YouTube Channels

I know that I have mentioned using YouTube as a resource to learn more about community colleges, hear stories from students, and learn strategies for working with this population. However, I did not mention the use of an actual YouTube Channel. By subscribing to the American Association of Community Colleges, for example, it would provide a steady stream of information and updates. Within the channel (which is included below) there are sections highlighting videos, discussions, and playlists. It is another great way to stay connected on what’s happening within community colleges and how events could impact transfer students.



New ‘Noles

As the semester is coming to a close, there is a lot of focus on graduation. Students are getting ready to pick up their caps and gowns, make celebratory dinner reservations with their families, and prepare to walk across the stage to receive their degrees. In the midst of this excitement about ending a college career, there is also evidence on campus of excitement related to getting one started or continuing one! As I walk through campus, I have been getting caught in groups of visitors touring FSU. It’s neat to see new Seminoles getting engaged on campus. This got me thinking about orientation and the groups of transfer students who will be coming in and starting their journey at not only FSU, but at universities around the country.  What a great time to fully embrace the new role and experience they are about to take on. Here is a great webpage to check out if you are a new ‘Nole!

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about transitions. Transitions are something that everyone experiences at one point – especially as a student. I know that I have focused on transfer students, but this applies to all students. Today, I’m going to switch gears (only slightly) and highlight an article from Quintessential Careers titled “So You’ve Graduated College…What’s Next for You? Eight Critical Issues Facing New Grads.”

This question of what comes after graduation is something that could cause a lot of stress in the lives of college students. Thinking about this reality might be able to be put off for a while, but everyone has to face this question and also have some sort of answer eventually. This article tackles topics from learning about career options to decided if you are going to move back in with your parents. All of these life decisions might be overwhelming, and that’s one of the reason there are so many resources! To check it out, follow this link:

now what

YouTube as a Resource

I have posted a variety of resources for community college students, as well as traditional college students in my “Top Ten Lists” throughout the semester. One type of resource that came to my attention this week, was found on YouTube. It is amazing the variety that can be found when searching something as simple as “community college student success.” I was surprised at the number of videos that were related to community college students, which ranged from personal videos recorded in a dorm room, to college administrators leading a panel.

Out of curiosity, I began to watch videos that students posted of themselves as they shared their experiences as transfer students. They were open, honest, and disclosed struggles they have gone through, but the ones I viewed had a positive message, that success is possible.

If transfer students feel like they are alone, YouTube is proof that they are not – there is video after video of students sharing what the process was like for them.

Top Ten List – Miscellaneous

1) American Association of Community Colleges Advocacy News (Four Stars)
This resources contains a list of links that are related to current events and strides related to the advocacy of community colleges.
It provides information that could be beneficial for practitioners, but also for clients. It can be great for students to see what others are doing to support a population they are part of, but also educate them on how they could become involved in self-advocacy.

2) The Chronicle of Higher Education Blog, Say Something (Four Stars)
This is a collection of blogs that highlight issues and stories on college campuses.
It could be great for transfer students to stay updated on relevant issues within the college community, and potentially thinking about sharing their story and bringing attention to the needs of the transfer student population.

3) – Transfer Scholarships (Four Stars) provides information and resources and scholarship information directed toward transfer students and could be great for students to visit when thinking about funding for their transition from a community college to a university. 

4) The Pendulum – Past Transfer Students offer Advice to New Transfer Students (Three Stars)
This brief video highlights the experiences of two transfer students and their transition to a university.
This could be helpful for students, as they might feel like they are alone throughout the process, or they might not have anyone to provide insight into what the experience is like. Even through a brief video, it could be beneficial for transfer students to hear the perspective of their peers. 

5) How to Transfer to a Four-Year College or University (Three Stars)
This is a video that explores common concerns of transfer students and is given through the perspective of students, as well as college administrators.
This could be a great resource to learn about students’ experiences, but also to learn more of the myths vs. facts from professionals in higher education regarding the transfer process.

6) Student Caring – Tools for Student Success (Four Stars)
This podcast by de Roulet and Percoraro encourages students, parents, professors, to focus on caring and provides a new way of thinking about college.
This could be a great resource to become engaged with upon entering a community college, and could apply throughout a college career. With a wide array of topics, there could be something of interest to students from diverse life experiences and college expectations. 

7) Florida Choices (Five Stars)
Florida Choices is a Computer Assisted Career Guidance System that allows students to engage in career exploration and planning.
Students can identify that they are in college, create an account, and utilize the resource to identify postsecondary schools, explore programs and majors, and  manage college applications.

8) Persistence Plus (Three Stars)
Persistence Plus, LLC
Persistence Plus is an app that provides personalized support to help students be successful in college and earn their degrees. It places an emphasis on motivation and engagement, dealing with academic setbacks, organizing time and responsibilities, and making progress towards a degree.

9) CollegeSuccessStudentServices (Three Stars)
CollegeSuccessStudentServices strives to provide quality and culturally relevant information motivational materials and education services to students through Instagram.
It could be great for students to follow this Instagram account to receive relevant information about speakers in their area, and also to view motivational posts and updates from students across the nation.

10) TED Talks – Life Hacks (How to Succeed? Get More Sleep) (Four Stars)
This TED Talk emphasizes sleep in the lives of women, in particular, and speaks to the importance of sleep.
This could be helpful for college students, as it stresses the need to take care of your body by giving it enough rest, and how that could impact success and the ability to be alert.

Free Community College

As a professional, it is important to stay keen on current political events, especially if those events could have great implications for your field.

During the 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama described a free community college proposal that could have a significant impact on the higher education landscape in the United States. The 2015 State of the Union Address was the first time President Obama had spoken publically about this proposal, and framed it as a potential avenue to combat inequality within higher education and to support middle class economics. It was also portrayed to have bipartisan appeal, as the President spoke of the Tennessee Promise Program (republican), and a free community college plan in Chicago (democratic). As the title states, this proposal suggests free tuition for community college students if they meet the guidelines for the program. The stipulations include that students attend at least half-time, maintain at least a GPA of 2.5, and are making progress toward a degree or transferring to a four-year institution. In addition, the federal government will be responsible for contributing to 75% of the tuition costs, and under the proposal, individual states would be responsible for the remaining 25% of the tuition.

As you can imagine, this could change the demographics, policies and procedures at community colleges across the nation, as well as impact state legislature. A question in my mind was how this might impact students transferring to a university.  As I have mentioned previously,  there is a growing population of transfer students. with almost 40% attending a community college prior to going to a four-year institution. Is free tuition at community colleges going to make this rate go up? If community colleges are viewed  as an extension on high school, how could that change the relationship between  community colleges and universities?

I know that I am asking questions and not providing any answers, but I’m not sure anyone has concrete answers as this point, as this proposal has been described as “bold” and research has not yet been conducted. However, I think it is important to consider the multiple of implications this plan could have, and be ready to adjust to changes as they might occur.

State of the Union Address:

Apps as a Resource

One of the research findings related to community college students is that they are less academically prepared than their counterparts who attend a university as freshman. There could be multiple strategies to combat this trend and help community college students improve their time management, study strategies, and stress management, for example.

One type of strategy on my mind today is related to the use of technology. As I was researching apps this week, I found several that were related to information and resources, which seemed very useful to community college students. When I branched out into different types of apps, there seemed to be some great time-management resources that could be advertised to community college students. For example, there is one titled Time Management for College Students, which provides a way to manage college courses and includes information about schedules, homework assignments and tasks related to courses. Students could keep track of their classes and use it to supplement planners and focus just on classes, professors and homework.

Promoting this type of resource could be a great way to increase student awareness of the need for time-management skills. It can be great to think outside the box and brainstorm how technology could be used to support student success.