OT100 Thrive: Foundations of Well-being

"THRIVE: Foundations of Well-being" is a course in development that allows USC students to explore their well-being, connections with others, and learn strategies for living their best lives

With a foundation in the fields of positive psychology, social psychology, and occupational therapy, the potential of this course to contribute to the broader goals of culture change around well-being at USC is immeasurable.

This course is currently in a pilot phase, and we are actively exploring opportunities for expansion.

SPRING 2020 Course Format

The course format consists of a weekly, dynamic presentation from USC faculty who are leaders in their fields on a range of subjects including:

• Challenging our ideas of “success”

• The power of positive relationships

• Connecting your occupation with your beliefs on meaning and purpose

• Well-being in body, mind, and spirit

Past speakers have included Varun Soni, Ph.D., Laura Mosqueda, M.D., Jody Armor, Ph.D., Anita Dashiell-Sparks, MFA, and Ruth Chung, Ph.D.

Following each week's presentation, students will participate in small group Connection Sessions. These engaging and interactive weekly sessions bring students together to reflect on themes of well-being, engage with each other in dynamic activities, and cultivate their own perspectives on self, identity, and community.

Throughout participation, students will have opportunities to assess their own personal well-being and connections with others. In this way, they can cultivate a reflective practice for themselves, as well as provide us with valuable feedback on the course to ensure that it remains flexible to student needs.

Course History

A collaboration between USC undergraduates students, the Provost's Office of Campus Wellbeing and Education, and the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, “THRIVE: Foundations of Well-being” is seen as a key catalyst to bringing about a culture shift in the USC community toward self-awareness, connection with others, and well-being, while providing students with strategies needed to turn insight into action. It is the philosophy of this course that individuals thrive when they feel connected to a compassionate community. From the outset of their time at USC, students will now have full academic support to explore what “well-being” and “success” truly mean for them.

The foundation for the curriculum is drawn from the empirical and peer reviewed research of psychology, well-being, and occupational therapy to provide students with a multidisciplinary, self-reflective, and connecting experience. A venture of this scope, scale, and rigor has never before been developed at USC. That this energy and effort is directed toward well-being and social connection is an indication of the commitment of USC leaders to cultivating not only academically gifted students, but insightful, connected future leaders.

From inspiring guest speakers and interactive discussion sessions, students will explore what gives them meaning and purpose, and how to infuse compassion and connection with others as keys to a thriving community. This will be a foundational experience of all future USC students, from which they will pursue USC’s noblest goal of striving to make the world a better place.

Future Directions

It is our hope that "Thrive: Foundations of Well-being" will meet the needs of any USC student who wishes to participate. We are actively working with USC campus partners to explore options and opportunities for expansion.

For additional information about the course or the research supporting its development, contact Quade French, Ph.D in the Provost's Office of Campus Wellbeing and Education, or Ashley Uyeshiro Simon, OTD with the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.