WMU News

Holistic Institute is unique educational experience

June 8, 2001

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A unique educational experience will be available starting July 29 for people from across the country who are interested in holistic health care.

Called the Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute and offered by Western Michigan University, it will allow participants to immerse themselves in intensive, week-long residential classes while living in a community of like-minded classmates and enjoying Michigan's beautiful natural surroundings.

The institute will take place at the scenic Leelanau School, a private 50-acre boarding school in Glen Arbor, Mich. The building is located on the coast of Lake Michigan in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 25 miles west of Traverse City, 260 miles northwest of Detroit and 340 miles northeast of Chicago.

Students enrolling in the institute may take courses for personal enrichment or apply them toward WMU's popular 18-credit-hour graduate certificate program in holistic health care, which also is offered in a weekend format at the University's main campus in Kalamazoo, Mich., and at its regional centers in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Lansing, St. Joseph, and Traverse City, Mich.

The graduate certificate, one of the nation's first university-based holistic health care programs, is relationship centered and integrates health knowledge into everyday life. It is based on the philosophy of holism, an approach to health and healing that encompasses the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental dimensions of a person's life.

"It's hard to put into words the experience I had in the program," says Katie Alkema, director of the new holistic student center at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Kalamazoo, Mich., and a certificate program alumna. "I feel like a totally different person because of it, and I incorporate what I learned into all of my life."

The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute allows students to complete the course work for the graduate certificate over two to three summers, then complete the required internship at their home location.

This year, the institute will be offered in two sessions of three classes each, with students allowed to take one class per session. The classes will be taught by experienced members of WMU's holistic health care program faculty.

"The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute is a different and refreshing way to learn," says faculty member Gay Walker. "It takes place in a beautiful environment with a community of interesting people, all of whom have the intention of deeply exploring a holistic subject."

"These classes are an invitation to take time out from your life to reflect," adds Molly Vass, another institute faculty member. "The learning environment is a place of peace and beauty."

Courses to be offered during the first session, which runs from July 29 through Aug. 4, are Introduction to Holistic Health, Holistic Approaches to Healing Through Writing and Story, and Holism and Illness: Strategies and Techniques for Healing. Courses to be offered during the second session, which runs from Aug. 5 through 11, are Seminar in Holistic Methods I, Holistic Approaches to Relationships and Holistic Approaches to Healing Through Movement.

Both sessions will feature small, highly experiential, nontraditional classes designed to give students an opportunity to sample a holistic lifestyle while on campus. A variety of complementary and alternative approaches, techniques and resources will be presented, including meditation, yoga, massage, time for reflection, group discussion, beach activities and guest presentations.

The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute is appropriate for health care professionals, social workers, nurses, therapists, physicians, ministers, and occupational and physical therapists. Those interested in incorporating holistic approaches into their personal, family and work lives, and students enrolled in health care-related degree programs also may find it valuable.

Space is limited, so immediate registration is encouraged. For a brochure and application, contact Mary Swartz, director of WMU's regional site office in Traverse City.

Mary Swartz, Director
Western Michigan University
NMC University Center
2200 Dendrinos Dr., Ste. 200-S
Traverse City MI 49684
phone (231) 995-1788
fax (231) 995-1789

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400