As educators within American colleges and universities, we look for best practices and universal designs in retention programs that help students become better prepared for tackling college-level coursework. Many programs encourage study skills courses and seminars with the intent to increase students' ability to think critically, synthesize knowledge and build on previous knowledge with new knowledge learned. With this in view, the purpose of this study was to look at the effectiveness of a learning strategies seminar on first-year students' academic success, retention, and persistence. The participants were students who attended a small liberal arts college. Students were exposed to non-traditional learning methods that tapped into their own innate learning abilities that enhanced critical thinking,analysis, problem-solving, and memory abilities. A sample syllabus outlining content and a course proposal to offer the seminar as a credit-bearing course are also included.