Southern Adventist University

Learning Support Services

NOND-080 Academic Power Tools

Fall 2013


Instructor:                    Januwoina Nixon, M.Ed 

Office number:          423-236-2577

Email Address:  

Class time:                 TBA – (make an appointment for your first session)

Location:                               Lynn Wood Hall, 3rd floor, room 312 


Welcome! My goal in this course is to offer you one of the most valuable learning experiences of your entire life.  And I need your full cooperation to make it work.


Course Description

       Academic Power Tools (APT) is designed for university students and focuses on practice of skills and attitudes necessary for a successful transition to university life. In this semester you will learn many proven strategies for creating greater academic, professional, and personal success. You may never again have an opportunity quite like this one to discover how to create a rich personally fulfilling life.  It will provide you with knowledge and skills to assist you in becoming self-motivated, self –regulated thinkers while in a community of lifelong

learners. I urge you to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity! If you do, you will dramatically change the outcome of your life-for the better!


Course Objectives

1.      Identify personal values, needs, attitudes, and goals.

2.      Identify learning strengths, weaknesses and interests. 

3.      Develop and strengthen critical academic skills:  

                   Note taking

                   Time management

                   Reading strategies

                   Test preparation/anxiety

                   Study techniques for college success

                   Problem solving

                   Career Readiness – Work Skills (Key Train)

4.      Introduce students to campus facilities and resources.


Required Course Materials

Textbook: On Course, 7th Edition (with online supplement – APLIA), by Skip Downing


         Southern Student Handbook and Planner 2013-2014


         Master Notebook (MNB) – 3 ring binder, dividers, and paper


Course Requirements

·    Punctual attendance for all classes

·    Completion of assignments (APLIA); Participation in class discussions 

·    Master Notebook; Reflection journal (APLIA); Weekly quiz

·    Key Train

·    Tutoring in LSS once per week


Ethical Conduct

         1. Be an active learner, focusing your attention at all times.

         2. Everything personal that is said in class is confidential. 

         3. Be honest and act with integrity.

         4. Know and abide by the SAU policies as stated in the Student Handbook.

         5. If a cell phone is brought to class it must be turned off.


Evaluation                                                                                    Weighed

·    Daily participation – punctual attendance, weekly readings,

    assignments and weekly journal in APLIA                                                  40%

·    Weekly quizzes                                                                                     20%

·    Tutoring once per week throughout the semester                          20%

·    Master Notebook (MNB) – midterm and final check;

                   Key Train                                                                                                20%


Grading Scale

      93-100  =A  83-87 =B            73-77  =C           63-67  =D

      90-92    =A-           80-82   =B-         70-72  = C-        60-62  =D-

      88-89    =B+          78-79   =C+       68-69  =D+        59 & below =F



         In keeping with University policy, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations should call Disability Support Services at 423 236-2574 or visit Lynn wood Hall, room 137, to arrange a confidential appointment with the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) before or during the first week of classes.  (Students who request accommodations after the third week of the semester might not complete the process in time to receive accommodations for that semester.) Legally, no retroactive accommodations can be provided.  For more details, visit the Disability Support Services (DSS) website at

         Accommodations for disabilities are available only as recommended by Disability Support Services. Students whose accommodations are approved will be provided confidential letters which students should review and discuss with their professors in relation to particular course requirements.








Course Outline

Fall 2013


Week of








Student Information Sheet


Read chapter 1 – textbook

Do Self-Assessment, p. 6-10

Master, weekly  Calendar






Getting On Course


Self Management


Key Train

MNB organized (1st attempt)

Master, weekly  Calendar

Self Assessment

Journal entries 1, 4

Quiz 1 –Discuss chapter 1

Read chapter 2

Introduction to APLIA






Accepting Personal Responsibility


Cornell Note taking

Steps 1-3

Journal entries 5, 6, 7

Quiz 2 –Discuss chapter 2

Key Train

MNB organized (notebook, tabs, dividers, etc)

Read chapter 3



Master Notebook

Cornell Steps 1-3







Learning Profile

Journal entries  9, 11

Quiz 3 – Discuss chapter 3

Key Train           

Read chapter 4






Time Management/


Priorities/Action Plan


Journal entries 13, 14,16

Quiz 4 – Discuss chapter 4

Key Train

Read chapter 5






Textbook Reading Strategies

Journal entries 17, 19

Quiz 5 – Discuss chapter 5


Read chapter 6






Test Preparation


Test Anxiety

Journal entries  21, 22, 24

Quiz 6 – Discuss chapter 6


Read chapter 7






Critical Thinking/Bloom’s Taxonomy

Journal entries 25, 26, 27

Quiz 7 – Discuss chapter 7


Read chapter 8






Stress & Money Management



Journal entries 31, 32

Quiz 8 – Discuss chapter 8


Complete chapter 9

Prepare Winter Semester course schedule





Registration for Winter Semester

Discuss chapter  9 assessment




Calculating GPA

All journal entries due

Prepare MNB for final check


Final MNB check

MNB & Key Train due