Discover How You Can Succeed in College

How to Succeed in College

(Image: Moore)

I’ve been talking about Andy Chan a lot lately, because I interviewed him and was able to write two posts from all the great information he shared. I learned about Chan when I attended the New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum, where he spoke on the panel “Planning to Thrive: Find a Job; Make a Difference.”

That panel included another speaker, Jeffrey J. Selingo, the author of There Is Life After College and professor of practice at Arizona State University. In an article for the Washington Post, Selingo has written four pieces of advice to give your kids when you drop them off on campus this fall. It’s worth reading.

We get you started here with an excerpt:

It is one of the enduring rituals of August: Millions of 18-year-olds across the country begin the journey from adolescence to adulthood by packing up the family minivan or SUV with milk crates, a fridge, laptop, and other possessions, and head off to college.

The truth is that most new undergraduates are woefully unprepared for the realities of college. The college search that has consumed many of them for the past year–and in some cases, for more than a year–focused largely on where to go to college, not how they should go to college. High school counselors prepare students to get into college, not what students should do while they are there to make the most of their undergraduate years. Even the best freshmen orientation programs often fail to provide students with an adequate road map for navigating the sometimes-treacherous path to graduation.

As a result, too many students sit back and many wait for college to happen to them. That’s why every year, nearly 70% of new high school graduates go straight on to college, but just a little more than 50% graduate within six years. For undergraduates to get off to a good start, there are four critical things they need to do to be sure they eventually make it across the stage at commencement:

1. Engage with faculty. Just 32% of freshmen in the annual National Survey of Student Engagement said they discussed ideas or concepts with a faculty member outside of class. Three-fifths of freshmen in the same survey said they never worked with professors on activities other than coursework. Researchers have found that getting to know at least one faculty member well in the first year of college improves the chances that students will get more from their undergraduate experience (including a degree).

Read more at the Washington Post.