Reading and Writing

Success First Reading and Writing is a 12-credit hour program that prepares students for the demands of college-level reading and writing assignments. Students learn to communicate effectively in oral and written form, to read for purpose and comprehension, to use standard English grammar and sentence structure, and to use pre-writing, peer review and editing techniques in essays. A supplemental three-credit College and Career Success class helps students develop the characteristics, habits and attitudes of an effective learner. One hour of weekly tutoring is required. 

Class Schedule

Meets Monday through Friday. Four courses are offered to strengthen reading, writing and college success skills (CCS096, CCS097, CCS098 and CCS101). See schedule below. 

Class Day/Time


M,W,F/10:30-11:50 AM


M,W,F/9:00-10:20 AM


T/10:30-11:30 AM

CCS101: First Year Experience

Day and time to be determined

=12 HOURS/FULL-TIME includes 1 hour of tutoring per week by appointment
+ MATH COURSE (optional)

  • Students must meet with Success First faculty in these courses before enrolling in college-level courses. Courses numbered below 100 do not count toward a degree or diploma, but the credits do count toward full-time status for students. Courses at 100 level and higher do count toward degree requirements. 
  • Math option: Students who place into Success First Reading/Writing are highly encouraged to take a math course. Placement in a math course is based on previous high school or college coursework and their scores on entrance tests.
  • Students completing the Success First sequence with an A or B will be eligible to retake the entrance test and be admitted to 100 level classes based on their scores. Admission into college level classes is based on a combination of test scores and achievement in Success First classes.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • To create competent college level readers
  • To read and analyze a variety of texts
  • To understand and apply processes for writing and research
  • To apply textual conventions appropriately to their writing tasks
  • To assist Service Learners to make connections between their community experiences and the larger world, focusing especially on social justice issues.

Program Evaluation

Donnelly has a well-established assessment system for evaluating all of its academic programs, including Success First. Standard indicators used to measure student achievement include attendance records, test scores, course grades, in-class assessments, and semester and cumulative grade point averages (GPAs).  Additional indicators used to measure overall program effectiveness include number and percent of students achieving target outcomes—English language fluency, proficiency in oral and written communication and college readiness. Because the goal of the Success First program is to prepare students to be successful in college-level classes, we also track students’ subsequent performance in Composition I and II and First-Year Experience. Finally, we track the percentage of Donnelly graduates who completed their degree program after beginning their college journeys in Success First. 

Need more information? Contact:

Headshot photo of Gretchen Meinhardt

Gretchen Meinhardt 
Director of Success First 
(913) 621-8721
Office 504 




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