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Why a Leading NJ College Health Program is Launching Virtual Platforms...

 

to Transform Traditional Learning Models During Pandemic

 

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EWING, NJ March 30, 2021 – Founded 50 years ago, the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is leveraging innovative virtual platforms to redefine traditional learning models and foster community-engaged learning. Higher education was hit hard by COVID-19, and one estimate reports overall fall enrollments dipped almost three percent 2019-2020. Traditional instructional formats have either halted or converted to remote outlets, and experiential learning opportunities are limited.

 

Your Health Matters is a new online partnership among the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science at TCNJ, global healthcare company Nova Nordisk and Trenton-based nonprofit HomeFront, an organization focused on ending homelessness.

 

“For clients at HomeFront, stress is directly related to physical and mental health and wellbeing.  Making a difference in individuals’ lives is beneficial and rewarding,” says Associate Professor and Johnson and Johnson Health Leadership Fellow Dr. Tracy Perron. This program enables TCNJ students to deliver virtual lessons in health coaching, health literacy, stress reduction and nutrition to HomeFront stakeholders.

 

Nova Nordisk provided an education grant to help HomeFront clients begin risk reduction. A champion for decreasing the rate of diabetes, especially among vulnerable populations, Nova Nordisk elicits change through support for research, education, public policy, and humanitarian and outreach efforts.

 

TCNJ’s health program is also reshaping select internal teaching formats, launching an executive mini-series offering remote instruction to pursue professional health and wellness careers. “The executive training mini-series explores health and lifestyle coaching…We emphasize holistic wellness and nutrition, arming participants with professional tools and knowledge to determine whether to invest in a certified program”, remarks Dr. Laura Bruno, an Associate Professor spearheading the summer 2021 digital offering.

 

To inform public health policies, TCNJ’s leading health program faculty investigate the impact of massive online interactions on trust and social capital.

Conducting a comprehensive social capital study, Associate Professor and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Visiting Scientist Dr. Carolina Borges explains, “My overall goal is to investigate social capital, social networks, and trust during COVID-19 physical distancing among US adults. The results can inform decision support for public health officials and decision makers to address social determinants of health at local and national levels.”

The School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science Dean Carole Kenner says, “From transforming community healthcare engagement with virtual tools to exploring the influence of online interactions on social trust, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of leveraging digital platforms to seize opportunities for learning success.”

 

TCNJ’s School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science educates aspiring health professionals to become future leaders across the healthcare industry. Faculty work closely with local healthcare partners to provide students with applicative skills and foundational knowledge. The nationally acclaimed school is dedicated to preparing individuals—through programs in nursing, public health, exercise science, and physical education teaching—for the many rewards of guiding people, communities, and populations toward improved health outcomes.

 

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