Free classes help students navigate school life

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Free classes help students navigate school life

Dakota Student / Jennifer Friese

Dakota Student / Jennifer Friese

Dakota Student / Jennifer Friese


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Associate Director of Learning Services Shari Nelson presents class on “Reading a College Textbook” in the Badlands room of the Memorial Union on Monday. Photo by Jennifer Friese/The Dakota Student.

Being a college student is hard enough. Being away from home for the first time and switching to a new environment is difficult, but the Student Success Center offers “Staying on Track” classes designed to help students with the new stresses of their college careers.

The Student Success Center offered these types of classes last fall, but for the spring semester the classes now include workshops that focus on study skills, and they will be offered throughout the semester.

“This is based on a new way of doing it,” Associate Director of Learning Services Shari Nelson said. “For every year we’ve done ‘Staying on track’, (classes were the) first Tuesday and Wednesday in the fall, however, not a lot of people attended these sessions.”

Monday began the first of four sections for the spring semester which included classes in the Badlands Room — 11 a.m., Time management; 1 p.m., Taking classroom notes; 3 p.m., Studying for and taking tests; 5 p.m., Reading a college textbook.

Each class lasted about 45 minutes and was geared toward students who wanted to find a new approach to learning and studying.

The classes offered throughout the semester will be rotated each month so everyone has a chance to attend one if for some reason they cannot make it. And if students can’t make any of the classes, powerpoints from the fall sessions are located on the student success center page of the university website.

The spring semester sessions will be uploaded within the next couple weeks.

“These classes are certain to engage new students, but  we are always welcome to graduate students and seniors,” Nelson said. “Anybody who might have an interest in improving their skills, either because they are struggling in a certain area, they are not studying, or they are doing well in class and want to find a more efficient way to study. Even perhaps they are good at studying a textbook, but would like to find a more efficient way and save time.”

The next class is set for Feb. 24. There will also be classes April 1 and April 30.

Students can always be learning something new.

“I even learn new things from the students, and we have the students evaluate our classes so that over the semester we can improve the classes,” Nelson said.  “We also add topics that would like to be covered based on what the students thought was helpful.”

Colin Johnson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].

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