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The Secrets of College Success 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470874660
ISBN-10: 047087466X
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Full of practical and easy-to-implement tips, this handbook is written in brief segments, perfect for the short attention span of the YouTube generation. While covering the basics found in other “how to be successful in college”-type books (study skills, time management, test-taking tips), this one also has sections on other issues that students will likely face: how to get into a closed class, studying abroad, working with a professor, and getting one's money's worth. Topics are approached with humor, but there is a serious undertone throughout: college is expensive, so their philosophy in a nutshell is to do the work, make the grades, and graduate. This book deserves a place in high school libraries across the country. Many students are college-bound with no real idea what to expect once they enter the realm of higher education. Secrets would be a great tool to incorporate into an adviser/advisee program for students on a college track. Learning to implement some of the tips will make them more successful in college, and they will likely reap benefits during their high school tenure as well.–Gina Bowling, South Gibson County High School, Medina, TN. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Advance Praise for The Secretsof College Success

" If I had my way, I’d give this book to every single college student, of any age, and make them read it. A book that moves from ‘How to Turn a B into an A’ to ‘10 Surefire Ways to Piss Off Your Professor,’ is beyond just ‘helpful.’’ It is ‘the Missing Manual’ for turning a merely ‘okay’ college experience into a delicious adventure. I laughed, I took notes, I loved every page. And I’m not even in college. If you are, don’t even think about not buying this book. It will be the best thing you ever did for yourself."— Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?

" Along with shower flip-flops and a very loud alarm clock, this book should be on every freshman’s college packing list. The professors have outlined solutions for all the major fears that students face when they start college." — Marjorie Savage, parent program director, University of Minnesota and author of You’re on Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years

" Psychologically sound tips for thriving, not just surviving, in college. Lynn’s and Jeremy’s tips will make your college experience a spectacular success." — Chuck Snowden, director of honors program, University of Wisconsin

" Clear, practical, comprehensive — and caring. These authors want you to succeed. Listen." — Judy Genshaft, president, University of South Florida and past president, American Council on Education

" Riddled with humor and witty in presentation, this lighthearted "easy read" could be the most helpful, honest resource for today’s college student." — Scott H. Reikofski, director, fraternity/sorority affairs, University of Pennsylvania

" The Secrets of College Success needs to be required reading for anyone starting college, regardless of age. A great source of practical advice that could mean the difference between success and failure." — Eduardo J. Padrón, president, Miami Dade College

" The students who are most successful in college are those who are most prepared. The Secrets of College Success reveals what students need to know from the perspective of the professors who teach them. It pays to know the rules of the game before you play."— George R. Boggs, president and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges

" This volume provides a banquet of tips. Easy to read, easy to locate what you need, this book will be helpful throughout your undergraduate years. I highly recommend it."— Sharon J. Hamilton, professor and former director, Indiana University Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching

" Accessibly written and logically organized, there’s something here for everyone. This handy volume will help students focus on what it takes to be successful."—Peter H. Quimby, deputy dean, Princeton University

" This book provides sound advice in a great format on how to get the most from your college education, starting on Day 1 of your freshman year."— Martha O’Connell, executive director, Colleges that Change Lives

" High schools focus on getting their seniors  TO college but they rarely teach them how to get THROUGH college. Professors Jacobs and Hyman  fill this gap with a series of high energy, digestible and practical tips that any student can master in one sitting. This book should be required reading for every college-bound student so that they will be equipped with the "under-the-hood" expertise they need to succeed in h0000igher education."—Keith W. Frome, chief academic officer, College Summit Inc.

" The Secrets of College Success is an easy-to-read, highly informative book. In my experience, many students come in to Stanford unprepared for the realities of college life. With bite-sized and digestible tips, this book provides substantial advice applicable to any college student."— Kamil Dada, president


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047087466X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470874660
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Dr. Lynn F. Jacobs is professor of Art History at the University of Arkansas. A specialist in Northern Renaissance Art, Lynn previously taught at Vanderbilt University, California State University, Northridge, University of Redlands, and NYU. She has received the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship twice, and the University of Arkansas Prize for distinguished academic advising. Jeremy S. Hyman is founder and chief architect of Professors' Guide™ content projects. An expert in Early Modern Philosophy, Jeremy has taught at the University of Arkansas, UCLA, MIT, and Princeton University. He received the University of California Regents award for distinguished teaching.

Lynn and Jeremy write a weekly education column at US News and World Report www.usnews.com/professorsguide and speak widely at college orientations and first-year experience classes (to see a clip, go to www.GimmeAnA.com). In addition to the present book, they are co-authors of the book, Professors' Guide to Getting Good Grades in College (HarperCollins, 2006).

You can write them at lynn@professorsguide.com and jeremy@professorsguide.com.

Lynn and Jeremy live, with their 15-year old son, Jonah, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has tons of useful information about how to do well at college. The great thing is that it's written in the form of top-ten and do's and don'ts lists, so it's easy to read and you get the information quickly. It was even pretty funny. I learned a lot about how to take tests and write papers, how to study and take better notes, and how to start preparing for grad school and a career. I thought it was good that the book included material on specific requirements (such as freshman comp, math, and foreign language courses) and that it really tried to motivate students and help them build their confidence. The book also gave me a much better sense about how professors think. I was pretty surprised to learn how professors grade and I found the tips on how to approach the professor especially useful (I've never really gone to see a professor, but I'm planning to do so now). The book also has really nice graphics. I liked the icons for "Best kept secrets," and "5 Star tips," and I liked the relaxing green headings. The Secrets of College Success would be a great book for any college student, and even high school students could benefit from it.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Good and useful ideas, efficient in presentation, blah, blah, yada, yada.

Want to know what I really think?

First, here's some background. Twenty years of undergraduate advising. Twenty years of undergraduate teaching, with both specialized and general education courses. Like the authors of this book, I've heard it all, seen it all (or so I think, until a new round of issues, excuses, and technologies come around... who needs a dog to eat your homework when the shared printer jams?).

I've also taught first-year experience courses and senior capstone courses; low enrollment and high enrollment (+150 student) courses; and courses with lab and writing assignments.

So, with this background, how good is this book, The Secrets of College Success, by Lynn Jacobs and Jeremy Hyman?

Good enough that I'd like to make it a requirement that students can't take a step into my classroom or office without a dog-eared copy in their backpacks.

Good enough that I'm sitting here wondering how I can get this book into FYE courses along with the "common reading experience" book.

Good enough that my son, just finishing his first semester at a major "Carnegie RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity)" ranked university, is sitting across from me reading the damn thing: "Man, I really need to improve my scheduling next semester, like this book suggests."

- Go to all your classes
- Get started on assignments and homework early
- Know how to ask for and receive help
- Take care of yourself
- Treat college like a job

This sums up many of the key points (and shows my bias), but this is a must-have book.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This nonfiction book presents over 600 tips for college students to learn the ins and outs of how to be successful in college. It's arranged by topic into chapters using lists or bullet point presentation of the material, thus it is a fast read and non-intimidating. Some parts are repetitive but I'm not complaining, in trying to be thorough in the list format some material belongs in more than one place. When reading it by skimming or looking up one or more topics at a time rather than a cover-to-cover read of the almost 200 pages it is good that some things are repeated.

Jacobs and Hyman give a ton of information in this book that will be of use if only a college or senior in high school a) actually reads the book and b) does what is recommended. And therein lies the rub. Many will agree that most teens reject outsider's advice and instead shirk some of even the most common sense recommendations as they think they know better (such as attend class, take notes, and study). Yet this book recommends these things multiple times. I hope the authors can get through to the readers when the student's own parents cannot. (Thanks for giving it try!)

I liked the tone of the book which is direct and to the point. The authors don't mince words and say just enough to get the point across yet are not so skimpy as they fail to give supporting examples for their advice (good for Doubting Thomases who may roll their eyes at the advice). The writing tone is upbeat and street smart but not snarky. It is not condescending or patronizing, the readers are spoken to with respect even when trying to convince them that yes, they do need to attend class and yes, they need to actually do the homework.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is an absolute gem, I agree with various other reviewers that every student headed off to university should have a copy, and hopefully consult some of the lists when they find themselves in some of the typical students situation described in the book. Check off the 13 questions from the "bad professor ahead" list during the first class/week. Read the etiquette for emailing your professor, before emailing them, (plz dun wrte lk ths) especially if it is to set up an appointment to see them. If you do want to meet with your professor (you probably should) review the 15 Secrets for Going to See the Professor (Don't be coy, but don't dispute balls and strikes), especially since this is one of the 10 Surefire Ways to Piss Off Your Professor....

The information in this book may seem like common sense, but it's rare that I meet a student who seems to have a surfeit of this common sense. Plus you need to keep in mind that much of a smart student's best tactics come from seeing the world through the eyes of their professors or TA's eyes. Universities are not environments like the rest of the world and common sense will not always serve to anticipate how best to survive there.

Enough with the good stuff, if you're a student in our fine university system, buy this book and read it. You already spend $600 minimum on books per semester and several hours a week reading them. Given that this little guide has a least as big a chance to help you graduate as your new $200 organic chem text, this book is time and money well spent.

However, I will give a caveat about this book. I often get to teach a college skills & success course to freshmen students.
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