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:
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

As community colleges provide students of diverse backgrounds with access to courses, instruction, and training venues, schools are now implementing increased support for students whose primary and native language is not English. Students who are in the process of learning English are referred as English as a Second Language (ESL) students, and community colleges are revising their programs to extend and improve academic and campus support.
Community College ESL Courses
Many community colleges offer ESL students a variety of specialized language courses. Typically, students will take a proficiency test and will then enroll in the appropriate ESL / language course based on individual skills and abilities. As Kenneth Beare in “Setting ESL Class Objectives” explains, taking “language acquisition needs into consideration when planning a class or individual instruction is crucial for a successful learning experience […] When a student understands his/her reasons for learning English well, he can then better plan his learning strategy. In the classroom, he/she can help the teacher identify needs and desires.”
Community College ESL Resources
In addition to specialized courses, most community colleges also provide students with personalized support systems, such as tutoring offices and academic advisors. Students can take advantage of ESL resources by visiting the community college campus resource center, or by meeting with an academic advisor for further guidance and information. 
Examining Community College ESL Programs
Located in Mesa, Arizona, Mesa Community College provides ESL students with a variety of resources and programs for academic support. As MCC explains, “ESL Support Services provides informational services to prospective . . . read more

As students transition to the demands of community college courses, many individuals quickly realize that they are in need of added academic support. While instructors are able to assist during office hours, community colleges also offer resource centers, and even some college courses, to help provide students with added assistance.
Community College Academic Resource Centers
With over five campuses across the state of Iowa, Iowa Lakes Community College provides students with a resource center at each of its campus locations. At the resource centers, students can specifically seek help for academic issues; for example, “Students may request individual tutoring, help with proof reading papers, and/or assistance in developing good study skills.” As many new community college students struggle with essays, homework assignments, or even with issues of organization and memorization, the academic resources at community college campuses can be avenues of beneficial support.
Added to the resources of academic assistance, community college students can also find out information about generalized entry exams, or class placement exams. Furthermore, Iowa Lakes Community College requires “each incoming freshman be assessed.  Assessment results help guide students into appropriate academic courses.  Students are assessed using ACT, ASSET, or COMPASS in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.” To become prepared and aware of the testing information, students can utilize the campus-wide resource centers to find out sample test questions, testing dates, and testing strategies.
Located in Fremont, Ohio, Terra Community College is another institution gaining recognition for its outstanding student outreach . . . read more

According to research conducted by ACT News, the country’s largest provider of assessments for students transitioning from high school to college, strong writing skills are among the most important skills needed to promote post-secondary success. 
Based on reports from over 6,500 college and high school teachers, some of the most imperative writing skills include students’ ability to convey information in a written, organized, and logical manner, while utilizing correct grammar and sentence structure. As many community college students often struggle with the increased demands of collegiate writing requirements, many community colleges offer resources that can provide both assistance and support for increased writing improvement. 
Writing Support for Community College Students
Seeking Assistance Early On
According to research conducted by Linda Jacobson of the Community College Review, students can aim to improve their collegiate writing skills by foremost focusing on their core issues and struggles: “To improve basic skills, developmental writing students need a solid understanding of the basic structure or fundamentals of the subject. Most developmental writing students realize that they have problems in writing well but are not able to identify a specific problem area.” 
Oftentimes students may feel inhibited in their ability to write cohesively with clear organization, or may struggle to even start an essay or writing assignment. As such, the Jacobson suggests that students should meet with instructors individually at the first sign of any problems or concerns.
The Benefits of Individual Conferences
In meeting with instructors individually, students can understand what to focus on for further improvement, which can in turn . . . read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3 4 5 6  Next>>
Recent Articles
Is President Obama's Plan for Free Community College Right for America?
Is President Obama's Plan for Free Community College Right for America?
President Obama recently introduced a plan to deliver free Community College tuition to all Americans across the country. Is it the right call? In this story, we will not attempt to make a judgment call on whether free Community College is right or wrong for the United States. Instead, we paneled a few experts in education and economics to get their take on the issue. We’re showing both sides of the coin, and letting readers decide on their own.
Spotlight: Rio Salado College Innovation Shines on Student Success
In Arizona, the Rio Salado College bucks the national trend, boosting graduation rates and student success stories through innovative assistance for its community college students.
7 Savvy Scholarship Tips for Community College Students
Are you taking full advantage of scholarships? Use these 7 smart tips when applying for your scholarships, whether need or merit-based awards, as well as those for individuals from certain ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic groups. Increase your chances of being awarded scholarships!
Student Issues / Attending College