Engagement and Motivation

How to Help Criminal Justice Students Become Job-Ready

Guest Contributor: Scott Rudeen, Ph.D.(ABD), MBA, MA, MSM   The criminal justice field has changed so greatly over the past decade. My goal in the classroom is to help prepare my students to become fully job-ready. We focus on improving their communication skills, their reading comprehension, and their decision-making ability through dynamic scenarios. When students begin their CJ career, they learn quickly that every written word and every action can be used in court, captured on video, and easily shared on social media. As a state trooper who is passionate about law enforcement, my primary goal is to act Read More…


14 Traits of a Confident College Student

While we know that confidence plays a key role in determining a student’s success, how do we define confidence?  What does a confident student look like? In The Confident Student, 8th edition, author Carol C. Kanar identifies 14 traits of confident students. Do you see these traits in your students? Flexible – They have an open mind and are adaptable to change.
Self-motivated – They know what they want and strive to achieve it.
Intellectual risk taker – They think for themselves, critically and creatively.
Enthusiastic – They remain optimistic and energetic.
Responsible – They “own” and are accountable for their actions.
Self-managed – They Read More…


How to Boost College Students’ Confidence

Today’s educators are well aware that students—like most people—feel unsure of themselves, especially in new situations. In a sea of highly competent peers, many students flail around wondering where they belong and even, if they belong. To ward off these common fears and give students the best odds for success, many colleges now offer courses and seminars covering everything from understanding learning style to developing effective study habits to facing the future with confidence.

Fear of failure

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Conquering the Freshman Fear of Failure,” David L. Kirp a graduate school professor and senior Read More…


How To Help: College Students’ Biggest Time Management Challenges

Time management is your ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to accomplish your goals. It helps to have strategies to be successful in managing one’s time. The strategies that worked well for students in high school may, however, fall short in meeting the obligations of college life. Classes, group work, study, and jobs now compete for the limited hours in a semester. The sooner that college students learn to adjust their time management skills, the better their chances of success.

Understanding college students’ challenges

In the spring of 2015 Cengage issued its Read More…


3 Tips for Effective Communication with Your College Students

When communicating with your students do you sometimes feel as if you’re speaking different languages? It’s just possible that, to a certain extent, you are. Instructions that you think are crystal clear may elude your students. Praise or critiques may fall short of achieving their aim. Keys to more effective communication are based on gaining a better understanding of your learners. Here are a few ideas to help you foster better communication with your students.

Be available

In order to be a better communicator one must be available. Your keys to success start with making sure that your students Read More…


Tips for Students: Apply Critical Thinking Skills During Final Exams

Critical thinking skills help college students reason through content. Final exams are conducted primarily to assess this reasoning process and your overall knowledge and retention of important facts and processes from the course studied. However, exams are filled not only with memorization of facts and figures, but also of thought processes, problem-solving, deductions, and inferences based on previously presented or known information. During finals week, make sure to utilize your critical thinking skills to prove that you’ve mastered the concepts.

Students can practice critical thinking

Critical thinking involves developing the ability to understand and articulate concepts that describe how the world works. Students Read More…


Tips for College Students: How to Begin Searching for Scholarships

College students are always looking for financial aid, scholarships, grants, and other help paying for college. Scholarships are popular because the monetary gift is free and does not have to be paid back, and because there are so many scholarship programs to choose from. But where to start searching and how to get a scholarship? Students can search their local community and visit scholarship websites to find information on federal, state, local, individuals, businesses, companies, religious groups, nonprofit organizations, etc. that offer undergraduate scholarships. Students usually have to qualify for specific scholarships, such as having a certain income, grade Read More…


Tips for College Students: Your Future Career in STEM

Have you considered a future career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)? As employment trends change in the U.S., there are more and more opportunities in these four areas for all college students, but especially for female students. Another take on this path is “STEAM.” STEAM encompasses the STEM subjects, but also incorporates the arts. Take a look at these helpful tips to consider if you’re interested in a STEM career.

The job outlook for STEM

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, college students need to put some serious thought into pursuing a STEM degree. Job opportunities in fields related Read More…


Top Test-taking Tips for College Students

How many times has your lecture been interrupted by a student asking, “Will this be on the test?” Unnerving as the question may be, it does demonstrate that the student is thinking ahead to the test. Though their focus may be short-sighted, you can nonetheless use their motivation to teach your students how to prepare for the test and then deal with different testing formats such as objective or essay exams.

Preparing for exams

In her book, Orientation to College Learning, 7th Edition, Dianna L. Van Blerkom addressed how students can master necessary college skills such as preparing for Read More…


Teaching Tips to Help with Student Motivation and Struggling Students

Midterm exam time has passed, and now as a college instructor you may be left wondering how to assist your struggling students. Another concern may be student motivation for those college students that are breezing through the class and starting to seem disengaged. Both are issues that can be addressed with some innovative teaching tips.

What are college students thinking?

Author Peter Filene discussed the importance of listening to students prior to starting class to discover their preconceptions in The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors. Filene recommended college instructors ask what students think about Read More…