Academic Success

One of our primary goals is to help students who live on-campus succeed academically and graduate. Our Residence Life staff is available where you live and is equipped to assist you in achieving academic and personal success.

There are also numerous programs across campus designed to help you excel. Here are a few we would like to highlight:


The DOR has been uning MAP-Works®, Making Achievement Possible, to help students for over 10 years. The MAP-Works® survey helps us to identify those students who are struggling early in the fall so that we can provide the support/resources they need. This assessment has shown us some common areas students may struggle with in their first semester. Here are some tips to help you if you're struggling with any of the following topics:

Your Hall Director, Apartment Community Manager and Community Adviser are also all resources in your hall or apartment that can help you!

Psych 131

Psych 131 is a one-credit-hour course offered both fall and spring semesters intended to equip both incoming and returning students with a variety of academic skills and study strategies. Whether students are coming straight from high school, transferring from another institution, returning to Iowa State and looking for new skills, or entering as an adult learner, this course may be very helpful in being academically successful. 

Topics include Critical and Creative Thinking, Healthy Choices, Memory, Note Taking, Relationships, Test Preparation and Taking, Time Management, Reading, and Writing. Class size is generally limited to 25 students to allow for group interaction as well as individual attention. Check the Registrar's Schedule of Classes for availability.

What Do Students Say about Psych 131?

  • "It gives good tips to get started at college without being demanding or time restricting."
  • "Enjoyed the class. I found out a lot about myself. I enjoyed how laid back it was."
  • "(The teacher) is a very inspiring and wonderful person. She has truly made a difference in my life. Thanks!"
  • "(My instructor) had a great attitude and a fun way to teach the material.

Supplemental Instruction (SI)

Supplemental Instruction is an internationally recognized academic support program offering free, regularly scheduled study sessions for traditionally difficult courses. Three to five 50-minute sessions using collaborative learning methods are held each week. SI sessions are facilitated by SI Leaders, who are undergraduate students who have previously taken the course and demonstrated academic competency in the subject area.

Attend once or attend every session, the choice is up to you, but our data suggests that the more you attend, the higher your final grade will be in the course. We recommend attending SI on a regular basis. Students who participate in SI will:

  • Learn how-to-learn while learning what-to-learn.
  • Work collaboratively with peer students in a facilitated environment.
  • Receive support from a trained, educated SI Leader.