Book Reviews

Book By: John N. Gardner & Betsy O. Barefoot
Review By: Sarah J. Hatley
Senior Academic Advisor
University Studies
Texas Tech University



I often ponder the reasons behind college student’s unsuccessful semesters. For many college students, especially first generation students, the reasons are isolation, fear, homesickness and lack of college preparedness. With roughly fifty percent of first generation students not returning their second year it is very critical to identify these at risk populations and take measures to assist them toward matriculation. To assist unprepared college students, many institutions have courses specifically designed to teach strategies for learning. Your College Experience by Gardner and Barefoot is a textbook that provides comprehensive information specific toward optimal learning strategies from a holistic perspective. At the beginning of each chapter the authors provide stories of real student experiences providing rich context for students and faculty alike. The chapter overviews are easy to follow and there are inserted questions promoting thoughtful self-reflection. This text offers a very broad perspective on learning strategies. It is well balanced, considers multiple views and provides reasonable explanations and examples. Some areas of the textbook can be too visual, although this may be appropriate and meaningful to today’s college student. Some of the resources listed were not available to view or explore as the textbook suggested.

Overall, I found this textbook very informative and I would recommend its use in the classroom. For non-faculty academic advisors who teach learning strategies, this textbook would be useful as well as provide stimulating advising dialog between advisor and advisee. 



Your College Experience. (2013). Book by John N. Gardner & Betsy O. Barefoot. Review by Sarah J. Hatley. Bedford St. Martin’s. 400 pp. $73.95. ISBN # 978-1-4576-3731-5.

Posted in: Issue 34(2)
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