New Beginnings

January marks a new month, a new year, and a new semester. And, although perhaps not as prevalent as in the past, some people take this time to make New Year’s Resolutions – they set goals to lose weight, begin an exercise program or exercise more than the previous year, spend less and put more into savings, get organized, learn something new, and endless other self-improvement plans. Although you may be among the few who do meet your resolutions, too often some or all of the resolutions that we’ve made go unfulfilled; it may be that the goals we’ve set are unrealistic, we’ve set too many goals and then we try to focus on all of them at once, we haven’t created a plan on how to meet our goals, we don’t have a support system in place to offer encouragement during the rough times, or we’re really not wanting to change or willing to do what it takes to change. I’m sure you can come up with several other reasons why we don’t meet the resolutions we set at the beginning of the year.

On the other hand, you may be among those people who don’t bother to set any New Year’s resolutions. But whether you are among those who make New Year’s Resolutions or those who think that making resolutions is a waste of time, I hope that if your plan is for a successful semester that you will consider setting at least one goal and that is to read at least one book or view a DVD that will help you in your quest for a successful semester.

To assist you in reaching that goal, I’ve come up with a select list of items in our campus libraries that may be useful to you (with summaries of each title provided by the publisher of the item).

Students, Faculty, and Staff:

CollegeknowledgeLB2343.32 .C66 2005 – Bowie, Corinth, and Gainesville Campus libraries

College Knowledge: What it Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready – David T. Conley

“The book is based on an extensive three-year project sponsored by the Association of American Universities in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts. This landmark research identified what it takes to succeed in entry-level university courses. Based on the project’s findings – and interviews with students, faculty, and staff – this groundbreaking book delineates the cognitive skills and subject area knowledge that college-bound students need to master in order to succeed in today’s colleges and universities. These Standards for Success cover the major subject areas of English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, second languages, and the arts.”


Academic SuccessLB2343.3 .A29 2009 DVD – All NCTC Campus Libraries have this DVD series

Academic Success: Smart Tips for Serious Students (6 DVDs)

“The transition from high school to college is a lot bigger than many students realize. Help them make the most of their college academic experience with Academic Success—a six-part series filled with facts, hints, insights, and observations from experts in the field of education and from students who know the ropes. Topics include values and goals; time management; critical thinking and problem-solving; active listening and note-taking; researching, reading, and writing; and studying and test-taking. 6-part series, 10-12 minutes each.”

Overnight checkouts is available of the DVDs for all campus libraries except the Corinth Campus Library limits their copies to In-library Use Only.

Adult Student GuideAvailable through EBSCO eBook Collection.

Adult Student’s Guide to Survival & Success – Al Siebert and Mary Karr

“Whether enrolling in college for the first time or returning after an extended absence, this motivational guide provides adult students with a wealth of practical guidance. This thorough handbook explores not only how to succeed academically while balancing family, work, and other important responsibilities, but also addresses how students can learn to confront their fears, increase their self-confidence and resiliency, and create support groups. Containing essential information on financing education through loans, grants, and scholarships as well as practical tips for managing time, preparing for tests, taking effective notes, and using internet resources, this one-stop reference also includes action review checklists.”

CollegerulesLB2343.32 .N57 2011 – Corinth Campus Library

College Rules! : How to Study, Survive, and Succeed in College – Sherrie Nist-Olejnik and Jodi Patrick Holschuh

This book “will save you the time and trouble, setting you up for academic success from the get-go. Lesson #1: College is different from high school, and even those who were at the top of their class will need practical advice on how to successfully transition to college life. This updated and expanded third edition reveals strategies that aren’t taught in lectures, including how to:

Study smarter—not harder
Plan a manageable course schedule
Master e-learning technologies
Interact effectively with profs
Become a research pro—at the library and online
Organize killer study groups
Feel engaged—even in “yawn” courses
Survive the stresses of exam week
Succeed even as an alternative or adult student
Set yourself up for stellar recommendations”

ConqueringcollegeAvailable through EBSCO eBook Collection.

Conquering College: A Guide for Undergraduates – Victor L. Cahn

“With singular candor, this book discusses the potential pitfalls and rewards of campus life, including the transition from high school; the challenges of academic, personal, and social freedom; and the opportunities offered by courses, professors, and extracurricular programs. All this information is presented in the context of one central theme: that college is preparation not simply for a career, but for life.”

how to studyAvailable through EBSCO eBook Collection

How to Study: And Other Skills for Success in College – Allan Mundsack

“A perennial bestseller since its first publication in 1954, How to Study covers the nuts and bolts of successful studying, including the importance of setting priorities. This strategic guide also introduces readers to the art of studying and the indispensability of being a self-starter–and how to become one.

New to this fifth edition are the many benefits of computers and other 21st-century technologies, maintaining health in the college environment, completely updated material on writing papers, forming and running a study group, a new section on getting letters of recommendation, and so much more.”

HowtowinatcollegeLB 2343.3 .N49 2005 – Gainesville Campus Library

How to Win at College: Simple Rules for Success from Star Students – Cal Newport

“Draws on firsthand interviews with outstanding students at universities across the country to examine the secrets of a successful college career introducing seventy-five simple rules designed to assist students ace their classes assume leadership positions.”

Motivation and Learning StrategiesAvailable through EBSCO eBook Collection

Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Self-management Approach – Myron H. Dembo

“A motivation and learning strategies textbook that bridges research and practice! Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success, Second Edition teaches college students how to become more self-directed learners. Study skills are treated as a serious academic course. Students learn about human motivation and learning as they improve their study skills. The text does not offer ‘recipes’ for success or lists of ‘quick tips.’ Rather, the focus is on relevant information and features designed to help students to identify the components of academic learning that contribute to high achievement, to master and practice effective learning and study strategies, and then to complete self-management studies whereby they are taught a process for improving their academic behavior. A framework organized around six components related to academic success (motivation, methods of learning, time management, control of the physical and social environment, and performance) makes it easy for students to understand what they need to do to become more successful in the classroom. The text combines an overview of theory and research, to help learners understand what factors determine or influence successful learning and why they are asked to use different study and learning strategies in the text, with field-tested exercises, follow-up activities, and appendices that assist students in observing and changing their own behavior. A separate Instructor’s Manual provides helpful information for teaching the material; includes additional exercises and experiences for students; provides both objective and essay test questions; and includes information on how students can maintain a portfolio to demonstrate their acquisition of learning and study skills and guidelines for helping students complete a self-management study of their own behavior.”

Student Leadership ChallengeLB2346 .K68 2008 – Flower Mound Campus Library

The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders – James M. Kouzes and Barry Z Posner, Ph.D.

“Kouzes and Posner prompt students to address challenges and cynicisms and empower them to accomplish the extraordinary things of which they are capable. With engaging stories and keen insights the authors delve into the fundamental aspects of leadership to help students keep pace with our ever-changing world.”

presentation skills for studentsPN4129.15 .V36 2010 – Corinth Campus Library

Presentation Skills for Students – Joan Van Emden and Lucinda Becker

“Topics covered include speaking effectively in seminars and tutorials, delivering formal presentations and succeeding at a job interviews. Regular checklists and the friendly, down to earth style make this an ideal reference tool. The second edition: reflects the changes in technology; includes new material in the job search and job interviews chapter; highlights the hazards of using social networking sites; includes illustrations, which add both clarity and humor.”

Ultimate study skills handbookLB2395 .U48 2010 – Corinth Campus Library

The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook – Sarah Moore

“Covering all the core skills you will need to help you make the most of your university course, ‘The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook’ is your key to success. It provides the techniques, tips, and exercises that will help improve your grades, save you time, and hone the skills that will make you stand out to prospective employers.”

Faculty and Staff:

StarlinkLC 5225 .L42 A38 2015 DVD – Gainesville Campus Library

Adult Learning Strategies – Texas Association of Community Colleges

“Many adult learners bring a rich reservoir of life experience and perspective into the classroom, serving as a wonderful resource for learning. How do we best tap into this valuable resource and enhance the adult learner’s educational experience? This show explores strategies to enhance the adult learner’s educational journey, intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, implementation of effective techniques, and exposes common myths and preconceived notions that may prove harmful to the adult learner.”

Creating significant learning experiencesAvailable through EBSCO eBook Collection

Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses – L. Dee Fink

Dee Fink poses a fundamental question for all teachers: ‘How can I create courses that will provide significant learning experiences for my students? ‘In the process of addressing this question, he urges teachers to shift from a content-centered approach to a learning-centered approach that asks ‘What kinds of learning will be significant for students, and how can I create a course that will result in that kind of learning? ‘Fink provides several conceptual and procedural tools that will be invaluable for all teachers when designing instruction. He takes important existing ideas in the literature on college teaching (active learning, educative assessment), adds some new ideas (a taxonomy of significant learning, the concept of a teaching strategy), and shows how to systematically combine these in a way that results in powerful learning experiences for students. Acquiring a deeper understanding of the design process will empower teachers to creatively design courses for significant learning in a variety of situations.”

StarlinkLB 2331.53 .M44 2009 DVD – Gainesville Campus Library

Meeting the Challenges of Dual Credit: Building Bridges to Student Success – Henry Hartman

“How can productive relationships be established between high schools and colleges? How are the most successful programs organized and implemented? This DVD program addresses those questions and more, as leading instructors and program directors share insight behind their thriving dual credit programs.”

Topics include:

El Paso’s Dual Credit and Early College High School Programs

Forming successful partnerships

Keeping diverse groups of learners motivated

Blending college and high school expectations

Policies and PracticesLB2328.15 .U6 P64 2009 – Corinth Campus Library

Policies and Practices to Improve Student Preparation and Success – Andrea Conklin Bueschel

“Attention to college access has improved opportunities for students of all backgrounds to participate in higher education. Less work has been done on the equally important issue of success once in college, however. Many students enter community colleges unprepared or underprepared for college-level work. This volume examines various attempts to improve entrants’ preparation, as well as efforts to help them succeed once they have enrolled. It offers broad perspectives, providing context for preparation efforts and developmental education writ large. It also offers perspectives from the view on the ground, highlighting work on specific community college campuses. The volume as a whole deals with the larger understanding of how best to help students prepare for success in college.”

StarlinkLB 1025.2 .S773 2014 DVD – Gainesville Campus Library

Strategies for Student Ownership in Learning – Texas Association of Community Colleges

“We’ve seen it too many times, glassy-eyed students staring into space, sneaking peaks at their social media, continually glancing at the clock…How can we truly motivate our students, impact and engage them to become life-long learners, spark their interest inside and outside the classroom, and turn them from passive observers to passionate learners? Find out the tips and techniques used by experts who are maximizing student success and motivating students to take responsibility for their own learning.”

TeamworkHD66 .L37 1989 – Flower Mound Campus Library

Teamwork: What Must Go Right, What Can Go Wrong – Carl E. Larson

“Carl E. Larson and Frank M. J. LaFasto explore the eight properties of successful teams: a clear, elevating goal; a results-driven structure; competent team members; unified commitment; collaborative climate; standards of excellence; external support and recognition; and principled leadership. A final chapter examines the priority of the steps that lead to the building of a high performance team.”

StarlinkLB 1044.87 .W438 2013 DVD – Gainesville Campus Library

What the Best Teachers Do in Class and Online – Dallas County Community College District

“What do the best teachers do to motivate and excite students, to help them reach high levels of accomplishment? To answer this question we asked a number of award-winning and highly successful teachers to share insights and practices. Successful practices will be presented for both online and the classroom.”

Topics include:

What does it mean to learn?

They all learn a little bit differently

How do you measure student success?

Key to learning: Teach adaptability

Using story to engage imagination

Using technology to support learning goals

Empowering online students

How do you help the students that are having a hard time learning your subject?

Explore our online catalog on our library website ( to find additional items that may be helpful to you in subject areas in which you have an interest. Watch for our podcast later in the month if you’d like to know the various services that the NCTC Libraries offer to students, faculty, and staff. Advance your knowledge; learn something new this year!

–Contributed by Diane Roether, Dean of Libraries

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