Book by Gardner, J. N., Jewler, A. J. & Barefoot, B. O
Review by: Amy Burns
College of Architecture and Design
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Your College Experience: Strategies for Success, is designed to be used as a textbook for a first year seminar course. This book provides first year seminar instructors and students with a wide range of topics to help guide discussions for a prosperous college experience.  Students who successfully complete a first year seminar course are more likely to utilize student academic support services (Franklin, Cranston, Perry, Purtle, 2002). The main goal of the text is to prepare students for success, studying and life. The topics in the book help the reader transition from a high school mindset to a college level of critical thinking. 

At the beginning of each chapter college students from a variety of locations offer examples of real-life struggles and successes they have experienced. Each chapter in the book concludes with a short exercise to provide students with the opportunity to access what they have learned. The book is not just for the use of traditional students in a four year institution; it is also helpful for students in a two year institution and/or nontraditional students. The book is especially beneficial for the nontraditional student.  Many nontraditional students find their first year seminar course to be their main connection to campus offices (Schroeder, 2003).

The authors of the book are the leading experts on the subject of first year experiences.  In addition to this book serving as first year seminar textbook, it may also be used as a resource guide for academic advisors and orientation leaders who are working with first year or returning students.


Franklin, K. K., Cranston, V., Perry, S. N., Purtle, D. K., & Robertson, B. E. (2002). Conversations with metropolitan university first-year students. Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 14 (2), 57-88.

Schroeder, C. (2003). The first year and beyond. About Campus, 8 (4), 9-16

Your college experience: Strategies for success (9th ed.) Book by Gardner, J. N., Jewler, A. J. & Barefoot, B. O. Review by Amy Burns. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin's. 368 pp. $66.95. ISBN # 0312687745

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