Wellness and Personal Development

    Students explore health, wellness, and personal growth to support flourishing lives and communities.

    Wellness and Personal Development (WPD) courses are designed to develop capacities, knowledge, and carry-over skills in health, wellness, and personal development, with an emphasis on the research and scientific bases of exercise, wellness, and holistic growth.

    Casey Swim Center

    Discover Yourself

    Courses in sports, fitness, and aquatics serve to improve physical and mental health and fitness, develop recreational and leisure-time skills, and facilitate functional body movement.

    Theory and Practice

    Classes impart theory on  knowledge of health and fitness, skills performance, game strategies and rules, sport coaching, nutrition, and sport history as well as offering American Red Cross certification in Advanced Emergency Care, CPR/Lifeguarding Red Cross certification, NASM Personal Trainer certification and PADI certification in Scuba.

    Students exercising

    Grades and Pass/Fail Options

    Most WPD courses are one- or two-credit and are a half-semester in length. A maximum of eight WPD credits may be applied toward graduation, but no more than four credits of practice-only courses can be applied toward graduation. Beyond those limitations there is no limit on how many WPD courses may be taken, or how many credits may be earned. Courses may be taken for grades or on a pass/fail basis.

    Students are encouraged to take a variety of credit-bearing WPD classes with the aim of enhancing their overall wellness to complement their other academic learning.

    Student looking at Chester River

    Fall 2024 Courses

    Registration will be opening soon for WPD courses in the fall semester. Check back for more information.

    • Course listing coming soon!


    Faculty and staff may audit courses with students by completing this registration form.

    Beach tennis photo

    Co-curricular Connections

    Academy of Lifelong Learning

    Join community members in non-credit courses ranging from botanical drawing and exercise science to health optimization and social resilience.

    Career Development

    Find internships, meet alumni and community mentors, and get insights into how to leverage personal strengths.  

    Clubs and Organizations

    Experience campus life with peer-led programming from the Adventure Club to Writer's Union. 

    Health & Wellbeing Programs

    Reach your personal goals with Food & Lifestyle resources, wellness retreats, and culinary wellness workshops and programming offered through the Lifelong Learning program.   

    Wellness Advocacy Coaches

    Get heard, validated, and guided by peers to academic and mental health resources.

    Course Descriptions

    Courses are designated as either all theory (T), all practice (P), or a combination of theory and practice (T/P). Any course listed as T or T/P will count toward the theory requirement for students wishing to earn more than four WPD credits.

    The course provides an understanding of the body’s core musculature, and instruction in conditioning of joints and muscle groups, strength, flexibility, coordination, and agility. (T/P). One credit.

    The course offers instruction and practice in small sailboats on the Chester River. Students must pass the swim test to take this course.

    The course offers instruction and practice in golf skillschipping, pitching, full swing, putting, the rules of golf and golf etiquette. (P) One credit.

    The course offers basic instruction in swimming, including proper form and strokes (breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke, sidestroke, freestyle) and basic safety maneuvers (treading and floating). No prior experience in swimming is necessary. This class accepts varying degrees of experience. Class participants will also complete their swim test for Washington College water-related activities as part of the course. (P) One credit.

    The course stresses physical fitness and strength and endurance combined with the skills and techniques needed to be a certified lifeguard. Participants will take standard ARC test, and cards will be issued for successful completion of the course.

    The course offers instruction, practice and lecture-based learning on a variety of fitness concepts. Students will grasp the basic concepts of human movement, planes of motions, weightlifting techniques, strength and conditioning variables, cardiovascular exercise, flexibility, and mobility. Students will receive an extended orientation to the Johnson Fitness Center, equipment, and how to write and follow an exercise program based on personal fitness goals. Students will spend 150 minutes per week for a full semester. The course is accessible to students with physical or other accommodations, and successful completion will be adapted to student capabilities in such cases, including instruction in alternatives methods of exercise. (T/P). Two credits.

    This course focuses on postures (asanas), breathing, and meditation. They can be suitable for beginners and all fitness levels, as they are slow-paced and gentle. The benefits of Hatha yoga include better sleep, strengthening core muscles, flexibility, improving depression symptoms, and helping with stress management.

    This PADI open-water certified diver course provides students with the knowledge and skills to safely explore the underwater world. Instruction includes two hours of classroom and two hours of pool time for six weeks plus a weekend open-water dive. WPD 131 Advanced Scuba is also offered. An additional fee for this course is required to cover certification fees and open water venue usage. Passing the College’s swim test is required to take this course.

    There is an additional fee required for WPD 131, to cover open-water venue usage and certification fees. The fees will be communicated to students prior to the start of the course. (T/P). 0 credits; audit only. Prerequisite: WPD 130.

    Washington College partners with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to offer a certified personal trainer course. In this two-credit seven-week course students follow an accelerated learning program on the human movement system, fitness assessment, integrated training and theory application, design of fitness programs, nutrition and exercise, lifestyle coaching and professional development. Taking the course does not guarantee a personal trainer certification. To receive such certification, students must also schedule and pass the NASMCPT exam at a certified testing center. An additional fee of $475.00 is required for this course; it covers materials, online content, practice exams and the NASM-CPT exam. (T/P). 2 credits.

    This is an experiential learning course where students examine the various roles of the coach, including the four components of sports and how to teach them, elements of leadership, methodologies for organizing and delivering practices, developing a coaching philosophy, and solving ethical dilemmas. Emphasis is placed on the psycho-social aspects of coaching.  After a series of classroom sessions, students are tasked with a final project of creating and delivering a practice session (utilizing their classmates as practice players) in the sport of their choosing. Participation in these practice sessions is encouraged but not mandatory. 

    This course will introduce students to the role of and basic skills performed by certified athletic trainers. Students will learn how athletic trainers fit into the healthcare model, their roles in different settings, the most common injuries and issues they see and treat as well as basic taping instruction.

    Learn to play one the fastest growing sports in the world! Beach tennis is exciting, fun and easy to learn. Play on the new sand courts on campus and get a great workout too. No experience necessary.

    Learn about how sleep, exercise, relaxation, hydration, and food provide us with fuel for everyday life. Students will reflect on their current habits, realize what interferes with better routines, and make goals for change. We will draw from the literature for learning, but there will be a considerable discussion component to this course.

    Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that facilitates a powerful and unique state of awareness in which the body profoundly relaxes, the thinking mind fades away, emotions seem to evaporate, alertness magnifies, and awareness becomes crisp and clear. The relaxation occurs physically, energetically, mentally, and emotionally. Not only is it stress-free, it is healing, restorative and powerful. Sound Healing uses specific instruments to balance and heal the body, mind, and spirit. It involves using specialized sound frequencies to create a therapeutic atmosphere to promote deep rest, nervous system rebalancing, and emotional release. Focusing on these soothing vibrations helps you relax and release stress, anxiety, and tension. Ideally, a hypnotic, meditative or theta brainwave state is created which allows access to deeper levels of inner wisdom and healing.

    This experiential course is an introduction to mindfulness. Through it, students will learn the principles of practice, develop their own mediation practice, and apply principles to daily life. They will learn strategies to skillfully work with thoughts, emotions, and sensations, while developing their capacity to enhance mind-body awareness of present-moment experience. This course is designed for beginners and is also suitable for those with experience who want to refine their practice. Classes consist of a combination of lecture, practice, and discussion.

    Using the CliftonStrengths® development tool, students will better understand how and why they do things as individuals and in groups. Using the results of their strengths inventory and through class readings and discussion, students will learn to apply their strengths in a variety of settings and to use that insight into improving performance, balancing wellness, and exploring how individual and group strengths can help solve real-world problems.