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With increased attention paid to resilience, teamwork, and professionalism, the fourth edition of FOCUS ON COLLEGE SUCCESS recognizes the varied experiences of today's students and guides them to be more motivated and focused. The research-based approach builds a solid foundation, allowing students see the relevancy of this course to their lives. By helping students develop realistic expectations of what it takes to learn, FOCUS ON COLLEGE SUCCESS motivates and encourages students with direct applications and immediate results. Written by Constance Staley, one of the best-known names in the field of motivation, this text increases the credibility of the college success course by providing tools that help students succeed and thereby improve institutional retention rates. Starting with the use of the FOCUS Challenge Cases that introduce each chapter, FOCUS ON COLLEGE SUCCESS strikes a personal and informal conversation with readers--directly connecting with them and drawing them into text discussions. In a recent survey of students using FOCUS, 97% would recommend that their professor use this book again with next year's first-year students. Many students today are over-optionalized and over-obligated. FOCUS ON COLLEGE SUCCESS addresses those issues head-on, creating teachable moments—and concrete results—in every class period.

Dr. Constance Staley, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Constance Staley is an award-winning Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she directed the First-Year Seminar Program for nearly 25 years. Well-known throughout FYE circles, Staley leads faculty development efforts across the country, including a three-year effort with an East Coast Fortune 500 company, where she designed and delivered supervisory training. A Fulbright Fellow who represented the university by teaching in the former Soviet Union, Dr. Staley also developed a multimedia training package for first-year seminar instructors, along with the ground-breaking 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern resource manual. Other Cengage titles by Dr. Staley include FOCUS on College Success and FOCUS on College Success Concise, along with FOCUS on College and Career Success, which she co-wrote with Steve Staley. Dr. Staley earned a BA in education from Ball State University, and an MA in linguistics and PhD in communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • The all-new chapter 1, Starting Strong, Building Resilience, covers resilience, providing students with the tools to commit to long-term goals. It also covers academic professionalism—-what instructors will expect of students and what students can do to succeed. The Focus Challenge Case highlights Carson Reed, a first-year student overwhelmed by school and personal commitments.
  • A number of chapters have been substantially revised or combined. Chapter 2 (previously chapter 1), Setting Goals, Achieving Dreams, includes new sections discussing attitude and happiness; tools to help students focus in a multitasking world; and self-motivation, explaining how and why people are motivated. Chapter 3 (previously chapter 2), Learning Styles and Studying, now combines the topics of Learning Styles and Study Skills so students will understand their own learning preferences and new ways to study, allowing them to learn more productively and efficiently. Chapter 8, Reading, Writing, and Presenting, now allows students to make connections between three important skills, with an emphasis on reading. Chapter 9 (previously chapters 7 and 9), Developing Memory, Taking Tests, combines the topics of memory skills and test taking, giving students an opportunity to put the memory strategies they learn immediately into practice when studying for quizzes and exams.
  • In addition, FOCUS ON COLLEGE SUCCESS now has more coverage on creativity in organizations and affording college; new material on social media and job searching; and a renewed focus on succeeding in online classes and writing effective online messages. The Focus Challenge Case in chapter 10, Working In Teams, Valuing Diversity, highlights Serena Jackson, a first-year student left to do all the work herself for a group project, setting the scene for a focus on teams through chapter.
  • Research-based: The research on today's students—their characteristics, learning styles, strengths, and challenges—is continually evolving. New studies appear in online and paper journals every day. This edition of FOCUS contains the latest trends and critical issues to keep abreast of the prolific research available on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Specific areas of new research that are crucial to student success include the effects that being distracted by emails or phone calls has on student IQ, the time it takes to "reboot" after interrupting a task, and the role a college degree has on a happier, healthier life.
  • Credible: Using concrete research to drive all content, this text delivers proof that the college success course matters and improves retention. FOCUS ON COLLEGE SUCCESS includes student Entrance and Exit Interviews, which document for faculty and college administrators the fact that students have made progress in the course and illustrate students' reactions to individual sections of the text.
  • FOCUS ON COLLEGE SUCCESS recognizes the varied and diverse experiences that students bring to college. FOCUS Challenge Cases in each chapter present student profiles that focus on big issues and are immediately engaging. The Challenge→Reaction and Insight→Action prompts found throughout the text encourage students to identify what they already know about a topic then guide them to apply it to their own learning experiences. The text's unique and personalized learning system then emphasizes the four Cs: the degree of Curiosity prompted by course work, the level of Control over outcomes, and extent of focus on graduation and Career outlook, and the level of Challenge in course work.
  • The updated photo program plugs into student engagement by offering photos of real students who are in college, stimulating students' interest and appealing to visual learners.
  • Fully Supported: Offering a high level of instructor support, the integrated teaching package includes a robust website, a comprehensive Instructor's Manual, and an Annotated Instructor's Edition featuring notes from the author as well as from respected and dedicated college success teacher Catherine Andersen of Gallaudet University. To ensure the greatest possible success for institutions with diverse student audiences, various course setups, and a host of other variables, the text's annotations are grouped in the following categories: Diversity Discussion, Teachable Moments, Sensitive Situation, Teaching with Technology, Activity Option, and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Research.
  • In addition, a host of creative multimedia features brings excitement into the college success/freshman seminar course. Lecture Launching Videos bring Dr. Constance Staley into your classroom to help kick off topics in select chapters. Unique iAudio coverage of chapter summaries is available in downloadable MP3 format. The resourceful CourseMate Website includes Team Career exercises integrated with the text's Focus on Careers feature and Challenge Yourself online quizzes to help students understand more about themselves and their attitudes toward life and learning. Interactive FOCUSPoints, housed on the accompanying PowerLecture CD-ROM, set you up for an interactive, media-rich class with no effort. This dynamic tool is sure to increase student interest and enliven the course.
1. Starting Strong, Building Resilience.
2. Setting Goals, Achieving Dreams.
3. Learning Styles and Studying.
4. Managing Your Time, Energy, and Money.
5. Thinking Critically and Creatively.
6. Learning Online.
7. Engaging, Listening, and Note-taking in Class.
8. Reading, Writing, and Presenting.
9. Developing Memory, Taking Tests.
10. Working in Teams, Valuing Diversity.
11. Working Toward Wellness.
12. Choosing a College Major and Career.
Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

Recommended and most popular

  • ISBN-10: 1305387813
  • ISBN-13: 9781305387812
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $76.00
  • RETAIL $76.00

Digital Access + Print — Flexible Value

Recommended and most popular

  • ISBN-10: 1305927400
  • ISBN-13: 9781305927407
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $95.00
  • RETAIL $125.95
Aplia is an online learning solution that increases student engagement with automatically graded assignments and detailed explanations.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

Recommended and most popular

  • ISBN-10: 1285757769
  • ISBN-13: 9781285757766
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $76.00
  • RETAIL $76.00

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • STARTING AT $17.99

  • ISBN-10: 1305231392
  • ISBN-13: 9781305231399
  • STARTING AT $20.99

  • ISBN-10: 1285430077
  • ISBN-13: 9781285430072
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $85.00
  • RETAIL $112.95

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor's Companion Website

ISBN: 9781337289955
Find everything you need for your course in one place. This collection of book-specific lecture and class tools is available online via Access and download PowerPoint® presentations, images, instructor's manual, videos, and more.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access

ISBN: 9781337292269
Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.