As the holidays come to an end and anniversaries have come and gone and one more year completed; I am embarking on a new untraveled path. I was recently asked to return to the classroom as a professor for a community college. I will be teaching a course in the psychology department on Keys to Success, a beginner course for students entering the world of community college.
Specifically, the course is designed for students entering an Early College High School. This is a relatively new phenomenon; a little different from Dual Credit, which has been around for a while. This program is designed to enable a cohort of students to take a designated set of courses, which leads to both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.
As life long learners, the art of learning is a psychological journey we all embrace on a daily basis. Although the course syllabus hopes to cover practical skills, knowledge and practice as appropriate to the course much of what will be taught is applicable to us all in our daily quest as life long learners.
As I venture down this path I hope to uncover and share some of these universal truths. This includes many important aspects of learning; from the type of learner we are to the variety of intelligences we have to the various ways we can cultivate our strengths and apply them to these universal-learning truths. I hope to share my journey from time to time.
As I prepare, I think of the young student who may sit in my class. Will he or she have the skills, the confidence, and the work ethic to be successful in their first college class? Keep in mind these students are only freshman level High School students. Will the topics, assignments, and tests truly work to prepare my young impressionable audience?
The greater knowledge adheres to the principals that we can lean, how to learn. We can maximize our abilities, learn to solve problems and make decisions. Students can be instructed to utilize tools and effective strategies for reading, listening, note taking, studying, testing and retention; which will help pave the way.
I hope to institute a love for learning along with teaching the practical skills. I will set the stage for learning how to learn. I will begin with simple skills like time management strategies and goal setting activities designed to allow students to apply the strategies to their own goals; allowing them to learn through application and self-awareness. They will be introduced to the importance of critical thinking skills and the necessity for creativity in producing work of their own.
Hopefully, these skills will transcend the classroom and the community college experience to life itself. Thus, allowing the adventure and the telling of it to be helpful to not only my students and the reader, but myself as well. I am confident with good preparation, a love for the student and the material I can be of service to these (nimble) young, minds. I hope you will join me in this journey as I am taught, as well as teach, the art of learning!
Tara Ubelhor M.Ed., LPC