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Academic Success Courses

Whether you are right out of high school or it's been a few years, our Academic Success Courses (ACAD) will help you have the best academic experience possible. Taking our ACAD courses builds your ability to understand and use academic information; navigate university culture; understand expectations; connect to helpful resources; and communicate effectively.

ACAD 1103 - College Learning Strategies for Math, 1 cr.

This 1 credit course can help you approach your math requirements with greater confidence and skill. This course looks for new ways to refresh your math learning. 

In ACAD 1103 you will:

  • Learn about and utilize university resources
  • Develop your system for note taking
  • Establish study goals
  • Build a positive study environment
  • Revamp your homework approach
  • Investigate test-taking methods, then strengthen your test-taking skills
  • Explore causes of and strategies to reduce your math anxiety
  • Practice the tools to earn your math credits

You can take this 8 week course at the same time as your math course or take it the semester before you plan to take math. Replace your fear-based approach to math with a confidence-based approach. 

What Students Are Saying About ACAD 1103

"I was taught better studying strategies for math which ultimately lead to my success in my math class." - Spring 2023

"Great tips on how to study in general, even if the focus was on math. Although I didn't expect to learn much when starting the class, I ended up learning a lot more than I expected." - Fall 2023

"Helps you learn how to study for math (could apply to other classes), how to take notes, go into classes with a good mindset to see better results." - Fall 2023

"The class helped me manage stressful testing situations, I also learned how to study in ways that have made me much more productive in all my other courses." - Fall 2023

"This class really encouraged me to take better notes in all of my classes which has helped my grades in every class a ton. I wish I had taken this class sooner and I do encourage other students to take this class. " - Fall 2023

"This course is incredibly beneficial to anyone who may struggle with test anxiety or have a rough history with any math related courses. The material is easy to apply to every day life which makes it fun to learn. " Fall 2023

ACAD 1110 - Money Management, 1 cr.

Learn to manage your money so that your money won't manage you! 

ACAD 1110 covers basic money management skills like budgeting, saving, credit, and more. In this 8-week, 1-credit class you will:

  • Create a personalized budget
  • Learn how to use your budget
  • Set achievable money goals
  • Learn essential financial skills

ACAD 1111 - University Inquiry, 2 cr.

Nervous about writing research papers? Start here, with ACAD 1111.

Ever feel worried about having to write research papers? Behind good research writing is information literacy. What is information literacy? Knowledge about the kind and quality of information available to you, how to locate and evaluate that information, and how to use that information in your papers.

ACAD 1111 is designed to help you develop that knowledge. As a bonus, this course also covers the fundamentals of university expectations for research writing, and knowing those expectations can set you free from anxiety about writing research papers or from bumbling your way into mistakes, such as plagiarism.

But this is not a writing class.

It is a class that teaches you how to ask (and answer) the questions that lead to good research writing: Where is the information? Is it valuable? How can I tell? What can I do with that information? How should I report that information in my assignments?

ACAD 1101 - College Learning Strategies, 1 cr.

College Learning Strategies is designed to address strategies that are relevant to doing well in college. This course is offered both in the Fall and Spring semesters and is available during early or late eight weeks sessions. ACAD 1101 offers you a variety of methods to take better notes in class, understand learning styles, read textbooks with a purpose, use time effectively, develop memory skills, and expand test-taking abilities. These strategies can help you improve your learning and confidence in college classes.

ACAD 1104 - First Year Transition, 2 cr.

What is ACAD 1104?

Let's start with what it's not. ACAD 1104 is not an "orientation" course. You will engage in some activities that do educate you about university life and the resources on this campus, but that is only a small part of this course. The primary focus is you and your ability to reach your academic and professional goals in the best possible time-frame.

Why should you take this course?

Because your entire life is about to change! Whether you're coming straight from high school or you've been out of a school a few years, everything about how you experience education will be dramatically different at the university level, and this course is designed specifically to help you make that transition successfully.

What can you expect this course to cover?

Let's make a list! In this class, you'll learn

  • about university resources and operations (so that you know what is happening to you and how to get help when you need it);
  • how adult learners participate in a classroom and interact with instructors;
  • how to handle the coursework-load when every instructor expects you to pour three hours of study per week into every credit hour you take;
  • about the sheer cost of education at this level and financial resources and self-management strategies to help you keep that cost under control;
  • academic (study and preparation) strategies that take advantage of how your brain actually learns, helping you learn class content more effectively;
  • ways to take charge of your own education, including academic and career planning;
  • self-care strategies to help you reach your goal,
  • and more.

Need more motivation?

You'll join other first year students making the transition--a great way to build positive, supporting relationships, and you'll have weekly contact with your ISU  faculty member who is devoted to student success. You can start your college career with an entire cheering squad on your side!