Many adult students initially feel unsure of their academic abilities or are not familiar with various academic options and campus services that are available. The following describes various campus resources and suggestions that may be helpful:
- Have confidence in your abilities. Studies have shown that learning ability does not decline with age. In fact, verbal ability typically increases.
- Take a light load the first term. You may need time to adjust to your new routine and the demands of coursework.
- Try to balance your course load. Balancing your course load means avoiding taking too many demanding courses in any one semester; it may also mean spreading your courses out so that you are not taking all night classes, web classes or all MWF classes, or all TTh classes.
- Consult your academic advisor if you have questions about the requirements for your major or a particular class.
- Develop peer support. At the beginning of the term, get the phone numbers of one or two classmates. You can help each other with difficult concepts. Also, if you miss a class you will want to know what was covered and what assignments were made. Find a student organization that you can become involved with to help develop a network of peer support.
- Learn to use the Blackboard system and other new technologies. Some professors will post important announcements and notes on the Blackboard system. It will also assist you in managing your grades and assignments. Learning other new technologies, such as word processing, computerized searches, and e-mail, will prove valuable in later employment.
- Remain current in your reading and assignments. Professors expect you to check the syllabus for information and may not make announcements in class.
- Review your notes from each class frequently. Frequent reviews help anchor your learning. Utilize 3X5 cards by writing a term, concept, or principle on one side of the card. On the reverse side you write out the definition or explanation. When you review, look at the card and try to state or write from memory the definition or explanation on the other side. Using 3X5 cards is handy because you can carry them around with you instead of your heavy textbooks or notebooks.
- Seek help when you need it. If classes are not going well, meet with your professor during their office hours or visit a campus lab for extra assistance.
Visit your professors during their office hours to get acquainted and to get further assistance with the course material. Professors set aside time for students for clarification or questions, and will usually make appointments if their office hours are inconvenient for some individuals.
- Manage your time wisely by using a calendar. At the start of every semester, fill in important dates and obligations such as exam dates, presentations, when papers and projects are due. Fill in the times that you have to work, plans with family, meetings and other events. Once you have a picture of your major commitments for the weeks and months ahead, you can make up a weekly schedule of your classes, study hours, work hours, family time, personal time and other obligations. A weekly schedule organizes what you do with your time. It shows you the places where you have extra hours you can use for studying and decreases the amount of time you waste.
- If you find yourself a little overwhelmed and need some assistance figuring out how to balance school, work, family and all the other responsibilities of an adult learner, utilize the free and confidential services of the University Counseling Center (448-4080).
- Become familiar with the library system. Knowing how to use the library can save time and reduce anxiety.
- Establish good study habits. Establish a set time and place for studying. The staff at the Tutorial & Academic Enhancement Center can help you with your mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and history courses. Need help with writing a paper, the Tutorial & Academic Enhancement Center can assist with that as well. Take advantage of these on campus resources. Call 448-4100 to schedule an appointment with a tutor or writing consultant (449-7119) today.
- If you have the time and are looking to make a little extra cash while going to school, consider applying for a student employment job on campus. Talk to the Office of Student Employment at 448-4043 or stop by Otto B. Candies Hall, room 406.
- Did you know that all students carrying seven (7) hours or more for the Fall and Spring semester, four (4) hours for summer, attending Nicholls State University are covered by a Student Health and Accident Insurance Plan? Did you know that if you carry less than the required number of hours purchasing the insurance plan is optional? For more information about the Student Health and Accident Insurance Plan go to the University Health Services or Student Government Association web site.