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.