Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom
Thomas C. Priester, SUNY Genesee Community College, Batavia
Copyright Year: 2015
ISBN 13: 9781942341109
Publisher: Open SUNY
Conditions of Use
The text provides an effective index which is easy to navigate and is a good supplemental material to a more traditional text with concepts and theories. read more
The text provides an effective index which is easy to navigate and is a good supplemental material to a more traditional text with concepts and theories.
Content is based on personal experiences. Some comes with advice to the readers and may contain common assumptions and personal biases.
The text is written in a way few updates and revisions are necessary in the near future. Many stories are relevant to college students and some contain universal experiences.
This is a good beginner text for new students and requires little background knowledge.
The content is consistent and organized well.
Each story can be used as a discussion or writing prompt. The sections are nice and short and are easily divisible.
The topics are relevant and pleasant to read. They are presented in a clear fashion.
The PDF version contains only one graphic and is text heavy. No navigation issues were detected.
Minor errors were present.
The text covers stories from people with various backgrounds. They include perspectives to which many people can relate.
The text is a good resource for academic success in general, not just for first year college students, some topics could also be applicable to returning graduate students. The text does cover diverse areas but it is difficult to address all... read more
The text is a good resource for academic success in general, not just for first year college students, some topics could also be applicable to returning graduate students. The text does cover diverse areas but it is difficult to address all challenges met by college students. There is an effective index at the forefront of the text, while the chosen titles are catchy, it could have helped to clarify what the sections meant.
Most of the content of this class are opinions of people about success, so the measure of accuracy might be debatable here. Otherwise, there are no grammatical mistakes and the text is very easy to read. One thing to note, there were numerous spelling mistakes found in the PDF typeset of this book. Maybe it is a PDF conversion compilation issue. Page9, “during the during the” Page11, “How to efficientl” and “differntl”. Several other mistakes on the same line.
The content is up-to-date and relevant and will continue to be relevant for years to come. If there is one thing that could be added to enhance relevance, is a discussion on how to deal with online settings of college education. I am not sure how easy it is to implement this last point.
The text is very clear and accessible. The messages are provided in adequate context without any jargon/technical terminology used. This is due to the conversational language of the text.
The formatting is consistent throughout the book.
The text could be split in small reading sections assigned at different points in a class. Although, I think the text is easily readable in one assignment. It would be nice to have advice on how to apply this book in a class setting.
The topics are presented in a clear fashion with a good chronological order.
The navigation of this book was easy. One thing could be improved, although not necessary and depends on personal preferences, is to number the chapters and the subsections. “The Student Experience” image was pixelated in the pdf.
No grammatical errors were found. Only some spelling mistakes were found in the PDF typeset of this book. Maybe it is a PDF conversion compilation issue.
The examples in the text are general enough to include and not be of offense to any race, ethnicity, culture or background.
The text addresses some of the major topics in student success curriculums, including time management, goal setting and co-curricular engagement. However, each is a personal essay from one student's perspective. The conversational, personal and... read more
The text addresses some of the major topics in student success curriculums, including time management, goal setting and co-curricular engagement. However, each is a personal essay from one student's perspective. The conversational, personal and brief pieces are more akin to journal entries than academic texts. It is not organized into chapters but themes and articles range from one to five pages. They could be used independently, even as a prompt for student reflections in the course.
Since each piece is autobiographical and anecdotal, accuracy is not based on research or topical content. Each piece seems to be factual and based on real-life experience. Content is error free.
Information is general enough to be relevant despite technological and institutional changes. The section on diversity and inclusion is age-appropriate but may lack depth depending on course content. Since each chapter can be used separately, instructors can ensure relevance easily and quickly.
Text is clearly written, does not use jargon and uses vocabulary appropriate for entry-level college students.
Each chapter should be considered individually to determine whether it aligns with specific course curriculum. They each use correct grammar and spelling although sophistication and depth varies greatly.
The course is organized for modular use and can be evaluated and distributed easily. Chapters can be broken apart without concern for scaffolding or pre-knowledge.
Book is organized based on general themes rather than content type. The section on preparation and college success skills is "Your Solid Foundation" and goal exploration is under "The Future You". Some entires have titles that include specific topics but instructors can easily browse the main points within the short text.
Interface is standard and text is easy to read and understand. Images are not uniform and formatted inconsistently but are not distorted. Page numbers are clear, as are sub-headings and use of text formatting.
No obvious errors but each entry should be evaluated independently. Since they are written in a conversational format, instructors should verify they represent college-level standards of their own class and institution.
Text is not cultural insensitive or offensive. Some of the personal essays include the impact of their own race, ethnicity and background impacted their experience in college. Particular strengths are non-traditional students and mental health.
This text could be used to enhance content knowledge and model student reflections. There are prompts included which could be used in class discussions or assignments.
Through the use of personal essays, this text addresses all the major themes of a First Year Experience course, including time management, career planning, identity as a 'college student', and studying and listening skills. read more
Through the use of personal essays, this text addresses all the major themes of a First Year Experience course, including time management, career planning, identity as a 'college student', and studying and listening skills.
The book is comprised of personal essays written by students, faculty and staff members about their college experiences. Though not a traditional text with facts and figures and tables and graphs, the information relayed in the essays is accurate and appropriate for the first-year student audience.
All the themes discussed in the essays in this text speak to the fears, worries and concerns of all incoming college students, and most importantly, they offer advice about how to allay those fears and worries.
This text is accessible because the essays are written by real people about real experiences. There is no jargon to wade through.
All the essays follow the same accessible pattern of readability.
Since the text is divided into sections and then further broken into individual personal essays, an instructor could easily mix and match material to suit their needs.
The text is organized in a simple way.
There is nothing here to distract the reader from enjoying the text.
I noticed no grammatical errors.
It seemed like the essays were written by a wide variety of people from different backgrounds.
I would use this book in my First Year Experience course as an accessible and enjoyable way to introduce major topics of the course.
The book covers many aspects of college life and challenges. However, I would say rather than covering all areas of college life it facilitates the reader in finding more areas to explore on their own. read more
The book covers many aspects of college life and challenges. However, I would say rather than covering all areas of college life it facilitates the reader in finding more areas to explore on their own.
The text is really opinion based thus the accuracy of the subject is in the eyes of the reader rather than checking facts.
The text is both timely and timeless which makes it relevant to college students and high school students as well.
The "case studies" in the text are well written and easy to follow.
The consistency of the organization of the text is part of the appeal of the text.
The text is a very comfortable read. One is propelled to continue to read because the reader wants to know what the next contributor will discuss and give insight into for the future.
The three parts of the text, Part One: Your Solid Foundation, Part Two: You are the President and CEO of You, Part Three: The Future You bring the reader along on a journey of self reflection. I found the organization of the text to flow quite effectively.
The text is free of interface issues.
The grammatical structure of the test is sound however there were several spelling errors throughout the text. The nature of the errors appear to be dropped letters at the end of words.
In my opinion, the stories told by the contributors are inclusive and there are examples of this throughout the text.
The Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom text is one that I feel would appeal to a great majority of students at any point during college. The entries in the text are insightful, well expressed, and represent a variety of entry points into the subject for students. Each contributor’s insight into their college experiences are easy to identify with and hopefully learn from going forward.
Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom is a great resource not only for students but also for anyone who is working with first-year students. Making the transition to college is different for each student this helps put many relevant... read more
Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom is a great resource not only for students but also for anyone who is working with first-year students. Making the transition to college is different for each student this helps put many relevant topics into perspective for those that might be working with new students.
The content is error-free and informative. It highlights personal experiences.
The topics discussed will be topics that students will go through for the long term. Each story shares various perspectives that should resonate with each reader. I believe this has relevance to student leaders, faculty, adjunct, student affairs professionals, and even families during orientation. This book could highlight transitional issues and tips for helping guide their student through the various college offices.
The book is clear and easy to follow. It contains great information but is not so complex that it requires research to understand topics discussed.
The terminology and framework are consistent throughout and make for smooth transitions through complex student issues. Authors have similar messages and the voice of student success stays at the forefront throughout.
The text is divided into three parts as students make transitions Part One Solid Foundation Part Two You are the President and CEO of You Part Three The Future You
Each part of the text reflects the transition issues in chronological order that students typically face as they transition to college and through the college experience. Not every student transitions in these ways but the vast majority experience at least one of the topics discussed.
The text is easy to navigate it does not contain any charts or images.
The only issue I noticed was when I printed the text in a few spots some text was cut off at the end. I could not tell if it was a product of my printer or the text. It does not diminish the message and the work.
The text is not offensive and does not contain any incentive material.
As someone who deals often with students in transition, this book is a great starting point for conversation. I believe that each institution experiences these transitions differently. This book would be great for training new faculty, working with family members of first-generation college students to help educate families on what their student could experience. It's a quick read with good information. I recommend this book.
The text explores many topics first-year students would encounter. The use of narration by students and administrators, some many years removed from the college student experience, provides a diverse range of voices. Topics are not connected to... read more
The text explores many topics first-year students would encounter. The use of narration by students and administrators, some many years removed from the college student experience, provides a diverse range of voices. Topics are not connected to research-based topics, or even "best practices" in the field, but that is not the intent of this book. Therefore, the absence of an index to searchable topics is not a flaw.
The text is comprised of individual voices telling stories of their college experiences. The narratives, however, are based on each author's memories that are subject to modification from the passage of time. In general, the sentiment expressed in every story in this text has the ring of truth.
Topics discussed in the book are relevant and not filled with current jargon. The format would be easy to update by the addition to or substitution of essays that represent new issues in higher education.
The essays in this text reflect different levels of writing ability, but none that any first-year student would find difficult to understand.
The various levels of writing ability for different essays made the read a little disjointed, however, the basic framework was easy to follow. Consistent terminology was not necessary because each essay could stand on its own.
This would be an excellent text for an extended orientation program, perhaps used by resident assistants with their assigned first-year student groups. Each weekly group meeting could focus on one very easily read essay from the first section that would be discussed in a 30-45 minute session. The second and third sections could be reviewed in subsequent semesters.
The organization of the text is very basic and easy to follow.
The lack of images in the text serves to keep the focus on the voices of the narrators, rather than trying to capture the interest of the reader though charts and images. This is an unusual technique in a student success text. However, in this case, rather than capturing the attention of readers through those techniques, the absence of images permits the reader to focus on the storyteller voices and encourages self-reflection.
The text appears is well edited and no grammatical errors are obvious.
This text present voices from a variety of backgrounds.
This text is most suitable for use in discussion-based settings. The book does not include exercises, therefore it would be most useful for sessions with a moderator, instructor, or peer leader/coach to lead discussions. Also, with the recent uptick in peer-academic coaching programs, using this text to provide essays for discussion would help break the ice during goal-setting meetings. A few other essays are appropriate for discussion-based consultations with returning academic probation students, helping to normalize areas where not only they, but most students, struggle, and helping the students identify personal avenues to success. Overall, this text is a good addition to the academic success library.
At times, this read more like a series of motivational speeches rather than practical insights to being successful. Certainly that positive thinking is important; however, there are many factors that significantly affect a students’ academic... read more
At times, this read more like a series of motivational speeches rather than practical insights to being successful. Certainly that positive thinking is important; however, there are many factors that significantly affect a students’ academic performance that were not addressed. For example, financial planning is perhaps one of the most important. If a student ends up taking on too much debt, s/he may quit completely; if a student is unaware of the full costs, s/he may end up working too many hours and not have time for coursework.
There is nothing apparently wrong. That being said, it is unclear how much of the content can be carried over to the experiences of students at different institutions (exs. community college or rural). In that sense, it is biased toward the small sample of students from this one institutional perspective.
This book would be an excellent textbook for a freshman orientation-type class. It is easy to read and engaging for that population. Some of the cultural references (for example, to movies) will become dated quickly, and the URLs in the text will also likely not all work soon (as website hierarchies change frequently).
This is accessible and well-written for the intended audience (rising or current college freshmen).
For the purpose and approach to the book, the text is consistent. Different authors wrote on various topics, so there is a degree of purposeful variance.
The divisions of the content are in small chunks of distinct content, appropriate for its intended use in a freshman seminar course. Freshmen would make quick work of the short readings, affording them more time to ruminate on lessons they could glean from the short chapters.
The three section titles and the chapter titles are not especially helpful or descriptive of the content. The section organization was not particularly strong. Though an edited volume from numerous authors, the chapter content was too disjointed to provide coherence within each section. Perhaps the best way to improve this would be for the main author to add a short preface at the start of each section to explain the theme of the section and how each chapter fits.
No problems, but there is nothing visually appealing about the book. It is 100% text, except for a meme in the first chapter.
Well written and edited.
The book does not have problems with being culturally offensive; however, it was also not specifically clear that it was inclusive either. There were a few references to diverse populations, but they seemed incidental.
Again, this book would be a valuable resource in a freshman seminar-type course. Having been written largely from the student perspective, the text is very relatable to the target audience. Additional work to polish the organization and bring coherence would take this from reading like a series of loosely-associated student essays into a quality edited book.
The text highlights various first-year student issues through narration. WIthin each personal story is an opportunity for students to engage with topics that often interfere with success. While the text covers the major struggles of college... read more
The text highlights various first-year student issues through narration. WIthin each personal story is an opportunity for students to engage with topics that often interfere with success. While the text covers the major struggles of college students, it does not provide opportunities to practice the skills. Instead, it is a springboard for critical thinking and an individual call to action.
Because the book is based on personal stories, believability is the precursor for accuracy. Are the stories within believable? Yes. Are the techniques each author used accurate? For that person, yes.
The text is relevant, as evidenced in the narrative of online job searches.
The stories within are easy to follow and quite enjoyable.
Each story is self-authored, and there are multiple levels of writing ability present. However, the framework and intent of the book are consistent.
The text is easy to divide into modules, in fact each story presents a module within itself.
The organization was student-centered. It began with the early decisions new students must make, then closes with searching for jobs and becoming a lifelong learner.
The interface was quite simple.
Any grammar errors within were not noticeable during a first read and did not interfere with the readability of the text.
The text was an enjoyable book written by both students and professionals.
In this text, personal narratives spark awareness of key issues important to entering college students. It is both a starting point and challenge to critical thinking. To ask if this text is comprehensive is like to ask how many rain drops are in... read more
In this text, personal narratives spark awareness of key issues important to entering college students. It is both a starting point and challenge to critical thinking. To ask if this text is comprehensive is like to ask how many rain drops are in a cloud. Each student’s experience is unique in an ever-changing world. However, this text touches on many important issues common to most college students. The design reminds me of the saying, “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
The narratives are accurate in that each story reflects a personal experience. As such, they are true for whoever wrote them and they speak to the common experience.
The current text covers relevant issues which will be relevant for years to come; however, it is designed to be easily updated. Some issues such as studying, roommates and distractions are classic. The mention of a things such as a communal phone (“land lines”) or facebook will date the writer but not the shared theme. I see this as a fluid text that will redefine itself along the way. Due to the format, updates will be relatively easy.
The individual narratives are informal, yet well written.
The consistency comes through individuals sharing issues common to entering college students. `All point to the main objective.
The text is divided into three general areas with short narratives with in each area. This organization is appropriate and useful to the subject area.
The text is a clear document which has been well planned. It is divided into the following three sections: Part One: YOUR Solid foundation (what can be learned from the past) Part Two: YOU are the president and CEO of YOU (present) Part Three: The future of YOU (planning for the future by what you do today)
The organization has been well planned and executed. It is logical and easy to read.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
This text culturally relevant. The inclusion of topics such a race and gender as an individual experience is appropriate and well done. It is presented in a natural way that college students will find helpful in understanding themselves and others.
Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom is a viable and compelling text. The approach to the subject provides a positive role model for reflection and critical thinking in personal experience. College students will be motivated to read these short, relevant narratives. The preface is important preparation for using the text and should be read by all. An instructor may set the tone and provide questions to discuss; however, if using it as a personal study, there needs to be more direction for the student. It would be helpful for the student to have accompanying questions or some space to journal. Overall, I recommend this text highly.
These personal stories provided a unique style of introducing all college students to the value of utilizing college resources, networking and sorting out career goals. read more
These personal stories provided a unique style of introducing all college students to the value of utilizing college resources, networking and sorting out career goals.
This textbook is right on point with guiding and encouraging students to utilize strategies offered in order to be a successful college student in their academic and social life.
Every chapter in this textbook is relevant to the day to day challenges that college students experience on a daily basis. This textbook could be relevant for years to come.
Each chapter of this textbook could not have done a better job at laying out the guidelines for making it possible for college students to have a positive experience from their freshman year to their senior year. In essence this book can be used as a great retention tool for students in their respective colleges
The textbook was consistent with it's theme for being successful in college and in life.
The chapters are appropriately lined up by topic.The last five chapters should stay together as they basically covering topics related to career development.
The order in which each chapter is presented is good. however any chapter could have been the first or last.
Although this book do not have worksheets, charts, pictures,graphs, statistic or focus questions, it serves it's intended purpose well. Students will be able to readily grasp the information and concepts well enough to enhance their college experience. They will find this book to be enjoyable reading.
No major grammatical errors except for a small grammatical error in the Chapter Practice Practice Practice - See Sub title Internships see -third line of this paragraph.
This is a well rounded book. It allows first year students, first generation in college students , as well as students from diverse backgrounds to gain insight about being a successful college student.
This easy to read book is a good manual for students to use as a tool for being successful in college and in life.
Each essay offers a wealth of important information and a breadth of commonly reviewed key areas pertaining to first-year student experiences. The essay format provides a personal approach to discussing the common obstacles and challenges for... read more
Each essay offers a wealth of important information and a breadth of commonly reviewed key areas pertaining to first-year student experiences. The essay format provides a personal approach to discussing the common obstacles and challenges for first-year students. The textbook does not identify the core principles of first-year experience curriculum. Each essay implicitly covers first-year student curriculum, but is not explicitly linked to research based principles. Essay content should be summarized with the main points identified in addition to recommendations for further resources. The lack of a detailed table of contents, section/essay introductions and summaries may make it difficult for the reader to connect and apply specific content discussed within the textbook.
Perhaps the textbook’s greatest strength is in its diversity of thoughts, experiences and identity groups. The essays do a great job of representing how intersecting identities can be both a challenge and a strength for students from various backgrounds. There are multiple essays from the voices of first generation students and students of color.
The Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom has the potential to be a powerful and affirming tool for first-year college students. By placing student experiences at the center of how to be successful, the authors invite readers to consider their personal strengths and challenges in navigating college experiences. The textbook utilizes a collection of subjective narrative essays to explore the challenges and opportunities of college. The guidance offered in the student narratives is practical and grounded in research based recommendations for first year student success. The textbook could be easily updated to reflect new trends and developments in higher education.
The essays are written in accessible and comprehendible language. The narratives identify college specific jargon and explain its meaning or significance. However, the concepts discussed in the narrative essays would be more effective if they were placed within the researched based principles of first-year curriculum
Book lacks a framework.
The textbook is divided into three sections. There are five essays in each section for a total of fifteen essays. The three sections are a manageable reading load and the number of essays following each section is appropriate for processing the ideas presented.
Each section has an ambiguous title. There is no evidence of a logical reasoning for organizing the sections and essays in the manner in which they are presented. Each section is not defined and students are not reconnected to how or why the individual essay falls within the section.
The textbooks contains only words. The interface is extremely simple and lacks any visual stimulation. The lack of color, images, and charts may make it difficult for students to remain engaged. Specific terms and words related to first year student curriculum should be bolded, emphasized and reprinted at the end of the chapter for easy reference.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
Perhaps the textbook’s greatest strength is in its diversity of thoughts, experiences and identity groups. The essays do a great job of representing how intersecting identities can be both a challenge and a strength for students from various backgrounds. There are multiple essays from the voices of first generation students and students of color.
Book of essays revealing different attitudes of attending college. Although this text is not traditional for an Academic Success class, there lies its power. Instructors of basic skills classes everywhere know how to teach study skills, but often... read more
Book of essays revealing different attitudes of attending college. Although this text is not traditional for an Academic Success class, there lies its power. Instructors of basic skills classes everywhere know how to teach study skills, but often at a loss to teach motivation. The essays presented in this book address what you should know about college, but also has a very strong focus on why should anyone go to college. The book addresses many situations and many voices of people who have learned to be successful in college. They did indeed learn the importance of time management and study skills, but more importantly they spoke about how they framed their changes in thought that helped them succeed.
Accuracy is not really an issue here, because the essays presented are biased to students' views and experiences in college. The essays are accurate to the individuals' impressions.
The content is up to date. An example is the themes of diversity come up repeatedly as students are exposed to student differences and/or experience the chance to find an identity and fit in. Other topics are ones that nearly every student will encounter when they begin college: exploring values and interests, trying on new experiences and extra curricular activities, enduring financial hardships, and generally finding out about themselves. I believe this book will be useful for quite a long time considering it is written by actual students with actual experiences making a huge transition in their lives.
Even though their were many voices represented in the individual essays, the essays were clear. Some of the essays were more interesting, but that appeared to me to be more of a topic issue. This text would not be a difficult read for beginning college students.
The book was consistent in its presentation of essays from students experiencing college. The topics and voices are different, but because they also addressed one major theme. This format worked because these writers appear to be writing about a near, rather than distant past. Their examples are not authoritative, but based on experiences and what they thought would be helpful to a new student. I believe beginning students would certainly be more apt to read this book to its completion because the essays are peer written. They are about new environments and transition. A new student would also want to know what they might experience in their advancing years.
The modularity of this text is obvious. The instructor could assign certain essays for the students for the entire semester. He/she may also want to present different essays as they are related to certain themes and assignments that come up in class. The essays could even be divided and used by students to summarize and make presentations. Reorganization is not an issues because the topics are diverse although related to a common theme. There were no annoying or self
The book does have some flow problems. They are caused, I believe by the editor's decision to put the essays into three categories. Each essays addresses more than one identifiable experience, so it is very difficult to attach one theme to 3 or 4 of the essays. The classifications/titles are not clear to me either. They are written in a "hip, jargon" way that was really obscure and distracting when I reviewed the index page. Since the themes are presented as they were written, occasionally ESL and language differences are noticeable. Rather than being confusing, however, they make the essays more interesting because they demonstrate how a student feels interacts in a culture that in far from their own.
This text does not have navigation problems except that it is divided into three non-representative parts. It contains no charts or other distracting additions.
There are occasional errors in sentence structure and organization but this was a choice by the editor to keep the voices of the writers authentic. These errors actually personalize the essays, not distract from them.
There are frequent issues and situations that pertain to acceptance and diversity. Some of the essays relate that challenge made them question and become more aware of their values. Sexuality, race, vocational obstacles and even critical thinking are addressed. This book is culturally relevant too because it is written by a diverse group of students. They speak about expanding their views of other people and shedding their prejudices. Some students, on the other hand are speaking about what it feels like to be a minority. The essays would certainly align with what students in a class may currently be experiencing.
When first reading this book, I was a little hesitant to embrace its format of purely essays. As I read it for the second time, I tried to place myself back in the time when I just started college. As I read the essays, I realized a lot of information would have been good to know before I filled out my applications. All current or ex-college students can find issues in this text that become personal to them upon reflection. The book left me with the really good feeling that students would be encourage to finish college despite hardships. When I reflected on the essays, I often found myself thinking, "Yes, if I knew that when..."
The text is a carefully selected collection of personal narratives related to the college experience. The book offers such a variety of stories by authors of various backgrounds and experiences that it is likely that nearly all students will be... read more
The text is a carefully selected collection of personal narratives related to the college experience. The book offers such a variety of stories by authors of various backgrounds and experiences that it is likely that nearly all students will be able to personally relate to several of the writings.
Priester does an excellent job of selecting stories that offer in-depth views of the many challenges faced by students today.
The book is an enjoyable, easy read with no jargon or technical terminology used.
It is an enjoyable read, and written in such a way that each chapter stands alone; making for an easy read between classes or in moments of down time.
It is easy to miss the directions in the preface that ask students to consider and answer several guiding questions, and this might be better placed as Chapter 1.
No grammatical errors found.
From more ‘traditional’ challenges (e.g., fitting in, studying for class, relationships with peers and teachers), to those faced by international, minority, or GLBT students; this book has something to offer to everyone.
Using the questions in the preface as a framework, is beneficial however, as the personal stories become individual studies of success and offer support for students who might be encountering similar struggles. The book concludes by offering students the opportunity to give back by writing about their own lessons and experiences. The chance to come full circle in this capacity offers a unique aspect of learning that is too often lacking in current learning environments.
Upon picking up Thomas Priester’s Foundations of Academic Success one realizes this isn’t just another college survival guide, rather Priester’s text is a template for thriving while at attending university. Using the voice of individuals having... read more
Upon picking up Thomas Priester’s Foundations of Academic Success one realizes this isn’t just another college survival guide, rather Priester’s text is a template for thriving while at attending university. Using the voice of individuals having successfully navigating their college years, and some having returned to the academic life, Priester paints an intimate portrait of the real lived experience of college culture. The contributors offer sage advice from the practical strategies for optimizing learning, managing time to the importance of creative thinking and negotiating the conflicting demands of college life. The Foundations of Academic Success offers readers an authentic, true-to-life accounts of what lies ahead for incoming students. Written in a rich narrative style the book does not burdened readers with uninteresting tables of dry facts or innumerable “how to” suggestions so common in survival guides. Rather Priester takes pain to make his contributor’s voices jump-off the page and into the hearts and minds of the readers. The text would be an excellent addition to introductory courses. Additionally as an Open Textbook, this enjoyable and readable volume could easily be justified as standard reading for new freshmen across the country.
Priester’s Foundations of Academic Success introduces the reader to many narratives for success in a college setting that can be universally applied across a myriad of academic experiences, such as college readiness and study skills to getting that first job out of college. The practical and grounded stories are replete with specific suggestions for achieving higher grades or simply navigating the maze of traps associated with campus life. The only limitation of his text operates at the level of where some of the material comes from. Although I found the themes throughout the text to be big and important, the narratives at times had a parochial sensibility to them.
Within the context of rising college costs and the national conversation over the relevance and value of spending tens of thousands of dollars on an undergraduate degree, Priester’s Foundations of Academic Success is timely. As parents, students, and educators all search for ways to enhance and maximize the “university experience” a guide such as Priester’s offers a template for incoming freshmen. From balancing the “party culture” to becoming a learner, there are plenty of proscriptions scattered throughout the stories that make-up Priester’s book.
Given that Foundations of Success is a compilation of many different viewpoints and experiences of college life, the text is cogent. The chapters are readable, engaging, and informative. Each topic is covered with the student in mind and all the contributors to this edited volume have a unified focus on offering insights from their specific experiences for the contemporary student.
Despite the wide-ranging topics and contributors to Foundations of Academic Success, each chapter guides the reader down a path of practicality and common-sense recommendations for making the most of the “best years of your life”. Whether suggesting students entertain studying abroad or how to getting along with you roommate, the authors continuously give the reader an opportunity for reflection.
Perhaps the greatest attribute to how Priester organized Foundations of Academic Success is the text’s modularity. Each chapter has the potential as a stand-alone source. As a result the introduction of chapters in Priester’s book could occur across a wide-range of courses. This has great value when constructing a syllabus where using the entire book might not be practical. Each short chapter is so well crafted, modulating this text would not diminish the overall goal for why Priester’s put together Foundations of Academic Success in the first place.
Priester’s Foundations of Academic Success is a “snappy” text. While brief it’s chalk-full of ground-shaking insight. The chapters are kept short and very readable, making the text useful as a primary course text or as an ancillary read. Priester groups his readings across the life-history of a student, from entry to college life to making the most of this vibrant learning environment and finally finding that prized job after college. This chronological approach is perfect in organizing the experiences that students have while at university.
The clean organizational design of Foundations of academic Success allows for seamless movement within the book. Each chapter is clearly identified and the chapters are grouped accord to what students are likely to confront while in college.
As an edited text Thomas Priester’s voice is secondary to the grounded and authentic experiences of those members of the academic community that Priester chooses to include in this text. This opens-up a wide range of narratives written in a variety of grammatical ways. Rather than detracting the reader this mix of experiences is a strength of the volume.
Peer-to-peer learning as a pedagogical strategy has become a hot topic in universities today. The raw voices in Foundations of Academic Success creates a world the reader can enter into and engage in a personal dialogue with former students reflecting on their time in college.
The length of the text makes it a real possibility as an ancillary book for a wide-range of courses.
This collection of essays offer a variety of perspectives of a variety of topics related to college life. Some ideas, like getting involved on campus, are covered in a cursory manner, though offer enough information to spark good discussion among... read more
This collection of essays offer a variety of perspectives of a variety of topics related to college life. Some ideas, like getting involved on campus, are covered in a cursory manner, though offer enough information to spark good discussion among students. Some topics, like mental health and romantic relationships were either not discussed or only briefly touched upon; further discussion of these topics would make for a more comprehensive text. The index is thorough and effective.
Due to the nature of the text being personal essays, the content is accurate in the sense that it is each author's personal story.
The content is relevant and the information will likely be valuable for years to come, as transitioning to college will likely look similar in the future. I do think there is room for specific content related to current trends and statistics, such as the use of technology, parent-child relationships (the idea of becoming more independent), financial aid and scholarships, and the increase in diagnoses of anxiety and depression among college students.
The text is written in a casual, conversational manner, that is easily accessible by the average college student.
The formatting of the book is consistent throughout.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller readings that can be assigned at different points within the course (each chapter is only about 1-2 pages). Having said that, because it is such a short book (43 pages of text), it can easily be read in its entirely in about an hour.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
The text is free of noticeable interface issues, as there was only one visual throughout the entire book. Including more visuals like pictures, memes, comics, and charts would make this an even more enjoyable read.
The text contains no noticeable grammatical errors.
Because no demographic information is provided about the authors, it is difficult to determine if the perspectives provided are generalizable to the greater population. For example, since all of the authors are from the State University of New York, a student in rural Wisconsin may find some of the stories irrelevant.
As a course resource, this book would be strengthened by the inclusion of visuals and discussion questions that prompt the reader's thinking. Also, some chapters were clearly written by professionals, while others seemed to be written by students. A brief author bio at the end of each chapter would be helpful (occupation, major, etc.)
Foundations of academic success: Words of wisdom( FAS:WoW ) provided a range of practical and relevant snapshots and glimpses of student success from a range of expert point(s) of view( current students, alumni, faculty and advistors). From the... read more
Foundations of academic success: Words of wisdom( FAS:WoW ) provided a range of practical and relevant snapshots and glimpses of student success from a range of expert point(s) of view( current students, alumni, faculty and advistors). From the preface, learners are guided into HAS:WoW by making the clear statement that the narratives and personal accounts selected for the book highlight the differences between "being a college student and being a successful college student". The organizational structure and sections of the book permit one to reach only one or two specific sections ; one could see a student consulting the sections as they worked through a course or choosing sections relevant to their personal questions or concerns.
Don't see this category as highly relevant for FAS:WoW.
The personal narratives and perspectives touch on issues that are of concern to many students as they begin and navigate their college years and choices. Students are encouraged to send in their own story as well so as a reader , one can see that this book can be updated with some frequency as new stories of challenges and challenges met are made available.
Did not see this as most relevant for FAS:WoW. As a reader, I would comment that the writing was clear and well edited.
Do not see this as most relevant for this book. There is a sense of progression provided by the organization of the narratives.
see comment above. The book can be entered in for a specific section that needs review or development for a student OR could be incorporated into a course that would utilize all sections.
see comments above
This reader did not see any significant grammatical errors.
The book incorporated narratives and personal accounts from a range of diverse points of view as well as highlighting the important of developing an awareness and respect for cultural diversity as an important part of the college experience.
As an advisor, I appreciated the book offering first person accounts of how to succeed and helping to show students how their peers have navigated college and learning bumps and challenges.
Table of Contents
- The Student Experience by Kristen Mruk
- Practice, Practice, Practice by Dr. Kristine Duffy
- Why So Many Questions? by Fatima Rodriguez Johnson
- These Are the Best Years of Your Life by Sara Vacin
- With a Little Help from My Friends by Paulo Fernandes
- Can You Listen to Yourself? by Yuki Sasao
- Failure Is Not an Option by Nathan Wallace
- Thinking Critically and Creatively by Dr. Andrew Robert Baker
- Time Is on Your Side by Christopher L. Hockey
- What Do You Enjoy Studying? by Dr. Patricia Munsch
- Fighting for My Future Now by Amie Bernstein
- Something Was Different by Jacqueline Tiermini
- Transferrable by Vicki L. Brown
- It's Like Online Dating by Jackie Vetrano
- Learn What You Don't Want by Jamie Edwards
About the Book
Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom (FAS: WoW) introduces you to the various aspects of student and academic life on campus and prepares you to thrive as a successful college student (since there is a difference between a college student and a successful college student). Each section of FAS: WoW is framed by self-authored, true-to-life short stories from actual State University of New York (SUNY) students, employees, and alumni. The advice they share includes a variety of techniques to help you cope with the demands of college. The lessons learned are meant to enlarge your awareness of self with respect to your academic and personal goals and assist you to gain the necessary skills to succeed in college.
Foundations of Academic Success is an engaging, informational, and succinct read that connects the reader to personal essays about succeeding in college. The text allows the reader to see different perspectives of the shared experience of navigating higher education. As an adjunct lecturer teaching a course entitled “Learning to Learn,” I see the advice and life lessons discussed as both helpful and informative to many types of students. I believe that this book has a universal appeal for any classroom that is discussing the college life cycle, and would advocate using this text with students who seek out campus services, such as Career Services, Study Abroad, and Academic Advising. I also see this text applicable in the education of student leaders, peer mentors, and peer advocates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This text goes beyond traditional Student Affairs and Student Development theories to connect the reader with real, honest, and understandable life lessons.
About the Contributors
Thomas C. Priester holds a Doctor of Education degree in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College, a Master of Science degree in Student Personnel Administration from SUNY Buffalo State, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary English Education from Fredonia (where he is also a member of the Alumni Board of Directors). Having worked previously in the areas of academic success, student life, student leadership development, orientation, academic advising, and residence life, Dr. Priester currently serves as the Director of Transitional Studies/Assistant Professor at SUNY Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY where he is also an advisor to the campus chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the chairperson of both the Academic Assessment and the Transitional Studies Committees, and a member of both the Institutional Effectiveness and the Academic Senate Curriculum Committees. Additionally, Dr. Priester is a faculty member in the Higher Education Student Affairs Administration graduate program at SUNY Buffalo State in Buffalo, NY, has taught conversational English at Fatec Americana in Americana, São Paulo, Brazil, and has also taught Academic Success at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, NY. Dr. Priester has served as a contributing chapter author for the books: Assessing Student Learning in the Community and Two-Year College (Stylus, 2013) and Examining the Impact of Community Colleges on the Global Workforce (IGI Global, 2015) and has most recently published the open access textbook: Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom (Open SUNY Textbooks, 2015).