Thursday, February 23, 2017

Successful Student Tips: Getting Organized

Why do some students succeed where others falter? Success isn’t a mysterious secret item that some people own and others don’t, but a series of habits and behaviors. So what does it take to be a successful student? In the Successful Student Tips series we explore some of the keys to success. 

Mid-semester and stacks of books and notebooks are piled in various corners of the room. It seems like every day is another due date for some important project, homework, or research paper. When the professor asks for everyone to hand their homework up to the front, half the class groans. “Homework? I forgot.”
Keeping up with a full schedule can be difficult, and after a while things start to fall in the cracks. Now is the perfect time to reassess, reorganize, and get back on track.

Read. The. Syllabus.
Print it out if you can. Every class has a syllabus, and many professors post it on elearn even if your class is not online. Get familiar with what’s due and what’s expected of you. You don’t have to be surprised by homework, quizzes, or research papers.

Develop your own routine
Scrambling to read a whole chapter or finish your homework the night before it’s due is not the best way to make good grades. Once you’ve figured out what’s coming up, you can make your own schedule. Some students do better by blocking study time one day per subject. Others find it’s best to stagger by spending an hour on one then the next hour on another. Use a planner or an extra notebook and write down a reasonable weekly schedule. Be realistic: plan a schedule that works for you and still enables you to stay ahead of all of your classes.

Everything needs a home

An important part of getting organized is having things physically organized. I have a small bookcase dedicated for my textbooks and binders (you can usually find one for under $20.) For those with less room, another option might be to get bins that fit under your bed. However you manage it, knowing exactly where your books and notes are when you need them is kind of important.

Write it down
You know that time that the professor announced at the end of class that she wanted the questions at the end of chapter 4 turned in on Wednesday? You thought “I’ll remember to do that,” but you forgot as soon as you walked out of the classroom.  We all have a lot of stuff going on, and you can't expect to remember everything. Take a moment to write it down, and use full, clear sentences. I’ve taken notes of those end-of-class instructions just to look back later and wonder what I was trying to tell myself. Note to self: take better notes for myself.

Whether you use bookcases, day planners, or phone apps, having your school schedule and materials organized will save you time and confusion in the long run!

More Successful Student Tips:
Saying "No"
The Importance of Showing Up
Getting to Know Your Professors
Why It's Better to Write Your Notes By Hand

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chinese Cultural Celebration this Sunday, February 26

Chinese is an important part of the International Education programs here at Vol State. But it's not just about learning the language; the goal is to also explore Chinese culture. Vol State will be hosting a Chinese Music and Culture Celebration, marking Chinese New Year, on Sunday, Feb. 26. It is free and open to everyone. The event will feature calligraphy demonstrations, a traditional tea ceremony, poetry, Chinese musical instruments, and authentic Chinese cuisine. It will be held in partnership with Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Chinese Music and Culture and the MTSU Confucius Institute. The celebration will be from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus, 1480 Nashville Pike. For more information call (615) 230-3764.

Transfer Fair March 1: University Reps on Gallatin Campus

Planning to transfer to a four-year university or college? We'll have many university and college reps on the Gallatin campus next week for a Transfer Fair. Visit them on Wednesday, March 1 from 10am-2pm in the Ramer Great Hall.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Students Have a Student Survey for You About Vol State Communication

Vol State students, we in the Honors Leadership Development class want to hear your opinions about the technology our school has implemented over the past few years. Specifically the MyVolstate app, the kiosks (“wall-screens” on the Gallatin campus), and social media.
Did you know that Vol State has an app? In this app, you can see discussion posts, assignments, grades, class announcements, upcoming events, and campus maps - all from your phone or tablet. There are also links to Vol State’s social media. The app has many useful  functions that make exploring both your online classes and your on-campus classes easier.
Perhaps you have seen the kiosks on the walls of many of Vol State’s buildings on the main campus in Gallatin. Have you ever taken the time to interact with them? The kiosks are a new addition to Vol State that have the potential to be of great benefit to students and visitors. Because we are not sure how many students are currently interacting with these kiosks, we want to hear what you would like to see changed or improved with them to increase their usefulness. At this point, the kiosks will show you the map of the floor that the kiosk is located on, as well as room numbers and offices of faculty on that floor. You can also see an exterior map of the entire campus along with upcoming events.  There are other functions too, but not many. We want to know what you think about these features, as well as what else you would like to see added or changed with these kiosks.
Finally, Vol State has accounts on many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and this blog. Were you previously aware of this? Do you and your friends follow on any of these sites? What would you like to see that would make these outlets more appealing? Be sure to connect with the school through this social media in order to get important updates about events both on and off campus.
Again, we want to know what you think of these three aspects of Vol State’s technology and how you use them. We also want to know your ideas on how to improve the school’s technology, especially the kiosks. The attached survey is short and will take just a few minutes to complete. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Events this Week

Check out these events this week:
Feb. 21 Speaker: Ryan Penneau, “The Bigger You”, Rochelle Center, 12:45pm
Feb. 21 Honors Concert, SRB 151, 2:30-3:30pm
Feb. 22 “Discussing the African American Experience”, Rochelle Center, 1pm-2pm
Feb. 25 Science Olympiad, across Gallatin Campus, All Day

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Vol State Student Social Media Writer Part-Time Job Opening

The Vol State PR Office has a paid part-time job opening for a Student Social Media Writer. Interested students must plan on being enrolled in fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 to qualify. Gaynell, our current social media writer, has done a fantastic job, but she is graduating in May. If you enjoy writing, are willing to check your facts, and like to meet people and find good stories, this position could be for you. We require three writing samples with the application, but those can be class papers or assignments. To apply visit the jobs page. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Free Math Help in Gallatin Learning Commons

Math can be tough...get some help. There is free tutoring available on the Gallatin campus in the Learning Commons. Check with the LC front desk for times. Offered for math classes and math-based science classes.