Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
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:
A. Define and describe the concepts of stress, wellness, and coping
B. Identify personal stressors and the effects on emotions and behavior
C. Recognize and describe the symptoms of depression and anxiety
D. Explain how self-awareness, time management, and goal setting impact one's career and life
E. Apply and practice at least three effective coping skills in their life
F. Explain the relationship between emotional health, physical health, and overall functioning
G. Analyze the connection between chronic, unmanaged stress and disease
H. Recognize and assess beliefs, attitudes, biases, and stereotypes regarding mental health care
I. Use the computer for research, problem-solving, and to identify self-help resources

Course Content

A. Stress symptoms
1. Physiology and the health effects of untreated stress
a. Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system
b. Biopsychosocial model of stress and wellness
c. Describe and define stress, wellness and coping
2. Self-awareness, understanding, and monitoring
a. Stress symptoms and major life changes
b. Identify personal stressors and effects on emotions and behavior
3. Evaluate relationship between feelings of stress and thinking/behavioral patterns
a. Introduce and utilize cognitive behavioral therapy theory (CBT)
b. Five areas of life situations
B. Depression and anxiety symptoms and disorders
1. Self-awareness, understanding and monitoring
2. Recognize and describe symptoms of depression and anxiety
a. Introduction to DSM
b. Diagnosis
c. Effects on students functioning levels
2. Suicide
a. History and stigma
b. Warning signs
c. Skills to prevent suicide
d. Myths and facts
e. Learned helplessness
f. Resources
g. Interventions
3. Evaluate relationship between depression and anxiety symptoms and thinking/behavioral patterns
a. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
b. Alternative frameworks and treatments
4. Learn and utilize symptom management skills for depression and anxiety
a. Mood and symptom scales
b. Exposure
c. Pleasant events
d. Medication myths and facts
5. Barriers to mental health treatment or self-help
a. Attitudes, beliefs, biases, stereotypes, and culture
b. Stigma
C. Coping techniques and strategies for prevention and academic/career success
1. Relaxation exercises
a. Breathing
b. Meditation
2. Visualization
3. Refuting irrational ideas
a. Thought records
b. Irrational beliefs
4. Problem solving/getting unstuck
5. Goal setting
a. Measuring
b. Motivation
c. Rewards
d. Overcoming obstacles
6. Time management
a. Procrastination
b. Thoughts and beliefs
7. Communication skills
a. Aggressive, assertive, and passive communication styles
b. Passive aggressive behavior
c. Conflict resolution
8. Sleep
a. Patterns and physiology
b. Hygiene
c. Disorders
d. Societal effects
9. Exercise and nutrition
a. Benefits
b. Motivational exercises
c. Eating disorders
10. Worry control

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Computer, printer, and internet access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Class participation
B. Class assignments
1. Reading:
a. Text
b. Supplemental readings
2. Writing:
a. Wellness and coping plan
b. Self-reflective assignments
3. Workbook exercises:
a. Regular practice of skills
b. Monitoring symptoms
4. Assignments involving computers and internet browsing:
a. Written assignments
5. Online quizzes

Method(s) of Instruction

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

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Davis, Martha. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook. 6th ed. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, 2008.

Greenberger, Dennis, and Christine Padesky. Mind Over Mood. 2nd ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 2016.

Selected readings from handouts and articles.


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

A. Reading two books on psychological health and wellness.

B. Reading various articles on stress management.

C. Writing journal type entries about implementation of various stress management techniques.

D. Written wellness plan which describes the effects of stress and how to implement them in one's life.