Book Reviews

Book by Jennifer L. Hurd
Review by Criselda Marquez
College of Science
Purdue University – West Lafayette


In some places, academic advisors are required to teach an orientation course for first-year students or a student success course for students on probation.  In other places these courses have been discouraged because of the time and resources that can go into the development of such courses.  Campus Companion is an excellent resource for those who seeking to put together a straight-forward orientation or success course or series of workshops in a short period of time.  The organization of the eight short chapters makes this perfect for an eight week course.  

Each of the eight chapters includes visual cues, designed much like highway road signs, to highlight: a Student Advisory Board, Case Studies, Study Tips, Things to Consider, and Chapter Checklists.  The Student Advisory Board, which is said to be a “unique feature of this text” (p. xv) is comprised of upper-class students from a variety of institutions. The Student Advisory Board was created to “provide advice and offer a real-world perspective on college life” (p. xi).  Each Case Study section provides a useful context for its chapter and encourages discussion among students.  These two sections of each chapter make the text more dynamic and actively engage the student in the material.

Throughout the text students are encouraged to complete the section referred to as “My Campus Companion.”  Students complete this section with information specific to their own situation based upon what they have learned in each chapter. This includes typical information such as class schedule, contact information for each instructor and academic advisor, and a list of campus resources.  This section also encourages students to think about their entire college experience by setting academic, personal, and career goals as they do a tentative plan of study and find ways to get involved on campus.

The simplicity of the text makes for a very usable resource for anyone (academic advisor, faculty, graduate student, or even upper-class student facilitator) who teaches an orientation course or is doing a series of workshops for freshmen.  While Campus Companion was written to be used in a formal orientation course, this text, along with its online resources, is also an excellent resource for use in advising sessions when an orientation course is not available.  At the same time, academic advisors who are able to go beyond prescriptive advising, could use Campus Companion as a guide for advising sessions with first-year students, students on probation, or any student having difficulty managing the college experience.


Campus Companion (Instructor’s Guide) (2007) Book by Jennifer L. Hurd. Review by Criselda Marquez. Geneva, IL: Houghton Mifflin, 228 pp., (Spiral Bound), ISBN # 0-618-61034-0
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