College is supposed to be one of the best times of your life. It's a great time to expand your thinking and meet new people, but are you ready for the whirlwind changes the next few years will bring? Not to worry if you don't think you are. Most students aren't ready for the transition, and so many struggle to hit the ground running or spend the next several years catching up.
This course is designed to be a comprehensive kick-start to your college experience. Each lesson was written based on feedback from college counselors, academic advisors, and college students.
What makes this different from other college prep courses? I focus on real-world skills that schools just don't teach. If you want to do well in school, you need to learn time management, budgeting, conflict resolution, and practical study strategies. At the end of this course, you'll be better prepared in terms of what to expect and how to take on the challenges ahead.
Making the change between high school and college is pretty hectic. Classes are set up differently, you're out on your own away from family, and there's so much to get involved with and distract you. In this lesson, I introduce the major themes of the course as well as cover some of the initial expectations of you as a student as you enter University life.
The following lesson is split into 3 parts. First, we will walk through a University Course catalog online to gather what requirements the school has for graduation. We will use this to start building the graduation planner.
In the second part of the lesson, we continue our work with the graduation planner, focusing on including selected classes for a minor.
In the final portion of the lesson, we complete the graduation planner and do final checks to make sure the we will graduate in 4 years if the plan is followed.
Expectations are different for college students. One of the biggest changes is from having a structured routine of going from class to class every day to a more unstructured paradigm. Students have to be more accountable to themselves. In this lesson, students will learn what a full load of classes looks like and how to plan their schedules around them.
Having a good study environment is key to success in college. There are so many things to consider. Do you study in your dorm or the library? Each decision has its pros and cons. In this lesson, students will learn the advantages and pitfalls of certain study decisions including location, time, and whether to study in groups. We'll also cover how to study for outcomes rather than measuring time spent.
A common challenge for students is that they did not learn how to study in high school. This problem affects many students, especially ones that actually did well. In this lesson, students will learn the different types of learning (rote versus semantic) and study strategies that fit the course material.
There is no greater skill than managing your time wisely. Not only as a student, but as a professional, you have to be able to make commitments and follow through with them. In this lesson, we discuss the basics of successful time management and use Google Calendar as a tool.
Everyone has more to do than they get done in a day. The students that succeed are the ones that can prioritize effectively. In this lesson, we explore a prioritization approach based on the 80/20 rule, known as Pareto's Law. This approach will have you favoring tasks that give you the most return for the least effort.
In this lesson, we extend our knowledge of prioritization frameworks and explore an approach suggested by Stephen Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This approach will have you less reactive and more proactive, shifting your energies from what is urgent to what is important.
CARVER is the final approach we discuss for prioritization. It was originally designed to help the U.S. Military with target selection. The modified approach we cover has you score large efforts in six key categories to determine which deserves your highest focus.
Budgeting is a critical life skill. It's especially important for college students. It's far too easy to fall into credit traps and live beyond your means. In this lesson, we discuss what budgeting is and why it's important.
Now that you understand how to track expenses and income, we're going to figure out what we're spending our money on each month. This will help us to establish a budget to use moving formula. We will also learn how to use the SUMIF formula in Excel.
In this lesson, we start with an unbalanced budget and look at ways expenses can be cut. We will also cover topics on where to find savings and increase income, with the end result being a balanced and liveable budget.
Students will learn about different financial vehicles for investing and saving money. We will cover basic concepts such as risk, return, and liquidity. We will also cover some simple strategies for college students.
Credit is a tricky thing to master. College students are targets for credit card companies and will be flooded with offers from different issuers. In this lesson, students learn the basics about credit, credit scores, and reporting agencies. We discuss how to build credit responsibly.
One of the bigger challenges that often go ignored is the change of having someone schedule your time in high school to you scheduling time yourself. High schools are regimented and routinized. College follows a less structured schedule, and successful students have discipline and autonomy. Many students struggle with this change. In this lesson, students will learn about the social and structural changes in college.
It has been proven that people are happier when they have a healthy support network. Everything from family, friends, tutors, TAs, and faculty are needed for a complete support system. Students that are happier tend to be more engaged and are more likely to do well as a result. This lesson focuses on what students should do to make sure they have a reliable system of support at school.
Living with roommates is one of the toughest adjustments college students will make. Even students that have shared rooms with siblings will have to deal with sharing a room with someone from a completely different family dynamic. There are many rules, expectations, and assumptions roommates need to be aware of and agree to. To be happy and successful, students need a safe and comfortable living space. Students and grades suffer when there is a bad living situation. In this lesson, students learn about living with new people and how to lay the groundwork for a healthy living arrangement.
College is an opportune time to try new things and experiences. Students often find that their high school friends change in different ways as they learn about and enjoy different things. College can be a time of re-invention and self-discovery. Some students have anxiety over the change and worry about being phony to their old friends. In this lesson, students learn about some of the challenges of personal change and how to cope with changes in their old circle of friends.
In this lesson, students learn to recognize and manage conflict within key relationships. Conflict can arise anywhere, and one of the most important skills to have is the ability to resolve conflict both personally and professionally. Everyone has a different conflict style. Students will learn about different conflict styles and the three major ways to resolve conflict.
This lesson serves as a recap of what students have learned over the course. We review the major themes around academics, study habits, budgeting, personal management, and social aspects of college. College is a big change for anyone, and now students of this course will be better prepared to meet the challenges ahead.
I am a student success coach for high school and college students. I've written 2 books: Conquering College, and Contender, both available on Amazon.
I've spent over eight years in the education industry as a textbook writer, working on projects for companies like Sylvan, Kaplan, McDougal Littel, and Pearson.
As part of my work, I've met with and interviewed students, academic advisors, and admissions counselors from schools all across the country. My goal with these courses is to help teach students real success skills. Too many students are falling back and getting left behind because they've been forced to take too many tests and not spent enough time learning the actual skills they need to do well in college and careers.
I currently live in Florida with my wife and three children. When I'm not working or hanging with the family, I enjoy SCUBA diving, writing, and traveling.
You can read more about me and my backstory on my website, listed below.