General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities

How to Talk About Specific Soft Skills from Your Classes

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities | 0 comments

(Following up on a piece I wrote for YouTern a couple months ago called Close the Skills Gap: View College as Soft Skills Experience. In that piece, I discussed all the ways soft skills happen in college, but many students don’t realize it. I’ve got the actual words to message those skills…) “But I have no experience!” How many times do college students say this when they realize: “Wow, I have to speak to skills beyond my degree to get a job!”? A LOT! It’s an awful feeling, too. You’ve spent money. You’ve feel like your butt’s been in a classroom since practically birth. Your college degree is supposed to...

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How to Get a Recommendation Letter if You Are Not an ‘A’ Student

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities | 5 comments

Dear Student Who Isn’t Acing Classes, I’m dedicating this post to you. You are nearing the end of an academic term/year. I know you’ve heard about the critical importance of networking with your profs, getting recommendation letters, etc. You may be letting this suggestion pass you by, but I am going to beg you not to. You deserve a recommendation letter, even if you didn’t do as well as you would have liked. Grades are a measurement of a body of work and performance over a limited period of time. Are they important and often reflective of performance? Absolutely. But they do not always tell the entire story. Get your profs to tell more of your...

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An F on Your Transcript and Your Dream Job: What Do You Say About That?

Posted by on Feb 12, 2013 in General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities | 21 comments

(I was not intending to take a two-week hiatus, but apparently, a hiatus decided to take me! Darned winter illnesses that strike family members back to back–but fortunately, not Mom. I’ve missed interacting with everyone and wanted to continue on our theme from a couple of weeks ago: When college is supposed to help dreams come true, but then something in college actually threatens that dream. Here we have yet another letter to that end. What do you think about this situation?) Dear Ellen, I read your blog about failing a class. I am a graduate student. I took a course last semester and failed it. I am feeling very depressed. I wanted to pursue a career as a...

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“All I Want is to Accomplish My Dreams… Yet I’m Constantly Facing Huge Roadblocks.”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities, Interpersonal Communication | 15 comments

(“They drive into the parking lot with a dream. We are all a part of that dream.” These words were spoken at 2000 Darton College Opening Week by my former college president Dr. Peter Sireno. I was a wide-eyed new prof, believing, just like my students, that college is a ticket to dreams coming true. I still perceive college as a gateway to more confidence and competence. But I know now that on the way to a student’s dream, someone or something within a college or class can suddenly tear everything down. Maybe even the student, themselves. A few students have written to me about threatened dreams. I’m going to spend a few posts on the subject....

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“Some Professors Suck at Teaching!”: A Parent and Student Voice Concerns

Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities | 16 comments

(We’re back to college success! There are some frustrated folks out there. As a recent guest on Women’s Talk Radio, bunches of students called in about negative experiences with profs–and it was only the first week of school! Here are two comments I recently received. When I read them, I had two thoughts: a) We don’t always help as much we should; and b) Some of us suck sometimes. All faculty were students and we experienced great and not-so-great profs. I hardly have all the answers, but I’m willing to share what I know and open up the conversation. I also admit that after a year of being on leave, I feel like I suck a little, myself, this...

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Another High School Student Writes: “I Read Last Week’s Post. I Could Really Relate.”

Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities | 8 comments

(We interrupt my scheduled program for this week–but only for a day or two–to address yet another student who has a similar issue to last week’s high school student. Abundant thanks to all of you who commented on that post. Can I call on you again for your wisdom? Up next on the blog, many students are struggling now that college is really underway. I’m getting notes like crazy! I’ll talk about two write-in comments regarding professors who seemingly refuse to help. Look for it! One other programming note: I’ll be the guest on Jodi Okun’s #CollegeCash this Thursday at 7 p.m. Join in an important discussion about communication,...

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