The Success Doctor and The College Success Professor join forces to tell you what you need to have a successful semester this fall.
Time management, information management and creating a daily success plan are the foundational elements of Dr. Steven’s Greene work with students in achieving his mission to provide students and families with actions to maximize their education.
I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Greene for the Office Hours with the College Success Professor podcast as a kick off for a month-long series of interviews with students, faculty, and experts to help college students to prepare for what is ahead for teaching, learning, and how to be successful in the new era of social distancing and learning.
As you likely are aware, colleges and universities were forced to transition online, largely delivering instruction through Zoom, this spring. And although many schools are planning to re open face to face in the fall, no one knows what the future holds and it is very likely that a hybrid level of teaching and learning will occur again at some point during the next academic year.
For this and other reasons, I wanted to talk to Dr. Greene about what advice he recommends on how students can develop the fundamental skills and strategies to best prepare for whatever happens next semester.
Dr. Greene’s first piece of advice for my question, “What can students do now to start preparing for college level learning?” was to describe five essential elements that students can do to maximize their college academic life. The five structures as he calls them are:
- Physical – making sure that the location where you are doing your work is quiet and conducive to learning. There should be no distractions or impediments to completing your tasks.
- Time – identifying a specific time frame when you will be alert and focused on the task at hand
- Academic – securing the academic tools and materials that are needed to do the work for the specific academic subject. (knowing and understanding the assignment details, having your notes, textbook, calculator, etc.)
- Accountability – self accountability – making a commitment to yourself and to your goals
- Support – knowing how to access the support resources and/or people, if and when, you get stuck
Other important takeaways from my conversation with Dr. Greene included his advice for students registering for their first semester in college. That advice was to choose classes similar to the classes taken during senior year to help you to have familiarity and background knowledge on the material. I wholeheartedly agree with this recommendation because students should try to create an environment that makes their transition to college as smooth as possible. I often suggest that students create first semester schedules that provide some challenge, but not so much that it could negatively impact their gpa. In my work in academic support, I find that students often overestimate their ability to execute on the amount of time and effort required to do college level work and get the same grades as in high school.
As Dr. Greene also works with parents who are looking to learn ways to support their children, he offered some guidance, while also making it clear that he doesn’t tell people how to parent. For example, for parents whose students return from the semester with a lower GPA than expected, Dr. Greene suggests finding the underlying causes or reason for the negative academic circumstances and focusing on trying to remedy it.
Dr. Greene offers advice for parents whose children have not mastered the essential elements of time management and information management. Or, for parents like me, who have a child who does not want to follow classic strategies for creating a plan to complete essential tasks. For us, Dr. Greene recommends allowing the child to develop his or her own system for keeping track of what needs to be done regarding school assignments and projects. And although as a parent it may be hard to let go control, children must learn to take ownership of their work. Support can be offered later, if needed.
Dr. Greene offered a wealth of other strategies during the course of the interview, so I encourage you to check out the full episode. One of the last points was made after a request for help with students who have difficulty with lecture classes. And this is where I will end my summary. As lectures are a common teaching practice for college professors, it’s highly important for students to complete the assigned readings or to familiarize themselves with the content of the lecture before class. In doing so, the lecture will have a better context and meaning. In addition to this tip on how to get the most from a lecture based course, Dr. Greene talked about the 7 different methods for taking notes in a lecture. Along with the traditional Cornell Note Taking method, Dr. Greene highlighted the use of visual note taking methods as outlined in his book Maximum Education.
If you would like to learn more about how to achieve academic success in school, Dr. Greene has a host of information and resources on his website at https://makethegrade.net/. If you have specific questions for Dr. Greene, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for consultations and more information. If you want a great gift for a grad or you are interested in learning more educational secrets and academic success strategies, Dr. Greenee’s Book Maximum Education is available on Amazon.
Lastly, Dr. Greene was my first guest in a series of educational events and learning opportunities I am offering for the month of June. Notably, on June 18th, I will share some powerful myth-busting information that will help you cut through all the noise and misinformation you’re hearing from social media, memes, and your friends and family who don’t really know what it really takes to be successful in the new college environment. The Countdown to College : COVID-19 Ready Edition webinar will help you avoid the costly missteps that come with being overwhelmed and unsure about how to navigate complex college systems. You can register for the free Countdown to College: COVID-19 Ready Edition webinar which will take place on Thursday, June 18 at [6:00] PM EST.
Here’s to becoming your best college self by making the most of your summer so you can enjoy your college experience!
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