Making the Transition to Higher Education

Making the Transition to Higher Education

September 24, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


So this week, one of the topics we’re
going to be discussing is making the transition into higher education. So this
is something that students often find is somewhat of a challenge especially
during that first semester of college or even students that are coming back after
taking perhaps a gap year, or many years so to speak. So oftentimes they find
themselves feeling overwhelmed and unprepared. So with a little preparation,
that can definitely help to make sure that you have a successful switch into
college life or back into college life. And the reality is, there really isn’t a
right or wrong way to make this transition a smooth one. We’re all coming
from different backgrounds, different learning environments, and we find that
we all are able to adapt or struggle with that adaptation in different ways.
So today, we’re going to explore some things that you can do now to help make
your transition a smooth one. So the first one is taking control of your
education. So one of the biggest differences between high school and
college is that there’s no one standing over you telling you what you need to do.
Your parents and guardians aren’t standing over you, your teachers, your
Vice Principals or Counselors no one’s calling home, no one’s saying you know
so-and-so has not showed up for class in three weeks, or logged online in a week.
No one is doing that. So logging into your online class, attending class,
doing your homework, that’s all up to you. So in high school, I think many of us
would agree that a lot of the decisions made were made by other people for us.
So people were telling us where to go, what we should do, what classes we
should take, how we should be studying. You know, what we can do better. Now
all of it is up to you. You will be making the educational choices that are
going to best suit you. So number two, creating your own support system. so be
assertive: it’s super important that you are seeking help when you realize that
you may need it. You need to take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s even wise to
ask for help even before you need it, so that way, you know. By knowing the
resources that are available to you on campus, at your college that you’re
attending, that can be super valuable to you guys. So if you’re
asking friends for help, that can be one way. Seeking out a tutor whether
face-to-face or online. Again, we have so many different resources available to
you. Go to office hours… that’s another one that you will want to do and make
sure that you’re taking part in that. So in our online class, we can meet
face-to-face through our Confer Now feature which is our video conferencing.
You know, so and if you have classes on campus go to those teacher’s office
hours. It’s the best thing you can do. Never be afraid to ask for help and
utilize those campus resources, okay? Number three, probably one of my favorite
ones. Get to know your professors. They truly are, I would say, definitely your
single greatest resource. So not only are we here to help you get through class,
we’re here to help answer questions, make sure, you know, you’re doing
everything you’re supposed to do, we’re also here as a valuable tool in terms of
getting connected to the department that you’re taking a class in, potential
careers. We write letters of reference all the time for scholarships,
applications, internships, any of that. So it’s a huge, huge benefit if you stay in
contact and communicate with your professors. And for me, communication is
huge. I think I’ve written that in several places …talk to me. If you’ve got
a concern or you need help let me know, and then of course take advantage of all
of the different student support services which I mentioned
earlier. So the Academic Achievement Center, you can get tutoring. They offer
Student Success Workshops during the regular school year, fall and spring on how
to write you know, tips with writing your scholarship application, how to fill
out the FAFSA, anything like that, study skills. They have a ton of different workshops.
We also have a Math Lab to help you with your math if you’re struggling. Student
Ambassadors are a great resource to help you kind of navigate the waters and
figure out you know, how to get through things. Okay
so a few more tips …you definitely want to plan ahead so that you’re ensuring
that you’re meeting those academic goals. So make sure that you are meeting with a
counselor. You definitely want to develop an Ed Plan early. That’s actually one of the requirements for this class. To sit
down with a counselor and develop an Ed plan. Now that may change and I’ve had
students in previous semesters that have said I have an ED plan but it’s
totally changed that’s all right. Revise those ed plans, that is okay. And when you
meet with your counselor come with a list of questions because you know, we all know that feeling when you’ve met with someone and the second you leave, oh yeah , I forgot to ask this! Review our course catalog, our Columbia College catalog.
Remember to register for your classes when you get that date and time, Make
sure that you register. The earlier you register the
more likely you’re going to get the classes that you want and with that said,
make sure you have a few back-up classes as well because sometimes classes do get
full and professors/instructors, for whatever reason, maybe they can’t take you
from to their waitlist, So just kind of keep that in mind as well. So make
thoughtful course decisions. Make sure that you are taking courses that are
best for you. know what’s best for your academic goals. So certainly, you know,
it’s important that if you really are unsure what you want to do, that you are
exploring different options. But you know don’t take a course ,if you have zero
interest in it and you are just going to take it because your friends are taking it.
know for whatever reason so make public So, make thoughtful course decisions.
Make sure that you’re slowly working up to those harder classes that first
semester of college or jumping back into higher education, you know, don’t give
yourself several lab classes and try and figure it all out and think it’s going
to be easy and work for you. Do what’s best for you. You’ve got to remember
college courses require more time and a lot more effort than high school classes
so this also means that you want to create a schedule that’s going to work
best for you. when are you most alert? does a Friday 8am morning math class
really seem like a good idea? maybe you can sustain it for a few weeks,
but for 14 weeks? are you going to keep up a Monday Wednesday Friday 8 a.m. math
class? And I say that from experience because I did that, and it was a disaster.
Oh and I when I first started college, my first semester, it sounded like a good
idea and it wasn’t. So maybe the online classroom is a better environment
for you. You’re busy you’re working, you’ve got a family you, have a million
different things, you can’t get to campus when you’d like, so online classes might
be what’s best for you. Also how many students are in the class that you’re
taking? you want to consider the class size. do you want a class where
there’s maybe 20 students to one professor or do you want to be in a huge
lecture hall with you know 100 and 150 students? so keep those things in mind –
all right? oh and super important do not ever drop
a course just because or you’ve haven’t logged in. at least for me if you haven’t
logged in in a couple of weeks reach out to me more than likely I probably will
have reached out to you but do not just drop a class just because you want to.
talk with the professor, talk with the counselor, because not only could it take
you off track for your academic plans and goals, but it also could affect your
financial aid. so it’s super important that you’re talking to different people.
don’t be ashamed, don’t be embarrassed. you know talk with us so we can make
sure that you dropping that class is what’s best for your long term goals. and
then you want to think beyond the moment set goals for the semester ,
for the year, for your entire academic career. you want to set a goal and
identify what it is you want to achieve. so in a few weeks we’re going to talk
more about goal-setting. you know motivation, it does come
from within. and going after something that you want, that’s what’s going to
keep you motivated. you want to make a plan of action and once you’ve identified
that goal, figure out what it’s going to take to meet that goal, you know, have
effective plans of action and timelines so that you can monitor how you’re
progressing towards meeting that goal. and then you want to make sure that
you’re following and adhering to that plan that you’ve set. if you need to
modify plans along the way, that’s okay. adjust dates, timelines, goals you know
maybe things have completely changed, you have a career change or a major change. that’s
okay. but it’s important to have goals and figure out how to actually attain
them, okay ? So the next five slides are going to provide you with some specific
differences between high school and college. so what I’m going to do is I’m
going to click on each slide. I’m going to go ahead and
press pause , alright? so these slides are going to help you with your discussion
for this week. so if you look at this, it’s telling you following the rules in
high school versus choosing responsibility. so again, most of your
classes are arranged for you you’re arranging your own classes in college.
you can count on parents and teachers to remind you of your responsibilities
whereas now in college it’s completely up to you to balance those and set your
own priorities. going to high school classes and succeeding in college
classes, this is a huge one. in high school, you know, generally classes they
don’t have any more than 35 students, whereas in high school, I’m sorry, in
college you know college campuses do usually and often have lectures of a
hundred students or more. typically Columbia’s a little less as we’re a little
smaller campus, but just to kind of keep that in mind. also you need to make sure
that you are studying outside of class time two to three hours for each hour
expected to be spent in class. so again the stakes are a lot higher there’s a
lot more expectations in college. all right, and then when there are
assignments or reading or things like that, that are assigned to you a lot of
times your instructors or professors they’re not going to you know really
reteach that material to you in class. they’re just going to expect that you’ve
read it and if you’ve got questions you’ve reached out to them. oh this is
another big one… so just teachers versus college professors and instructors. you
know in high school checking your homework, making sure you’ve turned in
all of your missed work, you know sending home deficiency notices, semester grades,
quarter report cards all that stuff. not in college. so some professors never
check homework they expect you and want you to attend their office hours. if
you’ve got questions they’re not going to always remind you
again of the missed work or things that you need to do. even things that are
upcoming so you just you want to make sure that when you get that syllabus or
looking at it and you’re making sure you’re following it. if things have
changed or it seems like something’s a little off the mark just check with your
professor. tests in high school versus college …okay, again make up
tests are often available in high school, not so much in college. all
right, a lot of review sessions in high school and again maybe you’ll get a
study guide maybe not but rarely do they offer review sessions.
grades in high school versus grades in college… so most assignments in high
school you receive the grades for, not the case in college. in high school you
also graduate if you earn a D or higher technically in your classes, at least for
most California high schools. whereas in college, depending on what
your major is you may need to maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA. that could be a
department standard okay? so again transitioning to college… if you know
what to expect and you know how to handle potential obstacles you will be
much more prepared it’s not going to say it’s going to be
perfect if you follow these things, but it’ll certainly help you to feel more
prepared like you’ve kind of got a handle on things. you’ll know what to expect
and if problems do arise then you know where to go and who to talk to.
alright talk to you soon!