Student Success

In important ways, good students are made, not born. In my work with college students, I am seeking to understand the factors that underlie and promote academic success in college. In this work, I have been looking at ways to help students make the most of their college experience and to increase student retention.

First-Year College Success Titles

I initiated the Power Up program at the University of Massachusetts. This annual program for UMass first-year students, which offers one credit towards graduation, takes place on campus just before the start of classes every fall.

The program addresses such issues as how to succeed academically, how to become involved on campus, choosing majors, developing study skills such as effective time management and test-taking strategies, and understanding UMass resources. As part of the program, students participate in a small class of no more than 25 students, receiving personal attention and individual feedback. They get to know other students and develop college-level learning skills.

  • Feldman, R.S. (2023). POWER: Strategies for Success in College and Life. (9/e). McGraw Hill.
  • Feldman, R.S. (2023). P.O.W.E.R. Learning and Your Life: Essentials of Student Success (5/e). McGraw Hill.
  • Feldman, R.S. (2023). POWER: Foundations of Student Success (4/e). McGraw Hill.
  • Feldman, R.S. (2023). POWER: Online Success. McGraw Hill.

My series of books, POWER student success, are the only first-year experience texts with a unifying system for critical thinking and problem solving. The books are designed to maximize students’ potential for success in college and in life. Using the research-based and class-tested principles of the POWER system (Prepare, Organize, Work, Evaluate, and Rethink), students gain a sense of mastery and achievement as they move through the text; with the growth of their confidence comes the increased intellectual enthusiasm and personal discipline needed for them to excel.

The books are used at hundreds of colleges, universities, and private sector schools throughout the world and have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. In addition, the POWER system has provided the pedagogical framework for been incorporated into a variety of general education books, including six developmental math books (Messersmith, Feldman, & Perez) and introductory sociology (Schaeffer & Feldman).

Research on Student Success

What are the factors that impact students during their first year of college? How can the academic and social experiences of first-year students be optimized? What can we do to improve persistence and retention rates to maximize the number of students who complete college?

My books, Learning Science: Theory, Research, and Practice (McGraw Hill, 2019), The First Year of College: Research, Theory, and Practice on Improving the Student Experience and Increasing Retention (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and Improving the First Year of College (Erlbaum, 2005), address these and many other questions as they examine the first year of college from a variety of perspectives. Drawing on a broad array of experts, they systematically consider the factors that produce success during the critical first year of college.