Integrating Academic and Co-Curricular Resilience Programs on Your Campus

Integrating Academic and Co-Curricular Resilience Programs on Your Campus

August 10 - 11, 2020
Richmond, VA


Coronavirus update: To ensure the safety of participants and speakers, this program has been changed to a virtual conference. Current registrants will participate virtually. All-inclusive members can participate for free. Registration details will be provided soon.



Build an initiative to foster resilience in your students and prepare them for academic success.

Attitudes are shifting around mental health. Students are increasingly seeking out on-campus counseling services to mitigate academic and social pressures associated with college life. To ease the burden on counseling centers and help students cope with high intensity stressors, forward-thinking institutions are launching innovative, evidence-based, resilience-building initiatives to support students in acquiring the mental fortitude for success in all areas of collegial life. 

Join us for a unique and interactive learning experience to glean crucial considerations for successfully building and launching academic or co-curricular student resilience programs. During this two-day program, we will dive deep into the nuts and bolts of: 

  • Important considerations for incorporating co-curricular resilience initiatives 
  • Training and engaging faculty and staff 
  • Resilience teaching strategies, including tried and tested course activities 
  • Improving psychological and emotional resilience in your students 
  • Assessing your current campus context and strategizing next steps 

View our agenda outline for more details about the individual sessions. 

Due to the interactive design of this conference, you will not only have the opportunity to gain rich knowledge and evidence-based research from our speaker panel but also have the chance to engage in activities and lesson plans used by our experts on their own campuses, in both academic and co-curricular spaces. Our speakers will provide you with the proper guidance, tools, and training resources you need to design and initiate a successful resiliency building program on your own campus. 


Who Should Attend 

This training will be highly valuable for: 

  • Those interested in learning all about the benefits of resilience-centered programming models 
  • Those who want to study and practice the steps of implementing resilience programs in their academic curriculum or in non-academic learning spaces.     

Directors of Counseling Centers, Health & Wellness Educators, Faculty, Academic LeadersStudent Affairs Leaders, and Athletic Directors are all strongly encouraged to attend. 



Day One

8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.


Framing Resilience in the Context of Student Mental Health

In this opening hour, you will better understand the definition of what resilience is and is not in the specific context of student mental health in higher education and adverse childhood experiences. The framing of resilience will help you prepare for the sessions where we will begin to design and plan resilience initiatives. After this session, you will be able to effectively define and explain resilience in this context.



Resilience Teaching Strategies for Faculty & Staff

We will provide an overview of a second training model that was implemented for faculty and staff who are interested in learning more about integrating resilience initiatives in their academic programs. You will engage in real-life course activities to fully experience how the resilience course is executed. This hands-on, practical application to learning resilience strategies will help you develop a deeper awareness and appreciation for the course’s offerings.



Changing Minds, Changing Lives: Fostering Resilience in Students

Our expert panel will provide an overview of the creation and evolution of an academic resilience course that quickly gained momentum and expanded into multiple offerings for not only student-athletes but students in engineering, pre-medical, and management programs. You will get an overview of how the course was developed and how it has evolved over the years. Our faculty will also highlight their integrative teaching approach for this unique course and share participant evaluation results that demonstrate how this course has helped build more resilience in student participants.



The Resilient Learner: Building Student’s Psychological and Emotional Resiliency

You will learn about Dr. Aubrey’s groundbreaking academic resiliency program as outlined in his new book, The Resilient Learner: Thriving and Succeeding in College, and how this six-point program prepares students psychologically and emotionally for the demands they will face in school and their personal lives to succeed academically. You will be introduced to the six resiliency skills that are important focal points for a college success course:

  • Self-regulation
  • Mental flexibility
  • Motivation and self-direction
  • Positive psychological strengths
  • Interpersonal connection and support
  • Self-care/revitalization

The six-point program is based on the ability to self-regulate the body’s defense systems, intense emotions, thoughts, and self-defeating behaviors that deviate students off course from their success. This session will provide you with strategies and best practices for implementing a program where your students can learn how to thrive and flourish as resilient learners.



Networking Reception

This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch-up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet.


Day Two

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


The Resilient Learner: Building Mental Flexibility

Our expert faculty will introduce one of the six-point resiliency skills called mental flexibility and discuss its role in building academic resilience. Through cognitive restructuring, your students can develop the ability to look at a situation in another way (change perception), consider alternative options, and respond resiliently. We will engage in interactive exercises that will help:

  • Shift your cognitive perception about the cause of stress (cognitive restructuring)
  • Build a stronger internal locus of control
  • Explain one possible root cause of self-sabotaging behaviors
  • Rewrite the brain toward success

You will also be able to identify your own strategy to incorporate some of these exercises in creating resilient experiences for your students.


Considerations for Incorporating Resilience Initiatives in Co-Curricular Programs

Our expert panel will share a brief historic overview of how their institutions came to the realization that led them to incorporate resilience initiatives in their co-curricular programs. They will share a variety of resources and tools that they developed organically to launch their resilience efforts, including: a resiliency framework that helped inform programmatic efforts, results from their pilot resilience programs, integration plans for their website focused on resilience resources, and learning outcomes that help inform their assessment initiatives.



Engaging Faculty and Staff: The Design Institute

Learn how to develop and execute a comprehensive training for faculty and staff modeled after the “Design Institute” that provides education and resources to promote resilience-based initiatives in and out of the classroom. In this session, we will provide an overview of the training agenda as well as an opportunity to develop a similar or customizable training for your faculty and staff.



Developing Your Resilience Programs

In small groups of similar institution types or with your teams, you will begin the conversation around what types of resilience programs you currently have and what new ideas have emerged during the conference so far. We will also facilitate discussions about which student populations would most benefit from these types of programs. We will then determine one or more academic and/or co-curricular resilience programs that you can implement on your campus and present your next steps. Our expert faculty will also summarize their suggested next steps for developing resilience programs upon returning to campus.

August 10 - 11, 2020
Richmond, VA
Virtual Conference

All Room Reservations have been canceled for this event.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Niecie Washington at or 720.988.1264.


Stay Safe & Learn:
How Academic Impressions is Responding to the Developing Coronavirus Situation

As the coronavirus situation escalates across campuses and institutions are increasingly moving their courses online, we are also redesigning some of our in-person experiences for online / virtual platforms to ensure you can continue learning in a safe, positive, and uninterrupted environment.

We have nearly 20 years’ worth of experience designing and facilitating high-quality online trainings, hence we are confident we have the expertise to provide you with online conferences that are just as productive, interactive, and hands-on as their in-person counterparts.


Thomas Aubrey

Dr. Thomas Aubrey

Director of Behavioral Health Sciences, Professor, Glendale Community College (GCC)

Dr. Thomas E. Rojo Aubrey, DBH-c, MSC, LAMFT, CMHFA, CCTP, CFTP, CFTPI, is the Director of Behavioral Health Sciences and Professor at Glendale Community College (GCC) in Glendale, Arizona. He is also an adjunct professor at Northern Arizona State University (NAU). Dr. Aubrey has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. He attained his doctorate in behavioral health (integrated behavioral medicine) from Arizona State University (ASU) and is currently working on a second doctorate in cognitive psychology.

Read Thomas's full bio here.


Rahul Bhat

Learning Strategist, The University of Toronto

Rahul leads a team of interdisciplinary professionals who support the learning of students with disabilities in the following areas: academic skills, resilience, self-advocacy, communication, and leadership. Rahul served as the Project Lead for the University of Toronto’s Resilience Project, aimed to build a resilience framework and curricula that would inform existing student life programming and staff training with the overall goal of fostering academic and psychological resilience among students.

Read Rahul's full bio here.


Genevieve “Ginny” Chandler

Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Dr. Chandler’s passion is understanding how to build resilience to interrupt the effect Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) have on health risk behaviors, hard-to-treat symptoms, and chronic disease conditions. Her resilience model is the framework for strength-based interventions to develop the capacity to bounce back from stress to promote young adult health and wellbeing.

Read Ginny's full bio here.


Jim Helling, LICSW

Senior Clinical Social Worker & Instructor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

In addition to his current role, Jim maintains a private psychotherapy and consultation practice specializing in psychological trauma, dissociative disorders, and performance optimization. He has a background in public health approaches to psychological and behavioral health promotion and has focused on developing more inclusive and culturally-attuned approaches to college mental health.

Read Jim's full bio here.

Chad Jankowski

Chad Jankowski

Health Promoter, University of Toronto

Chad has 10 years of experience in developing, delivering, and evaluating health-promoting initiatives that support success.  His work has included consulting with campus partners on the development of health-enhancing solutions, co-creating an institution-wide online mental health training resource, and overseeing the creation and development of the health education and promotion programs at the institution’s western campus.

Read Chad's full bio here.

Can't Attend? Buy the Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?


Rabia Khan Harvey
Senior Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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