Connections Essentials
First Edition   ©2018

Connections Essentials

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

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-03082-3; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-03082-7; Format: Paper Text, 272 pages

All the essential information in one easy-to-use resource. Brief and to the point, each of the text’s twelve chapters focuses on the most important concepts and skills for student success. Coverage starts with the motivational skills and mindsets necessary for college success, and then moves on to academic and life skills. The book’s magazine-style format, pop-out articles, and attractive visual program make it a fun read for students!

ACES—the Academic and Career Excellence System—gives students, instructors, and administrators the data they need to succeed. Starting on the first day of class, Connections Essentials helps students develop a thoughtful, strengths-based understanding of themselves through ACES, the Academic and Career Excellence System, an online self-assessment. 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 and journal about their ACES results. Instructors can use ACES data to drive conversations in and outside the classroom while administrators can use it to learn about their students and assess and allocate resources in a more in-depth and comprehensive way than ever before. ACES is available within LaunchPad Solo for Connections Essentials which can be packaged with the text.

The holistic, strengths-based approach is designed for a broad range of students and institutions. Firmly rooted in positive psychology, Connections Essentials encourages all students to develop their strengths, celebrate progress, and use setbacks as opportunities for growth. With coverage and examples drawn from a diverse group of students and institutions, the text is designed for an audience with a wide range of experiences—including recent high school graduates, returning adult learners, commuters, and students living on campus.

Prominent coverage of critical thinking and goal setting helps students develop key skills necessary for success. Chapter 2, Thinking Critically and Setting Goals, presents these essential skills up front. Self-assessments and activities throughout the text encourage students to think critically about their work and themselves. Chapters 2–12 prompt students to develop their own Personal Success Plans. Praised by reviewers, student use these class-tested, concrete steps to set goals, achieve them, and take charge of their own successes.

Content and features that connect with students' academic and life plans. Students often wonder how the material they learn in this class connects to what they're doing in their other classes – and their careers. Connections Essentials addresses this question head on:

  • A full chapter on academic and career planning (Chapter 12) helps students begin creating their own personal road maps to success, and career-focused examples throughout the text illustrate how a wide range of topics apply to the world of work.
  • Student "Voices of Experience" narratives are included in each chapter. These first-person stories show the real-world effects of chapter concepts in the lives of college students across the country.
  • A strong foundation in research. Research backs the authors’ guidance to students throughout the book; articles and features throughout the text introduce original research in an accessible way that helps students connect the findings to their own experiences.

LaunchPad Solo for Connections Essentials offers powerful online content and tools. The LaunchPad Solo online course space includes the ACES student self-assessment, LearningCurve adaptive quizzing, Student Voices videos, and a gradebook that offers a window into your students' performance. Use LaunchPad Solo on its own or integrate it with your school’s learning management system so your class is always on the same page. LaunchPad Solo for Connections can be packaged with the text.

A complete package of instructor support materials accompanies Connections Essentials, including an Instructor's Manual, a Computerized Test Bank, and lecture slides.