Syllabus for a Student Success Course

Strategies for College
SFC 1000, Fall 2011
Steve Swett, Instructor
Campus Phone (815) 224-0232
Office Hours: By appointment only (M, T, W, & TH)
COURSE PURPOSE: This course is designed to help you create greater success in college and
in life. In the coming weeks, you will learn many proven strategies for creating greater academic,
professional, and personal success. We will use guided journal writings to explore these
strategies. I urge you to make the most of this opportunity. If you do, you will dramatically
change the outcome of your life-for the better…
In this course you will learn how to:
1. TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE. You will learn how to take greater personal
responsibility, gaining more control over the outcomes that you create both in college and
in life.
2. INCREASE SELF-MOTIVATION. You will learn to create greater inner motivation by
discovering your own personally meaningful goals and dreams.
3. IMPROVE PERSONAL SELF-MANAGEMENT. You will learn numerous strategies for
taking control of your time and energy, allowing you to move effectively and efficiently
toward the accomplishment of your goals and dreams.
4. DEVELOP INTERDEPENDENCE. You will learn how to develop mutually supportive
relationships with people who will help you achieve your goals and dreams as you assist
them to achieve theirs.
5. INCREASE SELF-AWARENESS. You will learn how to understand and revise your selfdefeating patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion as well as your unconscious limiting
6. MAXIMIZE YOUR LEARNING. You will discover the natural process of effective
learning and understanding how to apply that process according to your individual
learning style preference. This knowledge will enable you not only to get better grades in
college, but also to be a more effective lifelong learner.
7. DEVELOP EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. You will learn effective strategies for
managing your emotional life, decreasing distress while increasing your inner sense of
8. RAISE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM. You will learn how to develop greater self-acceptance,
self-confidence, self-respect, self-love, and unconditional self worth.
9. WRITE MORE EFFECTIVELLY. You will learn how to improve your writing skills
through the extensive writing practice offered by your guided journal entries.
enhance the thinking skills that are essential for analyzing and solving problems in your
academic, professional, and personal lives.
1. Downing, Skip. On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life
2. Folder for submitting completed assignments
3. Three-ring binder
4. An open mind…
Regular attendance is essential. You are allowed a total of two absences for the semester. Two
times tardy will equal one absence. Absences exceeding the stated limits will be cause for
failure. In the situations of injury or hospitalization, alert the instructor as soon as possible so
that an evaluation of the situation can be made on a case-by-case basis.
If you are absent, you are still responsible for material covered in your absence. Students are
expected to turn in missed assignments due to absence by the next class period.
CONDUCT: Cooperativeness and integrity: Since learning is most conducive in a classroom
of mutual respect, a cooperative attitude is mandatory. Please refer to Student Code of Conduct
as outlined in the Student Handbook.
WITHDRAWAL PROCEDURE: If you choose to withdraw from a course, request a
withdrawal form from your instructor. Failure to assume this responsibility could result in a
failing grade for the course. The instructor does reserve the right to withdraw a student from the
course. Read the Illinois Valley Community College catalog for details of the
Withdrawal policy. The last day for withdrawal is November 7, 2011.
Withdrawal from a course can affect financial aid. Students who receive financial aid
should see an advisor in the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from a course.
A = 360-400 points
B = 320-359 points
C = 280-319 points
D = 240-279 points
F = 239 or below
Point Distribution
32 Success Journals (5 points each) = 160
15 Quizzes (5 points each) = 75
Possibilities Book = 50 points
Victim/Creator Project = 50
Final Essay = 65
Total Points = 400
*Extra Credit – 50 points possible - Menu of Activities
Your journal provides an opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings as you experiment
with the success strategies presented in On Course. By carefully examining each strategy in your
journal, you will discover which ones will assist you to create a rich, personally fulfilling life.
Although I will be collecting your journals and looking through them, write your journal for
yourself, not for others.
Journal Evaluations: Your journals periodically. I will look through your journal to verify the
completion of each assignment and to give credit for a job well done. I read journal entries to get
a sense of the issues you are working on. With this knowledge I can be of greater assistance to
you this semester. A journal entry will be awarded the maximum points if it fulfills the
following criteria:
5 points possible each entry, 160 total
1. The entry is complete (all directions have been followed).
2. The directions (the bold print) for each step have been copied into your journal.
3. The entry is written with high standards (an obvious attempt has been made to dive deep and
gain maximum value from the journal activity).
4. Your name and the journal number should be at the top of the journal. Submit your
assignments in a pocket folder that is neatly labeled.
Grammar, spelling, and punctuation will NOT be factors in awarding points in this journal.
***Journals not turned in on due dates with only be eligible for 75% of the possible points. ***
Possibilities Book
What is it? First of all, organize all course materials into a folder/binder with labeled section
(1) Syllabus (2) Journals (3) Assessments (5) Projects/Extras
The “possibilities” are all of the things you want in your life – material possessions, people,
goals, career, anything…what do you want to have, do, and be? This is a creative project so…be
CREATIVE! Cut out pictures that represent what you want, draw, write, cut out quotes…make I
personal, but most of all, make it VISUAL. You can either decorate the cover or create a page or
pages inside for your “possibilities.” I feel this is a process and not a one-time activity. Your
“possibilities” section should be something you create over the course of the semester and not
something you sit down and try to do in December the night before this book is due : - )
Support Services:
If you are a student with a documented cognitive, physical or psychiatric disability you may be
eligible for academic support services such as extended test time, texts on disc, notetaking
services, etc... If you are interested in learning if you can receive these academic support
services, please contact either Tina Hardy (, or 2240284) or Judy Mika
(224-0350), or stop by the Disability Services Office in B-204.
Menu of Extra Credit
(Select activities from this list to earn UP TO 50 extra credit points)
1. Student ID ( 5 points) Show your instructor your IVCC Identification Card. Your ID is
needed to check out materials from the library, to take a test in the Assessment Center, and to get
into student activities.
2. Student Planner (10 points) Show your instructor your planner or calendar to earn these
points. Use a daily planner to record appointments and assignments in your semester courses.
The free IVCC planner offers important dates and other information needed by students. (They
should be on a table in the lobby)
3. See a counselor (10 points) Bring written documentation of your appointment or a note from
the counselor you met with.
4. Participate in the Peer Tutor Program or in the Writing Lab (10 points) If you are taking
a difficult course or need help writing a paper for a course, take advantage of the peer tutor
program or the Writing Lab. Get a note of verification from your tutor or the Tutor or Writing
Lab coordinator to put into your portfolio.
6. Use Sources and Services Available in the IVCC Library (10 points) Seek assistance from
an IVCC librarian to help you become more successful in one of your courses. Word process a
brief description of what you used the library for and have it signed by the librarian who assisted
7. Develop a professional resume (15 points) Make an appointment with the coordinator of
Career Counseling to discuss your ideas and to finalize a copy that could be sent or given to a
prospective employer.
Please Note: I am on campus Monday through Thursday, please email or call if we need to set
up an appointment. Not communicating is not an excuse. I check my email twice daily ( 5:30 am
and 6:00 pm). Please do not expect an immediate email response.