Healthy Campus Framework
Since 1985, ACHA’s Healthy Campus initiative has provided a foundation for campuses working toward health and well-being. Historically, the goal has been for institutions to improve the health of their students, faculty, and staff by linking to national health objectives. Over the last 10 years, the conversation has shifted from a focus on physical and mental health to a broader conversation about well-being. As the Healthy Campus Leadership Team convened to work on the new framework, we conducted a needs assessment, facilitated focus groups, and considered the future of health promotion on college campuses. Based on the insights gathered as part of this comprehensive process, we began to move away from clinically focused national health objectives and from expecting one set of goals to serve the diverse landscape of college health promotion.
As a result of this process, our goal shifted to providing an aspirational framework that allows any campus a place to determine where they are using our institutional inventory, where they want to be, and how to get there. Gone are national health objectives and decade-long goals; instead, the new Healthy Campus Framework is focused on providing tools and resources to help campuses progress toward becoming health-promoting colleges and universities. Healthy campuses are supported by a strong infrastructure and foundational cornerstone, shared strategies that create community, and an established culture of health and well-being among students, faculty, and staff. For ACHA’s Healthy Campus inventory to be relevant and useful, start with the framework, which allows for an institution of any size and any resource level to find a path forward.
As part of the inventory process, you will receive a score for your institution on the following components:
Infrastructure: Campuses with high scores in this component of the inventory have reviewed and implemented much of the administration and management section of ACHA’s Framework for a Comprehensive College Health Program. This component influences scores in the three following components. As your campus moves through this process, infrastructure needs will continue to evolve.
Cornerstone: Campuses with high scores in this component of the inventory have reviewed and implemented much of the care and services section of the ACHA’s Framework for a Comprehensive College Health Program, which provides a coordinated approach for access and commitment to providing for students’ basic health needs. These are sometimes accomplished through relevant community partnerships.
Community: Campuses with high scores in this component of the inventory demonstrate an embedded culture of well-being and recognize health and well-being is vital to the success of students on college campuses. There is some groundwork for a systemic, structural, and organizational approach to achieving social change for complex health problems. These campuses specifically work to establish or identify a central structure (central organization, backbone organization, or champion group) to lead these efforts. The central structure functions to guide vision and strategy, support aligned activities, establish shared measurement practices, cultivate community organization and engagement, advance policy, and mobilize resources. The primary outcome of this component will be to begin to shift from the individual health of students to a campus environment where health and well-being is embedded across campus and community policies, cultures, and organizations. At this level, institutions should be asking who is leading us to address health issues on campus to support student success.
Culture: Campuses with high scores in this component of the inventory have structures, systems and policies sustained within the institution that focus on improving the well-being of students, staff, faculty, and the larger campus community. These campuses have a history of building systems, programs and policies through needs assessment, a recognized central structure to facilitate collaborative work across sectors, and continually evaluating and improving processes. Well-being is a priority in the institution’s mission, vision, and values, as well as onboarding and succession planning processes. At this level, institutions are recognized nationally for supporting student, faculty, and staff health and well-being and have data that demonstrates such. Though staff and leadership may change, this institution continues operating with a systemic orientation to health and well-being.
Download the Framework [pdf]