AAA000 Course Title

Lesson 1
Success Strategies to Keep You on Course
True Grit

Introduction: Connecting Your Learning

In this course, you will explore five areas that will lead you to success in achieving your goal of continuing your education. Topics addressed include:

  1. Lesson 1: Success Strategies to Keep You on Course
  2. Lesson 2: Study Habits and Skills of Successful Learners
  3. Lesson 3: Effective Communication and Barriers
  4. Lesson 4: Initiative, Motivation, and Procrastination
  5. Lesson 5: Career Exploration

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

- George Bernard Shaw

Lesson 1 shows you how to create the necessary attitude of stick-to-it-iveness to excel in academics and in life by using a steady, persistent approach. You will learn how to begin a task and ways you can improve your attitude of grit to complete what you set out to do. You will discover the kind of attitude that makes you a successful student, as well as how much grit you already have (and may need to develop) to succeed in passing the High School Equivalency (HSE) and completing further education. Have some fun with this.

Please use this dictionary Web site to look up any unfamiliar words.

Readings, Resources, and Assignments
Required Readings

Lesson Materials: Lesson 1 including the information located in the Presentation and Practice.

Multimedia Resources (optional)

View the True Grit PowerPoint presentation.

Required Assignments
  • Meet and Greet!
  • 12-Item True Grit Scale
  • True Grit Reflection Exercise

See "Assessing Your Learning" for details on each assignment.

Check Prior Knowledge

Check this out! Which one are you aiming to become?

Are you a successful student or a struggling student?

Comparison of Successful Students and Struggling Students
Successful Students: Struggling Students:
Accept personal responsibility for their life outcomes. See themselves as victims, blaming others for outcomes and issues.
Express desire and drive to fulfill personal goals. Are challenged to stay motivated and often lack the desire to set goals.
Manage time effectively to meet goals. Seldom identify a specific plan of action needed to achieve goals.  

Focusing Your Learning

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  1. Explore facets of computer literacy.
  2. Define what grit means and explain the value of developing grit.
  3. Identify gritty behaviors and attitudes.
  4. Identify how developing grit can change your approach to life.
  5. Evaluate your own level of grit and identify ways you can choose to change.
  6. Identify character traits you want to eliminate, change, or strengthen to improve your success in academics and in life.

To help you prepare for the information contained in Lesson 1 and complete the assessments found in the Assessing Your Learning Section, visit the Key Terms Link and play the interactive games using the terms from this lesson.

Key Terms: Flashcards

Presentation and Practice

Computer Literacy

Before you begin this course, you should have a fundamental understanding of computer usage. The series of links below covers computer literacy topics. Look over the topics and click on any that discuss skills you would like to improve. These Web sites are full of helpful information. Feel free to copy and paste the links into a Word document and save them for future use.

Browser Basics

Email Basics


Video: Finding your files on Windows 7


How True Grit Came About

For several years, Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied what makes people successful. She attended Harvard and Oxford Universities and watched some students succeed while others dropped out.

She wondered about the difference in these students, since those people who make it to Harvard and Oxford usually have a high IQ, money, and many other advantages that helped to get them there.

Duckworth also studied West Point Cadets, National Spelling Bee contestants, and many other groups of people. Over and over, she found that IQ is not the most important factor in success, and neither is the grades earned in school.

Instead, she found that grit is the most important factor. Grit is a character trait. It is how your actions match up with what you think is important, especially as you work toward your long-term goals.

Grit is another word for perseverance. Grit is not giving up when life gets hard. Grit is diligently keeping your focus on your goal when you encounter setbacks (the tough spots that make your goal seem too difficult or impossible) – and getting to that goal no matter what.

Michael Jordan was not a naturally better basketball player than the other Chicago Bulls. He practiced longer and harder, and wanted to win more.

Grit can be developed. If you don't have a lot now, you can work on it, and become grittier.

Summarize and Review

Watch and listen to this presentation ("True Grit") to review the most important points about true grit.

True Grit Presentation

Assessing Your Learning

Answer in detail the questions in the Assessing Your Learning section that follows. Type your answers in the space or textbox indicated in the submission link.

  1. Student Introduction/Information
  2. Please introduce yourself in the submission box below, and include in your discussion:

    • Educational Goals
    • General Interests
    • Work Experience
    • Why you are taking the High School Equivalency (HSE) preparatory class
  3. Use the instruction guide below to complete the Grit Survey. Don't worry if your score is low, you can always raise it!
  4. Instruction Guide: Accessing the Grit Survey

  5. Complete the Individual Reflection on the results of your Grit Scale.

Remember, it can be difficult to change habits of attitude and behavior. You will be most successful if you just focus on 1 or 2 items at a time until you have mastered them, and then move on to the next ones.

Submit Individual Reflection of 12 Grit Scale



Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1087-1101.


Additional Attributions