September 17, 2012

How to be a Successful Student

Over the last couple of years, I’ve asked several students what habits have made a difference for them, what has made them successful. Here’s what they said.

Don’t get behind!

This goes without saying, right? It’s also easier said than done. Make it a priority this semester to attend every class meeting (or check in regularly with your online class) and complete all of your assignments on time.

Actually do the reading.

In college, teachers don’t always give reading quizzes to make sure you’re reading the assignments in your textbooks. That doesn’t mean the reading isn’t important. It is. Read it.

Use the math labs and tutoring.

When you’re struggling with a subject, don’t suffer alone. Seek help. Our math and writing labs are staffed by faculty who are committed to supporting your learning. We also have free tutoring in just about any subject for students who are at-risk of failing.

Form study groups.

Not only is it a lot more fun sometimes to study with others, it’s actually very effective. Take the initiative to start a study group for your next class. I’m betting you’ll be happy you did.

Talk with your teacher.

Ask for help. Get advice or clarification. It might be a little frightening, but most instructors do want to talk with you—that is why they are here.

This is all pretty practical advice, but since it’s coming from your fellow students, you know it works. What have you done to be successful in college? What advice would you share with new students?


About the author:

Andy Dorsey is the President of Front Range Community College. He joined FRCC in 1993, teaching psychology and economics and earning Master Teacher honors in 1999. Before becoming an educator, he worked as a project manager in two businesses, non-profit manager, and legislative director for a Congressman.