IST professor authors Student Guide to Success at Penn State

February 15, 2012

Edward Glantz, a professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, has a wealth of experience to draw from when it comes to helping students get acclimated at Penn State. In his new book, “A Student Guide to Success at Penn State,” he explains to incoming students that getting a degree in a particular major is not the ultimate goal of a college education.  Rather, he encourages incoming students to “take advantage of all that college has to offer, including preparing for the first job.”

“I'm constantly being asked how to translate what we learn in the classroom and then apply it to getting on with life, including getting a job,” Glantz said. “This book provides this advice in a more shareable form.”

“A Student Guide to Success at Penn State” is divided into two sections. “Part I - Blueprint for Success” gives tips on how to succeed academically in college, while “Part II - Being on Campus” focuses on day-day-day survival on campus. “Part I” includes tips on managing time, taking notes in classes and job-hunting. In “Part II”, Glantz offers advice on getting involved in campus life, navigating the university’s information systems, and finding resources to deal with specific issues.

Glantz’s roots run deep at Penn State. He completed his doctorate with the first group of graduate students in the College of IST, and also holds a bachelor's of science degree in mechanical engineering and a bachelor of arts degree in general arts and science from Penn State. In addition, he received a master's of business administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate, he worked in Penn State’s College of Agriculture and as a photojournalist for The Daily Collegian. He served as a supply chain and information systems faculty member for 10 years at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business and worked in industry for 20 years.

In addition to being well-versed in the organizational structure of Penn State, Glantz said, his experience with guiding students gives him unique insight into the issues that they face.

“Since 1999, I have taught 9,000 students at University Park, and am the father of two alumni and one current undergraduate from the Colleges of Science, Business and IST,” he said.

Glantz’s book has drawn praise from a number of Penn State students, graduates and faculty members.

“This detailed guide to Penn State offers something for all students, regardless of semester standing,” said Clara Ocneanu, a member of the class of 2014 in the College of IST. “It is hard to discover all of Dr. Glantz’s useful suggestions on your own. This guide serves as both an introduction to the university and a reference for numerous facets of your college career.”

According to Glantz, the college experience has evolved since he was a Penn State undergraduate. A couple of the major shifts that have occurred, he said, are an increased emphasis on early career planning and a change in the nature of student advising.

While Glantz was attending Penn State in the 1970s, he said, students had the luxury of focusing on their classes for most of their college careers. It wasn’t until their senior year that they really started planning for the future. Now, he said, the job searching process starts in freshman year. For most students, completing an internship before graduation is practically a requirement, he added, and some companies won’t hire graduates who haven’t done at least two internships. The College of IST requires its students to do internships. Student clubs, activities and volunteer work also are vital resume boosters.

“In business, I conducted a wide variety of technical and support searches in all parts of North America and have reviewed thousands of resumes,” Glantz said. “In fact, I still enjoy giving students feedback on resumes from an experienced recruiter perspective.”

One of Glantz’s goals for the book is to help retain students at the University. About 15 percent of students who start at Penn State do not continue after their freshman year, he said, and he believes that the attrition rate could be lowered if more freshmen began their studies in the summer, when classes are smaller and the university environment is less overwhelming. For the past 10 years, he has taught in a summer program called LEAP (Learning Edge Academic Program), in which students are grouped into academic “prides”  consisting of two course sections taken by a maximum of 25 students along with an assigned student mentor.

Until around 10 years ago, Glantz said, faculty members acted as formal advisors to their students. While most universities now employ professional student advisors, students are not obligated to meet with them. Developing a relationship with one’s advisor early on and meeting with him or her at least once a semester, he said, are key steps to academic success. Students also need to develop faculty relationships for career advice and academic references, he added.

Glantz recently revised “A Student Guide” to include a chapter on Penn State branch campuses, he said. About half of University Park campus graduates start their Penn State careers at one of the 20 undergraduate campus locations across the commonwealth, he said, and some of those campuses offer four-year programs. Some students may feel that the smaller branch campuses are better suited to them, he added.

Glantz said that he hopes to get feedback on “A Student Guide to Success at Penn State” and make improvements to the book each year. 

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Last Updated January 09, 2015