A Pocket Guide to College Success

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-11-11
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Short and to-the-point, A Pocket Guide to College Success, offers practical coverage on the topics typically covered in a full-size college success text, from academic skills like managing your time, critical thinking, and note taking to life skills such as money management, stress reduction, and pursuing your career path. The second edition of A Pocket Guide to College Success provides additional support on the transition to college as well as features new coverage on motivation, mindset, and goal-setting to help students be successful from the start. With even more emphasis on asking questions, this text focuses on helping students ask the right questions to the right people so that they can drive their own college success. 
Each new copy of the text can be packaged with LaunchPad Solo for College Success, our online course space that includes videos, the LearningCurve adaptive online assessment tool, and more. A full package of instructional support materials provides instructors all the tools they will need to engage students in this course and increase student retention. Also available: ACES, a nationally norm-referenced student self-assessment of non-cognitive and cognitive skills.

Author Biography

Jamie H. Shushan is Associate Director of the Crimson Summer Academy (CSA) at Harvard University where she works to increase access to higher education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and helps them succeed once they arrive on campus. In her work at CSA and beyond, she teaches numerous classes focused on college success, engages students in career exploration fieldwork, and serves as an advisor and advocate for students at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Jamie earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2006, where she served as an academic and residential advisor for first-year students and worked at the Office of Career Services, participating in counseling, student outreach, and program development. Before joining the Crimson Summer Academy, she worked with the Associate Vice President for Higher Education in the Office of the President, assisting with a number of presidential initiatives and priorities including the creation of the CSA.    

Table of Contents

Part 1: Transitioning to College
Getting Started Guides
         Your First Week in College
         Your First Month in College
         Your First Term in College
1. Beginning Your College Journey 
       Why College?
               More Opportunity
               Academic, Social, and Personal Growth 
       Navigating a New College Culture
               Meeting Expectations
               Visual Walkthrough: Academic Expectations
               Finding Your Place in College
2. Finding Support on Campus 
        Begin Creating a College Network
               Mentors Are Invaluable Resources
               Make Connections with Peers
               Campus Staff Wants to Connect
               Visual Walkthrough: Find Campus Resources Online
        Instructors Are Part of Your Network, Too 
               Make the Most of Office Hours
               Share Your Academic Struggles 
        Ask Questions and Get Help Often
               Anxiety Is Understandable 
               Seeking Assistance is Key
3. Motivation and Goal Setting  
        Motivation Matters
               Types of Motivation
               What Motivates You Academically?
        Mindset, Resilience, and Grit Matters
               Understanding Your Mindset
               Resilience, Grit, and Achievement 
        Set SMART Goals
               How to Create SMART Goals
               Visual Walkthrough: Creating SMART Goals
               Make Your Goals SMART-ER
4. Using Time Wisely 
         Time Is of the Essence
                Use a Planner
                Choose Your Planner Wisely
         Battling Procrastination
                 Why Do You Procrastinate, and What Can You Do?
                 Use a To-Do List
                 Visual Walkthrough: Incorporate To-Do Lists into Your Planner 
         Finding a Balance
                 Always Start with Academics
                 Your Schedule Will Lead the Way
                 All Work and No Play Isn’t a Good Solution
                 Be Flexible
Part 2: Study Skills
5. Learning Preferences & Studying 
         What is VARK?
                 Understanding the VARK 
                 I Know my VARK Score: Now What? 
                Visual Walkthrough: Use Your VARK Learning Preference during Study Sessions
         What is Myers-Briggs? 
                 Personality Type Can Influence College Choices
          Study with Your Learning Preferences in Mind
                 Create a Study Plan
                 Make Connections with Study Notes
                 Study with Others 
                 Take Practice Tests
6. Critical Thinking
          Critical Thinking in College
                 Five Steps for Critical Thinking
                 Try Not to Inhibit Critical Thinking
          Where to Use Your Critical Thinking Skills
                 Critical Thinking While Problem Solving
                 Critical Thinking When Making Decisions
                 Critical Thinking and Creativity
7. Note Taking
           Take Thoughtful Notes
                  Set the Scene
                  View Lectures as Conversations
           Note-Taking Styles
                   Instructor Notes
                   Visual Walkthrough: Using the Table Format, Using the Outline and Cornell                     Formats, Adding Visuals
            Review Your Notes Early and Often
8. Reading Effectively
            Set Yourself Up for Success
                    Location Matters
                    Break Down Readings
                    Remember Time Management
            Read Effectively
                    Engage with Your Reading
                    Take Notes
                    Visual Walkthrough: Take Critical Thinking Notes While You Read
            Engage in Conversations 
                    Get Support from Classmates
9. Test Taking
            Before the Test
                    The Night Before
                    The Morning of the Test
                    Right before the Test
            During the Test
                    Look Over the Exam
                    Keep Track of Time
                    Visual Walkthrough: Taking the Test
                    Focus on You (Not on Your Classmates!)
                    Don’t Let Your Eyes Wander—Ever
            Managing Test Anxiety 
                    Practice, Practice, Practice
                    Reduce Your Stress
                    If You Blank
                    When to Get Help
10. Writing & Information Literacy
            General Writing Advice
                    Understand the Assignment
                    Write Rough Drafts and Obtain Feedback 
            Apply Critical Thinking
                    Step 1: Ask Questions
                    Step 2: Evaluate Your Reactions
                    Step 3: Write with a “Critical Lens”
                    Step 4: Make Connections
                    Step 5: Bring Your Experiences into the Assignment
           Getting Started: The Writing Process
                    Before You Start Writing
                    While You’re Writing
           Avoiding Plagiarism
                    Citing Your Sources
                    Use an Accepted Citation Style
           Researching and Communicating in a Digital Age
                    Navigating the World of Research Technology
                    Use Electronic Resources at the Library
                    Communicating in a Digital Age
                    Visual Walkthrough: Send Professional Emails
Part 3: Skills for Success
11. Academic Planning & Finding a Major
           Make Your Academic Plan Personal
                    Explore Your Interests and Goals
                    Acknowledge Your Skills and Values
                    Reflect on Your Academic Background & Experiences
           Choose a Major That is Right for You
                    Balance Your Goals and Interests
                    Be Aware of Major Requirements and Timing Constraints
                    Consider Your Career Goals
           Select Your Courses
                    Combine Your Interests with Requirements
                    Map Out Your Academic Plan
                   Get Help from an Academic Advisor or Mentor
                   Visual Walkthrough: Balance Your Course Load
                   Be Smart about Class Exploration
12. Managing Your Money
           Create and Manage a Budget
                  Visual Walkthrough: Budgeting 
           Understand Your Financial Aid Package
                  Types of Aid
                  Applying for Aid
           Use Credit Cards Wisely
                  Choosing a Credit Card
                  Control Your Spending
                  Know When to Put the Card Away
                  Get Help
                  Your Credit History
13. Experiencing Difference 
           Acknowledge Differences
                  Keep an Open Mind
                  Challenge Stereotypes
                  Understand and Respect Differences
           Create Meaningful Connections
                  Join Organizations
                  Look for Campus Resources
                  Visual Walkthrough: Learn About Your College’s Diversity Resources
            Learn from Differences
                  Authentic Communication
                  Mutual Respect
14. Staying Healthy and Reducing Stress
           Eat, Sleep, and Exercise
                  Keep Your Body Fueled
                  Visual Walkthrough: Making Balanced Food Choices
                  Find a Sleep Solution
                  Exercise Can Make All the Difference
           Manage Your Stress
                  Build a Community 
                  Stay Connected
                  Be Good to Yourself
           Be Safe Socially 
                  Substance Abuse
                  Protect Yourself Against Sexual Assault
                  Consider Your Safety Online 
15. Starting Your Career Journey
          Dig Into Your Interests
                  Narrow Down Your Career Choices
                  Connect Your Academic Plan to Your Career
          Gaining Experience
                  Exploring Your Options
                  Connecting with Others
                  Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
                 Visual Walkthrough: Résumé and Cover Letter Writing
                 Dealing with the Unexpected 
          It’s Your Life
                 Notice What Matters to You
Appendix A: Living on Campus
          Living with Roommates
                  Mutual Respect
                  Roommate Meetings
                  Resolving Conflicts
          Your Residential Advisor
                  Roommate Mediation
                  Academic and Personal Advice
                  Social Life
          Campus Resources
                  Housing Office
                  Dining Services
                  Parking Office
Appendix B: Living Off Campus 
          Find a Balance
                 Nontraditional Students
                 Aim for a Balance
                 Find Support
          Build a Connection
                 Join a Club or Participate in an Activity
                 Form a Study Group
          Campus Resources
                 Student Discounts

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