Wilkes Community College Wilkes Community College
Wilkes Community College
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ACA 115

Success and Study Skills


   Sheneele Wagoner                                                                                       

   ACA Lead Instructor




   Meret Burke                                        

   ACA Instructor                                                                              





"With the help of ACA, I have sharpened my thinking skills and had a great fall semester."

                                                                                                                     Quote from fall 2010 student  



What is ACA 115?

ACA 115 is required of all first semester Associate degree students and has been since fall 2008.  It is designed to promote college success strategies while engaging students in critical thinking and learning-focused activities.  Wilkes Community College believes that critical thinking skills are important to academic, professional, and personal success, and the college's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) supports that belief. ACA 115 was redesigned and piloted from 2006 - 2008 as part of the QEP implementation.  ACA 115 includes orientation/study skills topics and prepares students for the critical thinking focus they will encounter throughout their programs of study. 

Based on information from national and community college studies, students are more successful if they complete a student success course.  In the fall of 1997, Wilkes Community College implemented a policy that requires all degree/diploma-seeking students to successfully complete a student success course.

For more information about the QEP, please go tohttp://www.wilkescc.edu/default2.aspx?id=774.

What is the purpose of ACA 115?

One of the purposes of this course is to prepare students for the critical thinking focus they will encounter throughout their programs of study. In ACA 115, students will participate in learning activities that illustrate the depth and breadth of the critical thinking process as well as learn the language they will encounter in courses and services. Emphasis is placed on the eight elements of reasoning as established through the Paul and Elder model: purpose, question, information, interpretation/interference, concept, assumption, implication/consequence, and point of view.

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools by Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder from the Foundation for Critical Thinking is a required resource in ACA 115 and complements the text developed by WCC faculty. For more information about the Foundation, please go tohttp://www.criticalthinking.org/.

What are the learning outcomes?

Students are also required to demonstrate their abilities to think critically through four learning outcomes: pursue best information, examine underlying assumptions, engage in inquiry, and analyze different points of view.

Information literacy is also emphasized in ACA 115. Students learn more about pursuing best information by attending classes in the Learning Resources Center (LRC) led by WCC library personnel. Students demonstrate their information literacy skills by creating an annotated bibliography. 

Through the application of the critical thinking model, ACA 115 includes other topics such as financial literacy, learning styles, and study skill strategies.

Where do I direct my questions?

Students benefit greatly by taking ACA 115, and we look forward to questions you may have about the course. Please contact ACA Lead Instructor Sheneele Wagoner for more information at sheneele.wagoner@wilkescc.edu or 336-838-6195.