Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 3
Hours: 3 lecture per week (36 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in SPED 72.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VII: Lifelong Learning
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will be able to identify at least three coping skills from the class, be able to identify personal stressors, and describe the effects in his or her life.
  • A successful student will demonstrate a reduction in stress symptoms (amount, frequency, or intensity).


Explore and become familiar with symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Examine the social and psychological factors that contribute to these problems and the patterns of behavior which result. Learn, practice, and understand effective coping strategies to promote self-awareness, personal wellness, and academic success. Emphasis placed on mental health and application of self-help skills.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Define and describe the concepts of stress, wellness, and coping
  2. Identify personal stressors and the effects on emotions and behavior
  3. Recognize and describe the symptoms of distress
  4. Apply and practice at least three effective coping skills for life challenges
  5. Explain the relationship between emotional health, physical health, and overall functioning
  6. Analyze the connection between chronic, unmanaged stress and disease
  7. Recognize and assess beliefs, attitudes, biases, and stereotypes regarding mental health care

Course Content

  1. Stress symptoms
    1. Physiology and the health effects of untreated stress
      1. Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system
    2. Describe and define stress, wellness, and coping
    3. The positive aspects of stress
    4. Self-awareness, understanding, and monitoring
      1. Stress symptoms and major life changes
      2. Identify personal stressors and effects on emotions and behavior
    5. Evaluate relationship between feelings of stress and thinking/behavioral patterns
      1. Areas of life experience
  2. Mental health symptoms
    1. Self-awareness, understanding, and monitoring
    2. Recognize and describe symptoms of depression and anxiety
      1. Symptoms connected to the autonomic nervous system
    3. Suicide awareness
  3. Mindset
    1. Identification of cognitive distortions
    2. Growth mindset
    3. Worry control
  4. Barriers to mental health treatment or self-help
    1. Medication myths and facts
    2. Attitudes, beliefs, biases, stereotypes, and culture
    3. Stigma
  5. Coping techniques and strategies for prevention and academic/career success
    1. Relaxation exercises
      1. Breathing
      2. Meditation/mindfulness
    2. Visualization
    3. Progressive muscle relaxation
    4. Gratitude
    5. Time management, procrastination, motivation
    6. Communication skills

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online or hybrid distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous computer, printer, and internet access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Class participation
Reading assignments from text and supplemental readings
Writing assignments:
1. Wellness and coping plan
2. Self-reflective assignments
Workbook exercises:
1. Regular practice of skills
2. Monitoring symptoms
Written assignments involving computers and internet browsing
Online quizzes

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations and classroom discussion using the language of social and psychological factors that contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression
In-class groups to interpret and analyze homework assignments and increase learning by teaching fellow classmates

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Hanson, Rick. Resilient. 2018.

Greenberger, Dennis, and Christine Padesky. Mind Over Mood, 2nd ed.. 2016.

Davis, Martha. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook, 6th ed.. 2008.

Selected readings from handouts and articles.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading books on psychological health and wellness
  2. Reading various articles on stress management
  3. Writing journal-type entries about implementation of various stress management techniques
  4. Written wellness plan which describes the effects of stress and how to implement them in one's life