Keisha’s Story: Developing a Higher Education State of Mind

Studying is a feeling process. When grappling with academic material, students feel their way through the information. They’re not sure if insights that stand out to them will be equally valued by their teacher. As students try to process high volumes of content, questions such as, “What do I need to know?” and “How do I know that I’m ready?” …

The Power of Micro-Experiences: Transforming Students While Invigorating Faculty

Great teaching should be rewarding for students and energizing for educators. This refreshing post shares one experience that produced both of these outcomes. On December 2, 2016, I shared some of the amazing educational experiences that were occurring at the University of the Cumberlands (UC), the largest private college in Kentucky. I was a co-facilitator with Drs. Tom Fish and Bob Dunston, UC faculty members …

Why Our Academic Solutions Fail – Part IV: Addressing Nora’s Skill Deficit Problem

Nora was required to meet with me as a condition of her academic probation status. She’d missed several days of class and had a .8 GPA at the end of her first semester of college. Her serial absences gave her professors a seemingly clear signal that she was disinterested in college. However, after getting a more holistic perspective, I realized that Nora’s inability …

WHY OUR ACADEMIC SOLUTIONS FAIL – PART III: Correcting Marcus’s Faulty Conceptions

In my experience, the learning problems of college students have conceptual roots dating back to their elementary school days. By the time students reach adulthood, they’ve been doing school “stuff” for many years: taking tests, reading books, writing papers, solving math problems and attending class. Students have invested more than 20,000 hours in school activities before stepping foot on a college …

Why Our Academic Solutions Fail: How to Help Students at the Source of Their Problems

The education community consists of the some of the most highly trained people in the world. So why are we educators so inept at improving student academic performance? I believe the difficulty stems from an inability to distinguish between symptoms and causes. Educators need to hone in on the origins of learners’ academic woes. To do so requires that instructors …

Why Good Students Do “Bad” in College: Why We Should Care and What We Should Do

Updated: August 2017 By the time students enter college, they’ve invested more than 20,000 hours in academic learning. They should be expert learners. But rather than enjoying school, students endure it. Many eventually stop-out, drop-out or fail-out. Educators and institutions that cut through popular beliefs that students are apathetic, woefully unprepared or generationally deficient to understand the real reasons behind …