Rod Takacs, Dean of Students- St. Thomas High School
Camille Hagerty, Curriculum and Instruction Specialist- Take Us Higher Learning

Instruction Dates (choose one session)

Session 1:

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 9:00-11:00 AM

Saturday, April 17, 2021, 9:00-11:00 AM

Saturday, April 24, 2021, 9:00-11:00 AM

Session 2:

Saturday, May 1, 2021, 9:00-11:00 AM

Saturday, May 8, 2021, 9:00-11:00 AM

Saturday, May 15, 2021, 9:00-11:00 AM

Course Details

In Pathways to Independent Learning, students are given tools and strategies to take charge of the learning process. They will be able to take full responsibility for choosing effective approaches to long-term learning.

The program consists of three major instructional units:

  1. Developing Self-Advocacy
  2. Developing Communication Skills
  3. Developing Critical Thinking Skills

The advantages of being an independent learner:

  1. Learn how to learn. There is a difference between repeating information and understanding the process of learning. Independent learners go beyond memorization in developing and practicing intellectual creativity and curiosity.
  1. Focus on the process rather than the end. The process of learning should be the greatest adventure for a student. Knowing how to be flexible and using failure as a learning tool often leads to amazing success.
  1. Suitable for different levels of intelligence. Students at all levels can develop the skills of independent learning, and by doing so, will no doubt improve academically.
  1. Promotes time management and other life skills. Being an independent learner requires students to develop skills like planning, prioritizing, and meeting deadlines, as well as how to deal with distraction.
  1. Develop a passion for learning and exploring curiosity. Understanding the process of learning piques students’ interest and makes them want to learn more because they lose the attitude of “I can’t do it”.
  1. Develop intrinsic motivation and satisfaction. Independent learners will come to depend on themselves for a job well done. They push on, even when the world is not cheering them on, because they know self-satisfaction is enough.
  1. Become aware of strengths and weaknesses. Independent learners can use their strengths to their advantage. They are equipped to deal with their weaknesses and find strategies to improve them.
  1. Learn how to communicate with others. Independent learners build stronger relationships with teachers, parents, and friends because they develop skills to communicate effectively.
  1. Possess the ability to handle failure. An independent learner focuses more on the process of learning, so failure is not as scary because it is used as a learning tool.
  1. Become more resourceful. Independent learners can navigate the learning process. They know where to find information, how to use information, and ultimately how to apply information in the real world. These skills allow them to easily adapt to any learning environment, virtual or face-to-face.

This course will be conducted in person on the campus of St. Thomas High School. All materials are supplied.

For questions, contact Rod Takacs at

Click the link below to view a video about becoming an independent learner!

Independent Learning Video

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  • Session 1
     April 10, 2021 - April 24, 2021
     9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Session 2
     May 1, 2021 - May 15, 2021
     9:00 am - 11:00 am


4500 Memorial Dr., Houston, Texas, 77007, United States


Turner Hall