student success

The College Catalog: A Guide on Students’ Academic Path

Students start off their college years with a wide range of attitudes and emotions: excitement about opportunities; hope for personal growth; eager anticipation about becoming independent; and, perhaps, a bit of anxiety about all the unknowns (Which major should I choose? How will I make new friends at a new school? How will I manage my time… while still having fun?) And yet, in order to succeed and thrive, they’ll need practical guidance along the way. Among the many tools and services available to students, the humble college catalog stands as a resource that can get—and keep—them informed Read More…


Tips for Students: Establishing a Backup Plan for Accessing Your Course Resources

Where would we be without our tech tools? We rely on them for so much—school, work, communicating with friends—that if disaster strikes in the form of loss, theft, hardware failure, or a virus, it would be easy to slip into a panic. At other times, technical glitches such as a broken Internet connection can make the difference between an assignment completed on time and one that misses the mark. Though we can’t always prevent computer problems from arising, we can think ahead and mitigate the negative fallout that may occur because of them. In their book E-Learning Companion: A Student’s Read More…


Tips for Students: Tackling Time Wasters

A chapter to read, a video to watch, a discussion post to write, a paper to complete, lecture notes to review… your life as a student can often feel like a long to-do list. On top of scholarly demands,  you may also be balancing a job or family responsibilities, which certainly should not be shirked. And yet, you also have many options that are a bit more enjoyable in the moment: a phone call from a friend, an impromptu shopping trip, a pickup game of basketball, an outdoor concert at the local park…  you name it, it’s out there, ready to Read More…


Activity: Helping Students Assess Potential Demands on Their Time

For many reasons, time management is an important practice. A well-planned schedule can help you avoid over-commitment, maintain a healthy balance of work and pleasure, and set realistic goals and expectations. However, the act of planning time may be a challenge in and of itself. Where and how do you begin? How much time should you allow for certain tasks? How much can you reasonably incorporate into your schedule while still avoiding burnout? These questions may be especially pressing for college freshmen, who may be new to managing their own time. Similarly, people embarking on a new stage in Read More…


Tips for Students: Keeping Your Coursework Organized on Your Computer

From time to time, it happens to every student. An assignment deadline approaches, or the time for class is drawing near. You need to access that paper, spreadsheet, or presentation right away, and you can’t find it. What did you name the project? Where did you file it? And which draft is the final one? It has to be there somewhere… you just know it. But the clock is ticking, and you are now kicking yourself for failing to create folder names other than “My Documents” or “New Folder” and neglecting to title your files clearly. So you Read More…


Try It Now: Activity for “Academically Paying it Forward”

Contributor: Kimberly LaComba, Director of the Learning Resource Center, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Ask your students to consider the following questions: What are the top three skills you have gained from this course that are most valuable to you?
What skills have you gained from this course that you think would be most helpful to your friends outside of this class? Students should work in small groups. Within their group, each student will discuss their responses to the questions and determine if there are any common skill themes. Once their common themes have been determined, you will present the following task to the students, who will Read More…


Reader Ideas: Inspiring Student Success

At the Cengage Learning Blog, we frequently offer tips that students can use to hone their academic, personal, and professional skills. We also recognize that numerous educators from around the country (and the world) have found creative and effective ways to support students in their quest for college success. Today’s idea, submitted by Sandra Rapp of Eastern University, describes one way her school helps students prepare for what’s expected of them in college. We believe that this activity could help your students better position themselves to achieve their educational goals and make the most out of their experience at Read More…


Activity: Mnemonic Device: Acronym for Annotation

Today, we share Valerie Shay’s activity, which uses a mnemonic device that helps students remember a useful method of reading and studying a book or essay. Do you have a favorite classroom activity you’d like to share with our community? Share it in the comments! Contributor: Valerie Shay, Fayetteville Technical Community College. Use Mortimer Adler’s essay, “How to Mark up a Book,” as a learning tool. Explain to your students that UNCP no longer stands for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; for the rest of their academic careers, it will now stand for Underline, Number, Circle, and Paraphrase.
Bonus Tip: Have a Read More…


Tools and Strategies to Keep Students Motivated and Focused

Keeping students motivated and focused: The challenge is not a new one, and certainly not exclusive to summer courses, but it can be exacerbated by the siren’s call of warm weather and summer fun that students face when opting to take part in these courses. Today, we’ll examine a few strategies and tools that you can inform them of so they can keep up their motivation, and even improve their focus. In The Confident Student, author Carol Kanar writes about a few strategies that students can use to give themselves a positive push toward self-motivation. Summarized below Read More…


The Motivation to Become a “Finisher”

Sunny blue skies, a dip in the pool, the pull of an impromptu road trip… even the strongest among us can be lured by summer’s appealing distractions. However, we all know that the joys of summer don’t make our responsibilities magically disappear, so it’s critical to develop a strategy for staying on course to meet our obligations and address our greatest priorities. The task-planning skills needed to accomplish our goals are beneficial at any stage of life. But in college, cultivating those skills is an especially important endeavor: without them, a student may flounder, fall behind, and ultimately lose the motivation to complete an Read More…