Thriving in Action

Are you looking for motivation, energy, well-being, and academic success? If so, it’s your time to Thrive! Join our innovative new program where you can learn better, feel better, and do better. This is a free program for all VIU students. 

Thrive in Action: Work Smarter not Harder

Learn more about 'Thriving in Action'

Thriving in Action (TiA) is an evidence-based program developed at Ryerson University that combines positive psychology and innovative learning strategies to support students in developing the skills and resiliency that they need to thrive. 

TiA is a group-based course that supports students, prevents distress, bolsters self-efficacy, and supports persistence. TiA aims to deepen a sense of belonging, empower agency, restore focus, and foster confidence. TiA students are taught tools to flourish academically and personally.

Starting in January 2022 we will be offering multiple 30 minute TiA sessions throughout the semester. Each session will cover a different topic and you are welcome to attend as many or as few as you would like!

And for those of you looking for more in depth learning and personal connection, we are also offering a half-day 'intensive' session which will cover even more TiA topics! 

To register for any of these sessions, please click on the links below. 

TiA Jan 2022 Topics

30 minute TiA sessions - click here to register

  • 1 session per week
  • 30 mins per session over ZOOM
  • alternating Tuesdays from 3-3:30pm and Wednesdays from 9-9:30am 
  • Beginning the week of January 17th 
  • Ending the week of March 29th 
  • No session over reading week (Feb 22-25)
  • We encourage you to attend whichever sessions interest you - each session covers a new topic, so you can attend all sessions, but you do not need to
    • To see which topics will be covered on which dates, click on the registration link

Half-Day In-Person Intensive - click here to register

  • March 12th 10am-2pm
  • Nanaimo Campus - room location to be announced
  • Free lunch provided!
  • We will cover new TiA topics more in-depth
    • The session will include experiential activities and opportunities to connect with other students in the group
  • Please note that our ability to offer this session in person will depend on COVID health regulations at the time. Vaccine passport, mask wearing and other PHO restrictions will likely be required.

Thriving in Action (TiA) is based on a program from Ryerson University. 

Since the first successful TiA cohort in Winter 2017, the team at Ryerson has consistently run multiple TiA cohorts each semester and have completed several research projects on the program’s effectiveness. The team has used both quantitative and qualitative strategies to measure changes in student mental health, thriving, and self-efficacy as a result of participation in TiA. The following results have been gathered:

  • 70% of students in clinical distress at pre-test reported significant clinical improvement at post-test.
  • 78% of the entire sample reported well-being (low distress) at post-test.
  • 85.9% of students reported knowing ‘how to apply my strengths to achieve academic success’ at post-test, compared to only 37.9% at pre-test.
  • 75.0% of students reported feeling “good at juggling all the demands of college life” at post-test, compared to only 28% at pre-test.
  • 89.1% reported feeling “like I belong here” at post-test, compared to 65.8% at pre-test.
  • 85% reported having moderate/high general self-efficacy at post-test, compared to 55% at pre-test.

These results demonstrate the powerful impacts TiA has on its participants. The program’s unique combination of positive psychology and innovative learning strategies increases student mental health, academic skill, and overall self-efficacy. Many students also report significant increases in academic grades and “although the program is not therapy, it is highly therapeutic”. 

For more information please email

Thriving in Action

Ryerson University

Vancouver Island University gratefully acknowledges and thanks Ryerson University for allowing us to use and adapt their Thriving in Action program. The work of Dr. Diana Brecher and Dr. Deena Kara Shaffer has had widespread impacts on student success and well-being and we express our deep gratitude for their generosity in sharing their work.

Learn more about the Thrive program at Ryerson