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For Success in College, Practice Makes Perfect

Fall 2010 | Archives


One of the most important tips for college students: go to class. Keeping up attendance is key to academic success.

When it comes to being a successful college student, good habits matter. As instructor Sandy Wiebold notes, "If you are not an effective reader when you come to college, you are in trouble."

It turns out a good many high school graduates are not ready for college-level courses. Only about half the students across the country who take the ACT are ready to read at the college level, according to a 2005 report.

MCC is helping students achieve success in college through courses that prepare students for college-level learning. High school students from the Masonic Eastern Star Home for Children in Fremont are among students honing their study skills in MCC's College Success Strategies course at the Fremont Area Center. The class focuses on "learning how to learn," as Masonic Home Executive Director Ron Giesselmann puts it. Students practice time management, goal setting and critical and creative thinking. They discover their learning style and how to strengthen those styles to fit the college environment.

Students in Wiebold's class boost their reading comprehension skills by practicing the SQ3R reading method—skim the passage, ask questions, read at your own pace, recite key themes and review. They also practice active listening, note-taking and test-taking across various academic disciplines. The goal is to prepare students to meet the demands of college-level assignments. Prepared readers will be able to keep up with their college workload, gain more from class and, in turn, graduate on time.

"To us, it is as if we are sending kids to driver's ed," Giesselmann said. "We think it is just as important to teach youth how to be successful in college as it is to teach them how to be good drivers."

College Success Strategies is offered at all MCC locations. In addition, MCC is reaching out to high school students in a number of ways to help them prepare for college. Through MCC's CollegeNOW! program, high school students receive half-price tuition for any MCC class. Students earn credits that transfer to Nebraska's four-year institutions while jumpstarting their transition to college. For more information, visit www.mccneb.edu/secondary.

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