Take Initiative for Planning Success
15 PROVEN WAYS TO BE A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT
Brought to you by the Pathways Center
x 2218 4th Level , Simon Center
1. Plan a written schedule for all assignment/test due dates, reading assignments, study times, and time to socialize. Use a monthly or weekly academic planner.
2. Study the course syllabus to find out the professor’s office hours, the policy on absences, the grading policy, and the amount of reading and writing required. Read it to get a sense of what the professor’s expectations of his/her students are and how those expectations will fit into your other class requirements. Some professors may even provide older tests from previous classes for your review. Take advantage of this and REVIEW the older tests whenever they are made available to you.
3. Your professors want you to speak with them. Use their office hours to meet with them for clarification, guidance, information, suggestions, etc. They are there for you. (If the professor is able, he/she may also meet with you before or after class.)
4. Don’t wait until it is too late to realize that your first priority is to do well as a student. Being a college student is a full-time job. Generally speaking, it would take a minimum of 40 hours per week to do all of your work to the best of your ability and some weeks it may take even longer.
5. Implementing good study strategies and using the college resources (Pathways, study groups, faculty advisors, library and the computer and writing labs) can help you to work more effectively.
6. Careful selection of courses can help you do well. Balance the different types of courses keeping in mind: 1) their demands (reading, writing, testing, lecturing, collaboration, and interaction); 2) the times they meet, and 3) the professors who teach them. For example: is it a good idea for you to take two different classes with the same professor? Talk with other students about their experiences with particular classes, but remember that different teaching styles appeal to different learning styles. What is good for your friend may not work for you.
7. Purchase your books right away. Keep up with the reading assignments. If you can’t keep up with the reading, make an appointment to develop more efficient reading techniques with someone at the Pathways Center.
8. Generally, try to anticipate what you’re about to read. What are you looking for? Read with purpose. Formulate questions and hypotheses. How does it relate to the class work?
9. Thinking is a legitimate activity in preparing for class assignments. Just sitting back and thinking about what you will read or write, or, what you have just read or written, is part of the learning process.
10. Yes, you do have to write more than one draft of a college writing assignment! One of the purposes of the Pathways Center is to assist you in this process. Your professors are also willing to review and respond to your initial ideas before the final paper is written.
11. Don’t procrastinate! Academically, this is every student’s nightmare. First you are a little behind, and then you have a knot in your stomach because you can’t ever seem to catch up. You need to break large assignments into manageable parts.
12. Organize your materials. Keep all returned assignments and tests at least until the end of the following semester. All class notes, papers, assignments, and tests should be in the same place for each class, Always keep a copy of any papers you hand in to a professor. They are human and sometimes they cannot locate a paper that you claim to have turned in. You need proof that you did the assignment.
13. Become familiar with NEC’s procedures, policies and deadlines. YOU are responsible for your registration, account, withdrawal from classes, following up on incompletes, resolving misunderstanding, returning borrowed materials, etc.
14. Get involved! For some reason, students who join clubs, get on committees, become student leaders and/or work on campus are more successful as students. This is partly because they are well organized, and partly because they have an effective network of resources. Also, your mood is more positive when you are involved with the people around you.
15. Become skilled on the computer. Writing and editing papers directly onto a computer will save you hours of rewriting and/or retyping later on. Learning how to move text or graphics by cutting and pasting will not only aid you as a student, it will always be a helpful tool in just about any career you enter. Always backup your work onto your personal drive! (If you do not know how to do this, you can easily learn the steps at the Helpdesk.)