UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

The University of the Fraser Valley is offering the nation’s first for-credit, graduate program in Mindfulness-Based Teaching and Learning (MBTL) starting later this year.

The program is also one of the first in North America.

An information session about MBTL takes place Thursday, March 28 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Abbotsford UFV campus in room D225.

Mindfulness is present-moment awareness free of judgment.

Mounting scientific research has demonstrated that mindfulness programs improve well-being, mental health, and lifelong learning.

Practising mindfulness is also said to reduce negative thoughts and rumination, lessen stress, improve morale, increase memory and attention, and boost the immune system.

Program coordinator Dr. Seonaigh MacPherson said that, according to the American Mindfulness Research Association, scientific studies of mindfulness have increased from 10 in 2000 to 700 in 2019.

RELATED: Alt-ed program brings mindfulness to the classroom

She said MBTL is ideal for those working in a wide range of professions and fields, such as health care, education, social work, policing, coaching, yoga teaching, and corrections.

“The great thing about becoming a mindfulness specialist is that it begins with you. I love that focus on self-care,” said MacPherson, who has been practising mindfulness for over 40 years.

“We start by embodying mindfulness in our own personal and professional lives. Only then can we take that next step of introducing mindfulness to colleagues, clients and students.”

She said training programs like MBTL are needed to prepare qualified practitioners to design, teach and promote evidence-based mindfulness programs.

UFV’s four-course, 10-month, part-time program begins in September 2019.

It is designed to transfer readily into a range of career paths, including the master of education program at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education and many other professional graduate degree programs.

Most of the program is taught online. Distance learners can take advantage of UFV’s video technology to participate remotely with local learners in the intermittent face-to-face classes.

For more information, visit ufv.ca/mbtl, contact seonaigh.macpherson@ufv.ca or call 604-864-4621.

People can take part in the information session on March 28 online using Chrome as their search engine and this link: https://bit.ly/2UIQOkL

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