Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Students are the Center of this College Experience

The Resident Assistants are asked by their Residence Life supervisors to hold some academic-oriented programs for the residents on their halls. Marshall Thomas gave me the opportunity to lead a discussion with some of his residents about what it takes to achieve academic success at Coker. This was quite a crew and there was not much I could tell there but there was a good deal for me to learn and have affirmed.
1 -- These students, two of whom were in the 3.8 to 3.9+ range understand that while grades are important things like relationships, campus involvement and getting to know people are also crucial to the success equation. That came from them, not me.
2 -- A couple of the first-year students around the discussion did admit that "College is not not like high school. There is no one who is making you do it," was a pretty close direct quote. Turns out, he was from a high school that has demonstrated some success meeting SC AYP type of goals and his teachers stayed on their students pretty close at that high school. College is not the easiest of transitions and that was reinforced a couple of times by juniors and seniors who are in the process of discovering who they are. And, they are enjoying this process.
3 -- I used a variation of a technique that I learned during a recent Ragan Communication Conference that I attended of getting several ideas out in just a few minutes (Ragan calls it '30 in 30'. We did ten in in five. The juniors and seniors shared tips with the first-year students on how to make the most of the Coker experience. It was good to hear "Go to Class!" right near the top of that list.

I appreciate Marshall asking me to be part of this discussion. As usual I learned a great deal more than I shared. Working with college students is one of the greatest learning experiences I have had -- it is the best part of this "Professorial" position.

Need to add this -- Katelyn was there in her USMC sweatshirt still celebrating the November 10, 2008 233rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. She has some close connections to a Marine.

No comments:

Post a Comment