In the future, maybe as early as fall 2019, all incoming freshmen may be required to take the College Success Course, GS 106A, designed with the help of students in 2016
“We have had over 1,500 students complete the course and, quite frankly, it is the best-kept secret on campus,” said Mark Orchard, a College Success professor on campus. “It is incredibly powerful in getting the system down in succeeding in college.”
According to the College Success course preview, the course will help students with time and money management, as well as mental and physical wellness. Students will learn to find key strategies to manage their schedule and understand the rules of financial security.
“Life isn’t about doing things on your own and this class helps students learn how to collaborate, problem-solve and to take care of each other,” Orchard said.
Students also learn how to manage stress and work productively, as well as learn to take care of themselves while in school.
“I was a little hesitant in taking the class,” said Weslyn Thelin, a freshman studying automotive technology. “But I am taking it right now and I am so glad I did. It is teaching me skills that I have not learned before, and I do not know where I would be without it.”
The course teaches academic success, as well as study skills, creating a learning model, planning your future semesters through I-Plan, how internships work and how to prepare for one.
“There is a leadership model embedded in the course that prepares students to become master facilitators, teachers, learners and, more importantly, their brother’s keeper,” Orchard said. “Students who come in and engage in the principles associated in this class will never be the same.”
Career explorations are offered through the course, including degree customization and career opportunities. The course teaches students how to customize their degrees for increased job opportunities and connect with potential employers.
“I used to be horrible at time management and studying for my homework,” said Chase Lake, a freshman studying mechanical engineering. “Through the class, I have learned skills to help better my studying and habits at school.”
Employers are looking for leaders, and College Success teaches skills such as peer facilitation, becoming a student mentor, and how to get involved with student activities. Learning how to lead both large and small groups in class discussions and activities is also taught to help improve each student’s leadership skills.
“This class is far more interested in the students making personal connections in the class than forcing content on them,” Orchard said. “If students can connect with each other, the content flows more meaningfully and students gain greater ownership in their personal lives and make changes because they want to, not because they have to.”
Orchard said the course is designed as an introductory course for freshman and sophomore students who want to get a 10,000-foot view of all the resources available at BYU-I and the information on how to take advantage of those resources.
“Students will become more powerful as roommates, student leaders, contributors in their wards and stakes,” Orchard said. “They will become as President Henry B. Eyring taught, ‘natural leaders’ in the church and in the world.'”