Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

FOCUS on College and Career Success, 2nd Edition

  • Dr. Constance Staley
  • Dr. Steve Staley
  • ISBN-10: 1435462378
  • ISBN-13: 9781435462373
  • 384 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2012
  • COPYRIGHT: 2015 Published
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About the Product

Steve Staley and Constance Staley’s FOCUS ON COLLEGE AND CAREER SUCCESS is uniquely equipped to turn the tides regarding retention among first-year college students, particularly at career, technical, and proprietary schools. Visually appealing, research-based, and highly motivational, this text thoroughly engages students with direct applications and immediate results. Steve Staley has been teaching at Colorado Technical University for 30 years and is intimately familiar with the specialized student needs of career and technical students. Constance Staley, one of the best-known names in the field of motivation and student engagement, provides a wealth of tools to help students of varied learning styles succeed in their first year of college and beyond. Thoroughly researched, the text covers the topics most important to student success and incorporates the underlying themes of professionalism, motivation, and self-discipline throughout. Rather than talking down to students or speaking over their heads, FOCUS ON COLLEGE AND CAREER SUCCESS initiates a personal and informal conversation with readers, directly connecting them with and drawing them into text discussions.


  • The "Challenge Case" highlights a student experiencing real-world challenges and opportunities, giving your students the opportunity to immediately relate to the chapter topics. Each case study invites students into a student’s personal story and demonstrates the realities that many students face when they begin college.

  • The "ONLINE TechKnow" feature highlights important skills that students should be aware of in a completely online or hybrid course. Special circumstances of the online learning environment are discussed in an easy to read, bulleted format, applying chapter-level skills to the online learning environment (e.g. navigating an online discussion board, creating meaningful relationships with instructors and peers, and online test-taking tips).

  • The "Sharpen Your Focus" feature examines the most common reasons why college students lose focus. A short exercise provides a solution for students to use in the real world to avoid those focus pitfalls.

  • With the fast pace of career and technical colleges, students need to quickly learn the study skills that will help them get through their courses successfully and efficiently. FOCUS ON COLLEGE AND CAREER SUCCESS provides thorough coverage in all areas of study skills, with chapters covering time management, listening, note-taking, reading, studying, and test taking.

  • FOCUS ON COLLEGE AND CAREER SUCCESS also provides students with all the career skills that are essential to obtaining a job, such as interview skills, resume writing, and creating a job plan. The text also helps students narrow their major to align with their interests.

About the Author

Dr. Constance Staley

Constance Staley is a Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she has directed the First-Year Seminar Program for nearly 25 of her 40 years in higher education. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Staley is the author of a multimedia training package for first-year seminar instructors, as well as the ground-breaking resource manual 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern. A well-known name in FYE circles, Staley is a leader in faculty development nation-wide. During a three-year leave from the University of Colorado, Dr. Staley joined an East Coast Fortune 500 company to design and deliver its management and supervisory training. She also represented the university as a Fulbright Fellow, teaching in the former Soviet Union in 1996. Dr. Staley earned a B.A. in education from Ball State University, and an M.A. in linguistics and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of Focus on College Success, Focus on Community College Success, and Focus on College Success Concise for Cengage Learning, and the co-author of Focus on College and Career Success with Steve Staley.

Dr. Steve Staley

Dr. Steve Staley is Professor of English and Humanities at Colorado Technical University, where in 2001 he originated, taught, and directed CTU's College Success course. Dr. Staley graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Colorado. As Assistant Dean of Faculty and Professor of English at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Dr. Staley administered the Academy's successful Rhodes Scholarship program, directed faculty development, developed the First-Year Seminar "Interdisciplinary Education at the Academy" (IDEA) program, and originated a critically acclaimed course in "Physics and Literature." As a Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College, he also served as a Research Fellow with the United Nations International Peace Academy, authoring The United Nations and Naval Peacekeeping, and co-authoring with Dr. Constance Staley Communicating in Business and The Professions: The Inside Word. As Director of Advising at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Dr. Staley helped develop the school's new First-Year Seminar program. Following a one-year Fulbright Fellowship teaching in Kyrgyzstan, he has served CTU for over 20 years as Dean of Academics, Director of Faculty Development, and Director of General Education.

Table of Contents

1. Getting the Right Start.
2. Building Dreams, Setting Goals.
3. Learning Styles and Studying.
4. Managing Your Time, Energy, and Money.
5. Thinking Critically and Creatively.
6. Learning Online.
7. Engaging, Listening, and Note-Taking in Class.
8. Reading, Writing, and Presenting.
9. Developing Memory, Taking Tests.
10. Building Relationships, Valuing Diversity.
11. Choosing a College Major and Career.
12. Creating Your Future.

New to this edition

  • The new edition of FOCUS ON COLLEGE AND CAREER SUCCESS has an increased emphasis on the topic of professionalism and its importance in the classroom and the workplace. Two features, "Going Pro" and "What's In Your Briefcase" appear in every chapter to promote this discussion in your classroom.
  • "Going Pro" features professional traits that aren’t always taught in a classroom but are integral to getting and keeping a job. Topics such as first impressions, work ethic, and self discipline are highlighted.
  • "What’s In Your Briefcase" provides students with tools to apply what they learn in the classroom to their career. It highlights topics such as expectations, grit, and working efficiently. A short discussion gives students the essentials of how to implement these soft skills in their current courses and transfer them to a job. A short exercise encourages students to consider how these skills can immediately apply to their own life.
  • Chapter 1 now features Dexter Lewis in the FOCUS Challenge Case. Dexter is a solid, hard-working family man who was recently laid off and decided to get his bachelor’s degree. But did he make the right decision?
  • Chapter 3, Learning Styles and Studying, chapter 8, Reading, Writing, and Presenting, and chapter 9, Developing Memory, Taking Tests, are all heavily revised. Chapter 6 "Learning Online" is renamed.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor Web Site with Instructor Manual, Test Bank and Power Point  (ISBN-10: 1305082249 | ISBN-13: 9781305082243)

Created to help instructors teach their course, the Instructor Website features multiple instructor resources, including the Instructor’s Manual and FOCUSPoints. FOCUSPoints is an interactive Teaching Tool that allows you to select from varied, multimedia options in class—all located in one spot. You (and your students) decide where to focus during class and then point and click. Using this interactive tool with invisible links inserted, you can lecture, do activities in the text, show FOCUS TV episodes, listen to Chapter iAudio summaries, add YouTube videos or other Internet content, or your own materials—easily and conveniently—all with this one, flexible teaching tool. No other first-year seminar textbook includes this powerful, innovative, convenient teaching aid.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285980069 | ISBN-13: 9781285980065)

FOCUS on College and Career Success, second edition, provides a flexible online testing system that allows you to author, edit, and manage the author-created Test Bank content. You can create multiple test versions instantly and deliver them through your Learning Management System from your classroom or wherever you may be with no special installs or downloads.

CSFI 2.0, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 128575803X | ISBN-13: 9781285758039)

The College Success Factors Index (CSFI) 2.0, developed by Edmond Hallberg and Kaylene Hallberg, is an online survey that students complete to assess their patterns of behavior and attitudes in ten key areas. These areas have been proven by research to affect student outcomes for success in higher education. Accessed online, the CSFI is a useful assessment tool for demonstrating the difference your college success course makes in students' academic success. At the start of the course, the CSFI helps assess incoming students and allows you to tailor your course topics to meet their needs. As a post-test, it provides an opportunity for you (and your students) to measure your progress.

Student Supplements

LMS Integrated for MindTap College Success, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305387880 | ISBN-13: 9781305387881)
CSFI 2.0, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 128575803X | ISBN-13: 9781285758039)

The College Success Factors Index (CSFI) 2.0, developed by Edmond Hallberg and Kaylene Hallberg, is an online survey that assesses your patterns of behavior and attitudes in ten key areas. These areas have been proven by research to affect student outcomes for success in higher education. Accessed online, the CSFI will help you identify what skills you already possess and what areas you can strengthen to ensure success in college.