Orientation Course Changing Lives

When Ladawna Crumsley, Business Management major in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS), found out she had to take a College Study Skills course she was frustrated. Crumsely had already taken similar classes at another university and felt it would be a waste of time.

“I thought it was just for college freshmen, but I was wrong. The part about the inner critic and inner defender was me. By reading this book I have learned so much about myself,” Crumsley said.

The book Crumsley is referring to is On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life by Skip Downing. When Joyce Tatro-Manes came to OCU to take the Curriculum Coordinator position for onsite programs, the administration wanted to shift to being more learner-centered with a focus on metacognition. On Course seemed like the ideal text selection to Tatro-Manes while she was seeking to make those changes to College Study Skills.

“Students are encouraged to critically think about how they view themselves, how they handle stress, how they make choices, how they can change internal scripts, and even how they can manage their time,” Tatro-Manes said.

For Crumsley, the course proved to be valuable beyond the classroom.

“My life is forever changed. I was so lost and stuck in my roles. I now know how I got off course and how not to do it again," Crumsley said.  “I am happy and I haven't been able to say that for years. I know this may sound unbelievable, but the knowledge I received from this class has helped me love myself again.”

Jessica Haddix, AGS Business Management major, didn’t think that one class would make her revaluate her life and how she deals with ups and downs. “I have learned how to change my thoughts and behaviors. I’m starting to think more highly of myself and being way more motivated.”

Haddix said her family has even noticed her more positive attitude.

“The most important discovery I have made about myself is that I can be successful and achieve the goals I set if I really want them and try hard.”

College Study Skills helped Jessica Quito, AGS Business Management major, realize that some of the people in her circle were sabotaging her future plans. That awareness has helped her get back the control she needs to succeed.

“I am finding more people with the same common goals and dreams. Those will be the people that I need in my life,” Quito said.

Jason Barnes, AGS Agribusiness major, really paid close attention to the personal responsibility section of the class and now realizes that if he wants to pass his family farm business to his son one day, then he needs to take matters into his own hands.

“I want to further my education, to teach my son the importance of setting goals and how great of an accomplishment it is when you reach it,” Barnes said.

Danielle Howiler, AGS Business Management major, said the course covers all aspects of life.

“I have learned to cope with my past, make the best of my present, and work hard for my future,” Houiler said. “Celebrating your success can help your motivation grow monumentally. Examining your failures helps you learn from them. This simple equation can have a profound impact on your life.”