How to Make College Students More Courageous

As educators, we know one of the best traits that can aid in success is confidence. Self-doubt can kill dreams and a lack of belief in oneself can deter anyone from achieving a goal and becoming successful. However, confidence is often something that we have or need at any given time. We need confidence, even for the smaller day to day routine things that we do. On the other hand, sometimes, we need courage to get through a situation. Courage is pushing through when things are tough or create fear. For example, it might take confidence to ace the final exam, but it takes courage to stick out a degree program when it puts finances in jeopardy, reduces work-life balance, and all your support systems are against you going for this goal.

As educators, we will see many students each year that need to build up their courage. They need our help and guidance on how to be courageous in a time of fearfulness or anxieties. Students face many life events along their four plus years with us, and to help them achieve their goal of earning a degree, we must also provide mentorship on how to be courageous.

Here are 3 ways you can guide students into being more courageous:

  1. Reduce Fears and Anxieties

If you want your students to be more courageous, remember that as a professor, your role is to teach, guide, model and inspire, not to show students how tough “the real world is.” Learning new content and balancing education with life is already hard enough, no need to instill fear on top of this. As an added bonus, as you minimize fears and anxieties, and students push through, they build confidence.

To minimize fears and anxieties in your students, there are several things you can do, here are some tips:

  • Set course expectations up front.
  • Link students to helpful resources.
  • Give them tips on what to do if they encounter technology problems.
  • Provide your contact information and answer emails/calls in less than 24 hours.
  • Give a little leeway in the event a student had a major life event occur during a specific week.
  • Humanize yourself. You can do this by sharing a little about who you are personally, doing videos in the courseroom, using humor, building rapport.
  • Don’t give negative feedback in the open forum. Use personal email or gradebook feedback.
  • Give feedback on assignments and discussion questions. This helps the student to know what they have done well with and where they can improve. No feedback leaves students in the dark as to what they can improve on and how.
  1. Encourage Students to Focus on What They Can Control

In a classroom setting, you are the authority. Students may feel intimidated at times or feel that they have limited power. Perhaps they don’t like the content, don’t understand it, or are having personal troubles while also trying to manage their education. As a professor, if you want to increase your student’s courage, help students to focus on what is in their control. This will help students persevere in the face of adversity or trials because they will realize they are not completely powerless.

Here are some tips you can share with students to help empower them to take control over their education:

  • Give students tips on avoiding procrastination
  • Share resources on balancing life and work
  • Give students tools on how to achieve better time management
  • Help students become intentional about their leaning. You can provide them with assessments that can help them better understand how they learn. (Check out the Learning Connections Inventory (LCI) through Let Me learn).
  • Share school/university resources.
  • Educate students on the importance of, and how to, build support systems and strong networks.
  • Teach students how to create SMART goals.
  • Encourage students to take an honest look at the people and activities in their lives. Then have them personally assess what/who might be best to cut versus keep in order to achieve those SMART goals.
  1. Teach Communication Skills

It takes courage to do something when you are scared or to press on in the event of pain and sadness. It is important to let students know that they are valuable and can use their voice to make a difference. By teaching students how to speak up, you empower them to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others- and that often takes a lot of courage. In today’s society, the next generation in line must be heard. They are facing extreme levels of violence and rage, but the power of speech can change that and create a positive movement. As a professor, you can also educate your students on how to speak up on less socially involved issues, but still critical aspects of a student’s life; for example, how to speak up for an advancement or say no to outside tasks that don’t fit their goals.

Here are some ways you can help students improve their communication:

  • Educate students on the importance of various communication styles (formal, informal, verbal, non verbal).
  • Provide tips on how to use social media- alongside pros and cons.
  • Provide guidance on how to listen and the value of patience.
  • Educate students on how certain words can be perceived as having self-doubt. (For example, watching how often a student leads with “I think” or “I feel” in negotiating or business).
  • Model being respectful and discuss the importance of having an open mind.
  • Provide feedback on how to be clear and concise, yet substantially answer a question.
  • Share resources, such as books, articles and videos on how to communicate with confidence.

By boosting students’ levels of courage, we are helping them to persevere through the trials and tribulations that life throw at them while they are taking a leap of faith into bettering their lives. As we boost courage, we also instill confidence. Courage and confidence are two key ingredients into helping our students reach their goals, obtain dreams and earn their degree. It is in these amazing students and their achievements that we are fortunate enough as professors to leave a bit of our legacy, behind.

How to eMail Your Professor

So its 12:30 Pm and there you are at the computer trying to refresh the email inbox page. The big test is tomorrow and your Professor still hasn’t replied back, but why? Contrary to popular belief, that your Professor wants you to fail, the problem could stem from the fact that your email never reached him/her. Hence, the purpose of this guide is to show students how to write an effective email to their Professors.

The From Field

Always use your University or College email address when sending an email to your professor. This not only assures the professor that you are indeed a student but also avoids your email from getting put in the spam box. Many Universities and Colleges now employ a system of only allowing emails to be received from certain domains anything else (hotmail, yahoo…etc) is either automatically put in the spam box or is forwarded to the Professor as a potential spam.

Example:

[email protected]

The To Field

This is the single most important field, if you mess up in here there you can kiss your email good bye. Avoid putting the Professor’s name with the email (A Prof ), since not all emailing system can handle this format. It is always best to send your email to the Professor’s University or College account, since that is the email account that your Professor checks, or should check, the most. And again before sending the email double check to verify that email address was typed correctly.

Example:

[email protected]

The Subject Field

The subject field should be of the following format:

CollegeName-CourceCode-Title-Subject

CollegeName: Is the name of your post secondary institution (America Learning College, Boston University…etc). Yes I do realize that this may seem a bit redundant but it is important. Most Professors (Usually new Professors) teach at one or more Universities and Colleges at any given term, and the email from those institutions gets forwarded to one main address, usually their ISP email address. So to keep things organized its best to write the name of the College or University in the Subject Field.

CourseCode: Is the code name of the course (MTH140, CPS124, GEF345…etc). It’s best to keep the letters Capital and no spaces between the number and letter.

Title: Over here you type in the title of your subject. (Test 1, Midterm, Exam, Assignment 5…etc)

Subject: Over here you type in what concern or problem you might have (Due Date Issue, Missed Test Issue, HW Problem #45…etc). Remember to keep it brief, no more then 5 words.

Example:

Boston College-MTH140-Assignment 4-HW Problem #45

The Text Body Field

Try to keep things simple, clean and to the point. By that I mean no 2 page emails or fancy fonts and color, remember your first priority is to convey your message not to show off your email editing skills. Start off with writing the Professors name (Prof C.Mcgill, Prof U.Stan…etc). Move on to the subject of your email, as a reminder restate the Course Code and Title Field (During the Monday’s MTH140 class you stated for Assignment 4). The next line should state the problem or concern. Remember to provide details and avoid repetitions. Its best to end the email with a salutatory statement (Thank You, Yours Truly..etc) and use your name, student number and College or University name as signature.

Example:

Prof C. Mcgill,

During the Monday’s MTH140 class you stated for Assignment 4 question #41 to use the second derivative theorem. However, I am having trouble as to how to find the delta X? In particular, during the situation when time is 3 seconds and delta Y is 0. Do we set delta Y to Ymin and solve from there?

Thank You

_________________

Any Student

#:0101010101

Boston University

Things to Keep In Mind

– Give a minimum of one weekday for Professors to reply back, before sending another email.

– Avoid sending multiple duplicate emails at any one given time.

– Try to send emails during weekdays and if possible during the Professors office hours.

– Try to be respectful and Professional (i.e. no offensive language, spell check…etc).

– Avoid taking out frustration by spamming the Professors email box.

For College Admission Success, Mind Your Manners

You may be wondering how college admissions and manners could possibly be related. The connection is surprisingly clear. As you go through the college planning process, you’ll deal with adults who have some influence on your future. How you handle these encounters can make all the difference.

Frequently, the college admissions process seems quite impersonal, but there are many interactions with college representatives, admissions officers, alumni and high school teachers. This is where manners and appropriate behavior play a role.

Read on to find out the five areas of college admissions where manners do matter:

Teacher recommendations

Students usually ask high school teachers for college recommendations. Obviously, if teachers are asked to write a recommendation in the spring of your junior year, they have plenty of time to get this done during the summer. If, on the other hand, you wait until the recommendation is almost due, many teachers resent the rush and pressure to get the job done quickly. Teachers are busy people, and they’re doing you a favor. It’s important to thank them for taking the time to write you a letter. Don’t forget about your counselor, too.

Social media

Students don’t always use the best judgment on their Facebook pages or other networking sites. Before you apply to college, clean up anything that could jeopardize your opportunities for college acceptance. Colleges DO care what you post and show online. If it’s inappropriate, there’s a good possibility it will be noted on your college application. A surprising number of college admissions officers reported social media sites have had a negative impact on a student’s possibilities for college admission. Don’t take that chance. It’s poor manners to say things online that you might regret later.

Email and cellphones

It’s wise for students to have a separate email address for all college correspondence. Your current address might be cute but doesn’t convey the image you want to project to colleges. It’s also smart to review your cellphone message. College representatives will often contact students on their cellphones to set up interviews. Most college reps would like to know that they’ve reached the student for which the call was intended. If the college representative hears blaring music, he or she may not know whether to leave a message. You might miss an important opportunity to connect with someone from a school that interests you. Also, know how to answer a phone. When asked, “Is this Rob?” say, “Yes, this is he,” not “Yeah, this is him.” First impressions count.

College interviews

If you have a chance to interview with someone from a college or university, by all means do it. Dress appropriately, and be prepared with a few questions you would like to ask about the school. Arrive at the interview at least 10 minutes early. College officers are busy and can’t wait if you’re late. It’s important to meet your interviewer with a firm handshake. You should also maintain good eye contact throughout the interview. When you return home, it’s polite to send a thank-you note, not an email. Ask your interviewer for a business card so you know where to send the note. Show interest in the school and listen to what the interviewer has to say.

College visits

College admissions committees like to accept students who show an interest in their school. One of the best ways to do this is through a college visit. Call in advance to set up a tour, information session and possible interview. Avoid using your cellphone or texting while you are visiting a college campus. Pay attention to the guide, and don’t talk with other people during the tour. Colleges realize that you’re a teenager and don’t expect you to act like an adult all the time. However, they do want to know that you can demonstrate appropriate behavior and know how to conduct yourself, so keep in mind that manners are important for college admissions.

Term Paper Writing For College/University

Any school, college or university student who is in the process of obtaining a graduate degree will have to submit a term paper, often referred to as a research paper, thesis or dissertation, to the department and the college, for evaluation. Proofreading is very important. Dissertations play an important role in determining an individual’s completion and final outcome of their degree. They are accounted along with the individual’s final grades. If you are panicking about writing your dissertation, then here are a few tips and study skills to help you go about writing the dissertation and excel in it with flourishing results.

This 8-point simple and univocal approach eases the work of the researcher.

1. The student should pick out an interesting topic that is included in the syllabus.

2. After choosing the topic, this topic should then be analysed for all material available about it in books, articles or on the Internet. For example, if a Psychology student prefers to study ‘Emotional maturity of youth’ then the individual will have to look through information surrounding emotions, maturity, effects of immaturity, and effects of being matured.

3. After analysing and understanding the topic, research sources like the literature review mean studies done previously on the same topic should be identified.

4. Process of organisation as to which of the old researches should be used and which unreliable resources should not be used can be done.

5. After collecting and organising the information, the researcher should read through this information and must start with the editing. Editing will take place in the notations like changing of speech, grammatical mistakes, proper alignment and a continuity check.

6. The researcher should then be able to prepare the outline of the research paper he or she is in the process of completing. By preparing the outline, references can be easily identified.

7. After preparing for the outline of the research paper, the individual should compose or construct the outline and go about it despite the presence of errors, which are natural for anyone.

8. When all of the above said steps are accomplished, the person is ready to edit the rough draft that has errors, and will then be in a position to submit the final draft to the supervisor on time.

By abiding and obliging to the above-mentioned steps, the individual will never have regrets later for having low grades in the final semester.