Professor equips students with tools for success- ACC Newsroom

ACC Newsroom

got a story

Professor equips students with tools for success

Raymond Gerson, adjunct professor of student development at Austin Community College, wrote the book on succeeding in college — literally. His book, “Achieve College Success: Learn How in 20 Hours or Less,” is used in college readiness courses at ACC and elsewhere.

Professor Raymond Gerson helps students tap their potential to succeed.

Not bad for someone who once was told he was not “college material.”

“That’s kind of the irony,” says Gerson, who has taught college skills courses at ACC since 2006. “There are probably some former teachers who would be turning over in their graves if they knew I was teaching this course.”

Are you ACC? Tell us your story

That’s also why he knows that with the right assistance and preparation, even the most at-risk students can develop the skills they need for college or a career.

“You could call these survival skills,” he says. “We want to give the students survival skills and help them to succeed.”

Gerson, who holds a master’s degree in psychology, came to teaching after retiring as an executive recruiter, corporate trainer, and career counselor.

“I found a late-in-life mission of college and career readiness.” His seven books on school success, career planning, and personal development have evolved into workshops and training for other instructors teaching college readiness courses — curriculum taught to students as young as eighth grade as more schools attempt to reach out to students early.

‘Many think they haven’t accomplished anything to be proud of. We need to help them find what they can be good at.’

Gerson himself worked with Early College High School students at Reagan High School, where he watched at-risk youth produce good work once a spark was ignited.

“Many think they haven’t accomplished anything to be proud of. We need to help them find what they can be good at. Once they have that, then they have intrinsic motivation. We help them think about how they can apply what they learn to school and life.”

While data shows that ACC’s college skills courses support retention and improved grades, Gerson says what’s satisfying is hearing from students who have gone on to earn a college degree.

“For all of us, what’s most gratifying is those you see who are succeeding and they tell us that some of their success is because of what they learned here.”

posted in: ACC Homepage Announcements, ACC Newsroom, Current Students, Faculty and Staff News, i am acc Profiles

11 Responses to “Professor equips students with tools for success”

  1. Kelynne Gaines says:

    Hello, I’m an ACC student and I was wondering how to take professor Raymond Gerson course? This was a very good read, and I’m more interested in becoming a more successful, and stronger student.

    • Tobin Quereau says:

      Hello, Kelynne,

      While Professor Gerson’s sections are both full at this point, you can find some sections of the SDEV 0111 Transition to College Success course or the college credit level PSYC 1300 Effective Learning course still available in the 12 week session and the second 8 week session. If you go to Student Development in the web schedule they will be listed there.

      If you want to discuss these options, you can call me, Tobin Quereau, at (512) 223-3391 on Monday and we go over what each course can provide.

      Thanks for your interest in our courses!


    • mreyes says:

      Hi Kelynne, student success courses like Professor Gerson’s are a smart investment in your college plans. Speak with an ACC advisor or the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division to explore your student development course options.

  2. Charlene Gill says:

    Our students use this wonderful textbook in the College Transitions Program, and they absolutely love it. They report that it’s easy to use and understand, and they often say they read it on their own time (even beyond the pages their instructor assigned!) As a textbook, it equips them with skills and knowledge regarding college success, and this is crucial, but I think it does something even more valuable: It builds their confidence. After reading this book, the students BELIEVE that they can be successful, and they know they now have the skills to do so. And, really, that is the mark of a successful textbook.

    • Raymond Gerson says:

      Charlene, thank you for this feedback which is gratifying to hear. It is great to hear that the students are believing in themselves and developing success mindsets. I believe that our mindset accounts for about 80% of success.

    • Sharon Frederick says:


      I am teaching from your textbook as we speak at the EVC! This is the Adult Ed College Transitions Program OUTSTANDING class of Summer 2014! They want me to tell you that everything Charlene Gill stated is true and one student just revealed that her 14 & 15 year old kids have been reading the textbook and are gaining a lot of knowledge as well. The students wanted me to tell you “HELLO” and THANK YOU!

      Your friend and colleague,
      Dr. Sharon Frederick

      • Raymond Gerson says:

        Sharon, I appreciate your comments and feedback. It is great teachers/professors like yourself who make the book come alive.

  3. Daisy Diaz-Alemany PhD LPC NCC says:

    Awesome, I love your books and have used them in teaching. both HUDE-0111 and POFT- Career Exploration. Will be teachig SDEV-0111 this Fall and I am looking forward to another great semester.

    Thanks for all you do to motivate the next generation.

    • Raymond Gerson says:

      Daisy, thank you for your comments. I hope you have a great fall semester with your students.

  4. Alecia Wells says:

    What you are doing Prof.Gerson is changing lives.
    This course changed my mindset and gave me the instruction I needed to become a successful college student.
    I did graduate. I am gainfully employed, I am starting my BA program in the Fall and I am grateful to you. I am ACC!

    • Raymond Gerson says:

      Alecia, thank you for your comments. Congratulations on graduating from ACC and for your success on the job. You have the work ethic and determination to have much continued success in college and in your career.