How Do You Define Success?
How do you define success?
Well, that depends on you. You might think that "success"
is earning an associate's degree, or that it is transferring
to a four-year university. Or maybe it means receiving
a certificate of completion or finishing some skill-based training. You could think about different
degrees of success, too. Maybe you would be unhappy
with anything less than an A in a course, or maybe it depends
on the difficulty of the subject. Maybe, as long as you pass with a C,
you're perfectly content. But no matter how you
personally define success, you probably wouldn't consider it
to be earning a D or lower grade in a class.
Achieving Success in the Classroom
So if most students consider passing a class
to be the minimum requirement for "success," and most students want to be
successful in their courses, why aren't more college students
consistently successful in the classroom? We often hear students saying:
(Maria) I just can't do it!
(Trevor) I'm not good at math.
(Daniel) I guess college isn't for me…
(Katelyn) I'm not smart enough.
(Narrator) Hey, guys? Lucky for you the research is VERY clear about
why students experience difficulty in, and even fail, college courses, and it
usually has nothing to do with intellect.
(Maria) But what is it? What sorts of things should I do
to be successful in any given course?
(Narrator) Learn how to take
effective notes in class; Review the text and your
reading notes prior to class; Participate in class discussion
and maybe even join a study group; Go to office hours and ask
your instructor questions; Give yourself enough time to research,
write, and edit your essays in manageable stages; Take advantage of online or on-campus
academic support resources; Spend sufficient time studying.
(Narrator) So, Katelyn, you said that the class
you're taking right now is making you feel like you're not smart enough
for college. Let me ask you a question:
When do you study?
(Katelyn) When I can.
(Narrator) Now, Trevor, you said that you're
not good at math. Who do you study with in order
to improve your math skills?
(Trevor) Well, really just by myself...
(Narrator) So there are two problems here
that both Katelyn and Trevor have pointed out. Katelyn, you need to make time to study
by creating a regular study schedule, and make sure that it
is enough time as well. Most college success experts agree
that students should study two hours outside of class
for every hour inside of class. So create a regular study schedule
that reflects this advice, and only break from it if an extreme
situation prevents you from it! Trevor, why rely on only your own
knowledge, notes, and skills? Try studying with another student
from your math class, especially if you feel like
it isn't your strongest subject. Studying in a group will give
every group member a chance to ask questions
and talk about concepts. Add a tutor to your study group, and you'll really be able
to notice a positive difference!
Academic Support Resources
Every California community college
has a Learning Center, Tutorial Center,
or Writing Center
that hires instructors and qualified
students to provide academic support.
The tutoring is free, but the strategies
and knowledge you gain will be invaluable.
Your tutors have taken the class
you are currently enrolled in,
and they are trained to
get the best out of you.
If you're taking an Online
Education Initiative (OEI) course,
you'll find a link to OEI's online tutoring
inside your course
or within your course management system.
Students struggle in college
NOT because of intellect.
It is because of time management, organization,
and lack of quality study time.
But the good news is,
there are ways to combat this,
specifically by doing things like
creating a regular study schedule,
studying in groups, and utilizing
your school's academic resources
such as a Tutoring Center,
instructor office hours,
or any available online help.