social bonds with students, professors, and teaching assistants.” 

The online course will take place over four weeks and cover seven broad topics, ranging from “Positive Thinking” to “Resilience” to “Time Management.” The modules will support students in challenging themselves and their cognitive abilities.

“Students will achieve cognitive comfort, which is the amount of time they allow themselves to remain outside their comfort zone,” says Dr. Koberstein. “By engaging and learning new strategies to cope with their discomfort, students will be able to unleash their full potential.”

Seven current Keuka College students are serving as teaching assistants for the course. 

“I feel this course is really befitting of the Keuka College mantra, ‘Believe in What We Can Do Together,’” says Dr. Koberstein. “Amazing things happen when you give students a voice and creative license.”

Teaching assistants for the “Survive or Thrive” course will not only be gaining experiential-learning Field Period® credits but become leaders within the course and on campus.

“Working with people I see around campus but don’t personally know gives me a new perspective,” says Child and Family Studies major Maddie Robbins ’21, a “Survive or Thrive” TA. Robbins worked on the resilience module for the course, which pushes students to recognize the necessity of tension, fear, and conflict in learning. 

“I love the phrase ‘tension creates growth,’ that Dr. Koberstein uses,” Robbins says. “It motivates students to push past conflicts, push through their fears, and get to that point of growth.”

The “Survive or Thrive” course runs from July 20 through Aug. 15.

Keuka College English major Emily Catania ’21 reported and wrote this article.