Book by Carol Carter, Joyce Bishop & Sarah Lyman Kravits
Review by Keith Rocci
University College
The University of Arizona

Achieving success in college can be difficult.  Whether students seek success during their first year or help in getting back on track toward graduation, proper resources are vital. Keys to Success can be a valuable resource for any advisor, student services professional, or college student.  Moreover, students within any college success course would benefit from using this text.

Carter, Bishop, and Kravits have created a text that follows the progression of the college experience and explores what it takes to be successful. For example, the theory of multiple intelligences is presented in a clear fashion (p. 66).  Note taking, time management, and exam preparation are also effectively presented.  Many practical techniques are revealed that can be used immediately by students.  A sample visual approach to note taking is provided (p.178); students can easily see this and adapt it to the content in their classes.

The authors effectively discuss non-academic aspects of college success such as personal wellness and money management. They include an organized list of the signs of depression that is a useful resource. The dangers of certain substances are defined in a clear academic structure (p 304-307).  A sample of a student’s monthly budget is a valued resource for any reader (p. 340).  Some difficult topics such as sex education are presented in the text (p. 309-313). The developmental value of this information is integral to successful student outcomes.

Any advisor or success course instructor can benefit from this text. Contemporary student development issues routinely addressed by academic advisors are effectively explored.  These include helping students understand how to manage their lives. The “learning about values” section was particularly interesting since it discussed defining academic integrity (p. 32-33), an issue students need to understand.

Why read this book?  First, the issues presented are easily defined. An advisor can learn very practical techniques to address current student issues.  Second, being a college student has changed vastly during the last five years. Technology has changed the student and the higher education professional alike. This text will assist any advisor in understanding the scope of being a college student today. Third, the authors provide answers to some very tough developmental issues; these issues are vital in the successful developmental advising process.  Finally, the text can provide insight to new advisors regarding the many resources available for college students.

I would recommend that this text be included in every advising department’s library. The issues addressed and answers presented are drawn from real life; they are contemporary to the new college student.  Even re-entry students will benefit from the resources found in this text.  Developmental advisors and college counselors will find a wealth of resources. Reading this text will result in a better, more informed student services professional.

Keys to Success: Building Successful Intelligence for College, Career, and Life. (2006). Book by Carol Carter, Joyce Bishop & Sarah Lyman Kravits. Review by Keith Rocci. Columbus, OH: Prentice Hall, Person Education, 432 pp.  ISBN # 0-13-171506-2,
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