Study Skills: The Missing Link

College is hard. I will be going into my third year at a university and I can honestly say these past two years have kicked my butt!

Many of my friends called me a “nerd” in high school because I really cared about my grades and wanted to do well! The teasing was worth it though because I graduated with over a 4.0.

Many of my past high school teachers ask me, “Do you think your high school education prepared you for college?” The answer, sadly, is a big, fat, NO!!

High school was a breeze for me. Most of my classes and assignments were super simple. I feel like I was never challenged or encouraged to think critically. I had mastered the art of multiple choice tests and easy-to-answer worksheets.

College is a completely different story! I was shocked at how much I struggled my first semester. I was not prepared in the slightest.

I would have multiple tests, group projects, textbooks to read, papers to write, homework to complete, all in the same week! I could barely even manage my social life (and that’s important to a girl in college)!

Staying in college is tough. One of the main reasons students struggle in college is because they are lacking study skills. I can definitely relate to this.

Channel One (a syndicated news show for students) created an interesting video on the cause of the lowering college graduation rates and absence of study skills. 

In high school, teachers generally care about their students and will likely have personal relationships with them. This is different in college. At a university, there are tens of thousands of students. Professors don’t usually invest in their success. Therefore, if college students don’t have good study skills, they will have a hard time keeping up in college.

College graduation rates in the United States are very low. According to Channel One data, 70% of high school grads attend college. But, less than half of them actually graduate in six years. Furthermore, here are some results from some of the top performing conferences: the Pac 10 has a 55.8% graduation rate, the SEC 60.6%, and the Big 12 60.8%. Why are only approximately six out of ten college attendees actually completing their degree?

These percentages are extremely disappointing. The White House wants to have the highest graduation rates in the world by the year 2020. We have a lot of work to do to get to that point.

The University of Maryland is doing something right. Their graduation rate used to be 60%. Within a few years, they boosted that rate to a whopping 82%! They did this by implementing smaller class sizes, mandatory tutoring (i.e. study skills), and classes that better met students’ needs.

It is possible to boost the college graduation rate! We can see that with the Maryland success story. Students might just need a helping hand.

Study skills are the MISSING LINK!!!!!

College students are struggling because they never learned proper study skills. There is a disconnect between what college professors expect their students to achieve and what some college students can actually achieve on their own.

In schooling prior to college, many students were “spoon fed” information and not challenged or pushed to think on their own. Then, once these students get to college, professors expect them to meet all of their guidelines without a problem.

This situation causes students to struggle in school. They do not have an understanding of study skills and what it takes to be successful on their own. This is a huge reason why the college graduation rate has become so low.

Louisiana State University offers a program where their athletes meet with learning specialists and strategy tutors in order to keep their grades up. These tutors assist the athletes with time management, organization, and study skills. The question is, why aren’t these services available to all students who need the extra help?

If students who struggle in school had tutors to help them learn how to study and be organized, I think that there would be a lot less people dropping out of school.

BUT, what would be even better than trying to teach college students study skills would be to teach younger students study skills! If we could accomplish this task, students would have time to learn, implement, and perfect their study skills before it’s too late!

If you are a teacher who wants to help their students be successful and learn the essential study and soft skills, we have a curriculum designed especially for you to help shape the college students of tomorrow! To learn more, click here.

Best regards,


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