Newswise — Nervous freshmen preparing to enter a new, challenging, and rigorous phase of their lives are already seeking advice and guidance, judging from the hits recorded by some of the 143 million “How to Succeed in College” websites.
The suggestions range from the obvious (“go to class”) to the ridiculous student posted videos making fun of good study skills and classroom habits.
At UALR -- University of Arkansas at Little Rock -- two academic advisors at the university’s Academic Success Center have come up with 10 tips that encourage college success.
The advisors are part of a 16-person team of adult education specialists, rhetoric and writing experts, tutors, reading instructors, and other education leadership professionals who operate UALR’s Academic Success Center. The center’s goal is to increase the number of students earning college degrees -- especially students who statistics show have an uphill challenge of success.
The targeted students do not lack ability, talent, or intellect. But they may be the first member of their entire family to attend college. They may have dropped out of high school and are out of the habit of studying.
“For many of our students at the Academic Success Center, it helps them to have someone as a guide who has already been through the college experience, ” said Ashley McCafferty, M.S.Ed.
She and fellow advisor, Kimberly Moorehead, said the list offers simple directions that encourage personal and academic success. Their suggestions:
* You can never make a second first impression. Go to your classes on time and limit your cell phone usage -- talking and texting -- while you are in class.
* Write down all assignments, tests, projects, and personal obligations in one central location. Use a planner or your cell phone’s calendar to keep track of everything that is due, and when it is due.
* It is never too early to plan ahead. Check out possible internships and graduate schools so you can make sure you are taking courses that keep you on track to attain your academic goals.
* Set aside specific days and times for studying. For example, if you have a break on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., decide at the beginning of the semester that this time always will be reserved for studying and assignments.
* Utilize your campus e-mail address. Your professors and advisor will contact you through that system, so check it regularly.
* Talk with your professors. Begin by introducing yourself on the first day, and make a note of their office hours. Speak with professors anytime, but especially before and after tests and papers to learn what you are doing well and what you can improve.
* Assume final responsibility for all your academic decisions and choices. Make sure you are familiar with your degree plan as well as all deadlines such as last day to drop courses or withdraw from the institution.
* Utilize campus resources. At UALR, resources include Counseling and Career Planning Services, two Mathematics Assistance Centers, the Ottenheimer Library, and the University Writing Center. You already have paid for access to these resources through fees. Make sure you use them.
* Get involved on campus. At UALR, with more than 100 registered student organizations, there is something for everyone.
* College can sometimes be a little overwhelming, so make time for you. Be sure you set aside time for activities that help you relax and take the stress out of your day or week.