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K-State Today

September 27, 2018

K-State First publishes student success textbook

Submitted by Brent Weaver

K-State First has published a new, open-source student success textbook, "Your Journey to First-Year Success: A K-State First Companion Textbook." The textbook is the course textbook for University Experience and also will be used in other first-year courses.

"Creating our own textbook allows us to build a course that is tailored to the skills we know first-year students need help with," said Ellen Clayton, a University Experience instructor and academic coach in the Academic Achievement Center.

"If we can eliminate the cost of one book, that's more money in the student's pocket for groceries, gas, or bills, and that can make a huge difference," said Megan Katt, another University Experience instructor and health educator with Lafene Student Health Center. 

"Your Journey to First-Year Success" is a resource to help students successfully navigate through their first year at Kansas State University. It serves as part of the K-State First mission to create an outstanding university experience for every first-year student by helping with the transition to college-level learning and college life. In any university setting, there are often unwritten rules that students are expected to understand; this textbook addresses and answers those questions directly. The textbook helps improve chances for student success by focusing on fostering campus community, offering resources for diverse activities, highlighting academic expectations, and empowering students with personal responsibility and social agency.

"It doesn't get any more relevant than this, and as instructors we can use 100 percent of the text," said Sarah Howe, who also teaches University Experience and serves as an advisor with the A.Q. School of Journalism and Mass Communications. "A textbook for K-State students made by K-Staters."

The following individuals were part of the team that edited, designed, wrote and supported the creation of the textbook:


  • Mandi McKinley
  • Reagan Swank
  • Brent Weaver


  • Mariya Vaughan

Chapter contributors

  • Cydney Alexis
  • Tara Coleman
  • Jaime DeTour
  • Mandi McKinley
  • Jessica Preston Kerr
  • Cheryl Rauh
  • Mariya Vaughan
  • Brent Weaver
  • R.J. Youngblood

Other support

  • Greg Eiselein
  • Dan Geist
  • Jack McHugh
  • Haley Weinberg