College Success – Most Students are Not ReadySeptember 17, 2018
Most high school graduates are not prepared for college success or to succeed in the workforce. My work experience gives me a unique perspective about the similarities between skills needed for college success and work success. Currently, I am a part-time college professor of college success strategy and career development courses. For many years I worked as a job placement specialist and also owned an executive search and recruiting business.
Here are some of the skills needed for college success, which are also necessary for success in a professional career:
* Reading comprehension
* Problem solving
* Reasoning and critical thinking
* Time management
* Goal setting
* Knowing your learning style
* Learning how to learn
These skills are even more critical for career success during our current economic crisis. Employers are much more selective in hiring during tough times. College graduates will face greater difficulty finding good jobs in the next few years but will do better than many lacking a college education.
College success will be more important now because of increased competition for jobs. Employers will be looking more closely at college majors, grades, internships, volunteer work, and related work experience. Students who prepare for high demand jobs and who excel in college will have the best job opportunities.
College enrollments increase in hard times.
As job shortages increase it is likely that enrollment in colleges, especially community colleges, will grow. One reason for this is that community colleges offer vocational programs that lead to jobs in a year or two. This is appealing to both recent high school graduates as well as returning older students who need to acquire new skills quickly due to job losses.
The problem, as stated by ACT and many other sources, is that most high school graduates are not ready to succeed at a college level. What can be done?
Many colleges offer courses that can teach you how to study and learn more effectively. Effective learning strategy courses can help you to succeed in your other college courses by teaching you how you learn best, goal setting, time management and many of the skills mentioned previously in this article.
When you learn how to learn and how you learn best, this ability is also an asset when you go to work because you are able to acquire the latest job related knowledge and skills. College success strategy and career exploration courses are also needed in high schools. This would help students come to college prepared for success rather than failure, and they would have a better idea which college majors and careers are a good match for them.
Tips for learning:
Here are a few simple study tips that can increase your learning:
* Anticipate test questions. Create and take practice quizzes before you take the actual test.
* Write brief summaries in the margin of the text in your own words.
* Study for 30-45 minutes at a time followed by short breaks.
* Pause after reading a section and ask yourself questions about what the author is saying.
* Teach what you are learning to others. It reinforces what you are learning and makes it clearer.
* Discover and identify your preferred learning style and types of intelligence.
I have seen firsthand in my courses that when a student studies, understands and applies college success strategies, grades on tests and papers quickly improve. Students also report that their grades start getting better in their other courses. When you combine willingness to work and learn how to study, you will find success can quickly come your way.