- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Uvize, Inc. (August 20, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780983886303
- ISBN-13: 978-0983886303
- ASIN: 098388630X
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Strategic Student: Successfully Transitioning from High School to College Academics Paperback – August 20, 2011
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Part one - The intro is humorous and the chart on page 30 showing the difference in structure between the day of a high school student and a college student is brilliant in its simplicity. Peppering the information with personal narratives keeps the text interesting while sending the lessons home. The old lessons of time management and proactivity are delivered in a much easier, more relevant way. Students leaving high school who are self reliant have an clear advantage over those who are not. This may be disguised as immaturity, but regardless of the cause, the lesson still holds.
His most practical explanations begin in chapter 4 where he instructs how to attack courses with weighted averages. This is a strategic change many incoming college students won't intuitively grasp. READ THIS CHAPTER.
Part two - A great 'bathroom' read, made to be taken in easily digested bits. Three main pitfalls of bad study habits are explained, clearly and incisively. An easy step by step plan is given as a framework to avoid those bad habits. Pages 65 to 67 are particularly concise and informative with respect to the effectiveness of a steady pace in all classes, instead of adding stress by unbalanced, inefficient habits. Chapter four should be read piecemeal, as it is dense with information and strategies. Don't think it's not also funny and informative. It is a practical, how-to approach to avoiding problems in college. Chapters five and six are pure strategy lessons on how to increase your efficiency inside and outside of the classroom. This may not seem like a 'sexy' set of topics, but the information is pure gold. Chapters seven and eight are test taking and paper writing strategies. For anyone who has taken an upper level class, or tried to work on the writing skills of a secondary student, the information given is excellent.
Part three - A terrific wrap up on how to manage stress and utilize the emerging resources to increase efficiency and as a result decrease stress while improving grades.
In all, I found the book brilliant in its ease of reading and its economy of words. A mark of skill as a teacher has always been to take something arcane and inaccesible and present it in easily understood terms. The thread of good natured humor running through the book makes it fun and gives it a modesty that will be appreciated by anyone who has read anything by people awash with their own self importance. I recommend it to all of my students and will continue to do so.
Thankfully, Dave Cass has provided a fun, lively "driver's ed." like experience that teaches the rules and skills necessary for academic success-- which previously had to be learned through trial and error. Dave starts with the fundamental differences between the structured world of high school to the unstructured college campus, a seismic shift that can even derail valedictorians. You will not find simplistic, "study harder..." type of guidance--but rather tangible strategies, techniques, and technology tools through Dave's college advising experience and extensive field study.
While written for the student, parents will learn how to better support their children in becoming self-sufficient and confident drivers of their own academic success. Veterans making the transition from a structured military environment to campus via the GI Bill will also benefit tremendously from the strategies and techniques contained in Dave's book. With the ever escalating cost of higher education, Dave's book may just be the highest return on academic investment out there!