Tools and Tips for Starting the Semester Off Strong

donnieadjDionell McNeal, 22, is a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communication. He works at the Center for Academic Success on campus as the Graduate Marketing Assistant Coordinator. His favorite quote, “What would you accomplish, if you knew you could not fail,” by Robert H. Schuller.

As the spring semester begins, it is important for students to start strong. Having the proper tools and knowing how to use them can make a big difference in students’ success. Below are some tips and tools from the Center of Academic Success (CAS) that can help your student.

Develop time management skills. Students can begin developing time management tools by recording their day-to-day actions to see how their time is spent. After realizing where too much or not enough time is spent, adjustments can be made in those areas. It is important for students to find a balance between their social, personal, and academic lives. By evaluating these areas and organizing their priorities, students can increase their time management skills.

A few worksheet/video resources for developing time management skills are: Do I use my time wisely? Do I organize my time well? Where does my time go?

 Keep a planner and calendar. The CAS offers students semester calendars and weekly planners. The semester calendar has important dates from the university listed and students can use this calendar to jot down personal dates and dates from course syllabi to see the big picture of the semester. The weekly planner allows students to plan out each week by breaking each day of the week into 30-minute increments. For example, students can list classes and times for studying, exercising, meetings, and hanging with friends. The CAS Tools for Managing Time video demonstrates how to use the calendars.

Utilize free homework tutoring, peer-lead study sessions (Supplemental Instruction), and the study group starter kit. On-campus tutoring is offered every weekday in 141 Middleton Library.  Students can come to study, complete homework assignments, or ask questions about their courses. Tutoring allows students to review and study course materials with others that are skilled within that particular course.

Similar to tutoring are peer-lead study sessions, also known as Supplemental Instruction (SI). Students who attend weekly SI sessions on a regular basis receive a 1/2 letter grade higher than those who don’t. Students are encouraged to attend these sessions to learn how to study for a particular course and to develop a deeper understanding of concepts. It is also a great way to meet other students in the course. SI is taught by students who have successfully completed the course and they then work with the professor on course material through out the semester.

Students can also form study groups by using the study group starter kit. The kit allows students to start study groups with one another for a course they are enrolled in together.  By using the kit, students are able to increase motivation and confidence by working with each other.

Starting off the semester strong is important as it lays the foundation for a successful semester. With proper planning and utilizing available resources, students will be able to finish the semester off a little easier. CAS is always available to assist your student with a free private consultation to incorporate learning strategies.


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