Student Development Classes

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT CLASSES

What are Student Development classes?

These are one-, two-, or three-credit credit classes designed to assist students with relevant college related concerns in a class setting with the goal of helping you to fulfill the AIMS of a BYU education. Student Development courses typically focus on academic skills, career development and preparation, leadership, and improving mental health. Classes are taught by faculty of the Counseling and Career Center and advisors from University Career Services, the Academic Success Center, University Advisement Center, Preprofesisonal Advisement and other areas across campus.

We have highlighted several of our courses below. For a complete listing, go here

ST DEV 109 Effective Study and Learning

Concentrates on the college learning process. Improve time management, reading, listening, note taking, test preparation, test taking, and develop an effective memory.

ST DEV 117 Career Exploration

Learn about yourself, learn about careers. Connect interests and skills to majors and careers. Make effective career decisions.

ST DEV 140 Life Planning and Decision Making

Focuses on issues of personal maturity, goal setting, and decision making abilities in areas of common concern to young adults.

ST DEV 141R Individual Development

ST DEV 141R courses focus on mental health topics relevant to students. Faculty members from BYU Counseling and Psychological Services have developed and offer courses designed to help students improve their mental health. These offerings can change semester to semester and year to year. Please review the descriptions below as each section and course can be significantly different. Currently (as of Fall 2019) we offer the following 141R topics:

Positive Living

The aim of this course is to actively engage students in the learning and application of current, research-backed approaches to positive human growth and psychological well-being.

For each topic students will engage in application, through the use of various exercises, outside of class. Students will also share with each other what they have learned in small discussion groups. Active engagement with the course material will increase psychological well-being over the course of the semester. Topics include happiness, gratitude, savoring, mindfulness, character strengths, and more.

Relationships 101: Building Health and Lasting Connections

This course will familiarize students with the intricacies and problems of close, committed, interpersonal relationships—primarily dating, but also marriage, friendships, and family—and promote self-development in the context of relationships. This course will increase students’ formal knowledge about close relationships, while also improving their chances for success in such relationships. After taking the course, students should be better prepared to work on themselves, build and maintain friendships, choose compatible partners, face inevitable relationship challenges, and experience greater relationship satisfaction.

Compassionate Living: Theory and Practice

Developing compassion for self and others has been shown to reduce perfectionism and self-criticism and improve performance, motivation, and relationships.  This course will teach theory and skills aimed at increasing assertiveness, decreasing shame, and developing self-efficacy, contributing to the balanced development of the total person.​​

Mental Health and Well-Being

Understanding mental health as an important aspect of overall wellness, this course helps individuals to identify common mental health challenges in themselves or others. This course helps to explain stress, anxiety, and depression and gives students tools for managing mental health. Psychological flexibility, including openness, awareness, and engagement, is discussed and practiced by students in this course as tools for living one’s values in the face of challenges.


ST DEV 150 Public Speaking

Learn time-tested methods for enhancing your ability to connect with, inform and persuade an audience.


ST DEV 205 Surviving College Reading

Learn how to read and comprehend difficult textbooks. Retain more information in less time. This course is especially good for freshmen, sophomores, and any student who feels overwhelmed by the reading loads of their college classes. Download a handout here.

ST DEV 214R Special Topics

Special topics courses can include any topics relevant to student development: learning/academic skills, leadership, mental health, personal development, career development, etc. This designation is frequently used to 'try out' new courses in order to determine how effective they are at meeting student needs. As of Fall 2019, we offer the following Special Topics courses:

Math Modeling

This course is specifically designed for unique student populations, particularly those with math disabilities. Referral to the course and instructor approval is required. 

Test Preparation and Test-Taking Strategies

This course helps students identify ways to develop study plans, deal with test questions and explore strategies for test-taking.  High emphasis is placed on helping students learn from previous experience about their success and how to improve the possibility of success. 

Professional Etiquette

Learn standards of professional behavior in Western society. Develop social skills. Professional Etiquette addresses thirteen principles of etiquette. Additionally, specific etiquette skills are taught through lecture, discussion, reflection and experiential learning activities. Students are provided with the opportunity to develop an understanding and working knowledge of social nuances and expectations, facilitating more meaningful relationships in both personal and professional life.

Managing Anxiety and Worry

What is anxiety? Why worry? Learn how to more effectively manage anxiety and worry. Practice and develop specific skills.

Adjusting to College Life

This course is designed to help those with autism spectrum disorders and others who struggle socially to adapt to college life. Contact the instructor, jon_cox@byu.edu, for more information. Instructor approval required.


ST DEV 317 Career Strategies

Preparing for employment. Job search, resumes, cover letters, interviewing, networking. 

ST DEV 318 Graduate School Preparation

Prepare and craft competitive graduate school application documents. Topics include references, personal statements, scholarships and financial aid, entrance exams, resumes and interviewing, research of graduate programs.

When you enroll in a Student Development course you increase your ability to:

  • Raise your Grade Point Average
  • Be an effective decision maker
  • Improve performance on exams with better test-taking skills
  • Make reading a meaningful experience
  • Handle the note-taking challenge
  • Create strategies to deal with the expectations found in college
  • Explore and identify a major that is suited to your interests, values and plans
  • Face the University experience with greater confidence
  • Recognize your developing personality and strengths
  • Grow in personal development as a college student

When are they offered?

They are offered each semester or term, usually with multiple section offerings.


How do I enroll? 

Same procedure as other classes. They are listed under Student Development (STDEV).


Anticipated Outcomes?

Involvement in a Student Development class has several strengths: 1) it enhances commitment to the task of career exploration and decision making, since a grade is involved, 2) you have the opportunity to be in a class with other students who have the same concerns, thus giving you mutual support and sharing of information and resources, and 3) it gives you the extended amount of investment in time and energy to explore and think about these issues adequately. With this in mind, we consider the class to be one of the most intensive and most successful ways to engage in career exploration, decision making, and improved scholarship.