Follow rules & rule your own learning

It’s not just academic readiness that prepares a student for college.

As a recent study argues, college students also must possess certain “non-academic skills, behaviors and attitudes” to meet with success.

The study, authored by Melinda Mechur Karp and Rachel Hare Bork, published at the Community College Research Center’s website, and noted (and linked to) in Inside Higher Ed, is directed at community college faculty and administrators. But as a new or returning college student, you may be interested to read it, and you can become cognizant of these “unspoken rules” – they include

-using your resources (such as the library or tutoring services)

-knowing how to manage your time and workflow

-knowing how to take good notes

-knowing when to ask for help

-making college a priority

I’ve long noticed that a number of my own community college students would have met with greater success had they entered my classroom with stronger study skills. I looked out, for instance, and saw them neglecting to take notes or even failing to have a notebook with them; I noticed some would skip class and fail to turn in the “little” assignments that were so critical in skill-building up to the large lessons. Unsurprisingly to me but not, perhaps, to them, these particular students generally washed out of class (that is, they ended up withdrawing or failing, or simply disappeared).

I strongly believe a “College 101” success course would benefit many of them, and I highly recommend such a course to all (student success courses are mentioned in the study, as well). As a DIY college prepster, though, you can read up on topics such as college-level note-taking and studying; a few articles on this site can get you started:

What Really Makes a Successful Student?
Libraries & Librarians: Academic Lifelines
Your Academic Well-Being May Hinge on This
Are You Taking Notes on This?

*The study discussed here is linked from “Clear Expectations on Readiness,” Inside Higher Ed, 9/18/12.

Image via DuBoixMorguefile