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:
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10 Online Resources to Help Community College Students Succeed
We’ll explore the many online resources available for community college students, offering everything from time management strategies to online tutoring in specific subjects.
Community college can be a busy time for students, whether they are adults juggling work and family responsibilities, or recent high school graduates adjusting to the next phase of their academic careers. The good news is there are many resources available to help community college students succeed, and many are as close as their laptops. Take a peek at 10 valuable online resources that community college students can use to their benefit.

Equipping Students for Online Adventures

Before you can take full advantage of all the wonderful online services available to community college students today, you need to be sure your computer is up to the task. There is even online services for this purpose, helping students outfit their PCs and laptops with all the hardware and software necessary to connect with their schools. For example, Richland Community College in Illinois offers remote tools to help students with both Windows and Mac systems get connected.

This video explains how to take online courses at community college.

Obtaining and Using Administrative Information
 
 Navigating the administrative maze of higher education has become significantly easier with online tools to guide the way. At Edmunds Community College in Washington, students can use their computers to do everything from registering for classes to ordering transcripts. In addition, the school’s website offers students the opportunity to check out the school calendar, upcoming school events and the latest from the athletics department. 
 

Getting a Jump on Textbook Tutoring

Shopping for textbooks has always been

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Does Money Motivate College Completion? New Task Force Says Yes
We look at the recommendations for improving completion rates in a new report issued by the Complete College Ohio Task Force, which includes financial incentives.
Getting kids to college is only a part of the equation when it comes to higher education. Whether a student enrolls in community college or a four-year school, the goal is to get that student to leave the institution with a degree firmly in hand. Unfortunately, that event does not occur nearly as often as educators would like. As the quest to improve college completion rates kicks into high gear, a task force in Ohio has some recommendations for schools looking to get more of their students on the path to graduation.
 
About the Complete College Ohio Task Force

College completion rates in the state of Ohio are some of the lowest in the country, with Ohio ranking 38th on the spectrum of graduating college students, according to the Ohio Higher Ed website. To determine why completion rates are so low – and what can be done to improve them – the Ohio Board of Regents partnered with the university system in the state, which includes community colleges and adult education centers as well as four-year institutions.

The newly formed Complete College Ohio Task Force was given the responsibility of studying the reasons behind the dismal graduation rates. The committee then put forth a list of recommendations to improve those rates. While the recommendations were specifically for Ohio colleges, the recommendations are equally relevant for other colleges across the country.
 
When the task force began their work, the Ohio Higher Ed website reports that the group was divided into three subsets:
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10 Ways to Learn at Your Local Community College
We explore the various ways students can take full advantage of learning opportunities at community colleges today, from high school programs to worker retraining and transfer agreements.
Institutions of higher education are just that – places where students can continue to learn, grow and develop professionally and personally. Community colleges are particularly adept at this task, offering a wide range of learning opportunities for students of all ages and walks of life. From young students still years from their college years to senior citizens who never want to stop discovering new things, these campuses offer a wealth of learning opportunities. Check out these 10 ways you can make the most of the programs found at your local community college.
 

Get Ahead in High School

Running Start is a program available through many of the community colleges in the state of Washington. According to the Tacoma Community College website, this program allows high school juniors and seniors to get a head start on college credits by taking college-level courses while they are still in high school. The program offers a wide range of benefits, including the ability to save on college tuition and choose from a broader course selection. Other states offer similar programs to aspiring college students.

It is important to note that these dual-credit programs are not without their share of requirements as well. Students are typically expected to maintain a high GPA in their high school courses to even qualify for the program. In addition, they will be required to achieve a prescribed GPA in their college coursework as well. College classes may also be offered on weekends and during school holidays, leaving dual-enrollment students little free time.
 
Finish
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Promoting Success and Completion: New Report Helps Lead the Way
A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement provides insight into assessment criteria community colleges can use to improve completion and student success rates.
President Obama highlighted the important role community colleges play in today’s workforce in his recent State of the Union address, but to achieve the lofty goals set by the President, colleges need tools in place to ensure students entering their doors can succeed. A recent report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement discovered that most schools know what is needed, but not all have successfully implemented those tools on a broad enough scale to help the majority of their students. Check out what community colleges nationwide are striving to offer their students now, and what they can add to give their students even better odds of success.
 

A Matter of Degrees: Promising Practices for Community College Student Success

The CCCSE report, titled, “A Matter of Degrees: Promising Practices for Community College Student Success,” consolidates four different surveys into a single, comprehensive report. According to a report at the University of Texas website, the report includes data from the Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), and the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE). The report also included preliminary findings from the Community College Institutional Survey (CCIS).

The report compiled information from 75,000 entering students and 440,000 experienced students throughout 2011. Approximately 35,000 faculty members also provided data for the report, and information was collected from a total of 228 community colleges. The data was compiled and analyzed by CCCSE, where it was consolidated into the single “Matter of Degrees”
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Mentoring at Community College: Helping Students Succeed
Learn about mentoring programs at community colleges around the country and the benefits they offer to students.
Community college can be a challenging prospect for new students, whether they are coming right out of high school or after being in the workforce for a number of years. To make the transition smoother, a number of community colleges across the country have established mentoring programs connecting new students with those who already know the ropes. In the past several academic years, more of these programs have been introduced, thanks to grant money and willing mentor participants. We’ll take a look at why mentoring can be a valuable tool in the community college environment and how some schools are using the concept for the benefit of new students.
 
What is Mentoring?

Mentoring programs work by pairing newcomers with older, more experienced students. Mentors may provide a number of valuable functions, including helping new students with their schedules, providing campus tours and offering information about resources and facilities available on campus. In some cases, mentors might also be faculty members dedicated to helping new students succeed by easing them through the transition between high school or the workforce and a college environment. These programs can be a powerful tool to student success when they are correctly implemented.

For students that need special help when they get to community college, a mentor program can truly be a lifesaver. The mentors that work in these organizations may point new students to the resources and additional assistance they need, whether it is academic, financial or of another sort. In addition to
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