COLUMN: 5 must-take elective classes at BYU-I

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Students in Ben Romney's Floral Design class practice making bouquets. Photo credit: BYU-Idaho

Remember arts and crafts in grade school? What about PE or music time? Did grade school teachers expect us to choose a topic and become master painters, athletes or musicians? Certainly not.

So, the burning question is: are there still fun classes in college?

A student’s choice of a given major or field of study does not imply that he or she forfeits the “arts and crafts” offered as elective credit.

At BYU-Idaho, students are not only encouraged to take a variety of elective credits but they are required to enroll in elective credits (the number of elective credits depends on one’s major).

So, what elective credits should you take?

Here are five must-take elective classes offered at BYU-I.

1) Experiential Education (RM 343)

Experiential Education requires students to learn how to create and facilitate hands-on learning experiences for others.

According to the BYU-I academic catalog “Students will be required to apply these leadership and team building skills in a variety of settings (and) facilitate and explore alternative techniques for facilitation. This course is appropriate for all recreation majors, those in education and the social sciences.”

Experiential Education is taught through nontraditional methods and is available for students to enroll in even if they are not studying Recreational Management.

“I loved (this class) because it was hands-on learning,” said Leanne Schmidt, a recent BYU-I graduate of therapeutic recreation. “I learned different initiatives and got to know my classmates really well because of the activities we did together.”

If you like hands-on learning, you may consider enrolling in this course.

2) Personal Health and Wellness (HS 132)

Have exercise and fitness always been on your list of things to be better at? Well, if you take this course, you can establish healthy habits and routines and receive college credit for it.

According to BYU-I’s academic catalog, the class “will cover the five areas of Wellness: Physical, Social, Emotional, Spiritual and, Intellectual/Mental. In each area the student will learn the principles associated with living well.”

So, lace up your shoes and make sure to include Personal Health and Wellness in your college experience.

3) Floral Design (HORT 235)

Flower Design is a great class to take if you are wanting something fun but challenging that increases focus on precision design by creating something beautiful.

According to the BYU-I academic catalog, “This course instruction focuses on the principles and elements of design as applied to the floral industry, care and handling of cut flowers, harvest and distribution of cut flowers, floral identification, and nomenclature and the history of floral design.”

This is a great class if a student wants to work with flower arranging on the side or just as a hobby. The labs will teach hands-on training regarding techniques and design skills used in the floral industry today.

Sign up for this class, and you’ll fill your college experience with some beautiful creations.

4) Mountaineering (RM 223G)

BYU-I is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and trails. From the great Tetons to the trails of Yellowstone, there are so many places to explore. Taking Mountaineering is a sure way to get the most out of the beautiful Idaho mountains.

According to BYU-I’s academic catalog, “This course provides students with the skills needed for traveling through third, fourth, and fifth class mountainous terrain, navigation and route finding, pace management, small team rescue, self-arrests, and snow anchor techniques. Students will also refine rock climbing, protection and anchoring skills, and apply these techniques to mountain settings.”

It’s important to remember that although the course is available for anyone to take, Recreational Management major or not, the precedent does go to those in the Rec. Management program for a period of time during registration. After this time has passed, the course will be open for anyone to sign up for.

Students who enroll in this course don’t only learn how to hike and climb, but they learn essential skills like leadership, development of teaching skills and risk management.

So, if you love the outdoors and seek more of a hands-on learning experience, then take mountaineering, and surround yourself with others who love the outdoors as much as you.

5) Interpersonal Theory and Practice (COMM 150)

Last, but certainly not least, is Interpersonal Theory and Practice. This course is for those who seek more knowledge about the psychology and theory behind relationships. Like many of the electives mentioned in this article, Interpersonal Theory and Practice does not have conventional assignments.

Homework for this class may include “hang out sessions” and analyzing others in social situations. The course is described to be the study of human interaction and relationships.

“I loved the atmosphere that was created by Brother Judkins,” said Austin Mederos, a senior studying psychology. “I loved how he made it one of his top priorities to help us learn everyone’s names (and) to seek each other outside of class. … I loved how he genuinely took the time to get to know us and could feel his passion for the class and love for every single one of us.”

So, to conclude, during your experience at BYU-I, make sure to remember that you can still take “arts and crafts” and keep these courses in mind when registering for electives.