Book by John Ricchini & Terry Arndt
Review by Rebecca Daly Cofer
Student Disability Services
Texas Tech University

From freshman orientation, through how to balance money, to how to find a job, college students must learn to cope with the many changes that accompany the freedom of college life. John Ricchini and Terry Arndt address many of these topics, and even some that are often avoided, in their book Voyage to Success: Your College Adventure Guide. Although the exploration theme sometimes seems a bit heavy handed and unnecessary, this text can serve as a useful tool for students from the day they arrive at college to the dreaded employment hunt. Ricchini and Arndt’s work is largely geared to the student enrolled in college, but its usefulness for the academic advisor is also significant.  

Voyage to Success provides a guide to the major concerns and motivations that drive a college student. While this book is well suited for a freshman orientation course that introduces the student to the college life, it also is useful for the academic advisor seeking to gain an accurate perspective of the college student’s struggles and concerns. Each chapter addresses key topics for the average college student including who is the academic advisor, studying, and self-esteem.  Included in these chapters are quotations from famous scholars and authors. Concluding each chapter is an Individual Exercises section and a Group Exercises section where the reader can apply the ideas learned from the chapter to a real-life scenario.  The individual exercises tend to be more useful, often referring the student to a campus resource or suggesting how to develop a skill. The group exercises include valuable tools, but are often too didactic in nature as readers are asked to break up into teams and answer questions about a brief scenario.  Overall, though, the book’s format is useful and easy to follow.  

Richinni and Arndt begin their first chapter by describing the role of the academic advisor to the college student.  They tell the student that “Your academic advisor needs your assistance to complete his or her tasks” (p. 15). In each chapter the authors encourage the student to be a self-advocate in interactions ranging from meeting with the academic advisor to finding employment beyond college. One of the most positive aspects of this text is that it addresses many issues that the typical college guide does not.  For instance, the authors devote chapters to topics such as budgeting, homesickness and self-esteem. An advisor can truly appreciate the diverse and honest topics addressed in Voyage to Success.  

Ideally, Voyage to Success: Your College Adventure Guide is useful for a freshman orientation course taught by an academic advisor. However, this book also would be useful to the academic advisor who wishes to gain more insight into students’ lives. The advisor can use this book as a resource when advising students or for gaining a new perspective of college life. I strongly recommend this text to any advisor seeking an orientation text.

Voyage to Success: Your College Adventure Guide.  (2004).  Book by John Ricchini & Terry Arndt.  Review by Rebecca Daly Cofer. Alexandria, VA:  A Life After Graduation Publication, LLC, 240 pp.  $24.95 (paperback).  ISBN # 097009444-2
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