First Edition   ©2016


Empowering College and Career Success

Paul A. Gore (Xavier University) , Wade Leuwerke (Drake University) , A. J. Metz (University of Utah)

  • ISBN-10: 1-4576-2840-6; ISBN-13: 978-1-4576-2840-5; Format: Paper Text, 416 pages

Firmly rooted in the concepts of positive psychology. The text encourages all students to develop their strengths, celebrate progress, and use setbacks as opportunities for growth. Positive psychology concepts are introduced in Chapter 1 and referenced continuously throughout.   Balanced and holistic coverage of important college success topics. Connections, Second Edition begins with a look at the foundational skills and mind-sets necessary for college success (critical thinking, goal setting, decision making, motivation, personal responsibility, learning, and time management), before providing comprehensive, balanced coverage of both academic and life skills. This holistic approach emphasizes the importance of both cognitive and noncognitive skills.   Integrates ACES prompts throughout the text. Starting on the first day of class, Connections, Second Edition helps students develop a thoughtful, strengths-based understanding of themselves through ACES (Academic and Career Excellence System), an online self-assessment that gives students, instructors, and administrators the data they need to succeed.
  • Students take ACES at the start of their college success course to get a snapshot of their attitudes, skills, habits, and opportunities for improvement.
  • Throughout the book, students have the opportunity to reflect on their ACES results and use text content to develop and strengthen their skills in each area. This enables Connections and ACES to work together as a unified system.
  • New to the Second Edition, students can also take ACES a second time at the end of the term. By comparing these new results with their earlier ACES scores, they’re able to celebrate areas of improvement and identify areas for future growth.
ACES is available within LaunchPad for Connections, Second Edition, which can be packaged with the text or purchased on its own.

Prominent and practical coverage of critical thinking and goal setting.

  • Chapter 2, Thinking Critically and Setting Goals, presents these essential skills up front in one cohesive chapter.
  • Self-assessments and activities throughout the text encourage students to think critically about their work and themselves.
  • Included at the end of Chapters 2-14, the Personal Success Plan (PSP) provides students with a structured platform for SMART goal setting and action planning. It encourages students to think metacognitively about the skills they develop as they set and achieve goals, and to consider how those skills might be useful in a future career.
A strong emphasis on college and career connections. A discrete section at the end of each chapter illustrates how chapter topics apply to the world of work; Chapter 13 on academic and career planning helps students begin creating their own personal roadmaps to success; "College Success = Career Success" activities at the end of each chapter further emphasizes the college/career connection; and an in-depth appendix focuses on conducting a job search.

Clear connections to students' academic and life plans.

  • "Connect" prompts. Integrated throughout each chapter, these brief exercises encourage students to think about how the chapter’s ideas connect to their personal experiences, current coursework, career goals, and available resources.
  • Voices of Experience narratives. Each chapter includes two Voices of Experience narratives—one from a student and one from an employee or employer. These first-person stories show the real-world effects of chapter concepts in the lives of college students and graduates.
A strong foundation in research. Research backs the authors’ guidance to students throughout the book, and the Spotlight on Research feature introduces original research to students in an accessible way.   Chapter Activities that reinforce key themes, prompt self-reflection, and strengthen skills. Each chapter concludes with four activities that instructors can assign as homework or use to prompt class discussion and student engagement.
  • The Journal Entry encourages written reflection on a wide array of topics.
  • Adopting a Success Attitude focuses on positive psychology concepts.
  • Applying Your Skills helps students apply the skills they’ve learned in the chapter.
  • College Success = Career Success helps students connect what they’re learning in college with skills they’ll need in their careers.
LaunchPad for Connections (available to be packaged with the text) drives student reflection and goal-setting with a powerful, state-of-the-art student self-assessment called ACES (Academic and Career Excellence System). ACES delivers a norm-referenced report in 12 key areas impactful for college success, so that students can see a realistic picture of their starting point, capitalize on their strengths, and set goals to improve in their growth areas. LaunchPad also features LearningCurve adaptive quizzing, a formative assessment that helps build confidence and mastery of the skills for success, as well as video case studies, which provide positive modeling for building self-efficacy.   A complete package of instructor and student support materials. Instructor resources include an Instructor's Manual, a Computerized Test Bank, lecture slides, classroom response questions, and an Instructor's Annotated Edition featuring suggestions for activities, discussion prompts, writing prompts, and further reading materials.