Improving Learning

Get helpful tips and expert advice on boosting your GPA. This section will provide valuable tips on studying, mentor programs and how to avoid academic probation. Examine the latest trends in student motivation techniques, take a good look at online learning, and find resources to guide you on the path to success.
View the most popular articles in Improving Learning:
Enrolling in honors courses in high school certainly offers its advantages, ranging from intellectual challenges to fast-paced learning. The perks of honors classes, however, are not restricted to high school!

Today, many community colleges are providing students with honors credit and accolades. Through the various advantages associated with honors courses, students enrolled in community college can enhance their competitiveness as they prepare for graduation and the challenging job market.

Honors Options at the Community College Level
 
While each community college offers its own programs and standards, Quinsigamond Community College is one of the exemplary schools providing diverse honors academic opportunities. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) is one of the many institutions providing students with advanced honors credit. As QCC explains, their honors program is designed to “Motivate academically talented students to develop their fullest potential... The Program seeks to awaken and nurture a sense of humane citizenry and community responsibility within its members.”

Alongside general credit courses, students eligible to enroll in honors courses are permitted to engage in these alternative learning venues to fine tune their critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills. While the objectives for standard and honors courses maintain the same focus, students enrolled in QCC honors classes typically experience more classroom involvement, alongside enhanced independent analysis.

The Benefits of Honors Courses at the Community College Level

As the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) reveals, enrolling in honors courses at the college level demonstrates a student's skills, abilities, and work ethics. Adding to this, . . . read more

Americans that have made bad financial decisions can begin the process of fixing their poor financial history by declaring bankruptcy. However, for community college students, did you know that a similar process exists for bad grades? A semester riddled with poor grades can be wiped clean with an academic bankruptcy. While an academic bankruptcy will not magically disappear from your records in seven years like a financial bankruptcy does, there are many advantages to undergoing the process. However, there are also some definite negatives to making this decision.    
 
Pros of Academic Bankruptcy
 
Although academic bankruptcy may sound like a novel term, it may help you raise your community college GPA. When you declare academic bankruptcy, you essentially erase the grades of one entire semester or quarter. If you’ve gotten good grades during your first two semesters in community college, then had one bad semester due to medical, family, or other issues, that one bad semester can completely ruin your GPA. By declaring that one semester bankrupt, the grades that you received will not be calculated as part of your overall GPA. This can be a good strategy for you to repair and boost your cumulative GPA
 
If you have lost your financial aid eligibility because of a cumulative GPA that does not meet the minimum requirements, then declaring academic bankruptcy may help you regain your financial aid more expeditiously. However, because policies vary from college to college, you should discuss this situation individually with your community college’s financial aid office before making the decision to declare a semester . . . read more

Could being social and involved on your community college campus lead to better grades? According to the Community College Survey (CCS), there is an inherent link between student involvement and academic performance. 
 
Based upon the CCS, student involvement in campus opportunities lead to better learning and academic performance. While many school leaders are devising new ways to increase student participation, community college students should be self-motivated to become more involved in the full collegiate experience.
 
Benefits of Engaging in Campus Opportunities
 
According to researcher Christopher Chaves of Community Colleges Los Angeles, the earlier a student engages in campus participation, the better the results. For example, nearly all community college students who participate in a freshman orientation program tend to hold greater retention rates, complete their degrees, and earn overall higher grades than individuals who did not participate in orientation. 
 
Furthermore, according to the investigation, four local North Carolina community colleges revealed “that involvement in a freshman orientation course improved student performance regardless of race, age, gender, major, employment status, or entrance exam scores.” 
 
Studies support that community college students utilizing campus opportunities tend to experience greater developmental benefits than those who do not participate in such venues.
 
What Else Students Can Do: How to Get Involved
 
Utilize Academic Support Centers
 
According to Chavez, students who take advantage of campus-wide learning centers tend to experience greater academic benefits and performance results. Whether you are struggling with a specific topic or simply want to be fully prepared for finals, students should take advantage of academic-based learning centers on campus. These learning . . . read more

Community colleges across the country have implemented specific support programs to stimulate student support and success. Often referred to as “mentor services” or “mentor programs,” community college mentors can be paramount leaders for guiding and encouraging younger students. Mentors are often older community college students who have demonstrated specific academic or professional successes in their collegiate studies. By sharing their knowledge and insight with new and younger students, community colleges have designed powerful programs to enhance the success of all students and campus members. 
 
What is a Mentor Program?
 
While each community college has its own unique mentoring program, the general concept focuses on pairing a new or young student with an older, more experienced student. Oftentimes, mentors will guide new students by helping them set their schedules, by providing campus tours, or by offering to serve a new student as an academic tutor or study buddy. 
 
When engaging in a mentoring program, mentors are considered to be the “experts” in their field or organization, while mentees are the more novice and less experienced organization members. In the case of community colleges, mentors are normally students, although may often also be professors, while mentees are new and younger students, or students who may needs special support services, such as ESL support, transfer support, and so forth. 
 
Community College Mentor Programs
 
 
As Hostos Community College reveals, their successful mentor program is supported by their campus’ Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), along with the cooperation of the Office of Academic Advisement. 
 
With the . . . read more

As a rising number of students enroll in community college programs, the support of a community college counselor is becoming increasingly vital. As researcher Preston Pulliams from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services supports, “The emerging role of community college counseling is actually an expansion of traditional roles: Community college counselors are becoming learning agents, student developers, and resource managers.”
 
Traditionally, community college counselors focused on “providing personal counseling, vocational guidance, and social support for the traditional community college student.”  However, as student enrollment grew, and the student populations become more academically, socially, and financially diverse, counselors have shifted their focus: “To meet the needs of these new students, community colleges are reinstating testing and placement, dismissal and probation policies, general education requirements, and select admissions programs.” 
 
Community Counselors and Systems of Support
 
Learning Aids
 
As Pulliams further explains, “The emerging role of counseling involves helping students to complete their academic objectives […] Counselors must perform the roles of student developers and learning agents.” Adding to this, “counselors must communicate to students the importance of skill building and other academic requirements and help them understand the value of their academic endeavors.”  
 
Counselors, as learning aids, can help serve students of the community college as academic supporters; counselors have access to all of the school’s resources and tools to help students find specific and interpersonal support and assistance. For example, if a student is struggling with specific math concepts, a counselor can guide the student towards a center for tutoring, or can help a student . . . read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3 4 5  Next>>
Recent Articles
Community Colleges Prep for the Future by Focusing on STEM
Community Colleges Prep for the Future by Focusing on STEM
As careers in science, technology, engineering, and math become more prevalent, community colleges are shifting their focus to meet demand and secure their place in a rapidly changing educational landscape.
Community Colleges: Bigger Buck Bang than For-Profits
A recent study reveals that job applicants with a credential or associate’s degree from a community college have slightly better chances of getting a job interview than students who attend a for-profit college or university. Since community colleges are much more budget friendly than for-profit institutions and have much better job placement results, community colleges are a much better option for employment-minded students.
Freshman Year in College Looks More and More Like High School
Nearly 52 percent of community college students in the United States begin their freshman year in at least one remedial class. These courses, which help students acquire knowledge and skills they should have acquired in high school, do not count toward their degree requirements. As a result, students are taking longer than ever to obtain their degree, if they obtain one at all.
Student Issues / Attending College

IMPROVING LEARNING