This course is designed to equip you with the basic academic, professional, and personal skills you will need to be successful in college. You are probably already familiar with some of the skills and topics that will be covered here; other concepts may be brand-new to you. For example, perhaps you have already learned some effective test-taking strategies that work well for you, but you have never heard of the concept of learning styles. Or, you may be familiar with your learning style, but you want to improve your listening skills and learn how to adapt your learning style to a new academic environment.
Each student will have a different skill set when he or she starts this course. The point of this course is to give you—a new college student or a person considering a college education—a purposeful, thorough overview of the many tools and skills needed for undergraduate success, as well as to help you understand how you can improve each of these skills over time. Keep in mind that the terms skills, tools, and resources can refer to academic, social, psychological, and emotional skills and techniques as well as physical objects such as books and supplies.
You may be tempted to consider some of the broad learning outcomes that are outlined in this course as unimportant for your immediate success in college. For example, you may wonder whether it is really worth your time to think about your long-term career goals or your exercise habits at the very beginning of your college experience. However, having a sense of purpose that motivates you and a lifestyle that supports your ability to focus on your academic goals are the basic building blocks of success in college and beyond.
The first unit of this course will help you determine your goals for your college education. In other words, you will have the opportunity to thoughtfully answer the question, why am I pursuing an undergraduate degree? Knowing the answer to this question will help you stay motivated when you encounter challenges during your college experience. In units 2 and 3 of this course, you will learn how to manage your personal space and time in order to maximize your ability to learn, and in units 4 through 8 of this course, you will explore the learning process itself and the different skills and tools you can use to improve your academic performance. Unit 9 focuses on tests and test-taking, a subject that can cause great anxiety for many students, and units 10 and 11 provide you with general strategies for effectively communicating with college instructors as well as managing stress, anxiety, and other factors that affect your academic goals and overall health during college. Being a college student can present unique and new challenges to your health, and staying healthy, both physically and mentally, are crucial components of your success. Unit 12 of this course addresses the importance of your social life to your college success, and Unit 13, the final unit of this course, equips you with some tools to help prepare you for a career after college.
By the end of this course, you will have gained a comprehensive overview of the skills, tools, and resources you will need for a successful, healthy, and happy college experience. You will understand how to apply the concepts discussed in this course to your individual academic and personal goals, and to practice the skills you have learned by testing them in specific college courses that you plan to take or are already taking. Finally, you will possess a strong starting point for applying your newfound skills to your job search and your career beyond college.