How to Get a 4.0 GPA: On Course Newsletter 07-18-17 -h

From: james wilkie <james.wilkie>
Date: Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 12:17 AM
Subject: How to Get a 4.0 GPA: On Course Newsletter 07-18-17 -h
"On Course (Student Success Strategies)" <oncourseconferenceb>


"By the second week of the semester, I found myself falling back into old habits…"

July 18, 2017


Best Practices for Improving

Student Learning & Retention


How to Get a 4.0 GPA

Dominic Grasseth, Student
Lane Community College, OR

Watch Dominic’s video
or read his story below….

Enrolling in college at the age of twenty-eight was very intimidating to me. Having dropped out of high school at fifteen, I had a real problem with confidence. Even though I had a GED and was earning a decent living as a car salesman, I still doubted that I was smart enough to be successful in college.

I finally took the leap and enrolled because I want a career where I don’t have to work twelve hours a day, six days a week and never see my family. However, by the second week of the semester, I found myself falling back into old habits. I was sitting in the back of the classroom, asking what homework was due, and talking through most of the class.

Negative thoughts constantly ran through my mind: The teachers won’t like me. I can’t compete with the eighteen-year-olds right out of high school. I don’t even remember what a "verb" is. I can’t do this.

Then in my College Success class, we read Chapter 2 of On Course about becoming a Creator and disputing "stinkin’ thinkin’." I realized I had taken on the role of the Victim almost my whole life, and I was continuing to do it now.

One day I was on my porch when I caught myself thinking my usual negative thoughts. It occurred to me that I was the only one holding me back, not the teachers, not the other students, not math, not English. If I wanted to be successful in college, I had to quit being scared. I had to change my thinking. So I made a deal with myself that any time I caught myself thinking negatively, I would rephrase the statement in a way that was more positive. I started to truly pay attention to the thoughts in my head and question the negative things I was telling myself.

After that I began sitting up front in my classes and participating more. I’ve always been kind of scattered, so I started using a calendar and a dry erase board to keep track of what I had to do.
What amazes me is that I didn’t really make that big of a change, yet I finished the semester with a 4.0 average! All I did was realize that what I was saying to myself was my underlying problem.

I am responsible for my thoughts, and the choice about whether or not to succeed is mine. These days when I have a ridiculous thought going through my mind and I change it, I smile. It’s very empowering.


Learn great new strategies from educators who are changing the lives of their students and transforming their colleges into learner-centered institutions.

Join us for our 13th year, April 12-14, 2018, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Anaheim, CA.

On Course I:

* July 23-26, 2017 near Baltimore/DC

* August 6-9, 2017 near Baltimore/DC

* Oct. 12-15, 2017 near San Francisco

On Course II:

* Nov. 2-5, 2017 near San Francisco

Bring a dynamic professional development workshop to your campus.

Our workshops present and model engaging learner-centered educational practices.

Participants leave with effective new strategies they can implement immediately.

These strategies empower students to become active, responsible learners, improving student academic success and retention.

Each year more than 100,000 students take a class with Skip Downing’s book On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life (Cengage).

Through self-assessments, articles on proven success strategies, guided journals, case studies, and inspiring stories from fellow students, On Course empowers students to create success in college and beyond.


A Good Road workshops are designed for high school teachers, counselors, and administrators, offering proven strategies in learner effectiveness that increase completion rates and learning outcomes.

The accompanying textbook gives students the tools they need to succeed in high school and be ready for college and career. Now used in middle/high schools and success programs across the country.

On Course National Workshops Open for Registration

Held at conference centers on both coasts of the United States, these workshops are ideal for all college faculty, student success instructors, counselors, Trio personnel, and administrators looking for a proven approach to dramatically improve student learning, retention, and graduation.

The On Course Workshops, both OCI and OCII, are the most beneficial trainings I have ever participated in. I am leaving with so many tools & such insight. Thank you!

-Mary Parthemer, Director, Trio Learning Center, Lane Community College, OR

On Campus Workshops have been hosted by:

Chippewa Valley Community College, WI
Lakeland College, Alberta, CN
Tri-Rivers Career Center for Adult Education, OH

More information?

National Workshops

Campus Workshops

National Conference

On Course Textbook

Free Educator Resources


Choosing a Good Road (High School Program)
MYndworks (Games and Products to Enhance Student Success)

ATTEND the August 6-9, 2017 On Course I Workshop near Baltimore/Washington DC

On Course | workshop |
61 Renato Court #21A
Redwood City, CA 94061
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