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Winter 2012

Books: College Success Guaranteed - 5 Rules to Make It Happen

College Success coverConsider this number: 168. Look familiar? Have any significance? No? What if it was said that this number was the key to success in college — guaranteed? In College Success Guaranteed: 5 Rules to Make It Happen, Malcolm Gauld, Ed.M.'83, has created a guide to assist collegebound students in setting themselves up for success, arguing that 168 — the number of hours in a week — will make or break a student's college experience.

As young adults make the transition from high school to college, Gauld claims that the biggest challenge they face is learning not to "drown" in free time. Without the structured environment of home and high school, college freshmen become accountable for their actions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, in an attempt to provide freshmen with some sort of structural foundation for managing this overwhelming amount of time, Gauld offers five simple rules: go to class, study 15 hours a week, get involved in something, get a mentor, and avoid procrastination. While acknowledging that many students will eventually modify some of the rules to adapt to their learning styles or lifestyle preferences, Gauld claims, "I have never encountered anyone who went wrong following these five rules as they are presented in this book."

Directed largely toward high school seniors and young adults, the book presents readers with insightful advice in a format that is concise, practical, and easy to digest. Relevant and applicable — no matter a student's field of study, interests, activities, or background — the book serves as a guide for not only surviving, but enjoying the college experience. Using a variety of anecdotes, stories, and ideas that he collected through interviews with current students and recent grads, Gauld sprinkles the pages with strategies and tactics found useful by actual students.

College Success Guaranteed is intended to set forth a blueprint of things to do, instead of lecturing readers with a list of don'ts. For incoming freshmen, one "might do well to have a plan of attack," Gauld writes. "That's what this simple book is about."