Skills That Are Important For College Success University Of Phoenix Gen 300 Skills For Professional Development It seems in the society we live in today, having a college degree is a necessity. Years ago it was the norm for people to just go right into a full time job after high school, if they even finished high school; they did this to support their families. In today's society a person has a difficult time getting a decent job without a college degree. During an adults working life, bachelor degree graduates will earn about $2.1 million and a high school graduate can expect to earn an average of $1.2 million (Day and New burger, 2002). This is quite a difference and it puts a college education in perspective. With college come the skills needed to be successful.
Every student who enters into a college level program needs to bring some very useful skills with them. The first is the maturity to know that college isn't high school and the discipline level needs to be higher. The classes on a college level are more demanding and require a whole laundry list of skills. To accompany maturity would be critical thinking skills. According to Keys to College Studying a Lifelong Learner chapter 4, "critical thinking is thinking that goes beyond the basic recall of information". The college student needs to question why something is the way it is, this is the way we learn.
A college student will get more out of a subject if they question it. Why does that reference need to be cited that way? How does that formula work and will it work if I use it in this manner? A high school student takes something a teacher tells them and for the most part doesn't question it. A college student should apply his or her critical thinking skills and pull the concept apart. When we do this we learn so much more.
Time management is a key skill for college students to master. A person who can manage their schedule and personal responsibilities effectively can make the most out of a college student's most precious resource, time (Study Skills, USF 2005). Time management goes hand in hand with goal setting. In order to effectively manage your time you need to set short term and long term goals and then link those goals to your values (Keys to College Studying, Carter Bishop, and Kravits, 2002). After we set goals we need to prioritize them to make sure the most important goals get accomplished first.
Time management is an art; it takes an individual that is detail oriented and mature enough to know oneself. I think the most important skill that a college level student needs is discipline. How many movies have we watched that have college students partying their college years away and then regretting it in the end. A disciplined person can make the most out of a college education. With the rising cost of a college education we need to make the most out of the time we have. The average cost in 2004-2005 of a four year private schools is $20,082 (up 6% from last year) and the average cost of a four year public school is $5,132 (up 10.5% from last year), (2004-2005 College Costs, web).
With the rising costs of education a person needs to be disciplined to make the most out of it. All these skills, time management, critical thinking, and discipline are keys to success in college. I began my college education in 1991 and these skills are probably the three that I use the most. Time management is a skill that I have been trying to master since I began my college education. I not only need and utilize this skill for college but for my civilian job. I think being a college student has made me better at managing my time but I find I still struggle.
Discipline plays a key role in time management, or at least for me it does. When I make daily lists of things to accomplish I lack the discipline to go back at the end of the day to check off things that I did accomplish. Discipline is a skill that is used in many areas. I am disciplined enough to turn in assignments on time but I lack the discipline sit down and complete all the necessary reading material. Critical thinking is a skill I use not only in college but in my civilian job as well. I need to constantly brain storm how I am going to tackle day to day problems that arise running a gas company.
When I have a problem I utilize the problem-solving plan that is outlined in Chapter 4, Keys to College Studying. 1. Identify the problem accurately. 2. Analyze the problem 3.
Brainstorm possible solutions 4. Explore each solution. 5. Choose and execute the solution acted upon.
6. Continue to evaluate and refine the solution (Bishop, Carter, Kravits, 2002) Using this plan comes easy when I apply it to my job because it is very cut and dry. When I apply this plan to school it gets lost in the process. I believe this is because I am more of a hands on technical person and at work I can put that to use, but at school everything is so abstract sometimes. To develop the skills I have and learn new skills I need to implement a plan of action. Critical thinking is a skill that takes practice and practice.
What I need to do is continue to implement this process in my school work. Thinking through situations instead of rushing in to finish quickly is part of my plan. I need to be more methodical at how I approach my school work and I need to be more disciplined. Discipline is probably my biggest culprit when it comes to school work. I love to procrastinate and cut corners if I can; anything to get things done faster. What I need to do is become more disciplined with my time management and if I do that I will have better control of my time.
Once I have better control of my time I can start making more time for the readings that I procrastinate on. I value the college education that I am getting and I try not to take for it for granted. With the rising cost of education in this country and the importance that employers are placing on education. I plan to continue honing the skills I have learned and I hope to learn new ones to make my education that much more enjoyable.
The best way I can implement my plan is to become more disciplined with the way I do it. In the future I can only hope that my son sees the value in a good education and is disciplined enough to see it through to a degree.