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CEP 123: College and Career Success Course Overview


Introduction • Since Spring 2011, I have taught CEP 123: College and Career Success for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Nevada State College. • This presentation presents some of the teaching and learning strategies used in the course. It also provides an overview of the presentation of course content using the WebCampus Learning Management System.

Course Description • This class is designed to be a conduit for student success at NSC; students will gain insight into the college by learning how to navigate through college, understanding their style of learning and communication, successfully using critical thinking skills, and beginning to develop career knowledge.

Course Objectives Upon completion of this course, the student should: • Take responsibility for success in the college environment. • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of MS Office. • Apply learning styles. • Develop test taking and study skills. • Use library resources. • Be aware of services offered at NSC. • Develop time and stress management skills.

• Know NSC history, mission, organization, policies, resources, and traditions. • Participate in opportunities for personal development. • Appreciate culturally diverse backgrounds. • Understand the importance of class attendance and participation. • Evaluate career aptitude and investigate various career options and college majors.

COURSE TEXT Carter, C., Bishop, J., & Kravits, S. L. (2009). Student success & career development. New York, NY: Pearson.

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A Look at the Course Schedule • Throughout the semester, a variety of lessons and activities were implemented to meet course objectives. WebCampus was used to complement classroom instruction provided each week. • Various instructional methods were used, including lecture, small- and whole-group instruction, guest lectures, self- and peer-assessment. • Critical thinking and teamwork skills were fostered throughout the course as students participated in class discussions and group activities. These skills were also used for writing chapter reading summaries, applying APA formatting guidelines, completing computer skills assessments, writing essays, participating in group presentations, and compiling career portfolios.


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Day One Questionnaire • During the first week of class, students completed a Day One Questionnaire. The questionnaire contained a series of questions to determine student interests and college-related concerns. This information was used to tailor lectures to the needs and interests of students. • Questions included: • What are at least three things you want to learn from this class? • Attending college can be a challenging transitional experience. Do you have any concerns about your transition to attending college? • What are some of your favorite movies? • What are some of your hobbies?

Day One Questionnaire • Students were also asked to rank course-related topics as follows: • Rank the following topics from 1 to 9 according to your interest in learning about them. (1 = most important to learn and 9 = least important to learn) How people learn _________ Managing finances _________ Managing stress _________ Using library and research resources _________ What to expect from college courses _________ Time management _________ How to use WebCampus _________ Academic assistance on campus _________ Diversity on campus _________

Day One Questionnaire • During the Spring 2012 semester, student answers revealed that they were most interested in stress management, time management, managing money, and how people learn. • In response to student requests, I presented lectures related to each of these topics. An overview of the lecture on Multiple Intelligences appears on the next two slides.

Multiple Intelligences Lecture • The objective of this lesson was for students to identify and apply multiple intelligences. • Prior to class, students read information describing the 8 Multiple Intelligences and used Sherfield’s Multiple Intelligences Survey (MIS) provided in the text (p. 51) to find their top intelligences. • In class, we discussed characteristics of each of the eight intelligences and then watched a video clip from the movie, Akeelah and the Bee. (Click the picture to view the clip.) • Students were asked to identify the intelligence category demonstrated in the clip and provide evidence from the video to explain their answers. • The clip demonstrated the intelligences of Body/Kinesthetic and Musical/Rhythm, as evidenced by the coach who is keeping time by tapping a can and by the student who is jumping rope as she learns spelling words.


Multiple Intelligences Lecture • After discussing the video, students divided into groups based on their intelligence categories. • Each small group discussed the study tips recommended for their category. The following questions were used to guide the discussion: • • • •

Which of these tips have you used? Which ones worked best? Which ones did not work well? Which ones would you like to try?

• In a whole-group discussion, individual students from each small group presented group characteristics and discussed insights from the small group discussion. • Throughout the semester, I presented strategies for applying multiple intelligences to various learning-related activities such as note-taking, reading, and writing.


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Student Skill Development Class activities for CEP 123 were designed to emphasize the development of skills such as: • • • • •

Writing Analytical Thinking Use of Technology Organization Teamwork

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Writing: Essays • Students were required to prepare reading summaries. • After reading each chapter, students summarized and processed the information by writing an essay that included five paragraphs. The first three paragraphs summarized the information presented in the chapter. In the final two paragraphs, students discussed how the information could be applied to their college experience. • A checklist was provided for self-evaluation of summaries prior to submission for grading. • The summaries were prepared throughout the semester. They provided practice for writing a reflective essay at the end of the term. Instructor-evaluated summaries were returned to students with comments to be used for writing improvement.

Writing: Essays • Students were required to write a reflective essay based on information from a chapter from the text entitled Prioritize: Managing Your Time and Money Wisely. • The essay included a summary of the chapter and an explanation of how the information could be applied. • Prior to the assignment, I used web resources from Harvard University and Purdue University to teach students the purpose of APA and how to apply APA formatting guidelines. Links were provided in WebCampus for students to review as needed. • Prior to the assignment, I also presented and discussed the assignment evaluation checklist and a sample paper and title page to be used as formatting guides. These documents were available in WebCampus for student review.

Analytical Thinking: Analysis of Media Messages • In a lecture on reading and study skills, students applied analytical thinking skills to commercial advertising. • Prior to the lecture, students read a chapter from the textbook that presented information related to reading and study skills, including SQ3R, critical thinking, and media literacy. • In class, we discussed the use of critical thinking in reading, active reading methods, and media literacy. • After the discussion, students used analytical thinking skills to analyze the messages presented in a television commercial.

Analytical Thinking: Analysis of Media Messages • Students divided into groups to practice analytical thinking skills. After watching a television commercial, each group discussed one of the following questions based on The Five Core Concepts of Media Literacy, developed by The Center for Media Literacy and presented in the text (p. 130). • Group 1: What emotions did the advertiser want you to feel? What opinions did the ad want you to develop? • Group 2: What was the “language” of the commercial? What words, music, colors, timing were used? Why? • Group 3: What audience was the commercial designed to reach? How would someone 14-25 years old react to the commercial as opposed to someone over the age of 40? Who would better relate to the theme—men or women? • Group 4: What are the values and biases of the people who created the commercial?

Analytical Thinking: Analysis of Media Messages • After the small group discussion, individual students from each group discussed their answers with the class. • After the discussion, students watched the commercial again, while considering how the analytical thinking skills they had just practiced could be applied to future learning. • Students discussed their thoughts in groups, and then presented their ideas to the class.

Analytical Thinking: Evaluation of Web-Based Resources • Another way that students used analytical thinking skills was to evaluate the quality of web-based resources. • Prior to class, students read a chapter from the text that included information on using the library and the Internet to conduct research. • In class, I presented a lecture based on readings from the text. After the lecture, students participated in a group activity in which they evaluated a website. Their goal was to determine the website’s suitability for use as a reference in a published research article. • Students were asked to remember a time that they were required to write a research paper. Then they answered the question, “How did you determine which resources were appropriate for the paper?” • After the discussion, I displayed an article from Wikipedia that explained the process for posting information to the site. We discussed the value of Wikipedia as a reliable source of information and discussed the issue of bias in Wikipedia articles. Several students discussed an activity from another class in which they had edited Wikipedia articles. They noted the fact that anyone can easily make edits to Wikipedia, thus introducing bias to articles posted on the site.

Analytical Thinking: Evaluation of Web-Based Resources • WebLinks posted in WebCampus were used to display this article. Students were given a handout based on Criteria for Evaluating Web Resources. As I presented each guideline, individual students answered questions from each category presented in the handout. Students took notes as questions were answered. • At first glance, the article appeared to be a case analysis of a tornado and appropriate for use as a reference. A reference to NOAA/ERL National Severe Storms Laboratory appeared in the heading, and a Google search revealed that the authors were meteorologists associated with NOAA. However, closer inspection revealed that the article presented facts about The Wizard of Oz as if the events in the movie actually happened. • After the students realized that the article was about The Wizard of Oz, we discussed the importance of investigating research sources.

Use of Technology: MS Office Applications • Students demonstrated the ability to use the MS Office Suite for word processing, electronic presentations, and the creation of spreadsheets. • Students in this course had varied technology skill levels, from basic to advanced. They also used different versions of MS Office at home. For these reasons, technology learning activities were self-paced. • Detailed instructions, sample documents, and links to online tutorials were provided for self-paced student training. Additional assistance was provided as needed through oneon-one training sessions with the instructor or through the Student Academic Center.

Use of Technology: MS Office Applications • In WebCampus, multiple links were provided for each version of the software to provide direct access to tutorials. • For example, to complete the word processing assignment, students were required to perform the activities listed below. WebLinks to tutorials for each activity were available in WebCampus. Word 2010: Create a document Word 2010: Edit text and revise your document Word 2010: Bullets, numbers, and lists Word 2010: Header/footer basics and page numbering Word 2010: How to create a PDF from a Word document

• Tutorial links were provided for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in MS Office 2003, MS Office 2007, and MS Office 2010.

Organization: Career Portfolio • Job-seeking skills were an important component of the course, and during the semester, several career-related lectures were presented. In these lectures, I provided an overview of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, and students received instruction related to the job search process, including how to conduct job searches, prepare cover letters, and create resumes. They also learned job interview skills and demonstrated knowledge of appropriate/inappropriate interview techniques by writing and performing short skits. • A variety of websites were uploaded to WebCampus and used during lectures to present career information. Websites included: • • • • • •

Choosing References Preparing Reference Sheets Job Interview Guidelines Video Examples of Good and Bad Interviews How to Handle Illegal Interview Questions Typical Interview Questions

Organization: Career Portfolio • Students were required to create a career portfolio that included the following components: • Research summary, in paragraph form, with career information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Information was to include educational requirements, working conditions, and salary ranges for 3 careers • Written narrative, with observations about each potential career choice and an evaluation of how well each career choice is suited for the student • Employment advertisement for a job in the chosen career field • Cover letter • Resume • Academic Plan prepared in consultation with the student’s advisor • Academic Plan Procedures • Academic Plan Worksheet

• The portfolio was to be formatted in APA style and organized with tabs and a table of contents in a report cover. • Prior to creating the portfolio, students were given a checklist that was used to evaluate the portfolio.

Teamwork: Group Presentation • Students demonstrated teamwork and presentation skills by working with a small group of classmates to prepare and present an electronic slide presentation. • Groups collected information about a student organization and presented findings to the class using a class handout and PowerPoint® presentation software. Examples of organizations included: Information Technology Services/WebCampus, the Nevada State Student Alliance, Student Academic Center, the Career Center, Student Support Services, Financial Aid Services, The Writing Center, etc. • To collect information, each group visited the organization being researched or interviewed a member of the organization. Pictures and informational brochures and documents were included in the presentations. • Each group submitted these documents on presentation day: • • • •

Printed copy of the electronic presentation Class handout that summarized presentation content Blank evaluation form that included the names of all group members Confidential teamwork evaluation questionnaire


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WebCampus Overview • The WebCampus system was used throughout the semester to supplement face-to-face instruction. • The course syllabus and all links and handouts used in the class were available in WebCampus. • During lectures and class activities, WebCampus was used to access web resources, handouts, and electronic presentations used for instruction. • The grade book tool in WebCampus was used to provide grade updates. • Each week, a class agenda was made available in WebCampus so that students could prepare for class. The agenda could also be used by students who were absent so that they could prepare for the next class meeting. All agendas included file references that directed students to lesson materials available in WebCampus.

WebCampus Home Page The WebCampus Home Page provided links to the syllabus, lectures, and course materials.

WebCampus Course Materials Course materials were available in WebCampus. Examples include weekly agendas, quizzes, assignment guidelines and evaluation forms, assignment examples, and forms. Each week, I presented the current agenda and demonstrated how to access course materials for the current lecture. Guidelines for upcoming assignments were presented in class using the documents available in WebCampus. Students were given opportunities to ask assignment-related questions.

WebCampus Announcements WebCampus Announcements provided relevant information for students. Each time the Grade Center was updated, an announcement was posted. General observations concerning assignments were also announced when grades were updated.

WebCampus Syllabus An electronic copy of the course syllabus was available in WebCampus. The syllabus was created using the template provided by the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Per departmental policy, due to limited office space, office hours for adjunct faculty were held by appointment, as noted in the syllabus.

WebCampus Web Links Hyperlinks to relevant web resources were provided in WebCampus on the Web Links tool. Resources uploaded to WebCampus were used during lectures. Tutorials, supplemental materials, and links to campus resources were also available through the Web Links tool.

WebCampus My Grades Grades were updated throughout the semester and were available to students through the My Grades tool.

Concluding words‌ During my time at Nevada State College, I have developed a love for the school and a deep admiration for the faculty and staff who dedicate themselves to our students. Teaching gives me great pleasure, and I enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge with students. I am dedicated to continual self-reflection and to the improvement of my practice. I enjoy collaborating and exchanging ideas with students and colleagues to acquire new insights and skills. My aim is for students to develop pride in Nevada State College, a love of learning, knowledge of their unique abilities, effective study tools, an appreciation for diversity, and personal and professional skills that will serve them well as they complete their studies and enter the workforce.

Course Overview