1. Is this course for you?
  2. New! Academic Prep: Winter Reset
  3. Location
  4. Housing
  5. Course Fee
  6. What do students say about the course?
  7. Student Success
  8. Our Team
  9. Questions?

Starting university is exciting, but a little daunting. Academic Prep is an on-campus course that helps you make a strong start in your university studies.

You will develop academic skills, establish habits for success, meet new people, and get to know Carleton’s campus!

Is this course for you?

  • Lectures and readings teach you evidence-based learning strategies and habits that really work.
  • Hands-on workshops let you discuss what you learn and practice applying it.
  • Group follow-up meetings help keep you on track in your work and connected to your peers.
  • One-on-one academic coaching supports you in real time as you tackle your assignments and exams.
  • Skills assessments before, during, and after the course help you track your progress.

See the menu on the left for the course description and how to register.

New! Academic Prep: Winter Reset

If you didn’t have the first semester of university you were hoping for, Academic Prep: Winter Reset may be for you. With one term done, you’re in a good position to assess your experience and adjust your approach before the Winter term begins.

  • Friday, January 5 – Sunday, January 7, 2024
  • 10AM-3PM, with a one-hour lunch break
  • Mix of lectures, readings, and hands-on workshops
  • Optional group check-ins and individual coaching throughout the semester


All Academic Prep courses are in person on the Carleton University campus. The exact location will be available in Carleton Central to registered students.

There is no online version of Academic Prep.


  • Students are responsible for arranging their own lodgings during Academic Prep.
  • Unfortunately, Carleton University residence is not available for Academic Prep students in the Fall.
  • For off-campus accommodations, please visit the Housing and Residence Life Services web site
  • For the Winter session of Academic Prep, students who live in Residence may apply for Holiday Stay Over.

Course Fee

Academic Prep: Winter Reset. The fee for this 3-day course is $175 including HST and is added to your Winter term fees. Payment is due when your Winter term fees are due. See this page for fee-payment information.

Academic Prep. The fee for this 5-day course is $250 including HST and is added to your Fall term fees. Payment is due when your Fall term fees are due. See this page for fee-payment information.

What do students say about the course?

What did you learn in this course?

  • “Just how inefficient my learning had been throughout all of high school.”
  • “To be compassionate towards myself”
  • “Even if I knew some of the strategies, I learned how to adapt and apply them to different situations.”
  • “The learning myths were fascinating to learn about.”
  • “It helped me grow as a person.”

Did your perspective shift? If so, how?

  • “Anyone can achieve a degree with the right tools and resilience.”
  • “Seems a lot less scary and more manageable now. I didn’t think I was afraid of university before, but after taking this course, I realize how many misconceptions I had about how intense and offputting it would be.”
  • “It was clear that profs and TAs care about our success.”
  • “I loved this course and I’m glad that I registered for it. It was helpful and made me know more things about myself.”

Student Success

We compared first-year outcomes for students who did and did not take Academic Prep. Both groups were comparable in age, gender, program of study, and high school average.

  • Academic Prep students earned more credits (4.24) than students who didn’t take Academic Prep (3.64).
  • Academic Prep students earned a higher grade point average (7.31) than students who didn’t take Academic Prep (6.44).

Our Team

Course Designer and Coordinator

Dr. Rachelle Thibodeau specializes in university student retention and success, peer-supported learning, and the psychology of teaching and learning. She is the Coordinator of Academic Support, Program Evaluation, and Research for the Centre for Initiatives in Education, and a founding member of both the Centre for Initiatives in Education and the Enriched Support Program. Outside of her academic life, Rachelle enjoys reading novels and vegetarian cooking.

Assistant Coordinator

Sam Kwok has 6 years of experience as an academic Facilitator, Team Leader, and Coach in the Enriched Support Program. She holds a BA from Carleton in Criminology, and is completing a Master’s degree in Education. Outside of her academic life, Sam organizes and runs Dungeons & Dragons sessions and practices Japanese jiu jitsu.

Student Facilitators

Fall 2023: Milan El-Hakim, Saghar Shadabi, and Olivia O’Dale.

Winter 2024: To be announced


Please email us at AcademicPrep@carleton.ca.