“So you’ve graduated high school and are ready to move up in life,” I remember my counselor saying while I tried to decide what classes to take my freshman year at UVU. It was intimidating. So many questions ran through my head. “Is college worth it? Did I choose the right major? How do I find my way around this big place?” Most importantly, I asked myself, “How do I succeed here?”
When I decided to come back to school 13 years later as a non-traditional student, I still found myself asking those questions. Thankfully, I also found that at UVU, help was offered everywhere and that Student Leadership and Success Studies (SLSS) were part of this effort.
Dr. Theresa Haug-Belvin, an assistant professor in Student Leadership and Success Studies at UVU, defined what SLSS is. She said, “The Department of Student Leadership and Success Studies offers several classes to help students who are new to Utah Valley University.” Haug-Belvin then explained and recommended some helpful SLSS courses:
“The most obvious … [course] is SLSS 1000: University Student Success, where students are introduced to the UVU community, both academically and socially. It is a wonderful class to take if you don’t know how to navigate an institution of higher learning,” Haug-Belvin said.
“Another good class for new students to take is SLSS 2100: Major and Career Exploration, Haug-Belvin continued. “This course is for students who are still trying to figure out their major and/or career paths. It provides students with the opportunity to interact with career professionals and to spend some time integrating their understanding of self with knowledge of majors, careers, and the world of work.”
“Finally, another great course for new students is SLSS 1200: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Haug-Belvin recommended.“This course provides the foundation for personal leadership by teaching the fundamental principles of character and life-changing paradigms. Not only does it prepare students for success as a college student, it also prepares them for lifelong success.”
When it comes to deciding which class is right for you, there are many considerations to be made.
In terms of health and wellness, Haug-Belvin explained that she “would most recommend taking SLSS 1100: Stress Management.” This is because, “students can certainly take this course as a newer student, but it is awfully beneficial for students who have been here for a couple of years. This course presents strategies to develop new attitudes for coping with stressful circumstances and I think most of us could use that at some point in our lives,” Haug-Belvin exclaimed.
If you are struggling to figure out what you want to do for your career, Haug-Belvin recommended taking Major and Career Exploration. Additionally, “If a student is struggling with learning techniques, then SLSS 1190: Power Learning Strategies is a class that introduces research-based techniques that can lead to more successful learning.”
“Each course has its own individual outcomes, but I think it is safe to say that if a student completes an SLSS course, they will come away with a greater knowledge of self and, hopefully, an increased appreciation for lifelong learning,” Haug-Belvin stated. “So many of our courses are holistic in nature and have a focus on leadership and personal development. I hear often from students that they love our classes because they really give them some time to reflect on the decisions they make in their lives and how to improve moving forward. They sometimes indicate they wish they would have started taking SLSS classes sooner in their college career!”
Although success means different things to different people, UVU SLSS courses will help get you there. To find out more about the student success courses UVU offers, please visit UVU.edu/slss.