5 Guaranteed Tips to Academic Success & Honors in Community College

by Chad Agrawal

How to Tell Your Community College Isn't Harvard

The community college you've chosen to attend for your associate degree isn't Harvard or likely to be mistaken for the prestigious institution in the near future. You may not have been accepted to the powerhouse institution, but there are advantages to attending a community college. The amount of debt you agree to take on is limited and you have a real possibility of paying it off before your own children are conceived, born, gown up and leave to attend college themselves. Also, living off campus is the norm while attending a community college, so you can concentrate on studying as opposed to worrying about how popular or noisy your dorm is. Most community college students are familiar with work, families, living expenses and other aspects of adulthood that campus residents are spared until after graduation. You can talk to community-college classmates about real-life topics such as tuition increases, types of direct insurance or used textbook sources without having to define the subjects.

Reasons to Pursue Academic Success at Your Community College

Community college isn't simply an educational "holding pattern" until you have space or money to land at a four-year college or university. It provides the chance to complete general-study or core classes required of any degree and to do so with grades that leave no doubt about your ability to continue your education beyond high school. Further, It provides you the opportunity to earn an associate degree, demonstrating your ability to four-year colleges to persevere and establish long-term goals and complete them successfully.

Tips to Your Academic Success

  • Design a quiet, dedicated study environment at home where you can comfortably study, store your class materials and avoid interruptions. This doesn't require that you take over an entire room for your efforts, but you should be free of family traffic, food preparation, children playing and the television to maximize your ability to concentrate.
  • Anticipate potential interruptions to your study time and try to prevent them pro-actively. Make grocery and menu lists on a weekly basis. Enroll in automatic bill pay for your utility bills, rent and monthly direct insurance premiums to save that time each month.
  • Stay organized in both your academic life and your personal life. Maintain a calendar or day-book. If you have a family or other schedules to keep up with, consider purchasing a large dry-erase calendar to record all appointments, tests and commitments.
  • Take advantage of all tutoring available for your courses through your community-college program. These services are provided at no additional cost to students and can help you get personalized instruction and assistance.
  • If your community college admissions evaluation indicated that you could benefit from remedial classes in math or reading, enroll in and successfully complete these courses. Take any extra seminars, introductions and orientations to programs offered by your school, such as "How to Study" or "Introduction to Internet Research."

A Goal of Graduation

Although there is no ironclad guarantee for academic success in your community-college program, following the spirit and the letter of each of these tips can help you achieve your potential.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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