Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Introduction to College Studies

IMPORTANT NOTICE This course cannot be used as a university-transferable elective or towards completion of the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree, or towards the Certificate in Academic Foundations; however, it does receive course transfer credit at Capilano, Kwantlen, UNBC and University of the Fraser Valley, and can be used as an elective for graduation in some Douglas College programs.
Course Code: STSU 1100
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Student Success
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter
course overview

This first semester experience course is intended to assist students in their successful transition to Douglas College. The content of the course is designed to help students in becoming more independent learners in order that they can make the most of their educational opportunities. The course will expose students to the numerous resources and services available at Douglas College. Students will learn how to enhance their current study skills toward developing a foundation for lifelong learning and career development.

Course Content

This course will expose students to a number of first semester issues and topics that will be introduced and presented by faculty from various participating departments college-wide.  Students will receive information and develop competencies in the following core area:

Orientation to Douglas College

  1. Learning about the host institution
  2. Determining the value of a post-secondary education
  3. Becoming acquainted with the Douglas College grading system
  4. Learning about Douglas College’s standards and policies
  5. Understanding the Grade Point Average (GPA)
  6. Understanding registration issues (e.g. transferring credits from other post-secondary institutions, late registration, repeating same courses, fee payments, refunds, etc.)
  7. Petitioning and appealing grades and other college decisions
  8. Understanding probation and academic performance regulations

Becoming a Master Student

  1. Maximizing attitude and motivation
  2. Developing learning and memory strategies
  3. Becoming a strategic learner
  4. Enhancing study skills: improving attention/concentration, listening, reading, highlighting, summarizing, note taking, researching, documenting, writing academic papers, preparing for exams, and test-taking strategies.
  5. Becoming acquainted with the Douglas College Library: computer resources and labs at Douglas College, library catalogue, interlibrary loan, reserves, references, search engines, periodicals, audio-visual library.
  6. Becoming a critical thinker: understanding arguments, argument identification, structures of arguments, evaluating premises, conclusions.
  7. Developing college writing skills: summarizing, analyzing critically, evaluating sources, integrating sources into students’ writing, structuring academic argument.

Personal Development

  1. Understanding emotional intelligence
  2. Identifying personal style
  3. Identifying learning style
  4. Aligning personal style to education and career development
  5. Understanding the habits of highly effective people

Time and Stress Management

  1. Identifying priorities
  2. Managing time effectively
  3. Understanding procrastination
  4. Keeping a balance between work, recreation and studies
  5. Assessing current lifestyles and priorities
  6. Understanding the importance of setting goals.
  7. Identifying the symptoms of stress
  8. Learning practical techniques for relaxation and health
  9. Developing a money management process, reducing financial crises, creating an educational financial plan, learning about funding sources and student loan applications.

Introduction to Career Development

  1. Learning about the changing labour market and factors that affect it
  2. Identifying new occupational trends
  3. Researching job futures
  4. Career and lifestyle planning
  5. Using the  world wide web and other resources for occupational information
  6. Designing a laddered approach to lifelong learning
  7. Developing an educational plan

Effective Communication

  1. Learning about the communication loop
  2. Developing assertive, respectful communication
  3. Enhancing listening skills
  4. Improving communication with instructors

Methods of Instruction

Curriculum will be delivered through interdisciplinary involvement.  The course is intended to be application oriented.  Students will master course objectives though guided self-discovery, exploration, readings, lectures, special presentations, information sessions, tutorials, and mentor relationships.  Various forms of media will be utilized in the delivery of the curriculum.

Means of Assessment

Students will be graded on a minimum of five different evaluations.  Not one assignment will be worth more than 30% of the final mark.  All evaluations will be marked and graded by the discipline responsible for delivering the designated curriculum.  All marks will be retained, tablulated and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the course coordinator.

Learning Outcomes

This First Semester Experience Course is intended to:

  • Assist students in their transition to college.
  • Encourage students to use many of the college’s resources and services.
  • Assist students in achieving their academic and personal goals.
  • Increase self-awareness and assist students to realize their academic potential.
  • Assist students in enhancing their motivation for seeking a post-secondary education.
  • Encourage students to take greater responsibility for their learning outcomes.
  • Enhance the self-reliance, self-discipline and self-direction of students.
  • Provide new students with mentors and networks for informal support through other existing Douglas College mentor networks.
  • Foster active, critical and creative thinking.
  • Assist students in developing the skills, strategies and attitudes for college success.
  • Assist students in recognizing and improving their methods of deliberate learning.
  • Enhance students’ specific learning and problem solving strategies.
  • Deliver concrete information on a number of study skills topics to provide objective feedback.
  • Offer candid information from instructors and class peers.
  • Assist students in developing friendships and other supportive relationships.
  • Enhance students’ self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Develop students and philosophies about what higher education should be.
  • Provide a foundation for lifelong learning and career development

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.