Studying in College

Studying is very important if you are going to learn.  Studying in college is quite different than studying in high school.  There is a lot more work to do.  You have a ton of reading, papers to write and tests to take.  Deadlines come fast, so it’s important that you learn techniques to read fast, gleam the information you are supposed to learn and be able to write papers and pass tests.  So, there are a few steps to learn so you can study effectively.

The first and most important step is to get organized.  You have to be organized so you can get everything done. paper-3327341_1920

  1.  Go over the syllabus for each and every class.  Find out when test are scheduled and when papers are due.   It will be helpful if you use some sort of a calendar either on paper or on your computer to record this information.  That way you are not surprised when you show up for class on the day they are due.
  2. Next figure out which chapters you have to read.  You need to allow 2 to 3 hours of study time per hour of class you attend.  Sometimes it may take more on more difficult classes.
  3. Put everything in your schedule.  Include job hours (if you are working while going to school), extra-curricular activities and test and paper due dates.  You might also want to include exercise.  It is good to strengthen your body as well as your mind. Then you can figure in your study hours.
  4. You will find in college, every minute is precious.  You want to be sure you have something with you at all times that will help you learn.  Flash cards, professor notes or notes from your reading.

Second you will want to learn how to take notes in lectures.  It is important to get the high points of the lecture.

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  1. Don’t take notes on your laptop.  Research shows that you may take notes faster, but the retention of the notes is much less.  You will retain more information from the lecture if you take notes with a pen and paper.
  2.  Make sure to leave space to add information in later.  Writing on every other line of the page helps you to be able to fill in missed information.
  3. Use your own symbols to take down information without having to write down the whole word.  Abbreviate words, use arrows to connect concepts.  Make lists writing only the important words and leaving out small words like, and or the.  Use stars or asterisks to point out important information or things you want to research later.
  4. Don’t write on the back of the page.  It is easier to read if you only use one side of the page.  You can also add notes later on the back if necessary.
  5. Right after the lecture read over your notes to make sure they make sense.  This is also a good time to fill in missing pieces.  If there is something you don’t understand make note so you can speak to professor about it either during office hours or during the next class.
  6. Make sure to include examples, things written on the board or in overhead.  These will be important that is why instructor took the time to write it down.

Third you want to learn reading techniques so that you can read through information quickly and still get the information from it.  It really helps to highlight the important parts.  A lot of times the first sentence gives you the information then the paragraph explains what the first sentence means.  Righting the most important things in the margin.  It helps when you are reviewing to have the stuff in the margin.

A.  Skimming

With this technique, you just skim over the material to get an idea of what is in the paragraph. Parts to look for:

  1. Introduction- The first sentence or paragraph will show you they main reason for books-1149959_1920the article or chapter.
  2. Body- Goes into more detail about the information.
  3. Conclusion- Tells you what the information means.

B.    Scanning  Used for finding information in books quickly.

Step 1: Review- look at table of contents for the following parts of the book. This should include:

Preface

Diagrams or tables or illustrations

Introduction

Chapters in sequence

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

Step 2: Headings- Read the chapter headings to see if they contain information you are looking for.

Step 3: Search the index- Check the index for relevant topics or key words

Step 4: Assess content – Go to the page in the book and read the first 2 paragraphs and              the last 2 paragraphs to see if they are what you are looking for. Can also read                     paragraphs before and after to see if they specify the information you are looking              for.

C.  Keywords Spotting

Look for key words that help you understand the topic. These are found in the opening paragraph of the chapter.  Look for any hints given by the author. These might include:

keywords-letters-2041816_1920underlining

bold type

italics

subheadings

section breaks

This will help you understand the material and give you a chance to look up difficult  terms for comprehension.

D.  Analytical Reading

With analytical reading you want to gain understanding through active reading.  You want to try an interpret what the writer is trying to say, look for connections between literal and interpretive meanings.  This helps with retention of material.

There is a technique to help with analytical reading.  The SQ3R technique which offers an active approach to understanding. SQ3R stands for:  Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review.

Survey

Take 3-5 minutes to go through chapter.  Look headings, subheadings, figures, tables and sq3rsummaries.

Question

This step is for figuring out questions about the content of the chapter.  What is it about? Figure out the main point, the examples, how does it support the point?

Read

This step is where you read for the answers to your questions.  This constitutes active reading which will help you remember the information.  Here it will help to take notes about what you are reading.

Recite

Using your own words, recite what you have read.  List the important points, write them in the margins of the text using short phrases or key words. You can also highlight important sentences. Speak out loud like you are telling someone else about the material.

Review

In this step you want to summarize the main ideas and review your notes.

E.  Critical Reading

Critical reading is about evaluating what you are reading.  What the strengths and weaknesses are.  What the information implies.  How does it fit into the academic context of the chapter.

F.  Difficult Texts

Sometimes you will run into reading that is complicated and hard to understand.  There are ways to get through difficult texts and actually learn the material.

  1. Look at the text, how it is organized, review the headings and subheadings.
  2. Read the first and last paragraph to get an idea of what it is about.
  3. Go through the chapter, looking up the words that you don’t understand.
  4. Review what you have read in your mind and try to restate what you have read.
  5. Take notes
  6. Keep reading since some future parts may make more sense.
  7. Reread what you don’t understand
  8. Put it away for a while and look at it again later.

You will find that putting it out of your mind and working on something else, or exercising, your mind will keep working and you may understand it better when you go back to it.

Fourth Learn to take breaks, get exercise and have some fun.  Even though it is kickboxing-course-1178261_1920important to be prepared.  Your brain needs some time to rest, relax and process what you have learned.  It also is important to have a balanced life.  Having fun and getting exercise will help you be a more rounded student.

 

Here are some links that have worksheets and more information on studying.

http://www.teach-nology.com/worksheets/time_savers/studyskills/

https://www.educationcorner.com/study-skills.html

Citations:

https://www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/2DF9E34D/7-Best-Study-Tips-for-College-Students/

https://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic1/taking-notes-5-college-success-tips/

https://studyskills.com/students/note-taking/

http://learnline.cdu.edu.au/studyskills/studyskills/reading.html

http://owll.massey.ac.nz/study-skills/critical-reading.php

 

 

 

 

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New Year Vision Board

dream-flowers

Here we are in a new year.  Most people use the new year to look over their life and make new goals or new years resolutions.  Often we make goals like eating healthy, losing weight, starting an exercise program or accomplishing something like getting an education or getting a job.  Often times we keep those resolutions for a few days or weeks, then we are back to our old ways.  Setting goals is good and trying to accomplish things in our life is important.  However, is the usual new years resolution really the way to accomplish those things?  Especially if we give up on them so soon?

There is a different more powerful way to set up your ideas.  It’s called a vision board.stones-451329_1920

So, what is a vision board?

The theory behind a vision board is that if you can dream it, you can live it.

A vision board is a way to put your ideas and dreams on paper.  When you really decide what you want, you put yourself in a position to accomplish it.

There are only a few things you need to do in order to make a vision board.

First is you need to decide what you want.  Dream big and remember no dream is too big.  If you want to finish school, buy a house, a car, start a business, or get a new job.  scrabble-931988_1920There is nothing too big.  Also put down all of your dreams.  You might need to finish school to get the job you want, put school and the job on your vision board.  You may need the job in order to buy a house or a car, so put the job, the house and the car on your board.  Keep in mind that you don’t have to accomplish everything right away or even in this year.  It will still help you to get where you want to go.

You also want to find uplifting sayings or things that will inspire you.  Adding words like success, health, confidence, happiness and uplifting sayings will help you maintain the confidence in yourself and your dreams.

luck

Adding other pictures of things like coins, money, lucky numbers, lucky       shamrocks, will also help the luck and prosperity of your vision board.

 

Next you want to gather supplies.  Pull out old magazines, get on the internet and find pictures and words that fit your dreams and goals.  You will need a cardboard poster to put it on.  Use a large one that gives you room to include all of your pictures, words and sayings.  You will also need scissors, glue, markers, and anything else that you can think of to decorate your board.

Third, you need a place to sit down and put your board together.  You need a place big dream-catcher-1904179_1280enough to set out the pictures and words so you can see what you have.

Last, place the things on your board and decide where you want to put things. I suggest doing a dry fit so you can see how it will look.  Put some things to the back, smaller things to the front. Overlap the pictures so they fit on the page.  Once you have it laid out where you want it, then you can glue it together.

The result is a vision board of where you want to go and what you want to be.  I like to put mine up where I can see it, but just the fact you have put the board together, will help you to go in the right direction.  Many people throw their vision board in a closet and forget about it, only to be surprised when they see it again to see how much they have accomplished.

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Top 15 Reasons Why Education is Important!

I was reading this article about how important education is to us.  It is very interesting how much education influences our daily life and our society. Here are the top 15 reasons from the article as to why education is important.  You can also ready the entire article at http://lists10.com/top-15-reasons-education-important/

Top 15 Reasons Why Education is Important!

  1. Education means a happier life.
  2. Educated people are more enlightened than the others.
  3. Education opens opportunities.
  4. Education leads to Economic Prosperity
  5. Education has helped improve Heath Conditions.
  6. Education helps in innovating new things.
  7. Helps in increasing the level of knowledge and understanding.
  8. Helps in maintaining social harmony
  9. Helps in the preservation of art and culture.
  10. Education helps you in enhancing your confidence.
  11. Education makes living through the 21st century easier.
  12. Education helps in gaining emotional maturity.
  13. Education results in better decisions.
  14. Educated people can never be cheated upon.
  15. Education has helped in bettering the food quality.

Networking

Networking is locating and meeting people that will help you in your career.  Some will just be friends, but you never know when a friend can help you find a job or move up in your career.

According to Harvard Business Review, Networking is important.

“But in today’s world, networking is a necessity. A mountain of research shows handshake-440959_1920                    that professional networks lead to more                          job and business opportunities, broader                        and deeper knowledge, improved capacity                     to innovate, faster advancement, and                             greater status and authority. Building and                     nurturing  professional relationships also                     improves the quality of work and                                     increases job satisfaction.”                                                         Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2016/05/learn-to-love-networking

Before we learn how to network, we need to know what makes a good networker.  At Entreprenuer.com they give us a good idea of what being a good networker entails:

              “good networker should be outgoing, sincere, friendly, supportive, a good                                    listener or someone who follows up and stays in touch. To determine other                              skills an effective networker needs, simply ask yourself “How do I like                                        to be treated? What kinds of people do I trust and consider good friends?”

hand-1870179_1920So how do you network? 

Enterprenuer.com also gives us 9 important steps to network effectively:

  1.      Set a goal to meet five or more new people at each event: make a point of heading straight for people you don’t know.
  2. Try one or two new groups per month: Determine what business organizations and activities you would best fit into.
  3. Carry your business cards with you everywhere:  you never know when you might meet a key contact, and if you don’t have your cards with you, you lose out.
  4. Don’t make a beeline for your seat: Take full advantage of the valuable networking time before you have to sit down.
  5. Don’t sit by people you know. Mealtime is a prime time for meeting new people.  This is a wonderful chance to get to know new people on either side of you.
  6. Get active: People remember and do business with leaders. Don’t just warm a chair–get involved and join a committee or become a board member.
  7. Be friendly and approachable: Make people feel welcome. What goes around comes around. If you make the effort to help others, you’ll soon find people helping you.
  8. Set a goal for what you expect from each meeting: Your goals can vary from meeting to meeting. Focusing your mind on your goal before you even walk into the event keeps you on target.
  9. Be willing to give to receive: Networking is a two-way street. Follow up on your contacts; keep in touch; always share information or leads that might benefit them. You’ll be paid back tenfold for your thoughtfulness.

So, now we know networking is important to your job and how to do it.  Look up both of these articles and others that will help you to be a great networker.  The great part, is you don’t have to wait until you are through with school to start networking.  There are plenty of groups to join now.  You can find groups at www.evenbrite.com and www.meetup.com.  You can also just google networking in your city.  Some groups will have training sessions so you can learn new things in the industry, some will be a little less formal, and you can speak to people face to face and ask specific questions.

Get out there, make friends and start networking.

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https://hbr.org/2016/05/learn-to-love-networking

https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/networking

 

5 Steps to Reaching Goals

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Goals are important because that is how we get where we want to in life.  Without them, we end up with nothing.  So how do you set a goal? And what are the steps to go through?

First, you must decide what that goal is.  With this step, you need to be direct.  If you choose a goal that is too broad, you won’t know what steps are to help you achieve that goal.

For example:  If you want to be a nurse.  What kind of nurse do you want to be?  This may be where you want to do a little research.  Check out the kinds of nursing jobs available, what degree you will have to have, what the different kinds of nurses do, what are their average pay ranges.  How many hours do they work? Do they work in a doctors office, hospital, or another facility?  Do they deal with patients or are they considered management?  Pick something you would like to do.  After all a job is much more fun if you like what you are doing.

     Second, what steps do you need to reach your goal.  Becoming a nurse is a long-term goal, so what are some short-term goals that you can do that will help you reach this goal? This is where you might want to do some research to see what the goal entails.  Get information from schools where you can get your nursing degree, so you know what classes you need to take, how long it will take and how much it is going to cost.  Right now, you are just gathering information, so don’t worry about the how right now, just gather the information.  Once you have all the information, then list the steps to take.

  1. Get enrolled in school.
  2. Figure out how to pay for it.  (often the school can help you with this, but also look in the community to see if you can find programs that might help you pay for it.) AZ Career Pathways is a community program that helps people get out of poverty and who might not be able to attend school any other way.
  3. Sign up for the classes you need.  The school may have a preferred curriculum or you may have classes to choose from but get signed up.goal-setting-1955806_1920
  4. Get a part time job or a volunteer position where you might learn more about your occupation.  Doing while you are learning will help you retain information and give you experience for when you get out and are looking for a job. (just don’t overdo it.  You want to be able to finish school.  That is your priority.)
  5. Set up a schedule so you know when your classes are, when you are going to study, when you are going to sleep (this is very important, if you are going to learn) and last but not least you need some fun activities for relaxation.  By setting a schedule, you will be able to make sure that you get everything done and will have a more balanced, more rounded experience.

     Third, you need to re-evaluate every so often.  Whether it is when you feel like the schedule is out of control, maybe you aren’t getting all the homework done, or even going through between semesters or terms.  You have to review your goal to keep yourself motivated and headed towards to desired target.

     Fourth, Set, dates of when the goal is going to be achieved.  You can do this by figuring out when your course of study will be over, when individual semesters are completed.  Showing the dates of the accomplishments will help you see that you are getting to your goal.  This helps you to see that you are reaching it.  It will make you feel better when you can see that you are getting somewhere.

     Fifth, When, you reach small goals, give yourself credit.  If you pass a hard class, frame the test with the grade on it.  Keep a bulletin board with all your accomplishments on it.  Take yourself out for ice cream or dinner when you get through the semester.  You can find all kinds of things to award yourself for doing a good job.  That will make it easier to go on and complete the next step.

These steps will work on any goal you want to set.  Whether it is completing school, learning a craft, or losing weight.  Once you achieve one goal, set another one.  Most importantly have fun and get direction in your life.

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Financial Aid, Grants, Loans and Scholarships

dollars-100x365  We all know that to make more money, we need to have some sort of education.  Whether we go to a trade school, or college, it is important to learn so that we can earn enough money to take care of ourselves and our families.  So, how do we get money to go to school?  There are a lot of different ways, to get money for school, however, you may have to look for them.  Sometimes it takes more than one form to get enough money to pay for it all. books-441866_1920

The first place to start is with the federal government.  They have money for students who come from low income families in the form of grants and student loans.  Grants are free money that does not have to be paid back.  Grant money usually will not pay for your education completely, but it helps pay for some of it, so that when you do have to take out loans, you don’t have to borrow as much and you won’t have as much to pay back.  Federal Student loans are loans guaranteed by the federal government. They percentage-27424_1280usually have lower fixed interest rates and payments can be set by income.  They also allow you to wait to make payments until 6 months after you graduate or stop going to school.  (It is important to note, that even if you don’t graduate, you still must pay the loans.  Make sure you graduate so that you will have the income to pay the loans.) You can fill out the paperwork to see if you qualify for these options at the Government website www.FAFSA.gov.  Another great site to visit is:  https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans.  This site will give you some information about student loans.  It explains the differences between Federal student loans and private student loans.  When you go to the FAFSA website, you will need your parents tax returns, if you are still living with them, or your own tax returns if you are supporting yourself.  You will also need to know some schools that you plan to attend.

After you have submitted your student loan information, they will process it to see what you qualify for.  You will receive an award letter telling you what you qualify for. university-2540628_1920They will also send the information to the schools you have chosen.  The school will then take that information and see if they have other options that you also may qualify for.  Sometimes schools have their own loan or grant options where their alumni are donating money to help students get through school so there may be additional money there.  You might also want to check with the school to see if there are scholarships available that you can apply for.

us-850370_1920     Another way for money is through Private loans.  Loans through the school may be private loans.  Banks will also have student loans that they offer.  Before you agree to any loans, you need to make sure you understand the rules of repayment.  Some private loans may require repayment while you are in school, so you need to be sure you can afford to make those payments while you are in school.

A third option for money is through scholarships.  Scholarships are given for all kinds of things from sports, to academics, to hobbies, to genealogies.  You will just have to look.  Almost everyone has heard about students getting scholarships for sports and academics.  However, there are also scholarships for other types of things.  If you are globus-2534766_1920Mexican-American, African American, Native American, Hawaiian, Jewish, Irish, etc. there are scholarships for you.  You can also find scholarships for math, science and technology. There are scholarships for adult learners, for moms, for specific degree programs or for hobbies you might be good at.  They are vast and could be for almost anything.  Some scholarships require you to write an essay, but there are many who do not. So, if you are not really good at writing, don’t worry, there is probably something out there for you.  I have listed some scholarship links below. However, this is not even close to an exhaustive list.  Go to www.google.com and type in scholarships and you will find a lot more.

www.scholarshipowl.com        www.scholarships4moms.net            www.scholarshipmonkey.com                                     www.scholarships.com             www.fastweb.com                               www.collegexpress.com

https://weirdscholarships.net/no-essay-scholarships/                          www.grantsscholarshipsandmore.org                 www.dosomething.org/Scholarships

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Last, but not least, there are many organizations that believe education is important and will give you money to complete your degree.  Arizona Career Pathways is one of these organizations.  After you have filled out the FAFSA forms contact Arizona Career Pathways to see if we can help.  Our goal is to lift families up and give them the tools they need to care for themselves.                                                                     http://www.azcareerpathways.org

New Beginnings

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I know that Spring is usually seen as the time of new beginnings, however, the fall is when school starts.  Children start and go back to school.  Adults take classes at colleges and universities.  I see fall as a time for new beginnings.  What better time to set a goal and begin a new life?

So, what do you want to do?  There are many tests out there that give some guidance on what you might be good at.  There are also tests to help you decide what you like.  I have included links below to some of these things.  I would suggest looking at things you have done in the past.  What has made you happy, what kinds of things make you feel good.  Do you like to help others? Do you like doing crafts? Do you like to be creative? Do you like to see how things work?  Do you like science?  The answers may help you in finding a career that you will love.

It also is important that the career give you enough money to live on, and support your family.  It is very satisfying to know that you can take care of yourself and the family that you love.  There is nothing wrong with having something better.  People who can take care of themselves are much happier.  You have more control of your life.  You school-2051712_1920can do things that make you feel good.  You can buy the things you need.  This goes much beyond the basics of food, shelter and clothing.  This means you can go out to dinner when you don’t feel like cooking.  You can buy nice things to put in your home to make it a nice place to be.  You can pay for things such as dance lessons, karate lessons, gym memberships and music lessons that give you a little exercise and make you and your family feel better.  This contributes to your mental and physical well being.  It makes for a better life.

I have always felt that learning new things is fun.  There is nothing I enjoy better than sitting in a class and learning something new. Whether it be something about how your brain works, how a computer works, how to build a web page, how to make something still-life-851328_1920or how to cook something new.  I really enjoy learning.  I think this is something that most humans do, once they have had the opportunity to do it.  Think of something you would like to learn.  Do you like to help others? (nursing, doctor, psychology,) Do you like to build things?  (computers, engineering, architecture) Do you like to be creative? (web design, architecture) Do you like to organize? (project management, legal assistant) These are just a few.  There are so many other things.    How can you change what you like into a career?

Take some of the tests below.  Check out some career choices and decide what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Start now to make a life you love.  If you need help, get in touch with us at Arizona Career Pathways to see what we can do.  http://www.azcareerpathways.org/

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Choosing a career:

https://www.thebalance.com/steps-to-choosing-career-525506

http://www.careertest.net/

https://www.123test.com/career-choice/

http://www.businessinsider.com/great-careers-college-kids-often-ignore/#court-stenographer-2

https://www.free-online-aptitude-test.com/career-aptitude-tests.htm

https://www.careerfitter.com/free_test/careerbuilder

https://www.sokanu.com/

https://www.livecareer.com/career-test