At the Cengage Learning Blog, we frequently offer tips that students can use to hone their academic, personal, and professional skills. We also recognize that numerous educators from around the country (and the world) have found creative and effective ways to support students in their quest for college success.

Today’s idea, submitted by Sandra Rapp of Eastern University, describes one way her school helps students prepare for what’s expected of them in college. We believe that this activity could help your students better position themselves to achieve their educational goals and make the most out of their experience at your school.

How does your school prepare students for college work, life, and expectations? Discuss below.
At Eastern University we have developed a three-session complimentary event for any student beginning in our adult Associate of Arts major. We discuss reading, math, and technology to get them prepared for college courses. In one of the exercises I ask for a student volunteer to describe what their typical day is like. As they describe their day I write it on the whiteboard for everyone to see. Everyone is thinking about their “normal” day or what yesterday was like for them.

Then I ask, “Where do you see college/study time fitting into your schedule?” This is great as here you see the “aha” moments taking place. Discussion begins between some of the students and it hits a reality that their life will have to adjust from what it has been previously.

We have this conversation for the on-ground and online students both. Adapting the conversation and pointing out the differences of the two learning options help them to realize if they are committed to succeeding in college.

In our first course of the AA major we go into more depth with this exercise and have them submit what their previous week schedule was like. It again, helps the students to see what they have committed to and how they may have to adjust their lives.

Thank you for sharing this topic. I feel it is very important for students to realize what they are committing to and how they can succeed.

–Sandra Rapp, MBA, Coordinator of Associate of Arts and General Studies programs, Eastern University (St. Davids, PA)