Amy Hofer; James Glapa-Grossklag; and T Ford

The book you are reading is an open educational resource (OER). With the Creative Commons by attribution license, the textbook is free to read online, can be downloaded for reading offline, printed without violating copyright, or students can purchase a print version for only the cost of printing. Students have access to OER from the first day of classes and can download or print a copy to keep forever with no expiration date or restricted access. Other college success instructors can make use of the open license on this book to customize, modify, adapt, or remix it.  They can then use and redistribute it in their own classes, so that their students can also use no-cost or low-cost materials.

I travel all over Oregon giving workshops about textbook affordability and I meet a lot of people who teach college success classes. They are often guidance counselors, like Dave, but they also sometimes teach in another discipline or within a First-Year Experience program. Their courses might focus on study skills, “college knowledge,” or the science of learning. Their students might have graduated from high school or they might be returning to college after a gap of many years.

College success courses are taught in many different ways, but one commonality that I hear again and again is that students do NOT need an expensive textbook getting in the way of their success in this class, of all classes.

That’s why it’s so important that Dave has published this book with an open license. Not only that, but he made use of other openly licensed books in order to pull together the best of the best. He has collected his own work here along with student voices, two Open Oregon Educational Resources grantees from Lane Community College, and other materials from the open education community, which is possible to do when the work is openly licensed. He has done this with great care and consideration, consulting with colleagues and drawing on his depth of experience. I hope it really will be a blueprint for your success in college.

— Amy Hofer

Coordinator, Oregon Statewide Open Education Library Services


To think creatively about the future is to risk ridicule. To create the future by acting decisively is to guarantee opposition. The author of this book, Dave Dillon, and your instructor who has assigned this book, have encountered both ridicule and opposition, in order for you to freely access this book.

The book that you are reading is not only about college and career success. Rather, this book demonstrates that the author and your instructor care enough about academic freedom and your success that they have taken decisive action to break away from conventional and traditional ways of packaging and providing textbooks to students. In other words, this book was not produced by a traditional publisher that would have created a product that costs more than you care to think about. Nor was it produced by a traditional publisher far away from your classroom, your concerns, and your way of learning. Instead, this book was created by Dave Dillon, writing and editing and collecting his own words and those of other dedicated teachers. It is presented to you as an Open Educational Resource—a creative work that is licensed so that it can be used, shared, and re-mixed freely and legally.

All of this means that you can focus on learning, not on student debt; you are learning with materials carefully selected by teachers who care about your success; and you can keep the book, share it, and even re-mix it (with proper attribution). Perhaps, after all, this book is about making good choices in one’s college and career experiences.

James Glapa-Grossklag
Dean, Educational Technology, Learning Resources and Distance Learning
Co-Coordinator, Technical Assistance, CCC Zero Textbook Cost Degree program
Treasurer and Past President of the Board, Open Education Consortium
College of the Canyons


To repeat a quote from this Open Educational Resource textbook, the pursuit of higher education is a “journey not a destination”—a daunting endeavor for any new student. The good news, the author, Dave Dillon, has captured some of the essential ideas, concepts and foundations for students who have chosen to start their path towards higher learning.

It has been my pleasure to have Dave as a colleague. Our combined years of teaching various personal growth and development courses spans approximately 50 years. Generally, these types of courses are not deemed “required” at many colleges and universities. However, our experience informs us that these courses are often filled to capacity because the student pursuing their new educational journey knows that it takes more than “wishing and hoping” to be successful. It takes a plan.

Dave asks you, the student, to consider your passions. Inside you will find quotes, objectives, goals and also a relevant story or two from Dave’s personal life. He shares some of his life as an open invitation for you to not be afraid to question, to make mistakes, to trust, to learn, and ultimately continue your journey towards becoming a better student.

He challenges students to meet, know, and expect obstacles. The journey is not a straight path. But one must persist and “Press On.”

Enjoy your journey.

T. Ford
Professor Emeritus
Grossmont College


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Foreword Copyright © 2021 by Amy Hofer; James Glapa-Grossklag; and T Ford is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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