Do you ever get the idea that your student may not be organized enough for college? HCU offers help for that! Encourage your student to 1) make an appointment with an Academic Coach and 2) schedule regular visits with their Success Coach.
All freshmen are assigned a Success Coach, and any interested student can request an Academic Coach from the Academic Success Center in Moody Library. The Department of Student Success talked to some coaches and asked how they help students improve organization. The coaches meet with a variety of unique students, and these are some recommendations they share during appointments:
1) Organization is different for everyone: If agendas or online calendars don’t work, I recommend sticky notes. You can make a wall calendar but also carry around something that has due dates and a “to-do” list on it. It’s okay to learn from peers. Sometimes seeing what works for other students can help.
2) Know when you have free time to work with: I know a lot of students enjoy the weekly planners that have the day broken down into increments of 15 or 30 minutes. This allows them to get a better idea of where their free time actually lies because they highlight the blocks of time that are booked.
3) The goal isn’t to be busy but to be balanced: Get involved but don’t be afraid to say no to friends and take time for yourself. Sometimes a break is absolutely necessary. Some students are afraid to commit to new activities because they may stress about being too busy. But if you are organized, then you can juggle academic and social activities, make connections on campus and also succeed academically.
4) Use your phone: The thing that I push most is setting timers and alarms for yourself. I do it and I encourage my students to as well.
5) Keep syllabi and planner together: It is important to glance at each week ahead of time and know what is coming up. The weekends work well for looking ahead. And fill in the planner early in the semester while looking at each syllabus. Keeping a paper planner with an attached list of prioritized deadlines makes it easy to monitor progress.
6) Invest in a planner and actually use it: Planners are the most common way students stay organized, and the best part of college is that students can probably find a free one through club giveaways on campus. Fill in your planner with important dates from each syllabus. Want to go the extra mile? Fill in reminders of when to start studying or projects before they are due. Afraid to lose a planner? Creating an electronic can be a lifesaver. Google Calendar and Outlook sync to most phones and allow for automated mobile reminders.
7) Time is valuable and circumstances can change in an instant: Strive to be early to meetings and in meeting deadlines. Traffic issues, internet crashing, and other unexpected situations can affect meeting deadlines. Being early helps prevent this.
“Academic coaching is one of the key services freshmen appreciate when making the adjustment to college classes,” shares Academic Coach Kennedy Collins, senior, psychology. “Learning from experienced students helps with time management, organization, study skills, and overall college adjustment.” Academic Coaching is a service students request through the Academic Success Center in the Moody Library Building. The library building is also home to HCU’s First Year Success Coaches who connect students to resources and help planr for success inside and outside the classroom. Every freshman is automatically assigned a Success Coach, and it is important they schedule regular appointments to keep on track.
The tips above are a combination of expertise from Academic Coaches Kennedy Collins – senior, Psychology; Ariel Leavitt – junior, Nursing; Abrianna Materre — junior, nursing; Denisse Roman — senior, International Business; and First Year Success Coaches Kiet Le — TRiO, and Ira Chapman – Student Success. Written by Rachelle Dooley, administrative assistant, Academic Success Center.