Improving Learning

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Learn about tutoring options and academic assistance for community college students.
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...
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Learn how to get essay and writing skills assistance in community college.
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...
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Establishing Good Relationships with Instructors
Learn how to establish good relationships with community college instructors, and how they can be helpful for your academics.
As class sizes across the country continue to rise, many community college students are struggling to connect with instructors. To combat some of the potential issues of over-sized classes, or to even further benefit from smaller classes, students must strive to build positive working relationships with instructors. 
 
In building positive student-instructor relationships, students can gain more personal assistance, work through course material more effectively, and are ultimately able to perform better in the course.    
 
Benefits of Building Positive and Professional Relationships with Instructors
 
Improved Course Work
 
One of the primary benefits of building effective relationships with an instructor is a student’s ability to receive more specific feedback and instruction, whether you are taking pre-requisite or elective courses. Students who establish positive professional relationships with instructors can obtain more insight on how to create a specific course plan for increased progress. 
 
As Jacobson suggests, students should meet with instructors after large assignments or tests are returned. A “mini-conference,” or meeting with an instructor, provides both parties with an opportunity to focus on the finished final assignment, essay, or test. With this idea, Jacobson also asserts, “this approach may seem time-consuming, it rarely becomes a daunting process […] Once some of (a student’s) major […] problems have been identified and correction methods have been explained, most of the students begin to use the specific information they have received to self-monitor their (work).” 
 
Additionally according to Jacobson, the more students meet with instructors early in the course, the less time students will need to meet with an instructor later on...
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Community College Students Need Parent Encouragement
Learn tips on how to support your child during during their transition to community college.
An increasing number of high school students are going directly from high school into community colleges to begin their higher education. Many of these students still live with their parents for financial or other reasons. Many parents of these traditional students want to help their children make the transition from secondary school to college. This article discusses the instrumental role parents can play in encouraging a young student's move from high school into community college. The article contains tips for parents seeking to be supportive and suggests questions parents can ask to demonstrate their interest. Using these tips and suggestions, parents can show support for a child in community college without jeopardizing the child's new independence and responsibility as a college student.
 
Background
 
According to the latest statistics compiled by the American Association of Community Colleges, 43 percent of community college students are age 21 or younger. Some of these are traditional students, or students who proceeded directly from high school to college. Some traditional students attend community college to avoid the rising tuition costs at public and private four-year institutions. Some students are not ready to leave home and prefer to stay with or near their parents for the first two years of college. Unlike older students, traditional students may not have the maturity and savvy which are required to make their way in a new environment.
 
Parents as "First Responders" When Community College Students Need Help
 
There is a well-founded concern about the low retention rate at community colleges. Students are...
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