Do what is best for you: Enroll in Strategies for Academic Success this fall at WNC

Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

A group of seasoned professors at Western Nevada College have some sage advice for new and returning students: Enroll in Strategies for Academic Success (EPY 150) class this fall.

You can thank them later when you have completed your college education and are a happily employed professional.

Essentially, what the course will do for students is set them up for success in higher education. It will help them learn how to learn.


But some may say, “We’ve had 13 years of elementary and secondary education before coming to college so we know what it takes to learn.”

Yes, but in EPY 150 there is an opportunity to gain more insight into what it takes to be successful in college courses and the chance to become more self-aware of what will make you a better learner.

“I like to think of it as a course that is designed to assist students in their personal journey, whether it is their academic journey or their own intrapersonal journey and to help them engage in the process of reaching their own individual potentials — wherever those potentials lie,” said History Professor Kim DesRoches, who has also served as the college’s interim Liberal Arts director.

Listen to those who have taken the course.

Nayelli Lara-Gutierrez said she was apprehensive heading into her freshman year at WNC, but fortunately registered for EPY 150 her first semester.

“I was a nervous new college student with no real idea of what college had in store,” said Lara-Gutierrez, who recently graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. “But this class taught me how to handle my stress, how to take good notes and what learning style best fit me. I use all these habits now and this class made me a better student. I highly recommend taking this class; it gave me the confidence to succeed.”

Gwyneth Crowe took the course this summer and came away endorsing the class and what it did for her.

“This class is really great if you would like to learn how to self-reflect, learn some valuable study techniques, learn test-taking strategies and how to grow as a person,” she said. “I really loved this class and its content. I took it because I’m a nervous test taker. I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but I ended up really liking it.”

English Professor Geri Pope said that students shouldn’t hesitate to take the class so they can learn more about themselves and how to help themselves. 

“Do you want to spend a semester really, really thinking of yourself, figuring out what you need and really assessing who you are and what that means? Do you want to help plan your future, want to find goals that are meaningful for you?” Pope said. “This class is so much a step forward. It’s the class about you. Everything we do is about self-discovery, self-reflection and really learning what you need to succeed and to support yourself and achieve your goals.”

Professor Susan Priest, who will teach a flex EPY 150 class this fall, said that students will really benefit from the wisdom from the assortment of professors who lead the course:

“We have fabulous instructors who are really dedicated to lifelong learning and they come from all sorts of different backgrounds,” said Priest, who has been grooming students at WNC since 2005 and is a professor of College Success and Philosophy. “We have people with PhDs in history, a doctorate of musical arts and performance, a PhD in psychology and we also have both full and part-time instructors. … people who are teaching from the discipline of English, writing, composition, psychology and philosophy.”

Some areas that enrollees of this class will learn to succeed at more successfully are note taking, test taking, reading and writing. In this new world of learning, students will acquire skills and strategies that will help them become successful whether they are taking the class in person or virtually.

“I really want our students to be successful,” Priest said. “It’s about what they can do to help themselves, making them successful in any learning environment. Students can be successful in online and remote learning situations, as well as face-to-face situations, if they learn to apply some simple learning strategies.”

Students will have a number of options to take the class. As mentioned previously, Priest will teach a flex class, which means students will learn in real time at home, face to face or from another location that is safe. The 3-unit class is also offered in person at WNC’s three campuses and online, and the credit is transferrable for those who are pursuing bachelor degrees.

Andy Lenon, a full-time counselor at Oasis Academy, will teach the course in Fallon. Lenon’s enthusiasm has made him popular with students.

“My favorite part of teaching the EPY 150 class is the relationships that I get to create with the students,” he said. “What a blessed position we are in as educators to create relationships and connections with our students who might even be a little lost when they enter into EPY 150, fostering those relationships and helping guide our students in the direction they want to go that is their absolute passion.”

For those interested in taking the class online this fall, Angie Vogl, who has a lifetime of teaching experience, will be their instructor.

“It is one of the most miraculous courses I’ve ever taught and I’ve taught for 35-40 years,” she said.

Vogl has seen what a huge difference the course makes in students’ lives.

A young man told her, “I thought this was going to be an easy throw-away class, and I learned so much about myself.” A young mother struggling with finances and burdens of life confided, “I was ready to give up. After taking this class, I know I can do it.” 

The class even impacts students who are already doing well in college.

“What I generally tell students is that if you were a fair student coming in, you are going to launch yourself into the good to great by taking this course. If you were a good student when you entered this class, you are going to learn some techniques and different ways of thinking that are going to elevate you from goodness to greatness,” DesRoches said.

Enroll now at WNC by calling 775-445-3267 or at For more information on the class, email Priest at

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