And all the optimism, opportunity and rewards that come along with it.
It’s my first day! Wish me luck! When do you go back to school? Are you excited? Ready? What do you like best about the first day? For me…it’s that sense of starting a brand new adventure. New students. New faces, New dreams. Being in a room filled with dreamers is a wonderful feeling.
This article from US News & World Report “Top 10 Secrets of College Success” outlines the way college students can soar to the top of the class. Don’t let nerves get the best of you. Set out to succeed, make a plan and stick to it. The 10 tips in the article are a good starting point.
As a college prof who has been in the classroom for 17 years, I have to agree with the list. I am especially fond of #3: “Get to class!” and #8: “Get to know your prof!” I would say that in my many years of experience, with countless numbers of students, the ones that consistently do the best are there. In the seat. At every. Single. Class. Yes. We did something important today at that class you missed.
And they come to office hours. When they can’t make office hours, they send me an email to set-up an appointment. Don’t be afraid to reach out like that. We really (REALLY!) want you to come talk with us at anytime, not only when you are having difficulties, but for mentoring, advice about classes, and just to connect. And I promise, it is so NOT like getting sent to the principal’s office. We are kinda cool peeps in a “tweed jacket with elbow patches kind of way.” (Just kidding. I don’t own a tweed jacket.) Again, students who do connect with their instructors tend to do better overall, according to the research.
I’m going to put in a quick plug for one that isn’t on the list. #11, if you will. Make sure to get involved in campus life. There are literally hundreds of clubs, organizations, sports team (and not just varsity athletics, intramural, too!), and a variety of other groups to check out. Find what fits for you. It’s a great way to meet other students, make some new friends, and to really invest in college life.
Students that feel connected, with their peers, their professors, and their college, actually graduate at much higher rates of completion! So not only are you having fun & getting better grades, you are making progress toward your long-term academic goals.
Good luck to all of you as you start the new semester. If I can be of any help to you, please reach out. The comments are open. You can also follow us on facebook to get quick updates, articles and advice for college success. You know what to do…just click that blue button at the top of this page that says “Like.” Consider me your virtual college coach…here to help you make it to the finish line.
Happy Blogaversary! It’s been exactly one year since I started College Ready Coach. What a year it has been! I’ve learned so much, and met so many great bloggers, writers, students and educators along the way! The one common denominator we all share: a passion for learning.
I could not have anticipated what the year would hold, but decided to take that leap, jump in and get started. It’s meant a lot of writing, amazing opportunities, more writing, and new adventures, as the message of College Ready has been shared & spread around the globe. Now, 12 months later, with over 6700 visitors from 93 countries, I am grateful, humbled, and excited to embrace the next step!
Thank you so much for making this blog a place for students, parents, and educators to have a conversation, share ideas, and support one another. We need opportunity, access, and mentors to make sure every student has a chance to be college ready. For more on helping first-generation college students succeed, check out this article.
I truly believe that “Education is the movement from darkness to light,” (Allan Bloom). Reach out to me if you have any questions, or need help shedding some light on the process of getting from high school to college.
I am happy to feature guest bloggers, especially international students , college freshmen, and parents of college students. Feel free to message me if you have ideas or suggestions.
For more on why I started the blog, and the importance of being a mentor in a student’s life, you can read this post: 1 Easy Way to be a Hero.
To find out more about CollegeReadyCoach, check out our About page.
We hear that question a lot in the news. And the simple answer is, yes…it does. These statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reflect the difference in weekly salary and in the unemployment rate between a worker with a high school diploma and a college degree.
So, the answer is yes, but proceed with awareness. See my earlier post regarding the ROI–Return on Investment-of a college degree. The territory needs to be navigated with not only enthusiasm for a certain school or university, but with awareness and information. This awareness should include a strategy to get to the finish line with a diploma in hand and without the burden of too much debt. To do this, make sure to carefully consider which college you attend, for how long, and what if any student loan debt you will have upon graduation. Visit your on-campus advisors and counselors early and often and make sure to have the information you need to be informed.
Millennials are the workplace of the future. Those with degrees will not only be more employable after graduation, they will make higher salaries and be in demand.
Move over Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic.” According to “The Learning Curve,” here are the 8 “Must-Have” skills students will need in the future to stay competitive:
Leadership. Digital Literacy. Communication. Emotional Intelligence. Entrepreneurship. Global Citizenship. Problem Solving. Team Working.
Notice the strong reliance on the social-emotional aspects of interpersonal communication, along with the need to lead and be able to work in a collaborative environment. Students often balk at group work, but this is what all future employers see as essential.
These “21st century non-cognitive skills” are essential in a global market, and are defined as the “abilities important for social interaction.”
I found this post via Edudemic. You can read their entire post here. The information and graphic came from the original report called “The Learning Curve,” produced by Pearson. You can read it here.
Ahhh, Summer. To students, it means freedom and fun and lazy days with friends. With so much free time, this could also mean the perfect opportunity for your teen to try out volunteering at a local non-profit.
Often, teens need community service for a high school requirement. Others want to volunteer as part of their preparations for applying to colleges and universities. But that isn’t what summertime is all about. Summer is about the unknown, trying new things, and finding new paths. That’s why trying on a new role as a volunteer is the perfect way to help others and have some fun in the sun! Endless opportunities exist for teens to get their feet wet and find an authentic way to get involved. Some teens will love the fast pace of organizing a soccer match at a youth camp, while others will love the serenity of restoring a park trail.
One simple suggestion–I am a big fan of libraries, and summer reading programs. These programs often use kids as young as 13 as volunteers to sign up participants, and help run events. It gives your child a chance to start small. Typically, a teen volunteers for a one-two hour shift just once a week. These programs couldn’t run without the help of the teens who show up each summer.
Check out what is going on locally this summer in your area and you just might find you have a teen that wants to get involved. A quick and easy web search will help you find an organization in need. One great resource is VolunteerMatch.org. They’ve connected over 7.9 million volunteers with opportunities to help in their communities.
Community service isn’t just a buzz word for a college application. It’s about all the good we do, and the good we feel, when we help others in need.
Whether you like the great outdoors, or prefer the great American novel, there’s an Opp for That! An opportunity to volunteer, that is. Here are more organizations that are in need of teens to volunteer in their programs:
United Way Be a reading mentor to a child who needs a little extra support
Here’s an innovative and highly visual look at the types of learners we work with in our classrooms. Recognizing these multiple intelligences as valid and effective allows for diverse contributions to the academic conversation. Ask your students at the start of the school year to self-identify where they are on this wheel. Let them “see” that there are “all kinds of smart.”
You can also encourage students to take any number of free online surveys that will help them to determine which type of learner they are. Here is one I often use with my students, from the folks at LiteracyNet. There are 56 questions,(don’t worry, it goes fast, just a bubble to select), and after answering all of them, the student will get their top three strengths, as well as how the other 5 intelligences rank. This information is extremely helpful to students, as they can devise study strategies around their individual learning styles.
Let’s face it–all the best quotes come from Dr. Seuss! I think I could comfortably say that everything I ever needed to learn, I learned from him. Kindness. Respect for the Earth. Tolerance for people who are different than yourself. Treating the smallest among us as equals. Loving yourself.
I thought I’d share this collection of inspirational quotes now, since it is commencement time and young people are graduating, from Kindergarten to college. You can’t beat the timeless advice of good ole’ Dr. Seuss. There’s something here for EVERYONE. He’s the original guru!
My favorite little tidbit…the one I hold near and dear to my heart? “A person’s a person…no matter how small.” What about you? Do you have a favorite quote from Dr. Seuss? Let us know in the comments.
Here’s a great Writing Tips chart to share with your students. I like that it emphasizes adding your own style (Step 5) and enjoying your writing (Step 10). If you don’t say it with style, and you don’t enjoy writing it, chances are, folks won’t enjoy reading it.