Eight steps to becoming a more successful student - The online voice of cambridge campus students
The online voice of cambridge campus students
by Kathy Yaeger

staff writer

Nicole Parent, a current student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College--Cambridge Campus (ARCC), didn’t know what to think when she signed up for On Course, one of the newest programs ARCC had to offer.

After successfully completing the class Parent said, "On Course was an amazing class. I never knew how much control I had over my life or the outcome of my future. On Course empowered me and made me a stronger student."

"Identifying the differences between successful and unsuccessful students is the goal of this life skills class," according to Skip Downing, On Course creator. With On Course’s second year starting at ARCC there has been quite a positive buzz from faculty and students regarding what can be accomplished for traditional and non-traditional students.

The class shows students how to identify negative patterns and turn them into tools for success. Using eight essential steps you, too, can set and achieve goals and become a more effective communicator, Downing promises in the course textbook. Covering issues such as self-responsibility, self-motivation, self-management, interdependence, self-awareness, life-long learning habits, developing emotional intelligence, and believing in one self to transform old self-defeating habits into new ones that help a person achieve goals. According to Downing, this is possible with On Course.

As set out in the course syllabus, students will critically think about case studies, and cover such lessons as how the human brain learns, decision making, setting goals and developing a life plan. Students also learn how to actively listen and develop mutually supportive relations. Instructor Jennifer Liberty-Clark encourages students to rise to the challenge and get involved with the class discussions, reading and writing assignments and informal learning activities for optimal achievement.

Student success and retention is a focus of the On Course class and according to its instructors, students and national attention it delivers. Jennifer Liberty-Clark of ARCC’s psychology department states, "This is a success program that surpasses academics in giving a student a greater understanding of one self that can be utilized beyond the college experience."

Clark added, "With the continued support and participation of administration this course will continue to succeed and grow."

The excitement about On Course doesn’t end with administration; it continues on to students like Deb Sjostrom, who said, "I had a great opportunity to be a student and then to help Jennifer Liberty-Clark as a teacher’s assistant. Both experiences were amazingly helpful and I have nothing but good to say about this program."

While On Course continues to grow, Liberty-Clark and Amber Severson of ARCC’s mathematics department will be presenting at the 36th annual American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) in Boston letting other educators know how well this program has been received and how it could also benefit students majoring in mathematics.

For more information, browse www.anokaramsey.edu , www.oncourseworkshop.com, or enter ‘On Course Skip Downing’ into your Google search engine. Also information on the AMATYC can be found by entering the acronym into your search engine.

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