student success

Student Voices: How Instructors Motivate Me

Instructors motivate students in a variety of ways. Whether you’re providing meaningful feedback that can help students hone their performance in your class, offering advice about careers in your field, or simply showing your own enthusiasm about the topics you cover, your support and encouragement can plant the seeds of growth, change, and new direction in your students’ lives. While you know the impact you can have on students, it’s always encouraging to hear what students themselves have to say about the positive effect that instructors have had on their lives. Recently, as part of Cengage Learning’s Student Case Study Program, we asked several students: How do Read More…


Activity: Setting Short-Term Goals

Long-term goals represent our biggest dreams and our boldest values: graduating from college, earning a rewarding job, getting physically fit, starting a family, buying a home… fill in what matters to you. But for each long-term goal, several short-term goals can be set along the way. These short-term goals provide concrete steps that lead to the achievement of the bigger goal, and thereby make the process of achieving those broader goals more manageable. If you’d like to encourage students to set some of these short-term goals that lead to long-term achievement, or if you have students who are motivated to do so, suggest that Read More…


Motivating Students in Introductory-Level Courses

Instructors strive to teach their courses in an engaging manner, motivate students towards success, and enable students to see the course material’s relevance to their educational paths, as well as to their lives in general. However, many of these same instructors find that motivating students to engage in the class or complete coursework can prove challenging. After all, a classroom full of students is not a monolithic entity; in each (physical or virtual) seat, you’ll find students with different needs, different demands on their time, and different reasons for attending your course. This can especially be true in a survey course such as Introduction to Business, in Read More…


Five Suggestions for Supporting Underprepared Students

For a variety of reasons, some students may come in to your classroom underprepared for the concepts and challenges you’ll cover in your course. Though they must do work on their ends to get up to speed and succeed, you can also adopt some strategies that help you support underprepared students and increase the likelihood that they will ultimately perform well. If you’d like to support your students in this manner, review these strategies, adapted from McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, Fourteenth Edition, which can help you address the needs of the underprepared students who enter your courses.

Strategies for reaching

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What Motivates Students Throughout the Day?

What motivates students to make their choices on a day-to-day (or hour-by-hour) basis? What tasks and responsibilities take up their time? What do they most enjoy doing? And what activities help, or hinder, their study habits? If you have insight into what drives the decisions students make about spending their time, you may better understand how they stay motivated in college, and you’ll be better poised to engage them where they are. Because Cengage Learning is interested in learning more about the world of the student, we recently asked over one hundred of them to draw what their typical day looked like. In the video Read More…


MindTap Helps Tina Willhoite’s College Success Students Prepare for Class and Improve Grades

Recently, the time-consuming grading of students’ handwritten assignments, along with the desire to add a technology component to College Success courses, motivated Tina Willhoite’s department at San Jacinto College District to adopt Cengage Learning’s MindTap™ and move away from using only a printed textbook. Built upon the content in her Cengage Learning textbook, MindTap is an interactive online learning experience that combines learning resources—readings, multimedia, activities, and assessments—into a learning path that guides students through their course. MindTap has already proven to be a smart move. In this Success Story, you’ll read how MindTap has led to increased student engagement and success in Tina Willhoite’s course. You’ll also learn how it has made course materials more accessible to both instructors and students, and how it’s increased instructors’ efficiency at grading time. Read More…


Career Opportunities Start in the First Year

Guest Contributor: Britt Andreatta, MA, Ph.D.   First-Year Experience instructors have a tough challenge when it comes to talking about post-graduation career opportunities. On the one hand, first-year students (and often their family members), come in with some set goals and strong opinions about how to get that “high-paying job” at graduation. On the other hand, most of their opinions are based on misinformation, and can actually undermine students’ educational experience. We have all seen the myopic focus on two or three fields like medicine, law, and engineering, which narrows intellectual exploration and may disregard a student’s natural interests and aptitude. The Read More…


Critical Thinking Skills and the AICPA Core Competency Framework

In most schools, accounting principles courses are for accounting majors as well as all other business majors. As educators, we want to make sure the accounting majors graduate with the skills they will need in the profession. However, we also want to provide non-accounting majors with the basic accounting knowledge they will need in their future careers. Additionally, we should aspire to improve the critical thinking skills of all students, regardless of major. The AICPA Core Competency Framework (CCF) provides a comprehensive list of the competencies the profession demands of entry-level accountants (AICPA, 2005). The Steps for Better Thinking (SBT) Model (Lynch & Wolcott, 2001) provides a way to assess the critical thinking skills of students in college. These two constructs actually relate to one another, which means that we can provide skill improvement opportunities for all students in accounting principles courses, regardless of their majors. Read More…


Will I Pass the CPA Exam? The Relationship Between Individuals’ Characteristics and Experiences, and Passing the CPA Exam

Newly-employed graduates in public accounting careers report that passing the CPA exam is essential to their overall career success (Fischer & Daugherty 2007), but in spite of this heightened importance, most CPA exam candidates fail to successfully complete all four exam sections in a single year. For 2012, the AICPA reported cumulative pass rates of approximately 47% for the Auditing section of the exam, 53% for the Business & Economic section, 48% for the Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) section, and 48% for the Regulation section (which includes tax and business law).

Understanding the characteristics and experiences that may influence an individual’s likelihood of timely, successful completion of the CPA exam may be helpful to students in beginning accounting classes who have yet to declare a major, and to accounting majors as they determine their areas of concentration (tax or audit) and the direction of their careers. Read More…


Entrepreneurs Need Accounting Too: The Case for Including Financial and Managerial Accounting in an Entrepreneurship Curriculum

It used to be a standing joke among many business students: “Why should I learn accounting; I can always hire someone to handle that for me!” Currently, higher education, inside and outside the realms of business schools, is in the throes of a love affair with entrepreneurship, and we are again hearing that old saw from the students. However, if it was a faulty argument years ago for marketing and finance students, it is doubly-wrong for entrepreneurship students. Entrepreneurs need accounting knowledge and understanding more than any other non-accounting major. Read More…