The Community College Experience / Edition 3

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If students don’t know the “unwritten rules” for community college success – how might it impact them? This book meets students where they are and helps them develop a plan to handle any situation.

The Community College Experience recognizes Student Success is determined by motivation, preparation, knowledge, persistence, and relationships, the outcome largely measured by performance in other courses from the first term throughout the college career. Students are often not prepared for the social and cultural challenges such as meeting expectations, managing pressures on time, and navigating financial issues. Many of the standards for college success are indeed those “unwritten rules” that require an experienced perspective to anticipate, understand, and overcome. This text covers the topics students need to make the transition into a community college culture, become active learners, and make intelligent choices. Course materials are realistic and supportive. They resonate with diverse student backgrounds, including first-generation college students, students of color, returning adults, and others. Once students know the “rules” - written and unwritten – they can adapt their plan for a more successful college experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The chapter‘s readability is good for the average students and the sections are chunked in a manner that is easy to follow. Because the sections are so well organized, the reader does not suffer from information over-load. In addition, the section activities provide active applications to the content being presented.

--Alonzo Flowers, Blinn College

I felt that the quality of the content was good, and the material was very relevant to any student. In each of the chapters I reviewed the material was creatively presented. The content is delivered in a very readable fashion, small bites, similar to reading USA Today. Good information but short and concise. Lots of great ideas, but more importantly, it gets back to the basics of developing yourself to becoming an effective person to become an achieving student.

--Gabriel Adona, San Diego Mesa College

Overall, the content was very good & quite practical. I also thought the relevance to the target audience was very good: including information on how to balance family, work, the transition to 4year colleges, etc. It was definitely written to the student at a community college who may not have the luxury of unlimited time to study, etc.

--Linda M. Hensen-Jackson, Arkansas Tech University

The wide range of pertinent information covered, the narratives, the personal and easily accessible language that is used in the chapters. I also like the reflective exercises in the chapters. I like the inclusion of current data and statistics in the chapters.

--Jacqueline Robinson, Milwaukee Area Technical College

The definition of critical thinking is one of the best that I have seen. I really have difficulty describing critical thinking and this is a wonderful example!!!

--Leigh Smith, Lamar Institute of Technology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132819879
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 2/12/2012
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 324,357
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Baldwin, M.A., is an instructor of writing, literature, and college success at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Since 1996, she has served the college in various roles including self-study editor, distance education coordinator, and professional development coordinator. She is also the author of four student success textbooks that were the first on the market that addressed the special needs of students: The Community College Experience 3rd edition (Pearson, 2012), The First-Generation College Experience 1st edition (Pearson, 2012), The Community College Experience PLUS 3rd edition (Pearson, 2013), and The College Experience 1st edition (Pearson, 2013). She has also facilitated over 120 workshops and breakout sessions all over the country—at community colleges, K-12 professional days, and national conferences--on teaching and learning issues such as transitioning to college, student engagement practices, and active learning. Amy will complete her doctorate of higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in December 2012. The focus of her dissertation is student engagement, retention, and success for African-American males in college. She is also serving as the project manager for the Complete College America initiative for the state of Arkansas.

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Read an Excerpt

Why Community College Students?

The Community College Experience was written to meet the unique needs of community college students. Often, college survival courses and textbooks are geared toward traditional students who have just graduated from high school and are living on campus. These traditional students usually have different challenges than community college students have. Therefore, students who have been away from school for several years or who need assistance in succeeding in college are the target audience for this book. It is they who need not only information about college culture but also guidance and assurance that they can complete a degree.

It is the combined need for basic information and encouragement that drives this book. Each chapter covers a topic that is essential to college survival, but it does so with the community college student in mind. For example, Chapter 1 is devoted to setting goals and priorities, which are essential to the success of students who already have full lives. There is also a discussion about the meaning of grades—they are not a measure of self worth or potential.

The purpose of this book is to help people who are new to the college experience and who have many experiential and educational "gaps" to fill. These same people also need reassurance and encouragement that they can achieve their goals of a degree, a rewarding career, and a fulfilling life. Special Features

This book offers several special features to challenge and aid student readers:

  • Community college student profile—Each chapter begins with a profile of a community college student. Questions andanswers pertaining to the chapter topic follow. Students have a chance to see others who are just like themselves, learning to cope with the pressures of being in college and succeeding.
  • Clear, honest, and practical information—Each chapter covers a specific college survival topic with honesty and clarity and provides practical advice. Students of all levels and knowledge base can benefit from the information presented.
  • Understanding grades—Chapter 2 offers a discussion of what grades mean—and what they don't—as well as information about calculating course grades and grade point averages.
  • Integrity Matters boxes—Most chapters include a text box that highlights both academic and personal integrity. Students who read this book will understand how integrity is essential to their education as well as their other life experiences.
  • Exercises—Each chapter includes practice, reflection, critical thinking, and collaboration exercises that will help students to think about the information in the text. For the Critical Thinking questions, students may write answers in a personal journal or in the corresponding module on the Companion Website. With the Practice and Reflection features, space is provided in the text for Notes, and students may elaborate on thoughts either in journals or on the Companion Website (
  • "From College to University" and "From College to Career"—These two sections, found near the end of each chapter, apply the chapter's topic to the world beyond the community college. Students will be able to see how these essential keys to college success are building blocks for life fulfillment.
  • Research It Further . . . Ideas—Each chapter ends with research ideas for students to explore and then share their findings with the class. These projects are engaging and will provide students with much practical information.
  • Taking online classes—Appendix B provides information about taking classes online, a growing trend at community colleges. By learning more about these classes, community college students can make informed decisions about whether such classes will meet their needs.
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Table of Contents

Introduction for Faculty

Introduction for Students

Chapter 1: College Culture and the Campus

Chapter 2: Goal Setting, Motivation, and Learning Styles
Chapter 3: Relationships and Diversity
Chapter 4: Time and Money
Chapter 5: Stress and Health Choices

Chapter 6: Learning, Memory, and Thinking

Chapter 7: Reading

Chapter 8: Listening and Note-Taking
Chapter 9: Writing, Presenting, and Information Literacy

Chapter 10: Studying and Taking Tests

Chapter 11: Planning for Your Degree
Chapter 12: Planning for a Career and a Life



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