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Habits of Mind: Designing Courses for Student Success


Julia M. Gossard & Chris Babits


Utah State University

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Students often come to university with preconceived but in many cases inaccurate notions of what the university experience is like. They have been told that they need to go to college to get a good job; that their professors do not care about how they do; and that they are now on their own. This can be an overwhelming perspective to have when starting a new chapter in life. College students, including those who may not have experienced even minor academic failures to this point in their lives, are particularly impacted by this mentality. It should come as no surprise, then, when many first-year students find themselves lagging and failing to persist with their academic studies. At Utah State University (USU), we believe programs that support academic success within the first year must encompass Habits of Mind, so much so that USU has instituted a first-year student program called Connections. One of the goals of Connections is to model Habits of Mind of the successful student to normalize these habits for all our students.