BEACON Scholars: Library Advice and Encouragement

Guide created in support of the University of Utah BEACON Scholars program (more here:


Hello Scholar!

I am the librarian for the BEACON Scholars program (yes, you have your own librarian!)  I've been up here at the University of Utah since 1992 (I know, I'm old) -but I understand how the library AND the university system works and I want to help.  If you run stuck with anything while you're a student here, I know thousands of different people and services that can help, so call or e-mail me any time at:

Dale "The Librarian" Larsen


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How to Succeed in College

Give yourself dedicated time to do school work
How much time you give yourself to study and do school work is one of the biggest factors in your success (graduation)!  So if you could only change one thing about being a student, putting more time into it is the most impactful!
Petty, T. (2014). Motivating first-generation students to academic success and college completion. College Student Journal, 48(2), 257-264.

Make friends
Having personal relationships with fellow students (or faculty, librarians, etc.) can mean the difference between dropping out after a year vs. making it to graduation.  You don’t have to be BFF’s for this to work –I had a student who walked through the library just to say hi every now and then and it helped.
Bers, T., & Schuetz, P. (2014). Nearbies: A missing piece of the college completion conundrum. Community College Review, 42(3), 167-183. doi:10.1177/0091552114525834

Get a job here at the U
Building on the concept above; getting a part-time job at the University of Utah (see listings here: ) is proven to help people graduate (and graduate faster!), as well as being part of the community helps you find friends and mentors.  It also saves time so you’re not driving between school and work.
Stern, G.M. (2014). Part-time job program for Latinos boosts college success. Education Digest, 79(9), 55-58.

Believe you can
I hate saying this one because it is so over-used, but believing in yourself is a proven way to graduation.  How can you do this on the practical level? Here are some examples:

You’re given an assignment that looks complex and hard –and you’re stressing out: (guess which one is right)

      a.       “This is impossible, I’m turning on Netflix”

      b.      “I’ll just take it bit by bit and work through it like I always do!”

You’re given a complicated project to be completed in a short amount of time: (guess which one is right)

      a.       “I’m not smart enough to do this!”

      b.      “They totally picked the right person for this one, I rock!”

Zajacova, A., Lynch, S. M., & Espenshade, T. J. (2005). Self-efficacy, stress, and academic success in college. Research In Higher Education, 46(6), 677-706.

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