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Success Education

This pathway offers workshops/courses that will improve study skills, assist in career exploration and enhance life skills like budgeting and time management.

  • There are no formal prerequisites or placement testing requirements for these courses.
  • These courses allow students to earn transferable elective credit that may transfer to other colleges/universities in various ways.
  • Qualified instructors must have a Master’s degree and attend On Course Workshop I.
  • GENS 100: College Success

    A foundational course in active learning strategies and effective study skills that focus on the learner’s role and responsibility in the learning process. 
    • The following workshops make up this course.
    • Credit hour: 1
    • Course Capacity: 20-30


    Becoming an Active Student - Learners will identify the characteristics and benefits of being an active student. The differences between passive and active listening will be discussed as related to academic success. The focus will be on empowering students to take responsibility for their own learning. 

    Mastering Time Management - Learners will recognize their responsibility for managing their own time. They will identify strategies to combat procrastination and/or distractions that “steal” their time. They will learn to use effective self-management tools to keep them on track to achieving their goals.

    Exploring Your Learning Preferences - Learners will discover their preferred method(s) of learning, while gaining insight into all of the different learning preferences and strengths/ challenges for each. Using their knowledge of learning preferences, they will identify personally useful strategies to become more effective learners.

    Perspectives on Learning - Learners will define personalization as it pertains to learning. They will also identify and discuss tools needed to support student-centered learning, and related data, curriculum, assessment and technology.

    Becoming an Active Reader - Learners will recognize the difference between passive and active reading. They will learn strategies to become actively engaged in their reading in order to comprehend and retain the information they have read. They will evaluate active reading strategies to determine which will work best with their existing study strategies and learning preferences.

    Enhancing Your Study Strategies - Learners will understand how to organize materials and choose an appropriate study environment in order to make the most of their study time. They will identify study techniques they can use for various kinds of assignments and will become familiar with using a study plan to set goals for their study sessions.

    Improving Test Performance - Learners will understand that adequate preparation and distributed practice is essential for improving test performance. Memory strategies to increase retention of information will be discussed. They will identify strategies to utilize before, during and after their exams to improve their grades and reduce test anxiety.

    Developing Critical Thinking Skills - Learners will identify and analyze what criteria and sources they use to make decisions. They will have the opportunity to reflect on the process of making informed choices related to education, the workforce, being a consumer and other life roles.

    Gaining Information Literacy - Learners will explore valuable criteria for evaluating the information they find online and will practice questioning and comparing websites to determine the best source. Website domain names will be discussed and they will be asked to consider implications for the credibility of the information contained in each site.

    Developing Research Skills - Learners will review the steps in an effective research process and learn techniques to generate effective search terms. They will understand the concept of plagiarism and importance of properly citing their sources.

    Learning for a Lifetime - Learners will understand that learning happens every day in different life roles. They will consider how they typically approach unfamiliar situations or challenges and whether their current approach is productive. They will be encouraged to see the value (and dare we say fun?) in learning and facing new challenges.

  • GENS 101: Career Success

    Explore significant personal factors such as values, interests, skills and personality preferences in order to make informed career and lifestyle choices. Students will research potential careers and use labor market information, decision-making strategies and goal-setting to develop an individual career action plan. [The workshops below make up this course.]

    • The following workshops make up this course.
    • Credit hour: 1
    • Course Capacity: 20-30


    Planning Career Pathways - Learners will understand that career development is an ongoing process; at times they may need to reevaluate their level of career satisfaction and go through some of the decision-making steps again. They will become familiar with the Career Clusters™ framework and how they can use it in their career development process. Each participant will identify their top three career clusters™ to use as a starting point for further exploration.

    Exploring Career Interests and Skills - Learners will identify their areas of strongest interest using the Holland Codes. They will also explore their strengths/skills by evaluating their experiences or accomplishments. They will understand the importance of learning about themselves and using that information to make informed career decisions.

    Exploring Personality and Values - Learners will define and clarify their values while understanding the role of values in career decision-making. They will self-assess their personality type and discover how it relates to career planning and satisfaction.

    Deciding on a College Major - Learners will consider the role of their interests and skills when choosing a major. They will identify the information needed in order to make educated decisions about their future career and college major. Time will be spent exploring career research sites to learn more about potential careers of interest.

    Navigating the College Selection Process - Learners will understand the steps and important timelines in the college application process. They will recognize the variety of factors to consider when selecting a college and reflect upon what elements are most important to them. Resources for gaining necessary information about colleges of interest will be discussed.

    Writing a College Admissions Essay - Learners will understand the purpose and importance of the application essay. They will identify experiences and character traits that may provide appropriate essay topics and begin the essay outline process.

    Applying for Financial Aid and Scholarships – Learners will understand the estimated family contribution (EFC) and the role it plays in determining financial need. They will explore the cost of attendance (COA) and compare the COA of colleges they are considering. Participants will put together their own financial aid package including federal aid, scholarships, and loans and identify sources for scholarship searches.

    Transitioning to College - Learners will begin to understand the differences between high school and college in order to better prepare for these new experiences. They will consider their feelings about their upcoming high school to college transition and identify strategies they can use to settle into their new “home” for the next 2-4 years.

    Developing Your Leadership Skills - Learners will consider their own beliefs, assumptions and questions about the concept of leadership. They will begin developing their own definition of leadership based on their values and experiences.

    Understanding the Job Search Process - Learners will recognize that being prepared to job search is an important step in the process. They will be able to identify different job search methods and will explore the importance of networking.

    Writing a Resumé - Learners will recognize the purpose and importance of a resumé. They will focus on the information that is expected and appropriate for this document and begin designing their own personal resumé to build upon in the coming years.

    Developing Interview Skills - Learners will recognize that being prepared for the job interview is just as important as the interview itself. They will practice anticipating interviewer questions and writing their own questions to ask in an interview. Behavioral interviewing techniques and best practices will be discussed.

  • GENS 102: Personal Success

    This course provides an introduction to academic and personal skills essential for success in college and in life. Topics include personal responsibility, goal setting, critical thinking and emotional intelligence. Students learn to create success by applying proven principles for active learning, self-motivation, self- management and interdependence. 

    • The following workshops make up this course.
    • Credit hour: 1
    • Course Capacity: 20-30


    Targeting Success - Learners will understand the purpose of the GPS workshop series and how it can be of value to them. They will begin thinking about their own personal definition of success and what “being successful” would look like in their life. They will also begin to assess their strengths and areas of challenge in relation to the On Course principles (Choices of Successful Learners).

    Motivating Self - Learners will begin designing a Life Plan and defining their long-term goals/life purpose. They will understand the differences between external and internal motivation. They will also begin to understand what factors are personally motivating to them.

    Mastering Self-Management - Learners will understand the concept of personal responsibility and how their choices create the outcomes and experiences of their lives. They will understand the differences between creator and victim language and can apply this to situations in their own lives. They will also understand the importance of taking purposeful actions on a daily basis in order to achieve their short and long-term goals.

    Developing Effective Communication - Learners will gain understanding into the different communication styles and the strengths and challenges of each. They will identify their personal communication style and consider the impact communication will have across all of their life roles.

    Valuing Interdependence - Learners will understand and begin working toward interdependence in all areas of their lives, reinforcing mutual cooperation. They will identify valuable academic and personal resources and begin building a support network that can assist them in reaching their goals. They will also gain an understanding of how interdependence will play a role in their lives as college students and members of the workforce.

    Gaining Self-Awareness - Learners will identify self-defeating habit patterns that may be impacting their outcomes and experiences and discuss strategies for changing these habits. They will also focus on the components of emotional intelligence and recognize that everyone is responsible for the quality of their lives. They will recognize that “EQ” will have an impact on success in college, the workforce and relationships.

    Managing Stress - Learners will discuss possible symptoms of stress and identify their own personal “stress signals.” They will begin identifying sources of stress in their lives now, as well as additional stressors they may face in college. They will be able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy options for dealing with stress and identify resources for support.

    Understanding Civic Responsibility - Learners will identify some of the issues and problems evident in their world and will determine what it means to be a responsible citizen. They will articulate an understanding of why people hesitate to become involved in problem resolution and will consider the ways they can get involved to make a difference in their community.

    Exploring Healthy Lifestyles - Learners will understand that health is not one dimensional; there are six different elements of health that each play an important role in overall wellness and life satisfaction. They will begin to assess the level of balance and satisfaction with their current state of wellness.

    Planning Personal Finances - Learners will begin defining their current and future financial goals. They will practice evaluating budgets in relation to financial goals and setting up a budget for independent living.

    Preparing for Independent Living - Learners will begin to understand the costs and responsibilities of living independently. They will consider ways to cut costs on one-time and ongoing expenses. They will have the opportunity to reflect on what factors to prioritize when looking for their first apartment.

    Becoming Active on Campus - Learners will begin to articulate the outcomes and experiences (outside of academics) they hope to achieve during their time in college. They will explore opportunities for involvement in college that will enhance their overall experience and personal growth.

  • GENS 105: Life Success

    This course will help students gain awareness of their academic career and personal selves and facilitate development in each of these areas. Focus will be placed on gaining knowledge of each self, identifying areas of strength and those needing improvement and mastering the tools necessary to achieve growth in these life areas. Students cannot receive credit for both GENS 105 and GENS 100, GENS 101, or GENS 102. 

    • Credit hour: 3
    • Course Capacity: 20-30

For more information about GENS courses or GPS workshops, contact:

Jennifer Vieley

Coordinator of General Studies 
(309) 268-8055