Every year, millions of students enter college unprepared…

  • Many who enroll will not graduate within 4 or even 5 years.
  • 30% will not make the first year.
  • And almost all will owe money for extra courses they were required to complete due to not being prepared…

In my 30+ years as a student, educator, and tenured college professor, I know this is entirely preventable. I know that “real” 21st-century college preparation can make a world of difference.

That’s why I wrote A.C.E.S. for Students™.

A.C.E.S. for Studentsis THE definitive guide to give college students the preparation they need for college success. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for being ready on day one.

The A.C.E.S. Framework™

Achievement Driven – What do I want out of this?

Capacity Informed – What are my capabilities and resources?

Enthusiasm Oriented – How can I stay motivated?

Skill Building – How can I work on improving myself?

These are the fundamental principles that make up my A.C.E.S.™ program. But what I’ve done in this book is apply these proven tenets to students and the unique challenges they face (especially first-year students).

The book’s chapters include:


Introduction to the A.C.E.S. Framework ™

Chapter 1

Emotional intelligence

Chapter 2

Finding Your Self Identity

Chapter 3


Chapter 4

Understanding Your Learning Styles

Chapter 5

Pre-Semester Activities

Chapter 6

Negotiating Personal, Roommate, and Professional Relationships

Chapter 7


Chapter 8

Time management/Prioritizing your competing responsibilities

Chapter 9

Harness your professors’ expertise

Chapter 10

Accessing support resources

Chapter 11

Finding your leadership voice

Chapter 12

Preparing for Career Success

Chapter 13

Mindfulness & Self-Care



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The benefits of reading A.C.E.S. for Students are priceless:

  • A.C.E.S. for Students equips students with practical strategies and tools to successfully navigate their first year of college.
  • A.C.E.S. for Students helps readers learn how to manage their time effectively, gain confidence in their abilities, and tap into their unique motivators.

Do you want to take a mini-tour of A.C.E.S. for Students: Strategies for Success in the First Year of College & Beyond?

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College Success is not accidental. The more prepared a student is, the better their chances of success.

But too many students enter college unprepared and become overwhelmed. Before they know it, the semester is half over, and they are failing… I’ve seen it over and over. Maybe they drop a course, change majors, or soldier on and suffer in silence.

But overwhelmingly, these students already have almost no chance. The poor start doomed them. Statistics are not kind to students who struggle, especially first-year students.

Some Sobering Statistics

  • Only 1-in-4 high school graduates who enroll in college will graduate after four years.
  • Only 18% of bachelor’s degree graduates finished their studies within four years.
  • Only 31.6% of associate degree (two-year) students graduate.
  • There is a 40% college dropout rate overall.
  • 30% of First Year Students will drop out.

Adding to the challenge is today’s college environment is also very different than years ago. Honestly, being a professor, it almost shocks me how it changed – in some ways for the better, but in some ways for the worse.

When I see students struggle, I can try to help because I know what to say and do.

But I cannot reach everyone.

Or can I?


There is a rationale for everything we do…

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College Success Begins with Preparation and a Great Start

The book goes over key issues like what your professors expect, what resources are available, roommate challenges, and everything else.

The early chapters focus on the proper mindset from several angles, and then the book gets into the major challenges college presents before circling back to personal skill-building for the college environment and beyond.

College can be a major culture shock. Suddenly, kids are thrown in with other kids from all over. People who may think differently, listen to different music, come from more urban/rural areas, etc. Then they get a roommate. And have professors of varying demeanor.

Many incoming students feel like a fish out of water. They may not understand their own self, how they fit in, or how they learn. They may not have the study or test-prep habits that many professors expect. Nothing is familiar.

But the grades start counting from day one…

And as mentioned earlier, once they get even a little behind the 8-ball, many students will not recover. A smooth college launch is CRITICAL.

To make things 100x worse, most students who drop out get very little from their brief college experience, but will still owe on student loans. That’s an awful situation.

Giving college students every advantage is a huge key to their success. A smooth introduction to college can make a LIFETIME difference. 

A.C.E.S. for Students is THE definitive guide to give college students the preparation they need for college success. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for being ready on day one.

Written for 2023 students and higher learning environments, A.C.E.S. for Students™ will give college students everything they need to begin succeeding immediately.

Get your student their copy today.

Download The A.C.E.S. College Fit Questionnaire


Download The A.C.E.S. College Essentials Checklist


Download The A.C.E.S. Budget Template


A.C.E.S for Students Finding Your Leadership Voice Guide


A.C.E.S.™ for Students Group Project Survival Guide


A.C.E.S.™ for Students Career Success Roadmap


A.C.E.S.™ for Students Managing Stress in College Essential Strategies and Techniques


A.C.E.S.™ for Students Leveraging College Staff and Professor Expertise Strategies


A.C.E.S.™ for Students Campus Support Checklist


A.C.E.S.™ for Students Study System Brief