Academic Divers, Survivors and Thrivers: Metacognitive Learner Profiles

Click image to enlarge. In the current environment of hyper-segmentation, it can seem impossible for instructors and learning center professionals to know what college students need to succeed. We seem infatuated with sub-dividing students into increasingly smaller and smaller cohorts. This myopic perspective, blinds us from seeing the commonalities among students, and prevents us from finding solutions that stretch across …

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?” …

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 – Part II: Dispelling Ayanna’s Faulty Disposition

As a high school student, Ayanna had excelled in an advanced placement program at a reputable private academy. She said high school had come easy to her. College hadn’t started out so trouble-free, however. Ayanna’s chemistry course had become her most pressing concern; she’d “bombed” her first two tests, which was particularly unsettling because this was the area in which …

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 …

5 Things Every Student Should Know Before Starting College

Updated: August 2017 In a previous post, Professors Are from Mars, Students Are from Venus, I attempted to artfully delineate the drastically different approaches to learning of college professors versus their pupils. With a new session of school upon us, this entry provides a student-friendly version of this message. Well, here’s an opportunity to get ahead of the college academic game, …