Tips on how to succeed in a college-level class
(As printed in the Santa Barbara News Press and Posted in the SBCC Physics Program web-site.)

(Based on a letter to the Santa Barbara News Press by Dennis Patrick Slattery - September 2, 1997)

  1. Be sure to attend all classes. It is so easy to have other things get in the way. Make a hard rule to attend.
  2. Arrive at class about 10 minutes before it begins. Avoid walking in late.

  3. When given an assignment, break ground on it right away, even if just a little. Then, try to complete it two days before it is due. Make copies of your work.
  4. Give each assignment in reading and writing great care. It is a direct reflection of how seriously you are taking your work and your growth.
  5. Be proud of all work you hand in. Don't rush it.
  6. Talk to your teachers regularly. They too are wondering how they are coming across to you.
  7. Ask immediately for extra help if you need it. Arrange an appointment with the teacher, then be sure to keep it.
  8. Have a plan of action. Set clear goals for each class. Make something of each class for yourself, even if there seems to be none presented to you. It is your precious time and money, so make something happen for yourself.

  9. Organize and budget your time. Be realistic and build in play time, down time, goof-off time. But plan it.
  10. Congratulate yourself when you complete an assignment, a task, a course. Treat yourself to a movie or to something else you enjoy doing. Let it be a good reward for your efforts.
  11. Keep all graded work in folders. Throw nothing away.
  12. Speak at least once in each class. Let your voice be heard. It is OK to challenge, to question, or to extend or give an example of what is being said or written about.
  13. Get to know and get phone numbers of a couple of students in each class so you can call them if you get stuck or miss a class or an assignment. Be clear about all assignments and try to avoid misunderstandings with the teachers.
  14. Make your schooling a natural and regular part of your life. You want to be a lifelong learner and enjoy learning. It is a great way to spend your time and your life.