10 Benefits of College Education

benefits of college education New York times and cost of college education vs benefits and how a college education benefits you, How College Education Benefits society
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Published Date:20-07-2017
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Chapter 1 You and Your College Experience Where Are You Now? Assess your present knowledge and attitudes. Yes Unsure No 1. I understand all the benefits of a college education for my future life. 2. I have clear-cut career interests and have already planned my college program to prepare me best for my future work. 3. I am aware of how my previous educational background has prepared me for college work. 4. I have all the personal traits of a successful college student. 5. I know how the learning process functions and make an effort to maximize my learning at each step in this process. 6. I know my personal learning style and use it to my advantage when learning new things. 7. I know how to pay attention to gain the most from my classes. 8. I am aware of my college’s policies for academic honesty and behavior on campus. 9. I know where to find all the resources of my college that can help me succeed both academically and personally. 10. I am confident I can earn the grades I need to achieve success in my college courses. 11. I know the first year of college will be the most difficult, but I am fully prepared and take responsibility for my own success. 12. I am taking steps every day to ensure I am successful in every aspect of the college experience. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 3 Where Do You Want to Go? Think about how you answered the questions above. Be honest with yourself. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your present skills for succeeding in college? Not very strong Very strong 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 In the following list, circle the three most important areas in which you think you can improve:  Relating my personal values to education  Choosing a program or degree major  Finding the best career for my interests and skills  Being prepared for college-level work  Developing a positive attitude for college  Successfully using each step of the learning process  Adapting and broadening my personal learning style  Getting the most out of classes large and small  Following all college policies  Taking advantage of all college resources  Getting the best grades I can get  Successfully transitioning to college and completing the first year  Doing everything I can every day to ensure I succeed in college Are there other areas or skills that need more attention in order for you to succeed in college? Write down other things you feel you need to work on. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ How to Get There Here’s what we’ll work on in this chapter:  Viewing college in terms of your personal values  Recognizing the importance of making a commitment to succeed in the first year of college Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 4  Discovering what career and college major best match your interests and skills  Understanding the obstacles students like you may have to overcome when transitioning into college  Figuring out how to learn best in each step of the learning process  Using your personal learning style effectively while also expanding to include other forms of learning  Staying motivated and succeeding in large lecture classes as well as small discussion classes  Working with your academic advisor to select courses and plan your program  Discovering what resources your college offers students to succeed not only in classes but also in their personal and social lives  Understanding why grades matter  Understanding why the first year of college is so critical and how to ensure you make it through  Knowing what steps you can take starting today and every day to ensure your success in college Welcome to College Congratulations on your decision to attend college For the great majority of college students, it really was your decision—not just an automatic thing to do. If you happen to be one of the few who just sort of ended up in college for want of anything better to do, the benefits of college will soon become obvious. The reason for this book, and for almost all college courses, is that college does require commitment and effort. Like everything else in life that leads to meaningful results, success in college is not automatic. But when you apply yourself to your studies using the skills you’ll learn in this book, you’ll find you can succeed. When asked, most students say they’re in college primarily for the job or career they expect to follow after college. And they are correct that college pays off enormously in terms of future earnings, job security and stability, and job satisfaction. Every statistic shows that people with a college education will make much more in their lifetime (much, much more than the cost of college itself) and be much happier with the work they do. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 5 But job and career issues are only a part of the big picture. A college education results in many other personal benefits, and these also should be part of your motivation for doing well and continuing with your college plans. Here are a few additional, less tangible benefits of a college education:  You will have a fuller life and a better understanding of the world around you.  You will gain decision-making and problem-solving skills.  You will meet many interesting and diverse people and have a richer social life.  You will gain self-confidence.  You will gain learning skills that can continue for a lifetime.  You will make wiser decisions about lifestyle issues and live healthier.  You will make wiser economic decisions the rest of your life.  You will be better equipped to deal with other people, organizations, governmental agencies, and all the hassles of daily life.  You will feel more fully a part of your community, the larger culture, and history. A college education is correlated with greater success in all those areas, even though most students are usually more concerned with making it through the next class or test than the rest of their lives. But sometimes it helps to recall what a truly great step forward you are taking Sadly, however, it’s important to recognize that some students do not succeed in college and drop out within the first year. Sometimes it’s due to an unsolvable financial problem or a personal or family crisis, but most of the time students drop out because they’re having problems passing their courses. The two biggest causes of this problem are a lack of motivation and not having learned the skills needed to succeed in college. A book like this one can help you stay motivated when things get tough, but it can’t necessarily give you motivation to start with. That’s part of what you yourself have to bring to college. What we can promise you is that you can learn the skills for succeeding in college. Special skills are needed because college isn’t the same as high school. Throughout this book, we’ll be looking at the many ways college is different from high school. To name just a few, college is different in study skills needed, in personal skills related to being independent, in social skills for getting along with instructors and others on campus, in financial realities, in matters of personal health, and more. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 6 Remember, you can learn whatever you need in order to succeed. That’s what this book is all about. You’ll learn how to get the most out of going to class. You’ll learn how to study in ways that use your time efficiently and help you pass tests. You’ll even learn how to remember what you read in your college textbooks. You’ll learn how to manage your time more effectively than you might have in the past, so that studying is less a burden and more a simple routine. You’ll even learn how things like eating well and getting enough sleep and exercise make it easier to do well in your classes. One warning: you might not at first see an immediate payoff for everything you read in this book. When it comes to certain things, such as tips for how to take good notes in class to help you study later on for a test, you will get specific, practical advice you can put to use immediately to get a better grade. But not everything is as obvious or immediately beneficial. Some of the things you’ll read about here involve ideas you’ll need to think about. Some things will help you get to know yourself better and understand more clearly what you really want from your education and how to go about attaining them. But we promise you this: if you care enough to want to succeed in college and care enough to read these chapters and try to use the information, suggestions, and tips presented here, you will succeed in college. 1.1 Who Are You, Really? L E A R N I N G O B JE C T I V E S 1. List your most important personal values and relate them to a college education. 2. Begin thinking about what kind of career will best match your interests, skills, and personality. 3. Understand how college is different from high school in many ways. 4. Develop a positive attitude about yourself as a college student. 5. Accept responsibility for your college experience and your life. Succeeding in college is rather like succeeding in life. It’s really much more about you than it is about college. So the most important place to start is to consider why you’re here, what matters to you, and what you expect to get out it. Even if you have already thought about these questions, it’s good to reaffirm your commitment to your plan as we begin to consider what’s really involved in being a college student. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 7 What’s Your Plan? Take a few minutes and write down short answers to the questions in Activity 1. Be honest with yourself, and write down what you really feel. You are not writing for an instructor here—not what you think someone expects to hear—and you are not being graded on your answers A C T I V I T Y 1 : Y OU R C O L L E GE P L A N How long do you anticipate being in college? ________________________________________________________ How many courses will you need to take per term to finish college in your planned time period? ________________________________________________________ What do you anticipate will be the most difficult part of completing college? ________________________________________________________ Are you confident you will be able to overcome any possible difficulties in completing college? ________________________________________________________ Were you able to easily answer the questions in Activity 1? How confident do you feel about your plan? These are important questions to think about for the simple reason that students who have a clear plan and who are prepared to overcome possible obstacles that may arise along the way are much more likely to succeed in college. In other words, just thinking in a positive way about your future can help that future come true What Matters to You? The word values refers to things that matter to a person. What makes you feel good? What things would you be doing if you had all the time, money, and opportunities in the world? Questions like these help us define our own values. Every individual has his or her own values. Thinking about your own values can help you know what you want from life and from college. Take a moment and consider the list of things in Activity 2 that are valued by some people. For each value, rate how important that thing is to you. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 8 A C T I V I T Y 2 : Y OU R V A L U E S Following is a list of things that different people say they value. For each item on this list, indicate how important it is to you yourself by ranking it as very important (5), not important (0), or somewhere in between. Value Not important Very important Making a good income 0 1 2 3 4 5 Having good friends 0 1 2 3 4 5 Learning new things about your interests 0 1 2 3 4 5 Having a nice car 0 1 2 3 4 5 Having intelligent conversations 0 1 2 3 4 5 Staying current with the news 0 1 2 3 4 5 Playing sports 0 1 2 3 4 5 Hanging out with friends 0 1 2 3 4 5 Playing computer or video games 0 1 2 3 4 5 Cooking 0 1 2 3 4 5 Online social networking 0 1 2 3 4 5 Sleeping 0 1 2 3 4 5 Reading a good book 0 1 2 3 4 5 Traveling to new places 0 1 2 3 4 5 Shopping 0 1 2 3 4 5 Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 9 Value Not important Very important Being liked by others 0 1 2 3 4 5 Studying and reading textbooks 0 1 2 3 4 5 Having nice clothing 0 1 2 3 4 5 Watching television 0 1 2 3 4 5 Enjoying time alone 0 1 2 3 4 5 Getting out in nature 0 1 2 3 4 5 Working your job 0 1 2 3 4 5 Looking good, personal hygiene 0 1 2 3 4 5 Meeting new people 0 1 2 3 4 5 Going to movies or entertainments 0 1 2 3 4 5 Eating nice meals out 0 1 2 3 4 5 Exercising, being physically active 0 1 2 3 4 5 Being your own boss 0 1 2 3 4 5 Having a positive romantic relationship 0 1 2 3 4 5 Engaging in your hobbies 0 1 2 3 4 5 Setting your own schedule 0 1 2 3 4 5 Volunteering your time for a good cause 0 1 2 3 4 5 Cleaning house 0 1 2 3 4 5 Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 10 Value Not important Very important Attending classes 0 1 2 3 4 5 Going to religious services 0 1 2 3 4 5 Talking on the telephone, texting, e-mail 0 1 2 3 4 5 Going to parties 0 1 2 3 4 5 Participating in clubs, organized activities 0 1 2 3 4 5 Other: __________________________ 0 1 2 3 4 5 Other: __________________________ 0 1 2 3 4 5 Look back at the values you rated highly (4 or 5) in Activity 2, which probably give a good indication of how you enjoy spending your time. But now look at these things you value in a different way. Think about how each relates to how you think you need to manage your time effectively while in college. Most college students feel they don’t have enough time for everything they like to do. Do some of the activities you value most contribute to your college experience, or will they distract you from being a good student? Students who enter college with their eyes open and who think about their own values and motivations will be more successful. If you have a good idea of what you want from life, the rest of it can be learned. We’ll start right away in Chapter 2 "Staying Motivated, Organized, and On Track" by helping you stay motivated and manage your time well. The following chapters will then lead you through learning how to study well and everything else. Thinking Ahead to a Major and Career If you’ve just begun college, should you already know what career you seek in the future and what courses you should take or what you should major in? Good question Some students say they have known from a very early age what they want to do after college, choose the college that is best for that plan, never waiver from the plan and choose each course with the one goal in mind, and then enter their chosen career after college or graduate school. At the other extreme, some Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 11 students have only a vague sense of direction before beginning college, take a wide variety of courses, select a major only when they reach the point that they must major in something (or perhaps change majors multiple times), and then after college choose to work in an entirely different field. Some students choose to major in an academic subject simply because they enjoy that subject, never concerned with what kind of job they may get afterward. The traditional idea of the liberal arts education is that you can go to college not to prepare for a specific career but to become a well-educated person who is then in a better position to work in any number of careers. None of these different approaches to choosing a major and a career is better than others. All students receive the many benefits of college, and all are likely to find a more fulfilling career. So where are you in this great variety of attitudes about career and major choices? Assuming you are still early in your college program, the take-home message here is that you don’t need to make any decisions yet. Chances are, as you take courses in a variety of subjects and meet people in many different fields, you’ll naturally discover something about what you really enjoy doing and what career options you may choose to pursue. On the other hand, help is available for discovering your interests, strengths, and personality factors related to careers. You can learn a lot about your options and what you would be good at by visiting your college’s advising or counseling department. Almost all colleges have tools to help you discover what careers you would most enjoy. The Strong Interest Inventory is such an assessment tool used by many colleges and universities. You answer a series of simple questions, and the computer-scored tabulation provides information about your interests, strengths, and personality related to different types of careers. This tool can also suggest specific courses, jobs and internships, and extracurricular activities relevant to personal and career interests. Ask your college’s career counseling center if such a tool is available. Another widely used tool is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a personality inventory that identifies you as one of sixteen distinct personality types. Each personality type correlates with happiness in certain careers. Ask your college’s career counselor to see if the MBTI is available for you. A free online assessment, like the CareerLink Inventory (http://www.mpcfaculty.net/CL/climain.htm), is a relatively simple tool that can teach you a lot about yourself. Follow the steps in the “Outside the Book” section to maximize your results. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 12 Although there’s nothing wrong with starting out without an intended major or career path, take care not to accidentally take courses that end up not counting toward your program goal or degree. You could end up in college longer than needed or have to pay for additional courses. Be sure to read your college catalog carefully and to talk to your academic advisor. Your Past Educational Experience It is important to understand how college is different from high school and how well your own past educational experiences have prepared you for what you will find in college. This is another way in which entering college “with your eyes wide open” will prove beneficial. College is a unique experience for all students—whether you just graduated from high school or are returning to education after years of working. You are transitioning from one form of education to another. Some students have difficulty because of the differences between college and high school. Generally speaking, however, the college experience is usually different from high school in these ways:  Time management is more important in college because of varying class and work schedules and other time commitments.  College instructors seldom seek you out to offer extra help if you’re falling behind. You are on your own and expected to do the work, meet deadlines, and so on, without someone looking over your shoulder.  There may be no attendance policy for classes. You are expected to be mature enough to come to class without fear of penalties.  Many classes are large, making it easy to feel lost in a crowd.  Many instructors, especially in large classes, teach by lecture—which can be difficult for those whose high school teachers interacted a great deal with students.  College courses require more study time and require you to work on your own.  Your social and personal life in college may be less supervised. Younger students may experience a sudden increase in freedom to do what they want.  You will meet more people from more diverse backgrounds in college.  All of these differences, along with a change in living situation for many students, can lead to emotional changes—both positive and negative. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 13 What does all this add up to? For some students, the sudden independence and freedom can lead in negative directions: sleeping late, skipping classes, missing deadlines, failing to study adequately for tests, and so on. Other students who are highly motivated and work hard in their classes may also have difficulty transitioning to the higher academic standards of college. Suddenly, you’re responsible for everything. That can be thrilling but also a challenge to get used to. All the chapters in this book will help you make this transition successfully. Liking Yourself as a Student and Why That Matters Of all the factors that affect how well one does in college, attitude is probably the single most important. A positive attitude leads to motivation, and someone who is strongly motivated to succeed can overcome obstacles that may occur. In Chapter 2 "Staying Motivated, Organized, and On Track", we’ll discuss things you can do to keep a positive attitude about college and stay motivated in your studies. But your attitude toward yourself as a student matters just as much. Now that you are in college, you are a new person, not just the same person who happens now to be a college student. What do you think of this new person? If you’re feeling excited, enthusiastic, capable, and confident in your new life—great Skip ahead to the next section. But if you’re less sure how well you’ll do in your new role, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. A lot of new college students, once they begin experiencing the differences from high school, start having doubts. Some may start to feel “I’m not a good enough student” or “I can’t keep up with all this.” Some may become fearful or apathetic. These feelings, while a perfectly natural response to a big change in one’s life, can hinder one’s motivation and ability to succeed. If you think you can’t make it, that might become true. If you’re sure you’ll make it, you will. Again, we’ll ask you to think honestly about this. If you have these thoughts sometimes, why is that? Are you just reacting to a low grade on your first test? Are you just feeling this way because you see other students who look like they know what they’re doing and you’re feeling out of place? Most likely, if you have doubts about being able to do well, this is just a reaction to college being more difficult than what you’re used to. It’s mostly a matter of having the right skills for succeeding in college. This book will help Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 14 you learn them—everything from how to study effectively, how to do better on tests, even how to read your textbooks more effectively. Why is it that some students need to work on strengthening their skills after beginning college while others seem to waltz right in and do well from the start? The answer sounds simple but is actually rather complex. There simply are many differences among people. There are differences among high schools as well as one’s past teachers, one’s peer group, one’s family, one’s cultural background, and many other factors. As a result of many different things, some students just need a little more help to succeed in college. No student is better or automatically more capable than another, however, and everyone can learn the skills to succeed. Self-Management To succeed in college, you need to take control of your life. Gone are the days when you could just “cruise” through school, or life, or let others motivate you or establish schedules to manage your time. This change presents an exciting opportunity. It’s your first step in your new life and the key to your future. Here are a few thoughts to get you started in the right direction:  Accept responsibility for your life. You are on equal footing with everyone else and have the same opportunities to succeed.  Decide what you want to do. Don’t let things just happen—make them happen by deciding that they should happen.  Realize you can change. You can change your habits to become a better student. You can change your attitudes and become a more positive, motivated student.  Develop a personal ethical code. Do what is right for you and for others. The college world demands ethical standards and rewards responsible, ethical behavior. Be proud of who you are and your good decisions.  Enjoy your life Going to college might seem overwhelming at times, but no one is asking you to “give up your life” to succeed in college. Enjoy meeting new people, learning new things, and experiencing the diversity of the college experience. Most college graduates look back on their college years as one of the best periods in their whole lives Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 15 K E Y T A K E A W A Y S  A college education provides many intangible benefits as well as much better prospects for a career you will enjoy.  Thinking about your personal values and how they relate to your education can help you stay motivated to succeed in college.  Personality and skill inventories can help you discover the right career for your future and the best major in college.  Because college is a new and different life experience for most students, taking responsibility for new freedoms and managing time well are critical. C H E C K P OI N T E XE R C I S E S 1. Which of the following are benefits of a college education? a. A better understanding of the world b. Developing problem-solving skills c. Meeting interesting people d. Making wiser financial decisions in the future e. All of the above What do you value that will be richer in your future life because you will have a college education? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ What do you value that will you likely have less time or money to spend on while in college? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Life in college usually differs in many ways from one’s previous life in high school or in the workforce. What are the biggest changes you are experiencing now or anticipate experiencing this term? Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 16 __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ For each of the following statements, circle T for true or F for false: T F Attitude is one of the most important factors affecting college success. T F If you sit back, wait patiently, and stick it out long enough, success in college will inevitably come to you. T F To do well in college, you basically have to give up everything else in life for a while. T F Most college graduates later look back on their college years as one of the best times in their lives. 1.2 Different Worlds of Different Students L E A R N I N G O B JE C T I V E S 1. Understand how you may be similar to, and different from, other traditional students or returning students. 2. Describe the characteristics of successful students. Not all college students are the same, and the world of college is therefore sometimes different for different students. Students will answer the following questions in a variety of different ways: 1. Are you attending college directly from high school or within a year of graduation? 2. Are you a full-time student? 3. Is English your first language? 4. Are you the first person in your family to attend college? 5. Have you spent most of your life in a country other than the United States? 6. Are you married or living with a partner? Do you have children? 7. Do you now or have you worked full time? Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 17 When thinking about different “types” of students, be careful to avoid stereotyping. While there are genuine differences among individual students, we must never assume an individual person has certain characteristics simply because he or she is a certain “type” of student. For example, if you answered yes to questions 1 through 3 and no to the other questions, you may be called a “traditional” student—young and attending college after high school. The word “traditional” is used simply because, in the past, this group of students formed the majority of college students—even though, at many colleges, these students are now the minority. On the other hand, if you are older and have worked for some years before returning to school, or if you are an international student or are working and attending classes part time, you might be considered a “nontraditional” student. Again, this term comes from past statistics, even though very many colleges have more “nontraditional” students than “traditional” students. What does that mean to you? First, realize that not everything discussed in this book will apply to you. If you’re eighteen and living away from your family for the first time in a college dormitory, you will likely not face the same issues of finding time for studying as an older student working full time and having children at home. If you’re thirty and returning to school after years of successfully managing a job, you may have to reestablish your study skills but will not face the same issues as a younger student who may be tempted by the sudden freedom of college and have difficulty setting boundaries. Every student brings certain advantages to college from their background experience. Every student may also face certain kinds of difficulties. Understanding how your own background may impact your own preparedness for college can help you make a good start in your college experience. “Traditional” Students We’re putting the quotation marks around the word “traditional,” again, because this group of college students is no longer the majority at many colleges, although the term is still sometimes used by educators. Coming directly or almost directly from high school, “traditional” students are used to attending classes, reading textbooks, and studying and thus may find the transition to college easier. Many are single and unattached and have fewer time commitments to others. Although a high percentage do work while in college, the work is typically part time or during the summer and does not have a severe Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 18 time impact on their studies. As first-year students, usually living on campus at a four-year college or university, they do not lose time to commuting and typically their housing plan includes meals and otherwise simplifies their living arrangements. In all, many have few responsibilities other than their academic work. On the other hand, “traditional” students living away from home for the first time may face more psychological and social issues than other student groups. One is away from family and old friends, perhaps forced to cope with an incompatible roommate or living arrangements, and facing all sorts of new temptations. Experiencing this sudden new freedom, many students experiment with or develop habits such as poor dietary and sleep habits, lack of exercise, and sometimes substance abuse or other behaviors that disrupt their academic routine and study habits. Many young students are forced to “grow up” quickly after arriving at college. Some students who do not adjust to the freedoms of college end up dropping out in their first year. Returning Students Students returning to their education are often older, may have worked for a number of years, and may be used to living on their own and being financially and psychologically independent. They are often more mature and have a stronger sense of what they want from college; they may be more goal driven. They may be paying their own way through college and want to get their money’s worth. They may be full-time students but frequently are still working and can take only a part-time course load. They often live off campus and may own a home and have a mortgage. They may have children. Because they have made a very deliberate decision to go to college, returning students are often serious students and are motivated to do the work. Having spent time in the work world, they may also have developed good problem-solving and decision-making skills as a result of their “real-world” experience. On the other hand, returning students may have less time for studying because of work and family commitments. They may feel more stress because of the time and financial requirements of college. Spending less time on campus may contribute to not feeling completely at home in the academic world. They may not have time for many extracurricular and campus activities. Although they may be dedicated and hardworking students, they may also be less patient learning “theory” in courses and want all their coursework to relate directly to the real world. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 19 Other Student Groups Beyond this difference of age, some other common differences also affect one’s college experience. Students in the following groups may be either “traditional” students by age or returning students. Commuter Students Many returning students are commuter students, and it is increasingly common also for many young people after high school to continue to live at home or in their own apartment, coming to campus only for classes. Commuter students often face the same issues of limited time as returning students. They may find it difficult to find time to talk with an instructor outside of class. First-Generation Students The phrase “first-generation student” refers to students who are the first in their families to attend college. These students may be “traditional” students enrolled right after high school or may be returning students. Students whose parents did not attend college may be less familiar with some or all aspects of the college experience and thus may have to transition into their new life. Recent Immigrant and International Students Many colleges have a significant percentage of students who have recently immigrated to the United States or who are attending college here. What both groups may have in common is coming from a different culture and possibly speaking English as a second language. They may have to make cultural adjustments and accommodations. Language issues are often the most serious obstacle to overcome, especially since so much of college education is based on reading and writing in English. Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits colleges and universities from discriminating on the basis of disabilities and forces them to ensure that both classes and extracurricular activities are accessible to students with disabilities. Accessibility includes both physical accessibility to campus buildings and housing and accessibility to services and aids necessary for effective communication. Students with disabilities have the right to request any accommodations needed to allow them to succeed in college. For more information or to receive answers to any specific questions, contact the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD) athttp://www.ahead.org. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 20 Students Who Are Working The key issue for working students often is time—how to find enough time for studying enough to do well in classes. Since it is very difficult to maintain two full-time schedules—work and school—one or the other may suffer. For those working long hours, Track” presents many tips for managing your time when you have less of it; Chapter 11 "Taking Control of Your Finances" also suggests ways to cut back on expenses while in college so that you don’t have to work so many hours. Students with a Family Typically it is returning students who have families of their own, although younger students may also have families to care for. Having children of your own means you have different priorities from most some students, but a family shouldn’t be viewed as an obstacle to college success. Time may be short, and you’ll have to manage it carefully to avoid falling behind in your studies. Chapter 2 "Staying Motivated, Organized, and On Track" describes some creative ways students can involve their families in the experience to prevent normal student stresses from disrupting family happiness. Profile of a Successful Student While it’s important to consider your strengths, it’s also important to develop a plan for moving forward and ensuring you have the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. The following are some of the characteristics of the successful student you can be:  Successful students have a good attitude and know how to stay motivated. You will learn about this in Chapter 2 "Staying Motivated, Organized, and On Track".  Successful students have developed good time management strategies, such as scheduling study time and getting started early on assignments and projects. You will also learn about this in Chapter 2 "Staying Motivated, Organized, and On Track".  Successful students have developed their critical thinking skills and apply them in their studies. Chapter 3 "Thinking about Thought" gets you started in this direction.  Successful students have effective strategies for taking good notes in class and using them. Chapter 4 "Listening, Taking Notes, and Remembering" guides you through this learning process. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 21  Successful students have learned how to gain the most from their assigned readings for classes. Chapter 5 "Reading to Learn" presents guidelines for effective reading and taking notes to help you understand and retain information.  Successful students know how to prepare for and take tests successfully. Chapter 6 "Preparing for and Taking Tests" tells you what you need to know and presents tips for effective test taking.  Successful students interact well with their instructors and fellow students in and outside of class. Chapter 7 "Interacting with Instructors and Classes" helps you gain these skills.  Successful students have learned to write well for their classes, an essential aspect of college education. Chapter 8 "Writing for Classes" introduces key principles of effective college writing to get you started.  Successful students develop social relationships that contribute to, rather than detract from, their educational experiences. Chapter 9 "The Social World of College" will show you how to manage your social life.  Successful students take control of their health with good habits that help them be better students and feel less stress. Chapter 10 "Taking Control of Your Health" can help you get started on good habits.  Successful students have control over their finances. Because getting into debt is a very common reason that students have to drop out of college, it’s important to control expenditures and manage your finances well, as we’ll see in Chapter 11 "Taking Control of Your Finances".  Successful students are able to transition well from the world of college into their future careers. You will learn these important principles in Chapter 12 "Taking Control of Your Future" to carry forward into your future. K E Y T A K E A W A Y S  College students vary widely in terms of age, work experience before college, cultural background, family, and other factors that may affect how they learn.  Traditional, young students just out of high school face a transition involving new freedoms and new situations they may need to master in order to succeed academically.  Returning students who work and may also have family responsibilities often have time issues and may feel out of place in the college environment. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 22