Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) is one of the most wide-ranging departments on campus. Yet even though our areas of academic support span from Arabic and Accounting to the Sciences and Study Skills, we all have a shared mission here at CLAS—a collective greater purpose.
CLAS' greater purpose—beyond the role of simply serving students—is helping students take full ownership of their education. When students feel they are learning for themselves, and ultimately from themselves, it gives them the confidence to navigate the most difficult challenges and succeed. Our work here at CLAS is as much about the students’ personal and emotional growth as it is about their academic advancement. Serving students’ immediate study needs is only the starting point; our greater purpose is realized when the students believe in their own abilities, believe in themselves enough to reach their goals, academic or otherwise.
Our Study Skills team posts fliers from time to time to advertise the program’s workshops and consultation services. In one flier in particular, there’s a picture a young woman sitting on an Isla Vista rooftop, looking not back toward campus but out toward the mountains—perhaps even beyond. The caption for the poster is the same for all in the series:
"You have big dreams…
Get the skills to make them come true."
We keep big dreams in mind when we are helping a student muster the confidence to pass that math final she thinks is beyond her grasp, or when we are helping a student striving to find her emerging voice in that very first college essay when she’s asked, “Yes, but what do you think?” While the task in front of us might be helping students with what may seem to them as rather routine homework assignments, what we are really doing is helping students cultivate the tools to reach and meet their goals, the confidence to dream big, the skills to make their dreams come true, and ultimately the courage to dream even bigger yet.
Jeff Landeck, Director