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Student Success 115: Reading Skills for College

Course Code: STSU 1115
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Student Success
Credits: 1.5
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

A half-semester course emphasizing improvement of reading comprehension and rate. Skills introduced include previewing, skimming, scanning, information analysis, critical reading skills, flexibility of reading rate. Students are encouraged to develop skills in special study/interest areas (academic, business, technical).

Course Content

Week 1:  Assessment and Diagnosis

  • Planning of individual programs based on assessment profile and individual interviews with the instructor.

Week 2:  The Reading Process

  • Reading is examined from a physiological and neurological basis.

Week 3:  Improving Reading Rate

  • Increasing eye span (span of recognition)
  • Reading in “idea groups”
  • Mechanical devices to develop more regular eye movement and to eliminate regressions

Weeks 4/5:  Pre-reading Techniques

  • Previewing
  • Skimming
  • Concept relationships

Week 5/6:  Information Analysis

  • Organized approaches to study reading, emphasizing the POPRAD (pre-paid, organization pattern, read, add detail) process.  

Week 5/6:  Flexibility, Versatility

  • Adjusting method and rate of reading to suit purpose and type.

Week 7:  Assessment and Evaluation

  • Based on post-assessment results and interview with instructor.

Methods of Instruction

Course content will be presented through a combined lecture/demonstration/discussion process during the weekly sessions.

Means of Assessment

Because of the nature of the course, evaluation of student progress will be individualized and frequent. Students will be required to complete at least:

  • One substantial take-home reading assignment,
  • Two review exams.

Students will also be graded on attendance and active participation in group and class discussions and activities. 

Learning Outcomes

To improve the student’s skills and pleasure in reading in relation to academic, career and personal goals:

  • the student, through a variety of both formal and informal assessment, and in consultation with the instructor, will determine areas of specific concentration in the course (e.g., pre-reading skills; reading rate; information analysis; reading flexibility).
  • the student, in consultation with the instructor, will develop an individualized program which focuses on the selected areas of concentration;

Aside from areas of specific concentration, the student will, in relation to the general core content:

  1. be able to describe the reading process in both physiological and neurological terms;
  2. develop an increased span of recognition, develop more regular eye movements, and eliminate habitual regressive movements;
  3. learn to read in logical thought units;
  4. be able to anticipate the general idea and organizational framework of a reading selection (paragraph, unit, article, chapter, etc.) by previewing selections before reading them;
  5. be able to articulate his purpose(s) in reading a selection to indicate that he realizes why he is reading a selection and what he expects to find;
  6. be able to summarize the author’s main ideas as a result of skimming a selection;
  7. be able to relate the relevant details of a selection to the major ideas being developed by the writer;
  8. be able to adjust both his/her method and rate of reading to suit his/her purpose for reading.

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.