Helping Students Find Their Niche

Helping Students Find Their Niche

It’s a fact that students who are more engaged with the campus community as a whole are more likely to stay enrolled through graduation. The primary reason for this seems obvious: students who are engaged in more than academics feel a greater social and emotional connection to their schools than those who are not. Some students have to search very little or not at all (in the case of student athletes) to find the club, team, or friend group that…

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Deficiencies in Student Preparedness for College Coursework

Deficiencies in Student Preparedness for College Coursework

In my experience, the main deficiencies in student preparedness for college coursework include: A) inadequate knowledge in core areas B) little experience in proactive learning (i.e. not just following directions but taking initiative and forging one’s own educational path) C) misguided expectations. Many colleges and universities do a great deal to help students with the first two of these issues, but what about the third? And what do I mean when I refer to students’ “misguided expectations”? Well, take my…

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Student Coaching in College Produces Better Retention and Graduation Rates

Student Coaching in College Produces Better Retention and Graduation Rates

In March of 2011, researchers at Stanford released a study titled, The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring.  After much study, authors Eric Bettinger and Rachel Baker concluded that, according to Bettinger, “coaching not only works, but it appears to be one of the more cost effective ways to produce better retention and graduation rates.”   According to the study, students who were coached were 10-15% more likely to graduate than those who…

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Leveraging the Benefits of the Tutorial Center

Leveraging the Benefits of the Tutorial Center

Most, if not all, institutions of higher learning have some kind of tutorial center where students can get help specifically in English, writing, and mathematics, but services may extend to cover science, technology, foreign language, law, or other difficult subject matter. Online institutions have tutors available also.  These vast differences really bring to mind two key questions.  How does the general student population use these services and as success coaches, how can we better motivate at-risk or academically high risk…

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Standing Guard at the Edge of the Cliff

Standing Guard at the Edge of the Cliff

I may have mentioned in previous blogs that one task I want to complete this summer is that of scanning every high school transcript and scrutinizing ACT or SAT scores for all of our incoming freshman.  I want to see if there are red flags that might indicate a student’s need for a Success Coach before that individual enters the first class.  Is there a particular subject that constantly shows low achievement?  Are grades fine in ninth grade but slide…

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Online Education and Online Success Coaching

Online Education and Online Success Coaching

Over the last ten years, online education has become an integral part of the higher education landscape. While there are unique benefits to an on-campus college experience, online education has opened the doors of higher education to millions of people worldwide who might otherwise, for one reason or another, have been unable to earn college a degree. Earlier this week I met with a group of success coaches who work with online students to compare and contrast our jobs as…

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How To Help Students Find Their Place On Campus

How To Help Students Find Their Place On Campus

Last week’s blog about first generation college students got me thinking about something that affects all college students regardless of age, socioeconomic status, or previous life experience, and that’s connectivity. We know that students who participate in college athletics, student organizations, and/or social groups are more likely to stay enrolled through graduation than those who do not. This is partially because students know that they must maintain good grades in order to participate in many on-campus activities, but it’s also because students…

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Talkin’ About First Generation…Boulders in the Road

Talkin’ About First Generation…Boulders in the Road

A few weeks ago, I came across an article by Jason DeParle of the New York Times ‘For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall‘ that chronicles the struggles, both on campus and off, of three low-income students vying to be the first ones in their families to earn a college degree. Since roughly 60% of the college students enrolled at my university are first generation college students, the stories of these three young people echoed tales that…

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Creating the Four Year Plan

Creating the Four Year Plan

It’s registration time again, and while much of the registration process is about the prosaic- the nuts and bolts of dates, times, and requirements- over the last few days I’ve found myself waxing existential. Registration, at its core, is about students building the road, brick by Macroeconomics 210 brick, that will lead them into the bigger, scarier forest of “the real world” and career. Yes, they will strive to build careers that will provide for them financially, but as we…

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Faces of a Success Coach: The Boxing Trainer

Faces of a Success Coach: The Boxing Trainer

Beyond knowing that Muhammad Ali “floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee” and having watched most of the Rocky films (life is just to short to spend two hours on Rocky V), I don’t know a lot about boxing. Even so, there’s something about the idea of the boxing trainer as someone who’s always in your corner that just rings true to me as a success coach. Today was one of those days where it rang out loud…

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