Going to the college ranks as a major milestonein an individual’s life. The college experience is unique due tothe new-found freedom away from the watchful eyes of parents. Thisnew-found freedom allows different individuals to experiment ondiverse things including lifestyle changes, which may result in astudent forgetting his or her main aim of attending collegetherefore, resulting in failure. Montgomery County Community Collegeranks among the average performing institutions of higher learning inAmerica due to the low student success. According to CNN Money, theMontgomery County Community College success rate is below averagewith only 41% of the students graduating. Student achievement at thecollege may, however, be improved using various techniques includingadvising students on the strategies such time management, effectivenote-taking, as well as the importance of studying
Time management is the first step that studentscan take to ensure success in college. College life is characterizedby increased activities as well as extra free time therefore, timemanagement is crucial to ensure one succeeds in every activityundertaken. Time management can be on a weekly or monthly basis (Paukand Owens 23). A weekly time management strategy involves readingthrough weekly schedules and planning for all the activities. Thisplanning should also include allocating time for sleeping. Afterallocating sleep time, which is normally 7 hours daily, a student isleft with 119 hours to work on all other activities includingattending class, social activities, sports and other co-curriculumactivities, studying, eating, and hygiene. Time management wouldinvolve allocating time to each activity and sticking to the scheduleall through the week. The use of a weekly strategy is important as itallows one to have an idea of how they spend their time.
A student may also plan their time based on thesemester’s calendar. Term papers and assignments account for a highpercentage of the content that students are required to learn. Usinga semester’s calendar can assist a student to plan their time toensure all assignments and term papers are completed on time.Planning using a semester schedule allows astudent to break down long assignments into shorter parts therefore,deeper research, which results in better-written assignments. Atypical semester is characterized by twelve weeks of study. A studentcan plan his or her time to ensure all assignments and term papersare completed by the tenth week. Starting to work on a term paper thesecond week after it being issued would allow the student to completethe paper by the ninth week leaving the tenth, eleventh, and twelveweeks free to handle any emergency issue that may arise.The use of a semester time management strategy also allows a studentto plan for emergencies such as the loss of computers or data. Usingeither a weekly or semester time management is crucial in ensuringsuccess in college.
Effective Note Taking
Note-taking skills are crucial in ensuringsuccess in college. Human memory fades quite quickly therefore,taking meaningful notes is important in ensuring recall during examsor when working on assignments. Accordingto Pauk and Owens, effective note taking skills also act as a methodto train the brain to detect important information from the lectures(211). A student should attend class with a notebook, a pen, andhighlighters to emphasize important points. A student should also bementally prepared for the class by reading through notes from theprevious class and assigned readings before the class.Reading ahead allows better understanding therefore, a betterability to decipher important lecture points.
Effective note taking requires good listeningskills to allow a student capture all important lecture points.Having a positive attitude when entering a lecture allowsopen-mindedness therefore, increased interest in the informationbeing presented (Pauk and Owens 214). Attending classes with negativeattitude results in inattentive listening, which often results inpoor note taking. Effective listening skills also involve thinkingbefore putting down notes. Rather than transcribing everything theprofessor says, thinking before writing allows a student to pick outthe important information from the lecture. Effective listeningskills also involve being able to adapt to the professor’sdirection. Questions from students characterize lectures. During suchsituations, students normally zone out therefore, miss out parts ofthe semester. A student should avoid such situations to ensure he orshe does not miss any crucial information during the lecture.
Effective notetaking also requires high levels ofthe organization. Note organization entails dating lectures andstarting every talk in a new page. Note organization also involvesleaving spaces in strategic parts of the notes. Such spaces can beused in making summaries or creating connections between thedifferent information. The use of these methods results in effectivenote-taking, which translates to success in college.
Studying andconstantly reviewing notes also acts as a major contributing factorto student success in college. Lectures only provide students withpart of the information, with students being expected to research andread to ensure complete understanding of what was taught in class(Junco, Heiberger and Loken 5). A college student should spend a highpercentage of his or her free time studying either alone or in agroup. Studying allows a student to review notes, as well as discovernew information that the student might not have heard during thelecture. However, just like listening skills, studying skills arequite hard to develop and require some level of discipline.
One of the first factors to consider beforestudying is the study environment. The study environment should beone that allows minimal disruption. A negative study environment isthe dorm room. The dorm room is quite comfortable therefore, astudent is easily distracted to either sleep or make conversationswith dorm mates. Effective study spaces may include the library orunoccupied classes where human traffic is low. While at the studyspace, a student should ensure there are minimal distractions fromthis or her phone.
Effective studying also makes use of studygroups. Students who study together often perform well in classactivities. A study group promotes peer learning and note sharingtherefore, diversified information, which results in increasedunderstanding. However, students using study groups should avoidallowing other students to do all the work. The contribution ofinformation should be equal to ensure every student benefits from thestudy group.
The education reforms in the 21stcentury have resulted in an increasing number of college enrollment.However, not all students who join college graduate with somedropping out due to different reasons. Different colleges haveintroduced diverse strategies aimed at ensuring student success.Effective time management and note taking skills as well as studyingaccount for some of the major factors likely to promote the successof students in Montgomery County Community College. The use of thesethree strategies and consistent class attendance by students in theuniversity can assist to improve the student success ratestherefore, boost the college`s rankings among other communitycolleges.
CNN Money. "How does your community college stack up?"2015. CNN Money. Web.<http://money.cnn.com/pf/college/community-colleges/>.
Junco, R., G. Heiberger and E. Loken. "The effect of Twitter oncollege student =engagement and grades." Journal of ComputerAssisted Learning (2010): 1-14. Web.
Pauk, Walter and Ross J. Q. Owens. How to Study in College.Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company., 2005. Web.