Academic Strategies
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Academic Strategies courses at El Camino College are just like a personalized guidebook for college. Highly interactive classes offer strategies for becoming a more effective writer – an essential skill for success in life – and a more effective student

Starting college is a lot like visiting a foreign country with a new language, different culture, and unusual customs. The new language can be confusing – for example, who heard of “matriculation” before enrolling in college? The culture and customs of college are different – in contrast to high school, you spend less time in class but more time on your assignments outside of class. Just like a visit to a foreign country, there is a sense of excitement, possibly accompanied by feelings of being lost and overwhelmed. Stay on course with Academic Strategies – your guidebook for navigating college

What We Offer:

Through Academic Strategies courses, students explore topics aimed at improving critical academic skills such as writing, test-taking, study techniques, note-taking strategies and problem solving.

Through these classes, each participant will become a more effective student by:

  • Learning how to achieve full potential, as a student and in life
  • Using highly effective tools for managing time wisely
  • Discovering a unique learning style and how to use it for success
  • Unlocking the keys to performing better on tests – working smarter, not harder. 

Each student will also become a more effective writer by:

  • Strengthening grammar, punctuation and spelling skills
  • Expanding reading, writing, listening and speaking vocabularies
  • Breaking through writer's block
  • Learning the building blocks of effective college writing

Students who take Academic Strategies classes report that they are more confident and more successful as students.  As well, they report being better able to reach their educational goals.  

Academic Strategies Courses:

Below you will find more specific information on classes that can serve as your laboratory for being successful in college.  (Note that all Academic Strategies classes are offered Credit/Non-Credit.)

Courses in which you will become a more effective student include:

Study Techniques, 2 units
In this class the secrets to success in college are revealed!  You will learn and practice using highly effective tools that will help you make the most of your study time. You will learn about life and educational goals, your unique learning style and how to use it for success, and you will meet people and explore on campus that can coach you to success. The tools introduced in this class are not just limited to college – they will teach you how to achieve your potential as a student and in life. 

Listening and Note taking Strategies, 2 units
Do you leave college lectures wondering what the key concepts were? Are you confused about what material you should take notes on in class? Do you take tests and realize that you studied the wrong material? This class will improve your ability to listen in class and understand what you've heard. You will learn a variety of note-taking methods to fit a range of specific courses and tests.

Test-Taking Strategies, 2 units
Unlock the keys to performing better on tests so you can work smarter, not harder.  Improve your understanding of how tests are developed and learn tips for choosing or writing the best answer so that you can excel in your classes.

Mathematics Anxiety Workshop, 2 units
Is math anxiety a myth or a reality? In this workshop-style class you will discuss strategies, techniques and activities that will help you overcome the barriers to your success in math.

Thinking Skills for College Courses, 2 units
Learn to be a better thinker in college, work, and life. With this class you will learn how to analyze information, identify patterns, learn the techniques to solving analogies, and draw logical conclusions with precision and thoroughness.

Memory Techniques, 2 units
Memory is like a muscle – you develop strength through regular use. Working closely with your instructor as your coach, you will learn and practice using exercises to strengthen your memory. Strong memory skills are the key to performing to your highest potential on tests, quizzes, and other college assignments. 

Strategies for Success in Distance Education, 1 unit
On-line and television courses offer students with family and work commitments maximum flexibility in their class schedules. Some students find it challenging to adapt to the different demands of distance education courses. This course will help you learn how to make the most of email, online class groups, Internet access and other essentials for success in distance education.

Creative Problem Solving Workshop, 2 units
Learn how to turn problems into opportunities. You will practice a process of problem solving and will become an expert in the brainstorming process. You will also learn specific techniques that will lead you to fresh insights and solutions to your challenges in college, work and in life.

Courses in which you will become more effective in reading, writing and math include:

Individualized Academic Strategies, 1 unit

Under the guidance of an instructor, you will work individually to improve your basic skills in reading and math. The class is tailor-fit to your specific needs, allowing you to work at your own pace in the areas in which you need to improve. The class offers maximum flexibility – you may schedule your computer time anytime during library hours. Data shows that students improve by 1-2 grade levels in their reading or math during a semester.

Vocabulary Building for College Students, 2 units
Expand your reading, writing, listening and speaking vocabularies in a class that makes learning new words interesting and enjoyable. You will learn words and concepts that are essential to academic success and that will inspire you to continue to expand your vocabulary even after you have completed the class. 

Sentence Errors and Punctuation, 2 units
By learning some of the common sentence and punctuation errors, you can significantly improve your ability to express yourself in writing and to perform well in other classes. 

Prewriting Workshop, 2 units
Break through writer's block and learn the building blocks of effective college writing. This class is your writing laboratory where you will learn and practice new strategies and techniques that will help you write better and perform better on college assignments, from paragraphs and essays to research papers and reports. 

Spelling Techniques, 2 units
Does your poor spelling confuse even the spell check tool on your computer? The good news is that Academic Strategies offers a class that will empower you to spell hundreds of words correctly. The class gives you a chance to practice using the rules for improved spelling which is an essential part of effective written communication.


Please see the Schedule of Classes for more information -- Effective fall 2018, Academic Strategies courses are listed in the English department section in the schedule.

Contact Information:

Humanities Division Office - Humanities Building, Room 322
(310) 660-3316