A positive attitude is a powerful tool in the hands of its possessor. As students learn how to develop a positive attitude, they’ll build their courage and confidence, and thereby set a course for success in college… and the future.

In order to embark on this journey, they must first realize that no one else can change their attitudes for them. They must make the choice to take charge of their own attitudes, and embrace the belief that they can make positive changes and experience success in school.

In her book Student Success in College: Doing What Works!, Dr. Christine Harrington provides college students with six keys to building a positive mindset and self-efficacy. As they embrace these tips and take steps towards developing this mindset, they will also build their confidence. These apply to life after college as well!

1. Have courage. Take a risk. Try something new.

2. Identify challenging yet realistic goals.

3. Map out the steps you need to take to accomplish your goal.

4. Be willing to ask for help. Use on-campus and off-campus supports to help you achieve success.

5. Expect that mistakes will happen from time to time.

6. Celebrate successful experiences! (Harrington, 157)


Reference: Harrington, Christine. 2013. Student Success in College: Doing What Works! A Research-Focused Approach. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

© 2013 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.



Additional tips for student success

Want to provide your students with additional suggestions that will help them make positive changes? Review the following articles from the Engaging Minds blog:

For more, explore all of the tips for students we’ve posted at the Engaging Minds blog!


How do you foster student success at your campus? Discuss in the comments section below.