Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom
Teaching to Close the Graduation Gap for Minority, First-Generation, and Academically Unprepared Students

Foreword by Stephen Carroll
Paper: 978 1 57922 556 8 / $27.50
Published: April 2018  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 555 1 / $95.00
Published: April 2018  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 557 5 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: April 2018  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 558 2 / $21.99
Published: April 2018  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
190 pp., 6" x 9"
9 figures
This is a book for all faculty who are concerned with promoting the persistence of all students whom they teach.

Most recognize that faculty play a major role in student retention and success because they typically have more direct contact with students than others on campus. However, little attention has been paid to role of the faculty in this specific mission or to the corresponding characteristics of teaching, teacher-student interactions, and connection to student affairs activities that lead to students’ long-term engagement, to their academic success, and ultimately to graduation.

At a time when the numbers of underrepresented students – working adults, minority, first-generation, low-income, and international students – is increasing, this book, a companion to her earlier Teaching Underprepared Students, addresses that lack of specific guidance by providing faculty with additional evidence-based instructional practices geared toward reaching all the students in their classrooms, including those from groups that traditionally have been the least successful, while maintaining high standards and expectations.

Recognizing that there are no easy answers, Kathleen Gabriel offers faculty ideas that can be incorporated in, or modified to align with, faculty’s existing teaching methods. She covers topics such as creating a positive and inclusive course climate, fostering a community of learners, increasing engagement and students’ interactions, activating connections with culturally relevant material, reinforcing self-efficacy with growth mindset and mental toughness techniques, improving lectures by building in meaningful educational activities, designing reading and writing assignments for stimulating deep learning and critical thinking, and making grade and assessment choices that can promote learning.

Table of Contents:
Foreword by Stephen Carroll

1) Retention, Persistence, and Success: Clarifying the Challenge
2) Class Climate: Widening the Circle for a Diverse Student Body
3) The First Month of the Semester: Engage, Connect, and Commit
4) Motivation and Attitudes: Impact of Mindsets and Mental Toughness Attributes
5) Interactive Lectures: Using Meaningful Educational Activities
6) Reading Assignments and Class Discussions: Stimulate Deeper Learning
7) Writing Assignments: Promote Critical Thinking and Writing
8) Resilience, Habits, and Persistence: Hold Fast and See It Through

About the Author

Chapter 1

Reviews & Endorsements:
"Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom totally delivers. As noted in this book, graduation rates for students in both four-year and two-year educational institutions are depressing. Something has to change, and this book is an important component in bringing about that change by noting how best to help our most vulnerable students. Chapter by chapter, Gabriel dissects and describes fundamental components that impact student success and provides specific strategies for bringing about successful learning outcomes. Creating a Path to Success in the Classroom will have a prominent place on my bookcase of essential resources for helping students to succeed in college."
- Todd Zakrajsek, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“This is a clear, engaging, and practical book that will be of use to anyone teaching in a university or community-college classroom.

The foreword praises Gabriel’s ‘deep integration of theory and Practice’. This integration is one of the book’s major strengths. Gabriel introduces the reader to scholarship on barriers to student learning, student mindsets, and effective pedagogy. Extensively referenced and cited, Gabriel’s book is thus a primer on classic and more recent scholarship of teaching and learning. After describing this scholarship, Gabriel then offers practical suggestions of classroom strategies designed to engage students effectively given the data. These range from one-time strategies – reading a particular article on growth mindsets as a class, doing an active-learning activity – to strategies that unfold over the course of an entire semester. Gabriel offers concrete scripts for welcoming students and setting a classroom tone, giving student feedback that encourages persistence and growth, creating and shuffling small groups, and much more. Gabriel not only suggests what to do and why, but also encourages faculty to make those reasons explicit to students, making students intentional partners in their own learning.

Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom will be helpful to teaching veterans and novices alike. In her opening chapter, Gabriel frames the book as designed to help faculty effectively teach and retain minority, first-generation, and academically unprepared students. As is the case with many implementations of universal design principles, however, these strategies ultimately improve student engagement and learning for all students.”
- Reflective Teaching, Wabash Center