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ON COURSE: STRATEGIES FOR CREATING SUCCESS IN COLLEGE AND IN LIFE presents a hands-on approach to learning essential life and study skills. Now in its 6th edition, ON COURSE is used as a text in student success courses, first-year experience programs, and inward-looking courses that promote student growth and self-awareness. ON COURSE demonstrates the choices that successful students make. A self-assessment tool at the beginning of the text helps students to identify behaviors and beliefs they may wish to change in order to achieve more of their potential in college and in life. Students have an opportunity to revisit their self-assessment at the conclusion of the text. Written in a positive, motivational style, ON COURSE empowers students with the tools they need to take charge of their success in college and in life. Downing’s distinctive guided journal entries help students develop essential life skills by encouraging exploration of personal responsibility, self-motivation, interdependence, and self-esteem. Extensive coverage of study skills—reading, note taking, memory and test taking—provided in the “Wise Choices in College” sections helps students excel in all of their college courses. Students are encouraged by hearing from their peers through a unique feature called “One Student’s Story,” which highlights the implementation of the text’s strategies.

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.
  • "One Student’s Story" student essays provide insight into which On Course strategies worked for them and how they applied those strategies to their lives.
  • Active Learning has moved from Chapter 7 to Chapter 1 so that students are introduced to this important topic earlier in the book and can see how active learning is integral to success.
  • Addition of CORE Learning System in Chapters 1—4 presents strategies that are common to good learners — Collect, Organize, Rehearse, Evaluate. The CORE Learning System is put into use in the revised Wise Choices in College System, structuring the study skills in a way that students can effectively learn and employ them.
  • A new 4-color design engages students’ interest, with a focus on improving the functionality and usability of the Self-Assessment and Embracing Change features.
  • The new online On Course Community web site allows you to participate in discussions with other faculty using On Course, stay up-to-date on the latest ideas for promoting success in your classrooms, and find resources to help you stay educated.
  • 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.
  • An end-of-chapter study skills feature, “Wise Choices in College,” covers reading, note taking, studying, memorizing, test taking, writing, and researching. This feature is highlighted in the Table of Contents.
  • "On Course Principles at Work" show how important the On Course success strategies are in choosing the right career, getting hired, and succeeding in the work world.
  • "Case Study in Critical Thinking" features highlight topics such as procrastination and collaborative work and encourage students to think critically and creatively.
Taking the First Step.
What Is Success?
The Power of Choice.
Write a Great Life.
Assess Yourself.
Self-Assessment Forks in the Road.
A Few Words of Encouragement.
Journal Entry 1.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Jalana Onaga (University of Hawaii, HI).
Becoming an Active Learner.
How the Human Brain Learns.
Three Principles of Deep and Lasting Learning.
Your CORE Learning System.
Journal Entry 2.
On Course Principles at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Develop Self-Acceptance Self-Esteem and Core Beliefs.
Know and Accept Yourself.
Journal Entry 3.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Phyllis Honore (Cuyahoga Community College, OH).
Wise Choices in College: College Customs.

Case Study for Critical Thinking: The Late Paper.
Adopting the Creator Role.
Victims and Creators.
Responsibility and Choice.
Journal Entry 4.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Brian Moore (Glendale Community College, AZ).
Mastering Creator Language.
The Language of Responsibility.
Journal Entry 5.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Alexsandr Kanevskiy (Oakland University, MI).
Making Wise Decisions.
The Wise-Choice Process.
Journal Entry 6.
Personal Responsibility at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Change Your Inner Conversation.
The Curse of Stinkin’ Thinkin’.
Disputing Irrational Beliefs.
Journal Entry 7.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Dominic Grasseth (Lane Community College, OR).
EMBRACING CHANGE: Do One Thing Different This Week.
Wise Choices in College: Reading.

Case Study for Critical Thinking: Popson’s Dilemma.
Creating Inner Motivation.
A Formula for Motivation.
Value of College Outcomes.
Value of College Experiences.
Journal Entry 8.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Chee Meng Vang (Inver Hills Community College, MN).
Designing a Compelling Life Plan.
Roles and Goals.
How to Set a Goal.
Discover Your Dreams.
Your Life Plan.
Journal Entry 9.
Committing to Your Goals and Dreams.
Commitment Creates Method.
Visualize Your Ideal Future.
How to Visualize.
Journal Entry 10.
ONE STUDENT’S STORY: Amanda Schmeling (Buena Vista University, IA).
Self-Motivation at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Write A Personal Affirmation.
Claiming Your Desired Personal Qualities.
Living Your Affirmation.
Journal Entry 11.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Donna Ludwick (Carteret Community College, NC).
EMBRACING CHANGE: Do One Thing Different This Week.
Wise Choices in College: Taking Notes.

Case Study for Critical Thinking: The Procrastinators.
Acting on Purpose.
Harness the Power of Quadrant II.
What to Do in Quadrant II.
Journal Entry 12.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Jason Pozsgay (Oakland University, MI).
Creating an Effective Self-Management System.
Monthly Calendars.
Next Actions Lists.
Tracking Forms.
The Rewards of Effective Self-Management.
Journal Entry 13.
ONE STUDENT’S STORY: Allysa Lapage (Sacramento City College, CA).
Developing Self-Discipline.
Staying Focused.
Being Persistent.
Journal Entry 14.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Holt Boggs (Belmont Technical College, OH).
Self-Management at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Develop Self-Confidence.
Create a Success Identity.
Celebrate Your Successes and Talents.
Visualize Purposeful Actions.
Journal Entry 15.
EMBRACING CHANGE: Do One Thing Different This Week.
Wise Choices in College: Studying for Deep Learning.

Case Study for Critical Thinking: Professor Rogers'' Trial.
Developing Mutually Supportive Relationships.
Ways to Relate A Sign of Maturity.
Giving and Receiving.
Journal Entry 16.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Jason Matthew Loden (Avila University, MO).
Creating a Support Network.
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: Neal Benjamin (Barton County Community College, KS).
Strengthening Relationships with Active Listening.
How to Listen Actively.
Use Active Listening in Your College Classes.
Journal Entry 18.
Interdependence at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Be Assertive Leveling.
Making Requests.
Saying "No."
Journal Entry 19.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Amy Acton (Southern State Community College, OH).
EMBRACING CHANGE: Do One Thing Different This Week.
Wise Choices in College: Studying for Lasting Learning.

Case Study for Critical Thinking: Strange Choices.
Recognizing When You Are Off Course.
The Mystery of Self-sabotage.
Unconscious Forces.
Journal Entry 20.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Sarah Richmond (Missouri University of Science and Technology, MO).
Identifying Your Scripts.
Anatomy of a Script.
How We Wrote Our Scripts.
Self-Defeating Habits.
Journal Entry 21.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: James Floriolli (Foothill College, CA).
Rewriting Your Outdated Scripts.
The Impact of Outdated Beliefs.
Doing the Rewrite.
Journal Entry 22.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Annette Valle (The Victoria College, TX).
Self-Awareness at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Write Your Own Rules.
Three Success Rules.
Changing Your Habits.
Journal Entry 23.
EMBRACING CHANGE: Do One Thing Different This Week.
ONE STUDENT’S STORY: Brandee Huigens (Northeast Iowa Community College, IA).
Wise Choices in College: Writing.

Case Study for Critical Thinking: A Fish Story.
Discovering Your Preferred Learning Style.
Self-Assessment: How I Prefer to Learn. A. Thinking Learners. B. Doing Learners. C. Feeling Learners. D. Innovating Learners.
Journal Entry 24.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Melissa Thompson (Madison Area Technical College, WI).
Employing Critical Thinking.
Constructing Logical Arguments.
Asking Probing Questions.
Applying Critical Thinking.
Journal Entry 25.
Learning to Make Course Corrections.
Change Requires Self-Awareness and Courage.
Change and Lifelong Learning.
Journal Entry 26.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Jessie Maggard (Urbana University, OH).
Lifelong Learning at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Develop Self-Respect.
Live with Integrity.
Keep Commitments.
Journal Entry 27.
EMBRACING CHANGE: Do One Thing Different This Week.
Wise Choices in College: Taking Tests.

Case Study for Critical Thinking: After Math.
Understanding Emotional Intelligence.
Four Components of Emotional Intelligence.
Knowing Your Own Emotions.
Journal Entry 28.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Lindsey Beck (Three Rivers Community College, CT).
Reducing Stress.
What Is Stress?
What Happens When Stress Persists?
Unhealthy Stress Reduction.
Healthy Stress Reduction.
Choose Your Attitude.
Journal Entry 29.
ONE STUDENT''S STORY: Jaime Sanmiguel (Miami Dade College, FL).
Creating Flow.
College and Flow.
Work and Flow.
Journal Entry 30.
Emotional Intelligence at Work.
Believing in Yourself: Develop Self-Love.
Design a Self-care Plan.
Journal Entry 31.
EMBRACING CHANGE: Do One Thing Different This Week.
Wise Choices in College: Money Management.

Planning Your Next Steps.
Assess Yourself, Again.
Journal Entry 32.

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"One of the things that I like about On Course (in addition to its’ compact size) is that the concern is with students knowing themselves as learners, as well as, human beings….On Course has helped me in relaying this fact to the many students who have passed through my classroom doors. Thank you!" —Josephine Adamo, State University of New York College at Buffalo

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.