Penn Weekly Paid Professional Staff Learn Resilience with Online Learning

April 26, 2019
By the Online Learning Initiative Team

A Photo Blog: Penn weekly paid professional staff learn resilience through online opportunity

Offered through the Online Learning Initiative and the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, the course teaches participants resilience, gratitude, authenticity, and more.

Image of Marcus Wright

As chair of the Weekly Paid Professional Staff Assembly (WPPSA) in 2018, Marcus Wright sought professional development opportunities to better serve his group’s members. The development of an online College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) course on resilience enabled people like Marcus to achieve more.

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Twenty four people enrolled in the inaugural free online class offered weekly to paid professional staff. Karen Reivich (above) of the Positive Psychology Center taught the course, which focused on resilience and ran from October of 2018 through February.

“It went very well,” Wright says. “ The impact extended beyond the office, and that was something I did not anticipate. It goes to show how important these opportunities are for the ‘whole person,’ just the ‘employee.’”



Reivich’s Resilience Skills course is part of a five-course specialization on the Foundations of Positive Psychology found on Coursera.


Resilience Skills covers a number of topics designed to promote individual and collective well-being including optimism, character, and emotional strength.


Thousands of people have taken part or all of Reivich’s online resilience course. Though the courses normally operate in cyberspace, this was a unique opportunity for Reivich to meet her students in person to discuss their experiences.


In light of the course’s success, Online Learning Initiative Executive Director Rebecca Stein said her office is happy to support any future initiatives and would welcome the opportunity to host another workshop.


“If you get the opportunity to take a course like this and it brings joy to your life, you’re getting skills that allow you to be a better person, family member, friend,” Marcus says. “I found it so amazing that this course had that kind of impact. Now that we know that, what can we do moving forward?”

Read the full article in Penn Today.