College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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Hot and Passionate …

“White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.” Roald Dahl

VESSELS of VISION

LIVING SUCCESS 3D--ENTHUSIAST

Those who are hot and passionate win…it’s that simple.

~ Judit e. Szabo

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Creativity and Connection in the Classroom

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85% of college-educated professionals say creative thinking is critical for problem solving in their career.

Here’s what else they had to say on why creativity is such an important factor in our classrooms, in our careers, and in our everyday lives, as well:

Creativity and Connection in the Classroom

The study interviewed 1000 college-educated professionals who were employed full-time, 25+ years of age. See source “Creativity and Education: Why it Matters,” by Adobe.


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Trends | Preparing Students for 21st Century Success

Preparing Students for 21st century Success. These are the “skills necessary for students to be able to learn effectively and live productively in our increasingly digital world,” according to learning.com. We all need to help prepare students to succeed in college and/or career.

EdTech Digest

Preparing Students for 21st Century Success - aLearning.com Infographic

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At Semester’s End: Closing Thoughts from an English Prof

Keep Moving Forward.

As a college instructor, beginnings and endings are an integral part of my life. Each semester, I meet a new group of students, in each of my classes, and we get to know each other. We connect and we learn each others’ stories, if you will. 18 weeks later, we part ways, having shared the classroom experience. Although I occasionally have a student for another semester, for the most part I won’t see many of them again. Our time together is brief but significant.

I believe that the way you begin a semester is absolutely critical. From day 1, you’re teaching and you’re leading and you’re setting the tone. But on the flip side of that, I believe that endings are equally crucial. One part of their journey may be over, a class checked off a list of requirements, but the next steps are still to be taken, and the finish line of graduation, still a long way off. By ending on the right tone, you set your students up for taking that next step. You set them up to keep moving forward.

For a sense of closure and to mark the end of the semester, I always have a class party, in the form of a potluck and a mega-trivia challenge, based on the course content. These are celebrations of all the hard work, critical thinking, sharing of ideas and ok, blood, sweat and tears, that students have put into their writing and learning for those 18 weeks. These parties are so much fun. Students bring in all sorts of amazing delicacies, and this semester, one of my students even brought in homemade tamales-cooked by none other than his abuela–for the entire class. Another student made 2 different types of cake pops, while another did a homemade pie…we are never lacking sweet treats at these shindigs! Far more important than the food though, these gestures show the students that they have meant something to each other, and the connections made have been important.

I also write a “Final Thought” blog post, to reflect on the semester and wish my students well as they continue on their path towards their academic goals. I specifically tell them “Don’t ever give up.” Students do need to hear that message, early and often, during their college careers. So much of student success comes from resilience, grit, and a belief that it is possible. As instructors, we are teachers. But, we are also role models, mentors and messengers, and when we believe in them, students start to have a stronger belief in themselves. Here’s this year’s post, called On Endings, Broad Margins, and Moving Forward.

How about you? What do you do to mark the end of a semester or school year? Do you have certain traditions or rituals that help you to wind down, say goodbye, and move ahead in a positive way? I’d love to hear from you.

All the best for a restful Winter Break~

Lisa xo


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7 Ways to Retain College Transfer Students

This post is a re-print from Jo Hilman of Noel Levits. For the full post, click Campus officials rate retention programs for college transfer students less effective than first-year student retention programs

7-point checklist for retaining college transfer students, by Jo Hilman

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Understanding transfer students’ attitudes, receptivity, motivations, and level of satisfaction with services is important in supporting their needs. The key is to tailor student success programs to these needs. Below are ideas to consider.

Does your institution offer:

1.  Orientation programs tailored specifically for transfer students, including segments that address concerns such as transfer of credit, finances, major-related internships, and meaningful work experiences?

2.  Programs beyond the usual classroom and advising services that connect transfer students to faculty, staff, and native students within academic or co-curricular interest areas?

3.  Peer mentors for transfer students?

4.  Assignment of students to an advisor within the student’s major/area of interest with an early focus on confirming or further refining a written academic plan?

5.  An advising center devoted to transfer students?

6.  Career fairs for students who are undecided about a major?

7.  Academic support services based on areas of student need and receptivity?

All of these areas are solid ways to support transfer students and increase transfer student retention.


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5 Ways a College Degree Pays: a richer life in all respects!

Video: “5 Ways Ed Pays.” A college degree means a richer life-not just in terms of money earned, but in quality of life! Get inspired. Be inspirational. Every student deserves a teacher who inspires! Just be open to good things, and be yourself…that will do! 

 

Do you agree that a college degree means a richer life? Post a comment and join the discussion! We’d love to hear from you!

 


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1 Easy Way to Be a Hero

Be a Hero. Mentor a child.

Did you know…the presence of at least one caring, supportive adult in a child’s life can make all the difference?

I’m passionate about student success and educational equality. Sometimes, we look at our education system, and all we see are the broken pieces the media reports on, so we toss up our hands and say, “well what can I do, I’m just one person,”  absolving ourselves from the whole thing. But, that’s exactly right–you are ONE person and ONE person is all it takes. That’s the Power of You.

Research shows that when adults get involved to mentor and work with students, they have the power to help kids increase10573321855[1] academic achievement, stay on track, think more positively about themselves and increase their opportunities of going on to college.

Think you’re too busy to get involved? Mentoring doesn’t take as much time as you might think. It is as simple as signing up to read to a child for an hour a week. This can make all the difference in the life of an at-risk child, because statistics show us that a child that can’t read well by the end of third grade is FOUR times more likely to drop out of high school.

So, the easy way to earn your Super Hero cape? Sign up as a mentor. Help close the opportunity gap a little bit. And the funny thing is–you will end up feeling like you’re the one that was given a gift. That’s right! By helping someone else move forward a little bit…you move yourself forward.

If you don’t know where to start, try your local library or the United Way. If you already volunteer as a mentor, leave a comment and tell us what you’re involved in. If you think you might want to mentor a young person, but haven’t made the leap, what’s holding you back? I’d love to hear from you.

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Source: Double Jeopardy: How 3rd Grade Reading Scores and Poverty Influence High School Graduation


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Think Before You Share–7 Rules for Posting Photos Online

“Is it Going to Cause Drama?”

Digital natives have grown up in front of the cameras. Posting, tweeting, selfies–it is all about the image. In an Instagram world, those images are shared at lightening speed and often without permission. This infographic by CommonSense Media, which appeared on Edudemic, is a great visual to help students consider responsible use of photos on social media. I like that it asks students to think about whether or not the photo would “pass the Grandma test.”

So, I Took A Photo Of My Friend, Now What?