1. Academic Prep Fall 2024
  2. Is this course for you?
  3. Topics include
  4. After the Course
  5. Location
  6. Housing
  7. Course Fee
  8. Registration
  9. What do students say about Academic Prep?
  10. Student Success
  11. Our Team
  12. Questions?

Starting university is exciting, but it can be 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!

Academic Prep Fall 2024

Monday, August 19 – Friday, August 23

Is this course for you?

  • Lectures and readings on evidence-based learning strategies and habits for success in university.
  • Hands-on workshops let you discuss what you learn and practice applying it.
  • Mock tests and assignments help you get used to the real thing.
  • Skills assessments before, during, and after the course help you track your progress.
  • Build sustainable academic skills and habits that you can keep growing throughout your education.

Topics include

  • Study strategies and habits assessment
  • How to form and maintain habits for success
  • Student mental health: Managing stress & building resiliency
  • How learning works I: Learning styles and other learning myths
  • How learning works II: CIDERS for success
  • Advanced goal setting: What’s a WOOP?
  • Metacognition: The ultimate study skill
  • Collaboration skills for higher education
  • (Arts students) Reading & writing for university: How to adapt to any writing assignment
  • (Science student) Conceptual problem-solving: Beyond plug & chug

After the Course

Academic Prep s more than just a week-long course! It takes time to learn new skills and habits, so we offer structure and accountability throughout your first year of university.

  • Optional group check-ins in the Fall and Winter semesters. Reconnect with your peers, discuss your academic progress, and get support with adapting your skills to your current classes.
  • Optional one-on-one academic coaching for individualized support.


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

There is currently 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.
  • For off-campus accommodations, please visit the Housing and Residence Life Services web site

Course Fee

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.


Students register in Academic Prep through Carleton Central. Under Fall courses, search for course code CIED 0999. Registration details.

What do students say about Academic Prep?

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).
  • 2023 cohort: Academic Prep students earned a higher grade point average (7.31) than students who didn’t take Academic Prep (6.44).
  • 2024 cohort: Academic Prep students earned an average Fall GPA of 7.84, more than one full grade point higher than students who didn’t take Academic Prep (Fall GPA of 6.75).

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, puzzles, 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 a Master’s degree in Education. She works as a Program Administrator in Carleton University’s Lifelong Learning Program. In her spare time, Sam organizes and runs Dungeons & Dragons sessions and practices Japanese jiu jitsu.

Student Facilitators

Fall 2024: Coming soon.


Please email us at AcademicPrep@carleton.ca.

This non-credit course is coordinated by Carleton University’s Centre for Initiatives in Education and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, with support from the Faculty of Public Affairs and the Faculty of Science.