Gned 100-03 Adult Academic Success Seminar Instructor

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GNED 100-03 - Adult Academic Success Seminar
Instructor: Denise Rodak Term: Fall 2012

E-mail: Room: UN-2004

Office: Morehead Hall 206; (973) 655-5172 Meetings: Wednesdays 8:15-9:55AM

Office Hours: By appointment

"Any nation that separates its scholars from its warriors

will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools." - Thucydides

Course Goals
This course will serve as an introduction to the college experience and provide you with a forum for the development of strategies, skills, and techniques that promote success in university life. Topics will include but are not limited to: Montclair State University expectations and resources, higher level thinking, study skills, learning styles, goal-setting, choosing courses and careers, and personal effectiveness. Students will develop skills in written and oral expression.
Through critical thinking, writing, personal reflection, and group discussion, this course will provide the academic and social tools necessary for a successful college experience. Every student in this course will be expected to complete all assigned chapter readings and work by due dates, participate in class discussions, and attend class on a regular basis. Upon completion of this course, it is expected that each student will have the academic framework necessary for success at Montclair State University.
Course Overview
In this course the student will be asked to interact with peers, faculty, staff, campus organizations and the community. The course will require that the student take an active role in their educational process, i.e., participating in classroom discussions, attending workshops, online readings, and completing writing projects and presentations as assigned. To attain the goals of this course, the Adult Academic Success Seminar will integrate the following skills:

  • Reading and Writing - the text, all assigned readings which may include: books, newspapers, and/or magazines

  • Processing Information - collecting, organizing, and evaluating data and information

  • Self-Actualization - through a series of activities, understanding who I am, how do I interpret the world around me, and where am I going

  • Problem Solving - incorporating steps that reduce levels of stress, conflict, and course management

  • Time Management - maintaining and monitoring the use of time to minimize stress and maximize success

  • Teamwork - understanding the principles of completing tasks and projects as a group, where everyone plays and intricate part in the final project.

  • Critical Thinking - utilizing the principles of knowledge, modeling, reasoning, synthesizing, analyzing, and creativity to work through problems and projects

  • Technology and Communication - preparing projects and activities that utilize technology to develop written assignments and presentations

Course Objectives

  1. To introduce you to the demands of the university environment and enable you to identify resources needed to make a successful transition from high school to university life.

  2. To enable you to learn more about Montclair State University, including its expectations, educational opportunities, and available resources.

  3. To align you for academic success by developing your skills in higher level thinking, note taking, studying, writing, oral presentation, teamwork, and test taking.

  4. To develop your ability to think critically about complex and diverse problems.

  5. To implement problem solving strategies.

  6. To develop among you and your classmates a community of learners who explore campus and national issues which have an impact on all students, especially those in their first year of college.

Textbook/Learning Materials

  • Ellis, Dave. (2012). Becoming a Master Student (13th Edition).

  • Montclair State University Website; Web Enrollment Services for Students (WESS);

  • All students are required to activate, monitor and utilize their Montclair State University email account. All email correspondence will only be sent to a Montclair State University email account.

  • Blackboard - An important component of the course will be conducted with the use of Blackboard. Assignments and course documents will be posted on Blackboard and students are required to become proficient with it and utilize it extensively.

General Course Policies:

  1. No late work will be accepted. If you are absent the day an assignment is due, you must e-mail your work to me prior to 4:30PM that day.

  2. No make-up assignments will be provided. Students who are absent from class are expected to obtain any class information missed.

  3. Each student is responsible for his/her own learning and education. All work submitted by the student must be his/her own. Plagiarism is a serious offense in college. The instructor will determine the ramifications if a student or students are found to have plagiarized. Assignment failure, course failure and/or notification to the Dean of Students office may be imposed.

  4. All writing assignments must be double spaced, 11-12 point, and have one-inch margins all around. Additionally, all writing assignments must be STAPLED and have a cover sheet attached to the front page including your name, date, title of the assignment and course section number.

  5. The use of electronic devices is not allowed in class. This means no laptops, cell phones, iPads, two-way radios, SINGARS, MBITTERS, ECM Jammers, etc.

Grade Distribution

Attendance/Participation: 20%

Journal Assignments (4): 20%

Career Preparation Assignment: 10%

Final Portfolio: 10%

Group Project: 10%

In Class Writing/Exercises 10%

Final Exam: 20%


Regularly attending your classes is a necessity for academic success, so naturally a course designed for college preparation needs to be representative of that fact. Every two absences will lower your final grade by one-half letter grade (If your final grade is an A, you would be then be given an A- after two absences). Late arrivals will count as 1/3rd of an absence and, therefore, three late arrivals counts as a full day of being absent.

Exceptions can always be made, but prior notice must be given before absences or late arrivals are excused. Instances of family and medical emergencies will always be excused as long as documentation is provided.

Journal Assignments

Students will either be assigned a journal topic or permitted select a journal topic from a list of approved options. Journals must be submitted in the following format (see attached). Journals will not require any research. They will require an honest reflection on a given topic. Don’t phone it in!

Career Preparation Assignment

Take three skills you learned in the military and describe, in military terms, your duties and responsibilities. Take the same three skills and translate them into civilian language. When translating the skills, think in terms of using the skills on a future resume or when applying for civilian jobs.

Group/Team Project (Oral Presentations)

The Adult Academic Success Seminar course incorporates group learning; therefore, a group project is required for the course. The groups are comprised of no more than 4-6 students and require students to work collaboratively, sharing duties and responsibilities. The presentations will be approximately 10 -15 minutes and will require the students to produce a handout, visual aid, and works cited. More information on the project will be given out and discussed later in the course.

Presentations will be evaluated using the following guidelines:

  • Content is presented in a clear and understandable manner.

  • All members of the project interact with their peers and the professor to answer questions in an appropriate and correct manner.

  • Group utilizes technology, articles, audio/visuals, statistics, etc. to support and present idea.

Final Portfolio

Your final portfolio must include the following:

  1. A quotation that “speaks” to you.

  2. Your purpose statement from Journal #1 (p 18 in your book)

  3. A creative piece (poem, drawing, painting) you composed this semester. The piece must address your transition into college.

  4. One meaningful goal you accomplished this semester. Each goal must be accompanied by a paragraph describing why it is meaningful to you.

  5. One meaningful goal you hope to accomplish by the end of June 2013. Each goal must be accompanied by a paragraph describing why it is meaningful to you.

  6. The Career Preparation Assignment revised with any necessary corrections.

Final Exam

The final exam will be comprised of two essay questions which will be distributed on November 28th (in class). The essay questions will be due on the final day of class (December 19th). Additional details will be provided during the semester.

*Any student with a documented physical, sensory, psychological or learning disability requiring

academic accommodations should make arrangements through The Office of

Services for Students with Disabilities. (Morehead Hall 305, X5431)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.

Grading Scale (based on total points earned)

A 95-100 B+ 87-89 C+ 77-79 D+ 67-69 F 0-59

A- 90-94 B 83-86 C 73-76 D 63-66

B- 80-82 C- 70-72 D- 60-62

Promise me that you will always remember: You’re braver than you believe,

stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

~Christopher Robin to Pooh
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