Monday, August 19, 2013

Tips for Success in the Classroom

Well, a new semester is right around the corner. For a lot of you these are busy days filled with stress, constant movement, and most of all, uncertainty. That uncertainty can be especially overwhelming for new students and incoming freshmen. So, while this blog entry can benefit all readers, it is a special shout-out to our new students. Here are some tips to ensure you have success in the upcoming semester.

There is no one particular strategy to do well in a college-level course. In fact, there are many ways to succeed in the classroom. Some of you may have your own strategies for learning that work perfectly for you.For the students that do not know where to begin, and are overwhelmed by the second day of classes. I have some advice.

I have developed my own ways to stay successful in my classes. I have learned to prepare for each class as if there was going to be a pop quiz. I think that by doing this you’ll be more able to participate in class; secondly, you’ll be prepared if there actually is a pop quiz.

On the first day of classes your instructor will provide you with a syllabus. READ IT. Understand how many exams and homework assignments there will be; know how much each assignment is worth; and know what the professor expects of you. You’ll be better prepared to take on the course if you know what’s ahead.
I decided to ask the people who know what it takes to be successful in the classroom for their tips.

Effective communication is perhaps the most important habit a student can develop to ensure success at Vol State and beyond. Associate Professor of Communication Jennifer Pitts knows a thing or two about communication.

Jennifer Pitts, Assistant Professor of Communication
 She urges students to communicate, not only with their advisor but with their professors as well, especially in class. “Make an effort to be an active participant in your class” said Pitts. “Learning is your responsibility, so own it and don’t make excuses.”

Communication and personal responsibility seem to be sentiments that are echoed by other instructors as well. So much so that a group of instructors came together and formed a guide of sorts to ensure student success. Associate Professor of English Laura A. Black was nice enough to share those tips with me.
Prof. Laura Black,Chair of English Department


·         R- Read and refer to your syllabus often.
·         E- Earn your grades, do beyond what is expected.
·         S- Stay informed. Check in with your advisor and your e-mail regularly.
·         P- Practice professionalism in language and behavior. This is training for your career.
·         E- Educate yourself. Read your textbooks, assignments and directions.
·         C- Communicate needs, questions and absences to your instructors.
·         T- Take responsibility. Turn in assignments on time, let your professors know if you miss class, see your advisor.

These tips are even in an easy to remember acronym! What more could you need, you ask? Well the answer is simple; Support.

“There is no reason for students to struggle in classes. We have so many support systems to help students meet success. Seek help when you need it from the Language center, the Math Lab, one-on-one tutoring, or Supplemental Instruction” said Black.

With all these tips on what to do, it seems as though we need some balance. Here are some tips on what to avoid.
·         Do not e-mail in text or short hand
·         Do not come to class unprepared
·         Do not assume your instructors do not like you
·         Do not be late to class

If new students implement these habits into their college careers I think success is virtually guaranteed. Unfortunately, you still have to study.

















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