Powers New Learning Initiatives

In a Time of Accountability, Just the Books for You

Involves students, teachers, counselors, and parents in a complete college preparation program.

Guiding students to…

  • develop learning methods/routines that create self-sufficient learners—equipping them to succeed in a changing world.
  • become life-long learners, confident, comfortable speakers, and goal-setters—valued contributors in society.
  • recognize why learning plays a HUGE role in their futures—how setting/meeting hundreds of small daily goals moves them toward their dreams. Students rarely understand that many, many small steps build their futures.

The 12 College Smart strategies empower students as learners.

  • The quality of learning will improve right now! Teens practice the 12 strategies and begin to take charge of their lives as students right away.
  • Students will learn what’s involved in learning. The book details what to do. With practice, teens will adopt techniques, learning to study for all their courses—even those they find difficult.
  • Students will achieve long-term learning. “Academic amnesia” prevents post-secondary success. Today’s college students realize too late that they never “really learned” the material they need for college. They only crammed.
  • Students start to understand what’s expected of them and how to achieve it. The book teaches students the difference between “learning” vs. “doing homework.” They will enter higher education and the world as independent, self-sufficient learners.


College Smart: Parents’ Practical Tips

  • Parents play an important role, no matter the age of their child. And while parents want to help, the questions arise: “What do I do?” and “How do I do it?” This book has the answers.
  • A chapter-by chapter companion to College Smart, parents use these tips at home during middle and high school to support younger students.
  • The book helps parents support both College Smart and Start College Smart. These days, digital devices make staying in touch with a student on campus and following-up easy.
  • Practical Tips introduces one strategy at a time, so busy parents can read one short chapter at a time and still help their child. The book explains what the student is learning and should be doing based on their College Smart books. But parents also learn why the strategy is so important to their personal growth, success in college, and future in the workplace.
  • Practical Tips gives parents very specific ways to help, no matter if their child is 12 or 20.


Start College Smart

This book introduces college to high school students on their way or students already there. Stepping foot on campus can almost feel like crossing the border into a foreign country. Start College Smart gives students a realistic view of “the lay of the land” regarding—

  • How to find a major before it’s too late. Yes, it’s scary, but delaying this big decision postpones graduation and increases college costs. What to do to get your money’s worth out of college every day. Why college will mean so important to your future in the 21st century.
  • College as training ground for career: Here’s the part students don’t understand. The same traits and attitudes that drive success in college are the traits employers are looking for after college. The book gets students career-ready. Students are training for a career.
  • Adjusting to campus life on lots of levels: Developing mature study methods to meet the challenge of courses. How to find friends. How to choose them. Dealing with romantic relationships. Staying safe on campus. Where do you go on campus when you need serious personal help? The book tells you where to go.

Start College Smart shows students how to develop the mindset and personal traits needed to succeed in college. But these same traits and skills will prepare students for the workplace, too.

Adopted school-wide, College Smart and Start College Smart can give your school or college one voice in conveying the expectations and standards to be met in the classroom—and outside the classroom.

Teacher with student


The Need: Creating nimble life-long learners

The book connects learning’s importance to real-life, the workplace, and “getting ahead.”

A highly practical perspective.
Dr. Bob’s theme? Succeeding as a learner and meeting daily goals move students toward their “so far-way” future and dreams. The alternative? Going nowhere. The future will need learners who can adapt.

Modern life is rapidly changing.
The 21st century will prize the person who is a “quick study,” has an agile mind, who is organized, can get the job done, and who can adapt to new technology and ideas—no matter the field.


Want to make the point?
Show students what a cell phone looked like a dozen years ago.

The 12 strategies meet the needs of students whose jobs may not yet exist, by focusing on…

  • knowing how to learn
  • getting organized: yourself and your work
  • managing time
  • controlling a workload
  • speaking, reading, writing, listening (It’s how we live our lives)
  • using creativity, imagination, and inventiveness to advance
  • collaborating with others
  • continually gaining and expanding knowledge
  • setting and reaching goals (large and small) all the time
  • evaluating how to achieve goals, assess tactics, and adjust them as needed

College Smart students will have the talent to “go places.” Currently, employers say they are struggling to find candidates who know what the workplace expects of them. College Smart students will be workplace-ready.

Written for teens

Dr. Bob talks directly to students in a casual, friendly tone. Nothing abstract. The book is encouraging, conversational, and easy to understand.

Student stories show how the 12 strategies solve common student problems.

Stories reflect common student behavior. Some show why the 12 strategies bring success. Some show why failures are rooted in not using the strategies. After each story, Dr. Bob includes a play-by-play explanation of what happened, so the student really understands what happened and why.


What College Smart books say to support your learning initiative.

Plain talk about what students need to do to advance themselves and our nation’s economy.
It takes work, but all our futures depend on a new generation of learners.

The book —

  • explains that learning is active, not passive, takes effort and time.
  • details how to manage time.
  • defines a knowledge bank—and why it’s valuable in real life.
  • connects school to real-life, something teens rarely do.
  • spells out how learning continues after school and throughout life. Those who learn efficiently will always have an edge.
  • explains that adept learners who can keep up with the world’s changes will fare better in tough economic times. Employers value learning (and talking).
  • sheds light on the fact that “good talkers” have confidence in themselves wherever they go.
  • describes how people who are learners contribute to the U.S. economy and keep it growing.


As of this writing,
the US now ranks 16th
globally in college
degrees earned.


Perspectives on learning: behaviors, techniques, brainwork & mistaken attitudes

The book’s several approaches to learning —

Helps each reader identify the quality of his/her learning behaviors.

Readers learn whether or not their behavior and techniques are on-track or need to be changed/adjusted to succeed. At the beginning of each chapter, the student fills in a questionnaire about that strategy, much like the surveys so popular in teen magazines (Check all that apply, Rank these items, etc.). At the end of the chapter, students return to the survey and compare their answers with what they have just learned.

Builds efficient and effective ways of approaching a learning situation independently.

Many students don’t know how to go about learning. Others don’t know how to develop more advanced learning techniques.The book presents various learning approaches. Readers’ learning strategies develop and multiply. Students will be arming themselves with study systems that mature along with their level of learning.

Explains how different courses exercise the brain in different ways.

Dr. Bob answers the student’s traditional complaint: “This a waste of time. I’m never going to use this stuff.” Given young people’s futures, their brains need to be strong, versatile “muscles.” Different types of courses exercise that muscle in different ways. Plus, later in life, students often find so-called “useless” information unexpectedly helpful.

Regularly reminds students how learning today affects careers tomorrow.

Since far-sightedness is not a strength of young people, Dr. Bob reminds his readers that they’re working toward the far-away future. He explains in detail how achieving small, daily goals eventually makes possible very important long-term goals: entering a chosen career and succeeding it.

Working students


Emphasis: Talking well advances people in school and in life

studentsThe importance of talking

In the workplace: quotes for discussion

— “In one way or another every job involves explaining something to others, clearly reporting results, or giving direction. Talkers earn reputations as valuable contributors.”

— “Talking makes things happen. When you talk, you explain things, you answer questions, you get people interested or excited about your ideas. You get yourself recognized.”

— “Ask any adult, who gets the raise or the promotion. Usually, it’s the people who know how to talk. Non-talkers or poor talkers might hold jobs, but they often don’t move up in the work world.”

— “Can you grab onto a problem, analyze it, and then debate the value of different solutions? Those who…can express themselves are going places. The rest of the employees will sit and listen or take notes …just as non-talkers do in class now.”

In the classroom

Engagement: The difference between watching a soccer game and playing soccer. When students talk in class, they’re paying attention. They learn more. The class becomes more interesting/fun because they’re actively involved. They are participating just as they will later in life if they want to succeed.

3 chapters are devoted to talking: to different kinds of people, to teachers, to guidance counselors

  • The importance of talking, how it extends far beyond friends, how much talking really goes on in life, and how people often make good impressions by talking well.
  • What makes talking so difficult? Why do people get tongue-tied and stumble? Why teens in particular? Everyone “learns” to talk. The pages discuss all this in a way that is sensitive to young people.
  • How to practice talking in different situations and overcome self-consciousness: with relatives, neighbors, store cashiers, small children, older people, and figures of authority.


I’ll tell you what you should know about college: preparing for it, admissions, succeeding, and starting a career. You need to know the facts.

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