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Harley-McClaskey co-authors ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective College Students’
Dr. Deborah Harley-McClaskey, office portrait

JOHNSON CITY – This past summer, East Tennessee State University faculty member Dr. Deborah Harley-McClaskey got an unexpected phone call.

“It was from Sean Covey, the author of ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective College Students’ and President of FranklinCovey Education,” recalls Harley-McClaskey, an associate professor in the Clemmer College. “He and his staff wanted to know if I would consider interviewing to be the co-author of the next edition of his book – I was completely blown away.”

“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective College Students” is a widely-taught textbook derived from Stephen R. Covey’s global bestseller “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Harley-McClaskey has used this book to teach leadership classes for the Clemmer College at ETSU’s Learn2Lead program, which offers an interdisciplinary minor in Leadership Studies for undergraduates and a graduate certificate in Community Leadership. She has also been a FranklinCovey facilitator and trainer for 12 years.

Harley-McClaskey not only got to interview for the spot, but after interviewing, she was selected as one of two of Covey’s co-authors. She and Guatemalan professor and writer Dr. Monica Rio Nevado de Zelaya have been working together since August to update the book.

Harley-McClaskey and de Zelaya have read through each chapter multiple times to identify items for rewrites and updates. One major change they have implemented is to create “bookends” around each chapter, which now begin with key questions, interactive activities, and end with reflective journals and application exercises. The authors hope to provide quality learning experiences that will help students become successful not only in school or their jobs, but in their lives. 

“It’s important to us that each chapter gives students a practical ‘starting now’ opportunity,” Harley-McClaskey said. “We want them to commit to incorporating a leadership concept from each chapter into their lives.”

ETSU’s Learn2Lead program will directly benefit from Harley-McClaskey co-authoring the book. Students in the program will have the opportunity to take classes with her in which she teaches and models the seven habits concepts. She will also train faculty how to use the text and its concepts through training videos and an instructor's guide.

Additionally, this book will help get word out about the Learn2Lead program, leadership minor and graduate certificate.

“This recognition from an internationally known leadership organization shows that others think of our leadership program as high quality,” she adds. “It’s exciting to think our leadership program and my skills are thought of so highly.”

The new edition of the textbook will launch in Feb. 2019.

“I hope this book leads to another fun door to open,” Harley-McClaskey said. “And I’m ready to walk through it when it does.”

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