You@CSU, February 25, 2016
Dear Colleagues and Students,
We are writing today to share our excitement for a new tool — created through a remarkable collaboration between a CSU alumnus and our CSU Health Network — that we believe will prove to be an extraordinary asset for the students, faculty, and staff of Colorado State University. The tool, You@CSU, is designed to help students manage stress, set goals, promote happiness and well-being, and connect to campus resources to “thrive, succeed and matter.”
A couple of years ago, CSU journalism alumnus Joe Conrad, owner of Cactus Communications and Grit Digital Health LLC, and a team from our campus CSU Health Network started talking about their mutual interest in developing a program that would deliver mental health information and assistance for college students online. We ran the idea by CSU student focus groups who responded positively to the concept. From there, the team used this feedback to create You@CSU, a portal designed to help students explore their strengths and areas for growth throughout the different stages of the college experience.
You@CSU fosters student success in three domains:
THRIVE (physical/mental health); and
MATTER (purpose/community/social connections).
The portal serves up relevant information and campus resources, and the content becomes personalized when a student completes brief assessments, fills out a profile, or searches for something specific. There also is a built-in function for students to set goals and check them off as they go. Online skill-building modules for mental health and well-being continue to be integrated.
Today, we are pleased to announce the official launch of You@CSU (https://you.colostate.edu/). Anyone with a CSU email address can get on, register, and begin using the assessments (short, personalized “Reality Check” quizzes) and resources ranging from videos to connection with subject-matter experts. There also is an important feature included in the portal and search function that directs students in distress to campus resources.
You@CSU is the first technology of its kind, and Colorado State is the first campus to offer it, so it will continue to be refined and improved through our experience with it. Throughout its development, we have placed particular emphasis on the importance of protecting student privacy while also providing a tool that is dynamic enough that students will find a reason to use it. A student’s e-mail is encrypted when accessing You@CSU. There is no way of tracking individual use or responses, creating an environment in which students can feel safe to be honest and explore sensitive topics. Many people across campus have worked in partnership with Grit Digital Health to envision and develop You@CSU. The portal has gone through content review, concept testing, and a pilot evaluation. Further evaluation is being coordinated to examine outcomes effectiveness and gather feedback to continue to inform content, delivery method, and interface strengths and improvements.
We want to extend a special thank you to Joe Conrad, whose professional experience, concern for our students, and sincere commitment to CSU have been key to this project from the beginning. This project is the result of a really great and special partnership between our CSU Health Network and Health Education and Prevention Services staff and Joe’s team, and that has been exciting to watch unfold.
We want to encourage all of us to get on and check out You@CSU (https://you.colostate.edu/). While the tool is tailored to students, we believe it can be a valuable resource for our faculty and staff as they work with the student community.
Thanks again to all who have been involved in the project!
Dr. Tony Frank, President
Dr. Blanche Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs