Date of Award

8-1-2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Health Education

First Advisor

Miller, Kim

Abstract

Every year universities across the United States administer the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) to assess their students’ general health based on nine topic areas (i.e. sleep, nutrition, mental health, drug use, sexual behavior, etc.) in relation to their impact on academics. Overall, there is low participation among minority-serving institutions, more specifically Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The lack of participation among these universities may be for several reasons, such as financial constraints on the university or the use their own instruments to assess their students’ health and wellness needs. Further, they may not see a need for the NCHA. Most universities use data analyzed from the NCHA to tailor their wellness programs to their students’ specific needs. This foundational research study utilized a case study design to explore the capacity of one HBCU to provide wellness programs and services to their students and to assess how the wellness needs of current students are identified and met. The secondary purpose of this study was to assess the attitudes of health administrators and students regarding their schools’ wellness programs and services as well as to identify the strengths and gaps in services provided. One-on-one interviews with university staff and administrators, student focus groups, and document analysis were used to collect data. Case analysis was performed to generate research themes to answer the research questions. Six themes were created to answer the corresponding research questions. Conclusions from this study may provide insight into how this university developed and implemented wellness related programs and services to meet the wellness needs of its students.

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