Student Success Syllabus

LRCT 1020

Welcome! My goal in this course is to offer you one of the most valuable learning experiences of your entire life. And I need your full cooperation to make it work!

Course Purpose: This course is designed to help you create greater success in college and in life. In the coming weeks, you will learn many proven strategies for creating greater academic, professional, and personal success. We will use guided journal writings to explore these strategies, and as a bonus, you will learn to express yourself more effectively in writing. You may never again have an opportunity quite like this one to discover how to create a rich, personally fulfilling life. I urge you to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity! If you do, you will dramatically change the outcome of your life-for the better!

Course Objectives: In this course, you will learn how to…

  1. Take charge of your life. You will learn how to take greater personal responsibility, gaining more control over the outcomes that you create both in college and in life.
  2. Increase self-motivation. You will learn to create greater inner motivation by discovering your own personally meaningful goals and dreams.
  3. Improve personal self-management. You will learn numerous strategies for taking control of your time and energy, allowing you to move more effectively and efficiently toward the accomplishment of your goals and dreams.
  4. Develop interdependence. You will learn how to develop mutually supportive relationships with people who will help you achieve your goals and dreams as you assist them to achieve theirs.
  5. Increase self-awareness. You will learn how to understand and revise your self-defeating patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion as well as your unconscious limiting beliefs.
  6. Maximize your learning. You will discover the natural process of effective learning and understand how to apply that process according to your individual learning style preference. This knowledge will enable you not only to get better grades in college but also to be a more effective lifelong learner.
  7. Develop emotional intelligence. You will learn effective strategies for managing your emotional life, decreasing stress and distress while increasing your inner sense of well-being.
  8. Raise your self-esteem. You will learn how to develop self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-respect, self-love, and unconditional self-worth.
  9. Write more effectively. You will learn how to improve your writing skills through the extensive writing practice offered by your guided journal entries.
  10. Improve creative and critical thinking skills. You will learn how to enhance the thinking skills essential for analyzing and solving problems in your academic, professional, and personal lives.
  11. Master effective study skills. You will learn how to raise your grades in college by improving essential skills like reading, note taking, memorizing, studying, and test taking.
  12. Manage your money. You will learn helpful techniques for increasing your income (including gaining more financial aid for college) and decreasing your expenses.


Course Supplies:
1. On Course, by Skip Downing

  1. Notebook or 3-ring binder with filler paper

Method: By reading On Course (our textbook), you’ll learn empowering strategies that have helped others create great success. By keeping a guided journal, you’ll discover how to apply these success strategies to achieve your own goals and dreams. By participating in class activities and focused conversations, and by completing a course project, you will further improve your ability to stay on course to your success. Once you make these new strategies your own through application, you’ll have the ability to dramatically improve the outcome of your life-academically, professionally, and personally.

Course Grades:
A = 95-100
A- = 90-94
B+ = 87-89
B = 84-86
B- =80-83
C+ = 75-79
C = 70-74
D+ = 65-69
D = 60-64
F = 59

  1. Attendance/Participation/ (20 points)

This is a course for students who wish to be successful in college and in life. One of the most important factors of success in any endeavor is consistent and active participation. To encourage and reward your preparation for active participation at every class, Attendance, participation in class, and participation in the Wabash Study will entail 20 percent of your grade.

Great success is created one small step at a time.

  1. Success Journals (40 Possible Points)

Your SUCCESS JOURNAL provides an opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings as you experiment with the success strategies presented in On Course. By carefully examining each strategy in your journal, you will discover which ones will assist you to create a rich, personally fulfilling life. Although I will be collecting your journals and looking through them, write your journal for yourself, not for me. Your journal entries will occasionally be read by your classmates.

Journal Writings: During this semester, you will write in your composition notebook thirty-one numbered journal entries from our textbook. These entries will be written outside of class with a few done in class.

Note: If you wish, you may write the first draft of journal entries on loose sheets of paper, but all journal entries must be written in the composition notebook when it is handed in for evaluation. Or if you choose to write your journal on a computer, you will print hardcopies of all entries and bring them to class neatly organized in a 3-ring binder. This requirement will assure that none of your entries gets lost. At the end of this semester, you will have your entire journal to keep for years to come. Many students come to regard their personal journal as one of their most valued possessions.

Journal Evaluations: I will collect your journals periodically. It is not my intention to read every journal entry you write. Instead, I will look through your journal book to verify the completion of each assignment and to give credit for a job well done. I read occasional journal entries to get a sense of the issues you are working on. With this knowledge I can be of greater assistance to you this semester.

If you want my comment on a specific part of your journal, simply turn down the corner of the appropriate page. On that page, write a note about the response you desire from me.

Privacy: Occasionally you may write a journal entry that you wish to keep private. If so, simply fold the appropriate pages over and staple them closed at the top and bottom. You have my word that I will respect your privacy. I do reserve the right to confirm that there is, in fact, writing on these pages. You may lock up to three journal entries; more than that will require my permission. Locked journals will be given scores equal to the average score of all other journals.

Journal Points: All Journals will add up to 40 points towards your 100 points for the semester. A journal entry will be awarded points if it fulfills the following two criteria:

  1. The entry is complete (all steps in the directions have been responded to), and
    2. The entry is written with high standards (an obvious attempt has been made to dive deep).

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation will NOT be factors in awarding points in this journal. You are free to express yourself without concern for standard English conventions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All thirty-two journal entries must be completed to earn a passing grade in the course.

  1. Career Portfolio (40 Points)

As your final project, you will put together a career portfolio. The purpose of your career portfolio is to help define the success strategies that you will use for years to come.

An “A” career portfolio…

  1. Demonstrate the writer’s careful consideration of building your resume and cover letter.
    2. Include all Career Research Information
    3.  Include the following sections:
    A.  Cover letter
    B.  Resume
    C.  Your Career information
    1.  Required training for your career choice.
    2.  Salary information for an entry level position
    3.  Responsibilities and required skills for your chosen profession
    4.  Interview questions and answers with someone already in your career choice.
    D. Presentation of your portfolio in front of the class
  2. Show a commitment to excellence in preparation, including professional appearance and a command of standard English.

Your career portfolio must be completed to earn a passing grade in the course.

Course Rules for Success

To create the very best environment for supporting your success and the success of your classmates, this course has three important rules. The more challenging these rules are for you, the more value you will experience by adopting them. By choosing to follow these three rules, you are choosing to be successful not only in this course but in your life. These rules will support your success in every goal you pursue!

  1. Show up! To support my success, I choose to attend every scheduled class period in its entirety.
  2. Do the work! To support my success, I choose to do my very best work in preparing all of my assignments and hand them in on time.
  3. Participate actively! To support my success, I choose to stay mentally alert in every class, offering my best comments, questions, and answers when appropriate.


Success Course Information Sheet
First Weeks of College
Portfolio and Why It is Important
College vs HS
Drop Facebook
Choices of Successful Students
Attributes of Peak Performance
Peak Performance Self_Assessment Test
Positive Habits
9 Things Successful People Do
Financial Aid
Career Services
Five Skills Sought by Employees
Job Search Steps
Effective Reading Strategies
Note Taking
RI State Police Testing example
Math Lab Success