05 6 / 2013

20 5 / 2013

20 5 / 2013




14 12 / 2012

09 12 / 2012


Very smart advice from a self-described worst student in the world.

By Katharine Brooks, Ed.D. of Psychology Today Magazine

Sometimes amidst all the books, articles and guides to being the perfect college student, a clear simple voice of wisdom emerges. This voice acknowledges that students aren’t perfect, that they are awkward and anxious and going to make mistakes, that they just need to try again, and that a small thing like saying hello to someone before class can make all the difference in their college experience.

A self-described “worst student in the world” who now just happens to be a Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment and Graduation Management at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. David Laude looks back on his college years and combines his experiences with insight from current students to create a list of 13 “rules” to help any college student succeed. If you are in college, or know someone who is, please share this video. College students will not only learn how to be better students but how not to be bored, how to find time to party, and why it’s OK to be nervous about it all.

The rules are below, but to get the full flavor of Dr. Laude’s wonderful observations, be sure to play the video.

1. The first class is very important.

We don’t do anything well the first time. Your first day of class can be overwhelming but it’s important to be there.

2. Be nervous, grasshopper.

It’s OK to be anxious and wake up at 4 in the morning wondering if you’re going to do it right. You’ll figure it out.

3. Get to know your classmates.

Use your time in the hall waiting for class to say hello and meet people. Being able to get a good grade in a class may depend on your connections.

4. Don’t be a loner. It’s inefficient.

Some of the best learning opportunities take place in groups.

5. Get to know your professors.

Ninety percent of the inability of students to develop a relationship with the professor is on the student, not the professor, according to Dr. Laude.

6. Getting to know new people can be really hard. It’s worth the effort, though, and it gets (slightly) easier with practice.

This rule and section of the video will warm the hearts of introverts (and their parents) or anyone who has ever felt awkward or like they don’t fit in.

7. Boring is in the eye of the beholder.

Can you find a way to make the course material interesting to you?

8. Don’t make college harder than it has to be.

There are ways to do your work efficiently.

9. Forethought + Discipline = time left over for fun.

You can have fun and still get good grades if you organize your time.

10. Create routines.

Good study habits can be created and become as natural as brushing your teeth. Your brain needs time to absorb what you’re learning.

11. Failure’s inevitable. What’s important is what you do next.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Focus on internal victories—set goals to improve yourself.

12. Success is almost always incremental.

Here’s where you’ll learn why getting a 67 on a test can be a successful experience.

13. College is hard. Life is hard. Be courageous, and be compassionate toward yourself.

If you’re going to achieve something that matters, you will likely fall on your face a dozen times first.

Katharine Brooks, Ed.D., is the Director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of You Majored in What?

09 12 / 2012

The following article mentions Baltimore, Maryland, but the information contained in it easily applies to ALL college students across the nation.

Higher education remains crucial to advancement in the new economy, and a broad course of study holds the key…

By Carol Geary Schneider of the Baltimore Sun

Young people and their parents are rightly nervous these days about the economy. Many wonder whether their investment in a college education will pay off.

Such worries are overblown. College graduates continue to do far better, even in this difficult economy, than those who never go to college. The new global economy, in fact, requires far more people to have much higher levels of education than ever before.

Given the current economic angst, students and their parents tend to focus too narrowly on which college major will result in the best first-job chances for employment and decent wages. However, employers themselves discourage this kind of short-term thinking. With innovation driving rapid change in every area of the economy, employers want far more from graduates than knowledge related to a specific job or even a specific major. When they size up their new employees, they are looking for evidence that these graduates will help them solve new problems and drive work in new and more productive directions.

My advice to students is to focus less on the choice of a major and more on developing the broad knowledge and cross-cutting skills that will fuel success in a changing workplace and an era of global interdependence, rapid innovation and cross-cultural interactions. The best college programs can set students up for future success by blending study in the arts and sciences with real-world experience and practical problem-solving.

Why is this more blended, integrated design for liberal learning the best approach?

Even a cursory reading of any newspaper confirms that this is a global century and a global economy. So, wherever a student enrolls and whatever his or her major, colleges need to help build “global intelligence” and a broad array of skills and knowledge in all students. Every student needs to study science and technology. Every student needs to develop quantitative skills. Every student needs to be able to solve complex problems collaboratively with people from a wide array of backgrounds. And all students need a solid grounding in the liberal arts and sciences to understand the world in which they are living and to make good and ethically sound choices. That is the message I delivered Tuesday to an audience of faculty and students at the University of Baltimore, a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, which I lead.

The good news for Baltimore citizens is that at the University of Baltimore and at many other colleges and universities in the region, faculty members are busy developing integrated, innovative college programs designed to graduate liberally educated professionals. The last thing students need is a narrowly tailored education that may set them up for a first job, but not with the adaptive and integrative capacities to continue learning over time and to move from one job to the next as the global economy twists and turns.

Baltimoreans should also be comforted by another development in college learning at local institutions (and at many others around the country). While it is completely understandable for today’s students and their parents to focus on how college will set them up for professional success, the future of our democracy also depends on how well we are educating future citizens. At the University of Baltimore, for example, students and faculty work with community partners to document local history, organize comprehensive interventions to reduce school truancy, conduct labor force analyses and economic evaluations, help design new products for small businesses, study the effects of urban growth on local ecosystems, and engage in creative writing and publishing projects with elementary school children. These activities, tied to students’ learning in law, business, public affairs, and arts and sciences, strengthen Baltimore communities and provide practical, real-world experience that can give students an edge in the job market.

Historically, the great strength of American higher education has been a dual focus on providing students with skills and knowledge that both prepare them for success in the workplace and ensure they become informed and engaged citizens. Many of the very same educational approaches that help students become successful workplace problem-solvers and innovators also are getting them involved in their communities and developing their arts of active citizenship. These kinds of programs at the University of Baltimore and elsewhere will, indeed, make students’ investments of time and money in college well worth the cost.

Carol Geary Schneider is president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She spoke at the University of Baltimore on Tuesday to kick off its symposium on the future of liberal arts and sciences at UB, a visioning process for its Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences. Her email is cgs@aacu.org.

16 10 / 2012

The following is a report from Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times. It concerns cheating behavior among students.

Large-scale cheating has been uncovered over the last year at some of the nation’s most competitive schools, like Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, the Air Force Academy and, most recently, Harvard.

Studies of student behavior and attitudes show that a majority of students violate standards of academic integrity to some degree, and that high achievers are just as likely to do it as others. Moreover, there is evidence that the problem has worsened over the last few decades.

Experts say the reasons are relatively simple: Cheating has become easier and more widely tolerated, and both schools and parents have failed to give students strong, repetitive messages about what is allowed and what is prohibited.

“I don’t think there’s any question that students have become more competitive, under more pressure, and, as a result, tend to excuse more from themselves and other students, and that’s abetted by the adults around them,” said Donald L. McCabe, a professor at the Rutgers University Business School, and a leading researcher on cheating.

“There have always been struggling students who cheat to survive,” he said. “But more and more, there are students at the top who cheat to thrive.”

Internet access has made cheating easier, enabling students to connect instantly with answers, friends to consult and works to plagiarize. And generations of research has shown that a major factor in unethical behavior is simply how easy or hard it is.

A recent study by Jeffrey A. Roberts and David M. Wasieleski at Duquesne University found that the more online tools college students were allowed to use to complete an assignment, the more likely they were to copy the work of others.

The Internet has changed attitudes, as a world of instant downloading, searching, cutting and pasting has loosened some ideas of ownership and authorship. An increased emphasis on having students work in teams may also have played a role.

“Students are surprisingly unclear about what constitutes plagiarism or cheating,” said Mr. Wasieleski, an associate professor of management.

Howard Gardner, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said that over the 20 years he has studied professional and academic integrity, “the ethical muscles have atrophied,” in part because of a culture that exalts success, however it is attained.

He said the attitude he has found among students at elite colleges is: “We want to be famous and successful, we think our colleagues are cutting corners, we’ll be damned if we’ll lose out to them, and some day, when we’ve made it, we’ll be role models. But until then, give us a pass.”

Numerous projects and research studies have shown that frequently reinforcing standards, to both students and teachers, can lessen cheating. But experts say most schools fail to do so.

“Institutions do a poor job of making those boundaries clear and consistent, of educating students about them, of enforcing them, and of giving teachers a clear process to follow through on them,” said Laurie L. Hazard, director of the Academic Center for Excellence at Bryant University. In the programs that colleges run to help new students make the transition from high school, students are counseled on everything from food to friendships, but “little or no time is spent on cheating,” she said.

A 2010 survey of Yale undergraduates by The Yale Daily News showed that most had never read the school’s policy on academic honesty, and most were unsure of the rules on sharing or recycling their work.

In surveys of high school students, the Josephson Institute of Ethics, which advises schools on ethics education, has found that about three-fifths admit to having cheated in the previous year — and about four-fifths say their own ethics are above average.

Few schools “place any meaningful emphasis on integrity, academic or otherwise, and colleges are even more indifferent than high schools,” said Michael Josephson, president of the institute.

“When you start giving take-home exams and telling kids not to talk about it, or you let them carry smartphones into tests, it’s an invitation to cheating,” he said.

The case that Harvard revealed in late August involved a take-home final exam in an undergraduate course with 279 students. The university has not yet held hearings on the charges, which may take months to resolve.

Officials said similarities in test papers suggested that nearly half the class had broken the rules against plagiarism and working together; some of the accused students said their behavior was innocent, or fell into gray areas.

Mr. McCabe’s surveys, conducted around the country, have found that most college students see collaborating with others, even when it is forbidden, as a minor offense or no offense at all. Nearly half take the same view of paraphrasing or copying someone else’s work without attribution. And most high school teachers and college professors surveyed fail to pursue some of the violations they find.

Experts say that along with students, schools and technology, parents are also to blame. They cite surveys, anecdotal impressions and the work of researchers like Jean M. Twenge, author of the book “Generation Me,” to make the case that since the 1960s, parenting has shifted away from emphasizing obedience, honor and respect for authority to promoting children’s happiness while stoking their ambitions for material success.

“We have a culture now where we have real trouble accepting that our kids make mistakes and fail, and when they do, we tend to blame someone else,” said Tricia Bertram Gallant, author of “Creating the Ethical Academy,” and director of the academic integrity office at the University of California at San Diego. “Thirty, 40 years ago, the parent would come in and grab the kid by the ear, yell at him and drag him home.”

Educators tell tales of students who grew up taking for granted not only that their highly involved parents would help with schoolwork but that the “help” would strain the definition of the word.

Ms. Gallant recalled giving integrity counseling to a student who would send research papers to her mother to review before turning them in — and saw nothing wrong in that. One paper, it turned out, her mother had extensively rewritten — and extensively plagiarized.

“I said, ‘So what’s the lesson here?’ ” Ms. Gallant said. “And she said, completely serious, ‘Check the work my mom does?’ ”

09 9 / 2012

I know college students probably get tired of hearing about the importance of managing their time while attending college, but IT IS extremely important to practice good and effective time management in college. Indeed, in my experience as a college professor at Columbia State, I would argue that a major cause of student failure is poor time management (e.g. over committing themselves, not knowing when to say “No.” to friends and other distractions, not putting education first, self-handicapping behaviors, and debilitating procrastination).

The following .PDF is provided by Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, PA) and it provides excellent tips for managing your time better while in college. Check it out!

Following are time management tips from another good resource provided by Annette Nellen of San Jose State University’s College of Business (San José, CA):

Seven Suggestions for Effectively Managing Your Time

1. Be Organized

  • Use time saving tools: appointment calendars, “to do” lists, e-mail, answering machines, file folders, etc.
  • Have an organized workplace (don’t waste time constantly looking for your work).
  • Use your appointment calendar for everything, including listing study time.
  • Use “to do” lists for both long-term and for each day/week.

2. Plan Ahead (Schedule it and it will happen!)

  • Determine how long your tasks will take (do this before agreeing to take on a task!)
  • Consider whether any activities can be combined.
  • Determine if big tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks that may be easier to schedule (such as studying for exams and visiting the library as part of an assignment to write a term paper).

3. Prioritize Your Tasks

  • Use an A-B-C rating system for items on your “to do” lists with A items being highest priority.
  • Set goals for both the short term and long term as to what you want to accomplish.
  • Look at all of your “to do”s to gauge the time requirement and whether additional resources will be needed to accomplish them (if yes, schedule time to obtain those resources). Don’t postpone the small tasks (a sense of accomplishment is good and overlooked small tasks can become larger tasks.)

4. Avoid Overload

  • Include time for rest, relaxation, sleep, eating, exercise, and socializing in your schedule.
  • Take short breaks during study and work periods.
  • Don’t put everything off until the last minute (for example, don’t cram for exams).
  • Learn to say “no” when appropriate and to negotiate better deadlines when appropriate.

5. Practice Effective Study Techniques

  • Have an appropriate study environment.
  • Split large tasks into more manageable tasks.
  • Read for comprehension, rather than just to get to the end of the chapter.
  • Be prepared to ask questions as they come up during study, rather than waiting until just before an exam.
  • Do the most difficult work first, perhaps breaking it up with some easier tasks.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your projects.
  • Read the syllabus as soon as you get it and note all due dates (and “milestone” times) on your calendar.
  • Be a model student! (be attentive and participative in class, and punctual, prepared, and eager to learn)

6. Be Able to be Flexible

  • The unexpected happens (sickness, car troubles, etc.); you need to be able to fit it into your schedule.
  • Know how to rearrange your schedule when necessary (so it doesn’t manage you - you manage it).
  • Know who to ask for help when needed.

7. Have a Vision (why are you doing all of this?)

  • Don’t forget the “big picture” - why are you doing the task - is it important to your long-term personal goals?
  • Have and follow a personal mission statement (personal and career). (Are your activities ultimately helping you achieve your goals?)
  • Know what is important to you. (What do you value most?)
  • Have a positive attitude!

23 8 / 2012

The Psychology Department at Columbia State is dedicated to providing a meaningful and challenging experience to all students enrolled in psychology courses at Columbia State. Each faculty member — part-time and full-time — is well qualified facilitate the various psychology course offerings provided by the Psychology Department, which include General Psychology, Psychology of Adjustment, Social Psychology, and Life Span Psychology.

To learn more about the Psychology Department at Columbia State Community College, visit its webpage: WWW.COLUMBIASTATE.EDU/PSYCHOLOGY

The webpage also provides very useful resources for students seeking help with mental health issues and challenges!

30 7 / 2012

Financial Literacy in College

It is extremely important to have a basic understanding of your financial aid — loans, grants, scholarships.