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Bryan University aims to “liberate the innate greatness in people.” This mission and BU’s core values create a framework for our students to receive the highest quality of education, which begins as soon as a student enrolls. 

In the next installment in our Setting You Up for Success series, we will examine a BU student’s first course, UNV 101. This course is an extension of student orientation and is required of every BU student, whether taking a certificate or degree program. 

The Goal of UNV 101: Developing a Growth Mindset

“One thing we were taught was about our mindset. If you feel like you can’t do it, you’re not going to do it, but as long as you keep telling yourself you can do it, you can get through it.” – Jennifer Germain, Medical Billing & Coding Graduate

The overall goal of UNV 101 is a continuation of orientation and to help students develop a growth mindset while also creating habits of a college-ready student and overcoming the anxiety that comes with returning to school. Based on the Chicago Study and the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, the BU Instructional Design team created a model that would stimulate habits of an effective mindset and switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. “If we can help stimulate a growth mindset as a student enters BU, we can get the student who feels that they are not gifted in math to realize that they can work to become better at math and that their work has value.” Nick Keeling, Assistant VP of Educational Programs and Instructional Quality. 

Since all BU students take this course regardless of their chosen academic path, it focuses on providing opportunities for projects specific to the student’s academic track. For example, an assignment could be learning how to use PowerPoint, and the way it would vary is in the Medical Assistant stack, a project would be specific to how to see yourself as a Medical Assistant, whereas, in the Paralegal stack, the assignment would be to use PowerPoint to list the job duties of a paralegal.

The Structure of UNV101: An Eight-Week Journey

UNV 101 is an eight-week course, and each week, students learn ways to develop the habits of a good student, establish a growth mindset, and become part of the school community. The course schedule looks like this: 

Week 1 and 2: Habits of Successful Students

Week 3: Growth Mindset and Pushing Through Challenges 

Week 4: Metacognition

  • Introduces LearnIt, which is the learning platform through Cerego 
  • Quizzing – shorter terms, quizzed on it in various ways over time, space the repetition so you can get to mastery of terms.

Week 5: Science of Successful Learning

Week 6: Life Happens! Managing Time and Handling Stress 

Week 7: The BU Community – How to Get Involved and Connected

Week 8: Review and Reflection – What You Learned and How to Prepare for More Academically Rigorous Courses 

The BU Way: Fostering Social Skills and Academic Perseverance

“My instructors were available and right there if I needed them. If you need to contact them, you can text or email them,” Jessica Sowell, Applied Exercise and Fitness Graduate 

Most institutions look at the academic behavior and academic performance of those who have an established growth mindset; at BU, we look at developing the social skills, learning strategies, and academic perseverance that can help mold a student, always with the understanding that there is a competing hierarchy of needs leading to a student’s performance in school. It also encourages students to recognize that they belong in this academic community. 

The Science of Learning and Metacognition

“I love the LearnIts, they are great. They help so much with memory retention. I’ve even spoken to my kids’ school about incorporating them into their education because I think there would be more success within their school.” – Jennifer Losch, Medical Billing and Coding Graduate 

During Week 4 of UNV 101, students discover the idea of Metacognition or thinking about thinking, and it introduces students to LearnIt, one of the learning platforms they will use throughout their experience at BU. LearnIt is the interactive quizzing engine that helps to encourage learning through repetition, being quizzed on content in different ways, and utilizing breaks. 

“If an assignment is closed, they will open it back up so that you can try again, so you really understand the material.” Juanita Hogan, Medical Billing and Coding Graduate  

Setting You Up for Success: UNV 101

The UNV 101 course is just one of many examples of ways that BU is constantly working to ensure students succeed. Graduates often point to adapting a growth mindset, creating habits, and the flexibility and caring of their professors as what led to their success within their chosen program, and many of them take these lessons into their chosen careers. 

“From a curricular standpoint, it is about using an effective learning model that helps BU students retain information, prioritize school, overcome obstacles, space out their learning, and grow to mastery. They have to know that their ability will grow their effort. Having supportive faculty in that process helps engage them in that content prior to the core material; those two things make an excellent ingredient for a taste-worthy potion for student success,” Nick Keeling, Assistant VP of Educational Programs and Instructional Quality.

Are you ready to take the next step? Request information at Bryan University today! 

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