Archives – August, 2014

8 ideas for staying motivated this semester

What will help you stay motivated this semester?

Whether you’re a returning student or stepping onto campus for the first time, you’re going to experience days, maybe weeks, where your motivation dips. Here are some strategies for fighting the lack of motivation that inevitably creeps in as the semester rolls on.

Minimize distractions. Some distractions are external. Loud study areas (ask for quiet or find another place to study), traffic and bus routes (allow time to get to and from campus). We create other distractions ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to watch the latest episode of “Orange is the New Black” rather than study for an exam? Hit the books for two hours and catch your show during a study break.

Get organized. Establish a study area in your home that is off limits to other family members. Keep a calendar of important deadlines readily visible. Find your own form of organization. What works for some doesn’t work for all. Time management is essential. If you’re having difficulties with organization, a personal counselor can suggest some strategies.

Study what you enjoy. When you’re interested in the class material, studying comes easier. Job security and salary are important, but don’t lose focus of likes and dislikes when it comes to careers and majors. If you’re unsure which program you want to pursue, meet with a career counselor to discuss career and academic options.

Find a support network. Study groups in class. Student clubs and organizations. Friends and family who are positive influences. Supportive people can be found in many places. Seek them out when things get stressful.

Know your limits. You can’t study every minute that you aren’t sleeping. Working a full-time job and while going to school full-time yields bad results. Having limitations doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you’re human.

Create mini-goals. Your goal is to earn an A in the class at semester’s end. Establish smaller goals along the way to reach that larger one. Set a goal to study a certain number of hours per week. When you reach this goal, give yourself a mini-reward. Keep goals realistic so they are within reach.

Turn off your cell phone alerts. Your friends and family will survive if they can’t reach you immediately. Nothing is more distracting when trying to accomplish a task than a cell phone alerting you to an incoming call, text or email. Put your phone to vibrate (or better yet shut it off) when you’re studying. Additionally, shut it off during class or meetings with advisors, counselors or professors.

Take a break from social media. Facebook, Instagram and the like are fun and useful. But they’re also time suckers. Make a conscious effort to disengage from social media during study time.

 

August 26, 2014

7 of our favorite career exploration sites!

The start of the fall semester brings many questions about careers. “Which career path should I pursue?” and “where can I find job openings?” are especially popular. If you’re asking these questions, it’s time to start doing some research. The web provides tons of resources, so many that it can seem overwhelming. The CPCC Career Services staff has identified a list of favorites for you to bookmark.

Career Coach

Career Coach answers many questions about the Charlotte and regional job market for various professions. Type a job title in the “career” field, and you’ll receive information including average salaries, average number of local job openings and required academic studies to enter the profession. If a CPCC degree prepares you for the field, you’ll know which one. You can also search CPCC degrees to find out what career options match the programs.

Career Coach also offers a great resume writing tool and an online assessment to help you identify career interests.

employmeNC

This online job board is specifically for CPCC students and alumni. Local companies and employers post full-time and part-time job opportunities. Uploading your resume is the first step in using employmeNC. A career counselor reviews your resume (we want to make sure you’re putting your best application forward!). Once it’s approved, you’re set to start applying for jobs.

employmeNC is also a great way to stay connected with Career Services about upcoming events and job-related opportunities. Make sure you complete your profile to receive informative emails.

What can I do with this program from CPCC?

If you want to know what career options exist for the AAS degrees CPCC offers, this page has the answers. Click on your program(s) of interest to learn about job titles and where to find information about the industries that correspond to the academic programs.

College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC)

Many high school students know of CFNC as a resource for searching for colleges and financial aid opportunities. But CFNC has a great career exploration component, too.

  • Create a CFNC Account
  • Under the “Plan” link, click “For a Career.”
  • Search the “Explore Careers” section to learn lots of career-related information. They’re organized into groups to make the research easier. Read facts about the professions, watch videos of people working in the jobs, or read interviews of employees in the industries.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

A comprehensive site that lists details about thousands of occupations. Search by career categories or type a specific job title in the Search box. You’ll learn about educational requirements, daily job duties, average salaries, job outlook and related careers.

O*Net

Provides very detailed descriptions of the world of work. Search specific job titles or browse groups of similar occupations. You can explore occupations that use specific skills or capture specific interests.

What can I do with this major?

A comprehensive site that looks academic majors commonly found at four-year colleges and universities. Click on the major to learn about possible career paths, job titles and strategies for pursuing both. This site really demonstrates how your academic major doesn’t necessarily determine your career path.

 

August 12, 2014

Connecting to your college is the key to success!

Whether you’re transferring to a four-year college or are earning an AAS degree to enter the workforce, CPCC is your college home for the next few years.

There’s a misconception that community college students don’t need to connect with their institution. They go to campus, go to class and go home. This “drive through” approach to college doesn’t work. When students connect with their campus, they significantly increase the likelihood of completing their course of study.

So how do you connect?

Talk to classmates. Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Strike up a conversation. Switch seats throughout the semester to meet more people.

Form study groups. Seek out classmates who are interested in forming study groups that meet regularly. Whether it’s solving those tricky math problems or dissecting a reading passage, study groups help many students learn classroom material.

Join clubs and organizations. A student group is a great way to meet others who share a common interest. CPCC offers many organizations for students to join. *Hint: Being an active member or leader in a student group is a great resume builder!  

Get to know your professors. Introduce yourself after class. Answer questions and offer feedback during class. Don’t hesitate to see a professor during office hours with questions you may have about course material. Professors can’t help you if they don’t know you. *Hint: Professors often become mentors, write letters of recommendations or serve as future  job references.  

Participate in class. And not just when it’s required. Participating in class discussion boosts your understanding of classroom material. Professors know those who raise their hands so don’t wait to be called on.

Ask for help. Not knowing is not an option. Seek out the available resources to get your questions answered. Professors hold office hours for this reason. The Academic Learning Center provides fantastic tutoring services. Any questions about course scheduling can be answered by your academic advisor.

Develop an education and career plan. Students who randomly schedule classes not knowing their intended academic program or career path get easily frustrated. Meet regularly with your academic advisor to make sure you’re taking the correct courses. Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to learn about programs, majors and career options.  

Read your emails. Your student email account becomes a critical communication tool. Check it frequently. Don’t delete emails before reading them; they may contain important information.

Visit the college website- often. Bookmark the CPCC website, as well as relevant department pages, and frequently check both.

Whether you’re fresh from high school or starting or returning to college after many years in the workforce, stepping onto a college campus for the first time can be scary. Connecting to those around you can help calm some fears.

August 4, 2014


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