7 Tips To Avoid the College Low Expectations Game
Many public universities play the "Low Expectation Game" (see article "College 'Low Expectations Game' Cost Students, Parents & Taxpayers Thousands of Dollars"). As a student or a parent, you can avoid this game using the following tips:
Tip #1 - Register for 15 hours.
To graduate in 4 years, not 5 not 6, requires a minimum of 15 hours per semester. If you are having problems securing 15 hours, ask the following question: Since I am earning a 4-year degree, how can I do that only taking 12 hours per semester? If the university's designated person continues to refuse your request for 15 hours, ask for his or her supervisor. By being proactive at this time, will save you thousands of dollars.
Tip #2 - Secure Your BINGO sheet.
When registering, secure a copy of all the required courses that you will need for your field of study. In some colleges or universities, this is called a BINGO sheet. If you are unsure, look through the college course catalog and see what courses are required for your different interests. Register for those shared required courses.
Tip #3 - Keep all Course Schedules and Offerings.
Universities publish the schedule of the courses for the next semester. Do not discard these publications. With many courses being only offered during the spring or fall, this is the only tool that you have to learn when a specific course is offered or who teaches a course. Keeping these schedules becomes even more critical when you are planning your junior and senior years.
Tip #4 - Plan Your Courses Now.
With the BINGO sheet in hand, begin to plan the courses that you will take during the next 3.5 years. This plan will change due to course changes, degree changes, etc. However, this 4-year plan provides you with the "BIG" picture and then allows you to begin to take small bites.
Tip #5 - Plan Your Weekly Schedule.
Plan your weekly schedule including study time, research time, etc. For each 3-hour course, expect to spend 2 to 4 hours per week. Some courses such as English Literature may require substantial reading. If you are a slower reader allow for more reading time. If you are only going to school for 15 hours per week, there is plenty of time to study before, in between and after your classes. Many baby boomer graduates worked full time jobs while taking 15 to 18 hours.
Tip #6 - Focus on Your Graduation Goal Date.
Every additional semester that you spend in college is costing you a minimum of $20,000 - $5,000 tuition and $15,000 in loss earnings. All of your actions should be directed to achieving your graduate goal date.
Tip #7 - Make Wise Choices.
You, and only you, are responsible for the choices that you make. For parents, set the expectation that you expect your daughter or son to graduate in 4 years. Students accept that expectation and run with it. If you are having trouble with time management, goal planning and achievement, studying skills, course content, decision making or problem solving, make a wise choice and find some solutions.
Remember, by graduating in 4 years, you have an edge over those students who chose to play the "Low Expectation Game" and you can start the life that you dreamed only 4 years earlier.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M. S. President of ADVANCED SYSTEMS, is the Process Specialist. With over 25 years of business and education experience, she builds peace and abundance by connecting the 3P's of Passion, Purpose and Performance through process improvement. She is one of the first national certified facilitators for America's Rising Stars and coaches young people to create a life long plan for success. Leanne believes we need to stop setting our young people up for failure. As co-author of M. A.G. I.C. A.L. Potential: 7 Capacities for Living an Amazing Life Beyond Purpose to Achievement (Fall 2005 release), she speaks nationally to a variety of audiences.