Getting the Most Out of College (2nd Edition)

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9780130607133: Getting the Most Out of College (2nd Edition)

This comprehensive, hands-on guide is ideal as a lifelong resource for planning and action that readers can use anytime they move through a significant educational endeavor (not just college). They can use and reuse the guide to help them make the transition into new environments, new experiences, new activities; to maximize their learning in any situation; and to help them move on with their lives in ways that build on their knowledge, competence, and personal growth. Features an abundance of self-diagnostic exercises/planning activities and illustrative case studies. Your Purpose: You Can Learn More than You Think. Taking Stock. What Your Need to Know about Learning. Maximizing Learning from Courses and Classes. Maximizing Learning beyond Courses and Classes. Developing Mature Relationships. Time Management, Learning, and Test Taking. Taking Control and Keeping It. Seven Principles for Doing Your Best. Where Are Your Going from Here? Taking It with You. For "students" in any learning context.

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From the Back Cover:

In this book, you will find the information you need to make your educational experience a valuable step in achieving your career and personal goals. Anchored in sixty years of research, Getting the Most Out of College uses eye-opening self-assessments so you can apply the concepts to your own life. Presented in straightforward language, the text will help you:

  • clarify your goals and your purpose for being in school
  • devote the time, energy, and emotion required to meet your goals
  • identify opportunities and activities that will contribute to your learning
  • make the most of your total college experience, including developing relationships
  • develop the skills and competencies you need to succeed
  • maximize your use of campus resources
  • balance academic and non-academic life

Take charge of your own education! This book will help you build learning that lasts.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This Second Edition of Getting the Most Out of College provides a comprehensive, hands-on guide to the total college experience. It goes beyond study skills, test taking, and time management to help students (1) manage the transition into college, assess their strengths and weaknesses, get a larger perspective on what they can learn, and clarify their purposes; (2) move through college by understanding what we know about learning, maximizing learning from courses and out-of-class experiences, managing personal relationships, and using good study skills; and (3) plan their transition to life after college, reviewing what they are taking with them and anticipating various life challenges.

The new edition features an abundance of illustrative cases and innovative self-diagnostic exercises and planning activities—giving students powerful tools to maximize their learning and personal development by applying basic concepts and strategies to their own condition, situations, and behavior. Throughout the book, basic concepts are presented in straightforward language and illustrated with quotations and examples from contemporary undergraduates.

New materials in this edition cover: (1) "mental models," the ways prior attitudes, values, assumptions, and misinformation interfere with new learning; (2) how the brain functions; (3) multiple intelligences; (4) kinds and levels of learning; and (5) the differences between surface learning and deep learning. The book includes recent work concerning emotional intelligence and self-diagnostic exercises so students can assess strengths and weaknesses in these areas.

Whether you are young or old, first-time student or returning, contemplating college or already enrolled, this book will help you maximize your learning and personal development. You will need to draw on your education time and again throughout your life, and you may make recurrent investments in postsecondary education.

Our aim is to help you meet those needs and profit from those investments. We do so by sharing concepts, exercises, and illustrative quotes from students. Many of our graduate and undergraduate students have told us how much they wish they had known about some of these things much earlier.

Most people who seriously pursue education after high school go to a nearby community college, a four-year college, or a university. More prospective college students than ever before choose their college because it has low tuitio4 or offers financial aid, or it's near home. For many practical reasons, working adults have a limited choice of institutions. Therefore, the critical issue is not choosing the right college, but getting the most out of the available institution.

Although we oriented this book toward the college experience, its content is applicable to many different learning contexts: to graduate and undergraduate education; to getting the most out of corporate education and training; and to independent, self-designed learning projects. Anytime you move through a significant educational endeavor, this book can help you make the transition into new environments, new experiences, new activities. It helps you maximize learning that lasts. It helps you move on with your life in ways that build on your knowledge, competence, and personal growth. This is not a book to read now and then put on the shelf. It is a lifelong resource for planning and action.

One of our problems in writing this book is that there is such diversity in college students. They range in age from 18 to 80, and they vary widely in ethnicity, national origin, and socioeconomic status. We are convinced that the ideas and accompanying exercises can be helpful to all students. However, it is difficult to find quotations and examples that speak to all of you, regardless of your individual backgrounds. So you may run into persons and passages that don't seem quite right for you. When that happens, just skip to the substantive content and exercises, or try to adapt the examples to your own situation.

On the average, people in the United States change "careers," not just jobs, five times during their lives. The "one life, one job" career pattern of earlier days has passed. It used to be that you went to school, then to college, got a job, got married in your early 20s, bought a house, raised a family, and retired at 65. Now, people create different combinations. Many delay or interrupt their post-secondary education until they are clearer about occupational orientations and lifestyle interests. They put off marriage and child rearing until their mid- or late 30s. Women frequently integrate marriage and child rearing with substantial career responsibilities. Men actively contribute to homemaking and child rearing, albeit less often than women, and they too combine these responsibilities with job choice and work patterns. Important career changes occur when people are in their 40s and 50s. Many persons continue full- or part-time employment and seek further education when they're well into their 70s.

We are living in an information age and a knowledge-driven society. Men and women move in and out of post-secondary education to acquire additional knowledge or competence, to keep current in professional specialties, or to become certified for new work. In the United States more money is spent on corporate education than on college and university education. Successful corporations are "learning organizations." On the average, adults spend about 180 hours per year in formal and nonformal learning projects. For satisfying work and a good life, today and during the twenty-first century, you need to be a lifelong learner.

If you are a high school student contemplating college, this book can help you understand how to get started. It clarifies the range of purposes you can pursue; teaches you how to successfully tackle courses, classes, and other opportunities for learning; demonstrates the time, energy, and emotion required; and suggests the initiatives you can take.

If you are an adult, working, either single or married with a family, and have community responsibilities, this book helps you think more deeply about the trade-offs you face in investing in your own learning and development. It provides a basis for discussions with others about the conditions you will require and the help you will need to get the most from your experiences.

If you are a student already enrolled in a college or university, the concepts, exercises, and student comments can help you make better use of the resources available and get more out of the experiences and activities you undertake. If you are close to completing your college career, you can review how you functioned and think about how you can learn better in the future. You can clarify what you want to do next, and you can identify the knowledge, competence, and personal strengths you take with you as you move on.

If you are a parent, close friend, or spouse or partner of a current student, this book gives you a realistic sense of what good learning requires. You can better understand the support and understanding you need to provide.

As k lifelong student, you will want to keep this book handy, not only as you go through college, but also as you pursue further education. During college you may want to refer to it each semester to review your achievements and make your plans. This review will maximize your learning and personal development as you experience the different stages of your college career. Given your particular purposes, talents, resources, and energy, you will get the most you can out of college.

This book can be useful for a variety of colleges and university administrators, faculty members, and student affairs professionals. Administrators or faculty members designing and carrying out semester- or year-long programs for new or transfer students can use the full text as a basis for helping persons think deeply, and carry out self-analyses, to clarify how they can best profit from the institution's varied resources. Persons responsible for "Senior Year" programs can use Part III as a way to help students seriously explore various transition issues. Individual faculty members can use Chapters 4, 6, 9, and 11—What You Need to Know About Learning; Maximizing Learning from Courses and Classes; Time Management, Learning, and Test Taking; Seven Principles for Doing Your Best—to communicate high expectations to students and to provide concrete suggestions for how they can function best to achieve desired outcomes. Advisors can use Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10—College Changes Your Life; Your Purposes: You Can Learn More than You Think; Taking Stock; Deciding on a Major; Taking Control and Keeping It—to help advisees think more clearly about what they want to learn and how that learning relates to larger goals and purposes. Varied Student Affairs professionals can use Chapters 7 and 8—Maximizing Learning Beyond Courses and Classes; Developing Mature Relationships—to help students more purposefully connect with a broad range of co-curricular activities and residence hall programs to enrich their academic studies and pursue other levels of learning-Administrators responsible for varied professional development activities can use it as a resource to help faculty members and student affairs professionals achieve a comprehensive overview of what maximizing a college education includes.

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