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On Course

On Course is a philosophy and approach to education that focuses on learner-centered course design and facilitation.

Heartland makes a concerted effort to follow Skip Downing's eight On Course Principles, which lead to more successful students.

As stated by Downing, 

Synthesizing the best wisdom from innovators in psychology, education, business, sports, and personal effectiveness, the On Course Learning Principles represent eight of the essential “things” that good learners believe and do. 

By guiding students to adopt these principles and tools, you’ll empower them to become effective partners in their own education, giving them the outer behaviors and inner qualities to create greater success in college and in life.

Choices Of Successful Students

1…ACCEPT SELF-RESPONSIBILITY, seeing themselves as the primary cause of their outcomes and experiences. 1…see themselves as Victims, believing that what happens to them is determined primarily by external forces such as fate, luck, and powerful others.
2…DISCOVER SELF-MOTIVATION, finding purpose in their lives by discovering personally meaningful goals and dreams. 2…have difficulty sustaining motivation, often feeling depressed, frustrated, and/or resentful about a lack of direction in their lives.
3…MASTER SELF-MANAGEMENT, consistently planning and taking purposeful actions in pursuit of their goals and dreams. 3…seldom identify specific actions needed to accomplish a desired outcome. And when they do, they tend to procrastinate.
4…EMPLOY INTERDEPENDENCE, building mutually supportive relationships that help them achieve their goals and dreams (while helping others to do the same). 4…are solitary, seldom requesting, even rejecting offers of assistance from those who could help.
5…GAIN SELF-AWARENESS, consciously employing behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that keep them on course. 5…make important choices unconsciously, being directed by self-sabotaging habits and outdated life scripts.
6…ADOPT LIFE-LONG LEARNING, finding valuable lessons and wisdom in nearly every experience they have. 6…resist learning new ideas and skills, viewing learning as fearful or boring rather than as mental play.
7…DEVELOP EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, effectively managing their emotions in support of their goals and dreams. 7…live at the mercy of strong emotions such as anger, depression, anxiety, or a need for instant gratification.
8…BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES, seeing themselves capable, lovable, and unconditionally worthy as human beings. 8…doubt their competence and personal value, feeling inadequate to create their desired outcomes and experiences.


Guided Path to Success (GPS)

Heartland offers a free workshop series called GPS, Guided Path to Success, where students have the opportunity to earn free college credit and learn how to be a successful student at the same time.
You can learn more about these workshops at the GPS page.

General Studies 

General Studies courses help students learn strategies for success that will assist them throughout their college career and even into the workforce.

You can learn more about these courses at the Gens page.


Skip Downing's On Course

Kim Kelley, Director of Student Success

Jennifer Vieley, Coordinator for General Studies

Stephanie Kratz, Professor II of English