Enrolled... Now Persist

Applying to college is a very detailed process. From knowing your interest to choosing a school that fits your importance, meeting the test scores and admissions requirements to be accepted to your institution of choice followed by making sure you have enough funding to cover your educational experience. The educational experience in this case includes: room and board, housing deposit, paying for books, obtaining a meal plan and paying additional fees like for transportation, student activities, and technology fee to list a few. Once you have finalized the two p’s; paperwork and payments, the next focal ‘p’ will be persistence.

College students persisting in the first- year of college and beyond can be a challenge no matter how long the list of resources may be to help them be successful. An article I read earlier this year stated that many students become enrolled, yet still fail to graduate from college within 6 years. Several institutions have countless high-impact practices that they utilize on their campuses to help a student persist and obtain a college degree. Those high-impact practices can include but aren’t limited to Tutoring, First-Year Experience (FYE) Seminars and Programs, Peer Mentors, TRiO Student Support Services, Reading and Writing Labs, Undergraduate Research, Learning Communities and others. You know the saying you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink. It’s all practical and makes perfect sense; in the same way that a student must have a "want to" in order for someone to show them "how to".

Although, these opportunities and practices may exist, there are still simple inhibitors that can aid in a student not being successful in college. What do you think they are? In my years of sharing in the collegiate space I’ve noticed that there are a few factors to turn a student away from being a successful college student. Those things include self-motivation, family support, social belonging and/or interactivity and simply the student’s interest. Once a student receives a bad grade, how likely are they to bounce back (self-motivation)? How supportive are the family members, do they encourage them to just quit or to seek the resources for assistance? Another student may fall behind, because they may think they don’t belong due to failure of making friends suddenly. Then there are those that are burden with things that are taking place at home and it A campus can offer every possible resource and impact practice, but they must also have an acute sense if a student is disconnected or may not be engaged and involved as they were before.

The goal for any student is to have a balance between the personal and academic experience. Persistence in higher education goes beyond the resources; the student must not be afraid to ask for help, notify the professor of any personal challenges that may be going on at home or with self, the professor or staff member has to be engaged enough to notice the inconsistency of a student. Persisting is a choice! Choose to overcome the bad grade, the missed quiz due to an absence, choose to motivate yourself when the external cheers become silent and most importantly utilize the high-impact resources to help you PERSIST to COMPLETION. GRADUATING IS POSSIBLE through proper planning, preparation, paperwork, payments, persistence and of course partying!

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