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ON COURSE: STRATEGIES FOR CREATING SUCCESS IN COLLEGE AND IN LIFE empowers students with the tools they need to take charge of their academic and lifelong success. Through distinctive guided journal entries, Skip Downing encourages students to explore and develop their personal responsibility, self-motivation, interdependence, and self-esteem, and to make wise choices that create successful results. "Wise Choices in College" sections in each chapter help students develop the study skills they need to excel in their other courses. The 7th edition features expanded coverage of diversity, emphasizing the many ways in which people are different and how these differences often influence the choices they make. Other new topics include a discussion of academic integrity, how to thrive in the college culture, and a research-based section on the importance of developing a growth mindset. Plus, a new Annotated Instructors Edition guides instructors to relevant exercises and materials in the ON COURSE FACILITATOR'S MANUAL. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections

Skip Downing,

Skip Downing is an international consultant in the field of faculty development and student success strategies. Dr. Downing has earned degrees from Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Santa Monica, and Carnegie Mellon University. He holds advanced degrees in both English and counseling psychology. He was professor of English at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) for 32 years. In addition to his role as an academic instructor, Dr. Downing created and coordinated BCCC's Student Success and Learning Community Programs. These programs teach students how to apply proven success strategies to achieve their full potential in college and in life. The College Success Program resulted in a significant increase in both student academic success and retention. Dr. Downing has made numerous presentations at national conferences and conducted faculty development workshops at many two- and four-year colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and the Virgin Islands. Dr. Downing's teaching, writing, and consulting are all guided by his belief that the greatest mission of any educational institution is to empower its students to live rich, fulfilling lives. Since 1996, he has facilitated the On Course Workshops, intensive four-day retreats for college educators focusing on proven strategies for helping students become active, responsible partners in their education and achieve greater success in college and in life.
  • NEW! Expanded Coverage of Diversity. Rather than simply add one article about this important issue, diversity has been integrated throughout the text. The intent of this approach is to emphasize that we are all different from others in many ways, and these differences often influence the choices we make and, thus, the outcomes and experiences we create. By way of example, an article titled "Respecting Cultural Differences" will helps students understand the growing diversity they will encounter in college and beyond, along with a number of strategies for showing respect for people different from themselves.
  • NEW! Article on the Culture of Higher Education. The culture of higher education is unique and, therefore, challenging to many students. This article and the accompanying journal entry will help students understand what a "culture" is, how their college or university culture is different from previous cultures they may have experienced (e.g. high school), and what choices they can make to thrive in the culture of higher education. Armed with this information, they'll soon feel like a native of their new culture.
  • NEW! Discussion of Academic Integrity. Many educators are concerned about cheating in higher education. Woven into an article about personal integrity and self-respect, this discussion presents the author's own experiences with cheating and three powerful reasons why cheating is a bad choice for any college student to make.
  • InfoTrac® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTrac® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at:
  • NEW! Article on Developing a Learning Orientation to Life. Recent findings by psychologist Carol Dweck and others reveal the impact of growth and fixed mindsets on learning. This article presents the practical application of this important research, providing students with practical strategies for becoming an effective lifelong learner (not to mention earning better grades).
  • REVISED. Journal Entries. Based on user feedback, many of the Journal Entries have been revised to help garner more thoughtful responses from students and allow for more flexibility of which questions to focus their efforts.
  • One Student's Story--More Added! A popular feature in earlier editions, these short essays are authored by students who used On Course strategies to improve the quality of their college outcomes and experiences. These stories show the positive and dramatic results possible when students apply what they learn in this course to overcome the multitude of challenges that can sabotage success in college, and beyond.
  • NEW! Annotated Instructor's Edition for On Course with revised Facilitator's Manual. To help guide instructors to the bevy of ideas found within the Facilitator's Manual, the Annotated Instructor's Edition provides specific cross-references directly in the margins to ideas and activities available in the Facilitator's Manual. The Facilitator's Manual now includes tried-and-true activities provided by On Course instructors from across the country, additional study skills and diversity activities, sample student Journal Entry responses, and suggestions for teaching in an online environment.
  • Articles on Proven Success Strategies. Thirty-three brief articles explain powerful strategies for creating success in college and in life. Each article presents a success strategy from influential figures in psychology, philosophy, business, sports, politics, and personal and professional growth. In these articles, students will learn the "secrets" of the extraordinarily successful.
  • Case Studies for Critical Thinking. Case studies help students apply the strategies they learn to a real-life situation. As such, they help prepare students to make wise choices in the kinds of challenging situations they will likely face in college. Because case studies don't have "right" answers, they also promote critical and creative thinking.
  • On Course Principles at Work. These sections show how important the On Course success strategies are for choosing the right career, getting hired, and succeeding in the work world.
  • CORE Learning System. Discover and apply the secrets of how effective learners learn. All good learners employ four principles that lead to deep and lasting learning. Students will learn how to use these four principles to create their own system for learning any subject or skill.
  • One Student's Story. These short essays are authored by students who used On Course strategies to improve the quality of their college outcomes and experiences. These stories show the positive and dramatic results possible when students apply what they learn in this course to overcome the multitude of challenges that can sabotage success in college, and beyond.
  • Wise Choices in College. To expand on the CORE Learning System, these sections introduce students study skill strategies to improve their learning and raise their grades. These sections cover college customs, reading, note taking, studying, memorizing, test taking, writing, and managing money.
  • The Choices of Successful Students chart on the inside front cover shows eight key choices that successful students make in determining their own success. These choices are revisited at the beginning of each chapter.
  • Self-Assessment Questionnaires. On Course begins and ends with a self-assessment questionnaire. By completing the initial questionnaire, students can see areas of growth that need attention. By completing the concluding questionnaire, students see their semester's growth. Students have the option of completing the questionnaire either in the text or online.
  • Guided Journal Entries. A guided journal entry immediately follows each article, giving students an opportunity to apply the success strategy they have just learned to enhance their results in college and in life. Believing in Yourself articles and journal activities appear in each chapter, reinforcing the importance of developing strong self-esteem for long-term success.
Preface. Travel with Me.
Taking the First Step. What Is Success?. The Power of Choice. Write a Great Life. Assess Yourself. Forks in the Road. A Few Words of Encouragement. JOURNAL ENTRY 1. One Student''s Story Jalayna Onaga. Understanding the Culture of Higher Education. Culture Shock. The Culture of Higher Education. Choices and Culture. JOURNAL ENTRY 2. Becoming an Active Learner. How the Human Brain Learns. Three Principles of Deep and Lasting Learning. The CORE Learning System. JOURNAL ENTRY 3. One Students'' Story Kase Cormier. On Course Principles AT WORK. Believing in Yourself Develop Self-Acceptance. Self-Esteem and Core Beliefs. Know and Accept Yourself. JOURNAL ENTRY 4. Wise Choices in College College Customs.
Case Study in Critical Thinking The Late Paper. Adopting a Creator Mindset. Victim and Creator Mindsets. Responsibility and Culture. Responsibility and Choice. JOURNAL ENTRY 5. One Student''s Story Brian Moore. Mastering Creator Language Self-Talk. The Language of Responsibility. JOURNAL ENTRY 6. One Student''s Story Alexsandr Kanevskiy. Making Wise Decisions. The Wise Choice Process. Personal Responsibility AT WORK. JOURNAL ENTRY 7. Believing in Yourself Change Your Inner Conversation. The Curse of Stinkin'' Thinkin''. Disputing Irrational Beliefs. JOURNAL ENTRY 8. One Student''s Story Dominic Grasseth. Change Your Inner Conversation. Wise Choices in College Reading.
Case Study in Critical Thinking Popson''s Dilemma. Creating Inner Motivation. A Formula for Motivation. Value of College Outcomes. Value of College Experiences. JOURNAL ENTRY 9. One Student''s Story Chee Meng Vang. Designing a Compelling Life Plan. Roles and Goals. How to Set a Goal. Discover Your Dreams. Your Life Plan. JOURNAL ENTRY 10. Committing to Your Goals and Dreams. Commitment Creates Method. Visualize Your Ideal Future. How to Visualize. JOURNAL ENTRY 11. One Students'' Story James Terrell. Self Motivation AT WORK. Believing in Yourself Write a Personal Affirmation. Claiming Your Desired Personal Qualities. Living Your Affirmation. JOURNAL ENTRY 12. One Student''s Story Donna Ludwick. Wise Choices in College Taking Notes.
Case Study in Critical Thinking The Procrastinators. Acting on Purpose. Harness the Power of Quadrant II. What to Do in Quadrant II. JOURNAL ENTRY 13. One Student''s Story Jason Pozsgay. Creating a Self-Management System. Monthly Calendars. Next Actions Lists. Tracking Forms. The Rewards of Effective Self-Management. JOURNAL ENTRY 14. One Student''s Story Allysa LePage. Developing Self-Discipline. Staying Focused. Being Persistent. JOURNAL ENTRY 15. One Student''s Story Holt Boggs. Self management AT WORK. Believing in Yourself Develop Self-Confidence. Create a Success Identity. Celebrate Your Successes and Talents. Visualize Purposeful Actions. JOURNAL ENTRY 16. One Students'' Story Ashley Freeman. Wise Choices in College Organizing Study Materials.
Case Study in Critical Thinking Professor Rogers'' Trial. Creating a Support System. Seek Help from Your Instructors. Get Help from College Resources. Create a Project Team. Start a Study Group. JOURNAL ENTRY 17. One Student''s Story Jason Matthew Loden. Strengthening Relationships with Active Listening. How to Listen Actively. Use Active Listening in Your College Classes. JOURNAL ENTRY 18. Respecting Cultural Differences. Showing Respect. JOURNAL ENTRY 19. Interdependence AT WORK. Believing in Yourself Be Assertive. Leveling. Making Requests. Saying "No". JOURNAL ENTRY 20. One Student''s Story Amy Acton. Wise Choices in College Rehearsing and Memorizing Study Materials.
Case Study in Critical Thinking Strange Choices. Recognizing When You Are Off Course. The Mystery of Self-Sabotage. Unconscious Forces. JOURNAL ENTRY 21. One Student''s Story Sarah Richmond. Identifying Your Scripts. Anatomy of a Script. How We Wrote Our Scripts. Self-Defeating Habit Patterns. JOURNAL ENTRY 22. One Student''s Story James Floriolli. Rewriting Your Outdated Scripts. The Impact of Outdated Beliefs. Doing the Rewrite. JOURNAL ENTRY 23. One Student''s Story Annette Valle. Believing in Yourself Write Your Own Rules. Three Success Rules. Changing Your Habits. JOURNAL ENTRY 24. One Student''s Story Brandeé Huigens. Wise Choices in College Taking Tests.
Case Study in Critical Thinking A Fish Story. Developing a Learning Orientation to Life. Growth Mindsets and Fixed Mindsets. How to Develop a Growth Mindset. JOURNAL ENTRY 25. One Student''s Story Jessie Maggard. Discovering Your Preferred Ways of Learning. Self-Assessment: How I Prefer to Learn. JOURNAL ENTRY 26. One Student''s Story Melissa Thompson. Employing Critical Thinking. Constructing Logical Arguments. Asking Probing Questions. Applying Critical Thinking. JOURNAL ENTRY 27. Believing in Yourself Develop Self-Respect. Live with Integrity. Keep Commitments. JOURNAL ENTRY 28. Wise Choices in College Writing.
Case Study in Critical Thinking After Math. Understanding Emotional Intelligence. Four Components of Emotional Intelligence. Knowing Your Own Emotions. JOURNAL ENTRY 29. One Student''s Story Lindsey Beck. Reducing Stress. What Is Stress?. What Happens When Stress Persists?. Unhealthy Stress Reduction. Healthy Stress Reduction. Choose Your Attitude. JOURNAL ENTRY 30. One Student''s Story Jaime Sanmiguel. Creating Flow. College and Flow. Work and Flow. JOURNAL ENTRY 31. Believing in Yourself Develop Self-Love. Design a Self-Care Plan. JOURNAL ENTRY 32. One Student''s Story Wynda Allison Paulette. Wise Choices in College Managing Money.
Planning Your Next Steps. Assess Yourself, Again. JOURNAL ENTRY 33. One Student''s Story Stephan J. Montgomery.
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.

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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

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"I was approaching burnout because I had had enough of the excuses and victim mentality. On Course guides students to an awareness of their scripts and empowers them to change the way they approach their educations and their lives. This is particularly useful to students who are unprepared for college even though they have graduated high school. The victim/creator language and the wise choice process help students realize they do have choices in how they deal with challenges. When we get to Chapter Two in the book, students realize how they have been sabotaging their own success and usually make immediate and lasting changes. I am continuously amazed at how powerful this chapter is in transforming students' lives."

"My students consistently claim that they can relate to the examples in the book, and I am often amazed at the diversity of the population that openly shares this type of comment. This semester, I have been delighted to hear unsolicited comments from older students who found validation through reading the On Course textbook. "I thought this book would be for younger students, but reading it has really given me the validation I needed for being here. I deserve success just as much as anyone else." On Course speaks the universal language, as one student surmised. In my estimation, On Course reflects diversity without seeming to force it in an artificial way. It comes across as genuine to students from all walks of life."

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.


Facilitator's Manual

ISBN: 9781305647671
This detailed manual provides sample syllabi, course guidelines, in-class exercises, and chapter objectives to assist instructors in teaching the course.

Instructor's Companion Website

ISBN: 9781305648845
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: 9781305647732
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.