Learn about the research that shows how participation in community college boosts student performance and success.
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 centers often provide students with homework assistance, testing / test prep guidance, outreach services, in addition to many other support systems.
Meet with Your Advisors
Research shows that students who meet with advisors tend to experience greater academic success rates than those who do not; as a result, many campuses are even making student-advisor meetings mandatory for entry and graduation!
Your advisor is an excellent resource for a myriad of academic decisions. Whether you are choosing between majors, planning a transfer
, creating your class schedule, or attempting to find an internship
, your advisor can help you make the best decisions.
In addition, advisors have specific access to academic support systems, club information, and organization details. By consulting with one’s advisor, students have greater accessibility to the campus-wide database of activities.
Develop a Relationship with Your Instructors
Adding to this approach, students should meet with their teachers
and course instructors. Studies show that meeting with one’s instructor outside of class helps boost a students’ academic performance. Participating in an instructor’s office hour allows students to become involved while receiving one-on-one guidance and help. Many instructors can help students become more comfortable with the coursework, as well as help prepare students for upcoming assignments and tests.
Engage in Campus Activities
According to CCS, extracurricular campus activities can be seen as an extension of classroom learning. Whether you are interested in an environmental protection or legal career, there is an academic club
that allows you to explore your interests with your peers. These groups not only host fun campus events, but often have networked relationships with professional organizations that could even further your career opportunities. Who knew that being social could be so good for you?
Tutor Other Students
An excellent way to improve your own personal learning is by teaching others. When you teach someone else a concept or theory, this information becomes solidified within your own mental knowledge base – which bodes well for your academic grades.
Even if you are not an expert on the subject matter, you can coordinate for a study group, where all members help “teach” each other the subject matter.
On some community college campuses, you can earn credits and/or wages for tutoring other students. Check with your tutoring center for job opportunities
that will help your grades and potentially your pocketbook.
Research shows that some of the best ways to improve your grades is to be socially involved on campus. Whether you are meeting with your instructors, participating in fun academic clubs, or teaching other students, you are well on your way to earning better grades.