Student Success

We all want our students to succeed. But you might ask yourself, what about these lessons can foster success? These lessons are born out of the simple notion that successful students have been taught how to think, and not what to think.

Instructor's Guide


The Student Success Unit will act as supplemental support for any student entering an NRC connected community college. The concepts presented throughout the unit will act as a foundation for which college students can build upon, as they enter various academic courses. After examining personal thinking patterns, students will select and evaluate a variety of study methods that can help them achieve their academic goals.


To deploy individually, or in any order/combination:

  • Best Notes Ever
  • Taking On Tests
  • Planning For Academic Success
  • Maximizing Your College Experience Part 1 & Part 2


We have created lessons that are skills-based, personal, exploratory, and foundational. We use guided instruction and deliberate practice to introduce students to new methods, and to give them an opportunity to practice each method. Ultimately, students will decide which methods work best for them.


There are two main ways we recommend using the Student Success Lessons. First, we recommend using these lessons at the beginning of your student’s academic journey in order to prepare them for college-level academics. These lessons can be used during orientation or early on in a course to introduce students to skills like note taking, test taking, and communication. These lessons can also help students set goals that help them see how their courses fit within their larger plan.

Second, we recommend using these lessons as remedial exercises. If students have been struggling with certain skills like note taking, test taking, or communicating with professors, their instructors or advisors could assign them a specific lesson that addresses their knowledge gaps.

Afterwards, the instructor or advisor can review the lesson with the student. They can ask follow up questions about what note taking or testing taking methods the student has identified as useful. They can then create a study plan, where the student uses these new methods in class. Similarly, instructors can review the goals that the student has set in Planning for Academic Success, further exploring what a student wants to achieve, and how you can support them on their journey towards it.


  • Best Notes Ever
    • What was your favorite note taking method? Mind Mapping, Cornell Notes or Outlining?
    • What method do you think would be best to use in this class?
  • Taking On Tests
    • After taking this lesson, how do you feel about preparing for tests? Do you feel more confident? If not, how can we work together to make sure you feel confident taking tests?
    • What was your favorite test taking method?
    • How do you think you could incorporate this method into your study habits?
  • Planning For Academic Success
    • How has your idea of success changed throughout your life?
    • What academic challenge did you identify?
    • What is your goal to overcome this challenge?
    • Do you think you will create goals in the future? If so, what other goals do you have (for this course, this term, your time in community college, etc.)?
    • Do you use a schedule to plan out your weekly commitments? Let’s create a weekly schedule right now, using Jordan’s schedule as a model.
  • Maximizing Your College Experience Part 1
    • Do you have any questions for your advisor or professors right now? If so, let’s write them out using the Question Creating Process.
    • After taking this lesson, how do you feel writing a formal email? Let’s look at one of the last emails you sent your professor and evaluate it using the according to tone, context and clarity. If you need to write a new email now, let’s write it together using these guidelines.
  • Maximizing Your College Experience Part 2
    • Now, that you have gone through Anthony’s Support, let’s make this map for ourselves. Fill out the support map with your own faculty and staff members. Who is your Department Head, Academic Dean, and advisor? Document their names and how to contact them.
    • Have you ever contacted any of these people? What questions did you have for them? Were they able to support you? If not, what did you do next?
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