Peer health coaching program impacts faculty, staff and students

In the first three semesters of program operations, peer health coaches helped more than 40 University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) students, faculty, and staff.

“[I have gotten] tools and ideas to help me organize and plan out my goals, and recommendations for tools and techniques that will help me accomplish my goals,” comments one client.

Graduates and undergraduate students in the health promotion degree program enroll in Health Coaching to earn their health coaching certification through the course. The course provides the framework for health and wellness coaching by learning scope of practice, skill set, assessments, wellness mapping, readiness, and implementation. This course provides students the opportunity to become a “Certified Health and Wellness Coach” through an accredited organization recognized by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches. This spring is the first time the Health Coaching course is partnered with Real Balance Global Wellness to certify students.

Health coaching is a growing industry in the health and wellness field that utilizes health behavior change theories and lifestyle change science to improve your health. Health coaches are experts in behavior change.

“Students who meet the educational requirements can then apply to the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches.,” shares Gina Burton, certified Health Coach and UCCS faculty member with the department of health sciences. “Health Coaching” is a UCCS course that uses Dr Arloski’s curriculum through Real Balance Global Wellness. Dr. Arloski is one of the key developers of the field of health & wellness coaching. His company has trained more than 9,000 health & wellness coaches worldwide,” continued Burton.

UCCS health sciences department and campus recreation partnered to offer free health coaching to students, faculty, and staff through an internship program called Peer Health Coach. All peer health coaches work under the supervision of Burton.

Clients and coaches meet virtually, six times a semester for 30-minute sessions, to work on a wellness plan and develop behavior changes to achieve their wellness goals. Peer health coaches work with you to adopt healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, reducing sugar intake, being more active, or committing to financial goals.

One client shares, “I lost five pounds while working with [my coach] and have lost another three pounds afterwards. I was able to challenge myself with exercise goals, mental health, and improving my eating habits.”

“The internship program has been a success and we’re helping people in our Mountain Lion community.” shares Burton. “Our students are well prepared upon graduation and have the skill set to move forward with their health coach careers,” said Burton.

Those with questions or program inquiries should contact Gina Burton at gburton@uccs.edu.