Embedding Our Students' Well-Being in Learning Environments in white letters on a cardinal red banner with ISU Annual Student-Centered Workshop beneath it.

Iowa State University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and the Student Health and Wellness Unit of the Division of Student Affairs focused on “Embedding Our Students’ Well-Being in Learning Environments” for the ISU Annual Student-Centered Learning Workshop (AY23-24). Student well-being is a shared responsibility of all people at ISU, including faculty, staff, administrators, and the students themselves. This workshop provides a variety of evidence-based strategies that helps us make small shifts in our teaching, mentoring, and advising that could make a difference in our student’s well-being. The shared strategies apply to diverse teaching contexts, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and include ideas for small-scale and large-scale changes.

After completing this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how a student’s well-being impacts their learning.
  • Identify (and discuss) teaching strategies to help embed well-being in learning environments.
  • Recognize the significance of normalizing help-seeking as integral to embedding well-being in learning environments.
Table of Contents

Prework Content

The average time is 45-60 minutes to engage fully with the prework content (readings, tasks, and submitting a self-reflection). Then, during the facilitated program, you will apply the concepts discovered while participating in small group discussions. These resources will benefit your teaching, students, and Iowa State University following the program.

Watch the “Providing the Best Support for Our Students’ Well-Being” YouTube video [1m 22s] with Sharron Evans, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Please click on each step to toggle the instructions for completing the prework.

TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) is a helpful self-help resource for ISU students, faculty, and staff. TAO is an efficient, confidential, cost-free, and user-friendly tool that provides resources to support well-being by teaching life skills for managing challenges while striving to achieve personal and academic success. TAO offers evidence-based content to equip Cyclones with essential life skills to cope with distress.

Read the TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) Instructions (PDF) for an overview, registration directions, and strategies for incorporating TAO into your teaching (466 words) or watch the Overview of Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) YouTube video [3m 15s] with Kristen Sievert, Director of Student Counseling Services.

Choose and explore ONE of the following most suggested tools for our students (must be logged in to TAO to access):

Or, select one you would have found valuable as an undergraduate or graduate student (or any topic that interests you).

Submit your responses to the brief 4-question Prework Self-Reflection (MS Form).

Download and scan the AY23-24 Handout (PDF) to prepare for the facilitated program. Our agenda includes the following:

  • Listen to the importance of well-being at Iowa State (brief video(
  • Exchange ideas and strategies for embedding student well-being (small group discussion). Department chairs/unit leaders chose one of the following three topics: mindfulness (pp. 3-4), gratitude (pp. 5-6), or purpose (7-8). These topics are based on research in positive psychology and flourishing, indicating that conditions for well-being include social connectedness, mindfulness, growth mindset, resilience, gratitude, self-compassion, and purpose.
  • Discuss strategies for normalizing help-seeking (p. 9) 
  • Share departmental strategies (p. 10)
  • Complete the post-reflection survey (Qualtrics)

Program Schedule

University-Wide Offerings

We are hosting university-wide online synchronous offerings of the ISU Annual Student-Centered Learning Workshop (AY23-24) for faculty unable to attend their departmental one. To register, pick the date that works best for you and fill out the Zoom form that matches it:


  • Tuesday, December 5 (3-4 p.m.) Zoom form
  • Wednesday, December 6 (8-9 a.m.) Zoom form
  • Friday, December 8 (1:30-2:30 p.m.) Zoom form


  • Thursday, January 11 (11 a.m.- p.m.) Zoom form
  • Wednesday, January 24 (3-4 p.m.) Zoom form
  • Monday, January 29 (2-3 p.m.) Zoom form
  • We will present at the ISU Health and Wellbeing Symposium on February 2nd during the 1:15–2 p.m. session.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Please email us at celt@iastate.edu, or call 515-294-5357. 

For employees who may need a reasonable accommodation, you may find more information on the University Human Resources Disability Accommodation page.

For graduate student assistants and undergraduate students, please get in touch with Student Accessibility Services.


All faculty, regardless of PRS responsibilities, including clinical, research, and teaching, are expected to attend the Annual Student-Centered Learning Workshop. There is a benefit for all faculty in the department-based conversation around teaching, advising, mentoring, and instruction.

If you have questions, please contact your unit leader or college administration.

The program has been renamed the Annual Student-Centered Learning Workshop. This name change reflects participation feedback on the value of dedicated time with colleagues to discuss evidence-based teaching practices that center on student educational success at Iowa State, upon graduation, and in their careers.

We have moved away from having departmental facilitators; instead, we are putting those resources into a unique opportunity available to all instructors:

Beginning in Spring 2024, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Student Health and Wellness (Division of Student Affairs) will collaborate with interested faculty to host monthly meetings/seminars focusing on sustainable practices to embed well-being into learning environments. We hope to explore this pedagogy in greater detail, building resources and potential SoTL research opportunities to improve student-centered learning and thriving. You may notify us of your interest in the Post-Survey.

If you cannot attend your unit’s scheduled facilitated program, please inform your chair/unit leader. You can then choose a different one from the Schedule for AY23-24 (xlsx) via CyBox and request an invitation to participate by contacting the chair/unit leader. They will provide you with the location or the Zoom meeting login information to attend.

Since participation tracking is done locally, faculty attending a different department’s workshop should ask the host to email their unit leader/chair confirmation of attendance.