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Sources: Fred Newton, 785-532-6927, newtonf@k-state.edu;
and Arthur Rathbun, 785-532-6927, ajrad@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Jared Betts, 785-532-2529, betts290@k-state.edu

Monday, July 13, 2009

SPECIAL K-STATE COURSES HELP STUDENTS BEAT STRESS

MANHATTAN -- A recent Associated Press-mtvU poll that statistically represents how college students are suffering from the current recession shows that they're being impacted by the stresses of financial worries, family issues and extracurricular activities -- even more so than a year ago.

Help, though, is within reach. Kansas State University stress management courses, offered through the Division of Continuing Education, address the stresses encountered in life, equip students with the knowledge to gain self-regulation, and could help students counter a personal meltdown.

Fred Newton, director of K-State counseling services and a professor of counseling and educational psychology, and Arthur Rathbun, a counselor and biofeedback specialist, will team teach online undergraduate and graduate courses in stress management in fall 2009. They also will offer face-to-face classes during K-State's January 2010 intersession.

An interesting aspect of these courses is the sense of practicality, Rathbun said.

"Students who have taken the course have given me summaries of what they've learned and they all seem to focus on the techniques they've learned and how they're using them in their life -- rather than just the theories they've learned," Rathbun said.

According to Newton, learning how to manage stress is what matters.

"We get numerous accounting and engineering students taking the class because they see it as a valuable asset, not so much because they're currently stressed, but because the practical applications performed during class will allow them to manage their jobs and lives better," Newton said.

Both Newton and Rathbun agree that students face greater financial woes than ever before, but that students are not helpless.

People naturally block off solutions to problems when a certain amount of stress is induced, but stressful situations can always be managed so they can be a source of empowerment, according to the counselors.

"If you become helpless, you'll do nothing," Rathbun said. "You won't be able to venture out to do anything, like securing a job. The first couple modules of the classes focus on developing strategies that will empower someone to move out of their comfort zone. These strategies will ultimately become reusable life skills."

The online courses are taught in a modular format and include PowerPoint slideshows, online assignments, self-assessments, video captures of relaxation strategies and biofeedback labs.

K-State uses advanced technology, including K-State Online, to make courses available to students worldwide and during times that fit into their busy schedules.

More information about the stress management course content is available at http://www.k-state.edu/counseling/EDCEP502_802/

Students can begin the enrollment process for the online courses at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/courses/ and then entering EDCEP 502 or EDCEP 802 in the search field.