The College Puzzle Blog
Prior PostingsAbout
Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

Guest Contributor: My Book on College Success

Like Dr. Kirst, I (Peter Burns) am quite concerned that students are ill-prepared for college. One part of the preparation problem stems from their lack of understanding about how to approach academic life at the university-level. During my time in higher education as a student, teaching assistant, and professor, I realized that many keys to college success are not a mystery, but few students fully understand them.

I offered strategies, lessons, and advice to many students, most of whom employed these tips to earn higher grades and to increase the amount they learned. Based on the importance of the information I collected over the years, I decided to write Success in College: From Cs in High School to As in College, which provides advice that students need, but rarely get, in order to earn excellent grades and success in college.

I use my experience as a successful undergraduate student and an award-winning professor to convey important lessons about collegiate success. I encourage people to read this book and to use this book to help students learn more and achieve higher grades.

To view the first chapter of this book, click the following link to the web site:

Here are what I regard as some of the essential points in the book:

Success in College offers critical advice about the attitude students need in order to succeed in college.

It provides insight into the kinds of expectations students should have about the college experience.

The book shows students how to plan for the semester.

It offers critical tips about study habits, advice on exams, paper writing, note taking, and in-class behavior.

Success in College presents the view of an insider regarding how students should approach professors.

It describes and compares the behavior of good students and not-so-good students.

This book also offers advice to parents about what their children need from them during the academic year.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: The Purpose of this Book (You Can Make College a Learning Experience)

Chapter One: What Is the Goal of your Collegiate Experience? (The Goal is To Learn)

Chapter Two: Expectations (This Isn't High School Toto)

Chapter Three: Preparing for the Semester (How to Outrun the Avalanche)

Chapter Four: Stages of the Semester (Will You Work Hard During the Dog Days?)

Chapter Five: Study Habits (Make Studying a Habit)

Chapter Six: Advice on Exams (Prepare, Don't Cram)

Chapter Seven: Paper Writing (Build a Tasty and Well-Presented Cake)

Chapter Eight: Notes (Write, Read, Write, Read, Read)

Chapter Nine: Your Professors (Is the Professor Dr. Jekyll or Mr./Ms. Hyde?)

Chapter Ten: Scheduling of Classes (Make a Well-Balanced Schedule)

Chapter Eleven: In-Class Etiquette (Oh Behave)

Chapter Twelve: Evaluate Your Performance (Figure Out What You Did Wrong, and Try to Fix It)

Chapter Thirteen: Good Student vs. Not-So-Good Student (Which One Are You? Which One Will You Be?)

Chapter Fourteen: How Parents Can Help Their Children Succeed (Parents Just Don't Understand)

Chapter Fifteen: The Most Important Points (If You Work Hard, the Grades Will Come)


Copyright 2006 My College Puzzle