The Student Success Center (SSC)
The Student Success Center (SSC) provides free peer tutoring and Student Success Workshops to help you discover your strengths and reach your potential. The SSC has space for students and tutors to meet individually or in groups, computers with academic software installed (ReadOutloud, Hawkes, etc.), a student printer, scanner, and information on campus resources and academic strategies and skills. Also browse "Career Central" for information on area job postings, major & career exploration, and resume and cover letter preparation.
The SSC is located in Room 3108, on the first floor of the Main Building -- just steps from the Commons.
Current hours for the SSC (Fall 2013):
Mondays - Thursdays: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The SSC is closed Saturday and Sunday.
Information about tutors, their contact information and subject area is posted outside and inside the SSC. No appointment is needed to see a tutor!
For more information, contact:
Tom Bruflat, Student Success Coordinator
920-459-6682, firstname.lastname@example.org, Room 3112
Print our Student Success Center brochure here!
Tips on how to SUCCEED in school:
The biggest key to success in college is having good study habits.
If you live at home, you and your family should agree on the selection of good workspace, perhaps in the your room. Each student, of course, can configure their space in a personalized way. Some families might already have the materials needed for a satisfactory workspace, but for needed purchases, office furniture is a good start, such as:
- Desk with a file drawer or separate file cabinet
- Comfortable desk chair and good reading lamp
- Comfortable chair for reading
- Sturdy, tall bookcase to shelve all the books, software, disks, and other leaning materials students will buy each semester
Make sure to talk to your family about your study habits. And college student might need to disappear into his or her workspace, sometimes on short notice, for hours at a time. If a separate room is not available, the family will want to make agreements on certain household hours of quiet for study—the same as any student in a residence hall. Students will probably try other study spaces as well, such as computer labs, the Student Success Center, and the campus and public libraries. The daily routine of a high school student will no longer be applicable. The whole family, including siblings, should discuss these schedule adjustments that will be made once college starts. As semesters pass, the student schedule will continue to require periodic readjustments for academic breaks, exam periods and changes in course loads.
Many students are surprised at the differences in studying for college courses versus how they studied in high school. Regular worksheets are replaced by vast midterms and exams which require knowledge about concepts rather than simple memorization of facts. Students frequently discover they need to adapt their study habits to the college setting.
Tips for good studying habits:
- Study in time chunks of about 30-50 minutes with a 5-10 minute break in-between.
- Take advantage of daylight hours: an hour of studying during the day is worth two done at night.
- Make sure to spend time on your most challenging class every day and do it early in the day.
- Study actively by asking yourself questions, having study groups quiz you, talking with the professor, and reviewing your notes frequently.
College offers so many things that make it difficult to study; distractions due to tv, text messages, Facebook, friends, parties… the list goes on. The key to improving concentration lies in understanding the cause of your distraction and to focus on eliminating it.
- Don’t let music in the background become a distraction.
- Before you begin to study, summarize what you would like to get done, collect the materials (books, notebooks, pens, highlighters) you will need, and informally outline your study schedule.
- Try creating a reward for successfully completing a task, like going for a walk or going online.
- Change the subject you study every one to two hours for variety.
- Vary your study activities: Alternate reading with more active learning exercises, like doing math problem sets.
- Take regular, scheduled breaks to exercise or relax.
- Maximize your energy level: When is your energy level at its highest? When are your low energy times? Study your most difficult courses at your high-energy times.
Washington State University offers this chart for determining how best to deal with some common distractions:
Learn the Causes
Control the Causes
Environmental distractions: TV, chairs that are too comfortable, snacks, other people, etc.
Leave or re-arrange a distracting environment. Go to a library or a classroom when you seriously intend to study.
Noise: Music with words, conversations
Train yourself to study away from others and in silence.
Physical distractions: hunger, drowsiness.
Plan to study when you are most alert. Eat a high-protein snack. Do five minutes of light exercise to wake up.
Boredom, dislike, disinterest
Find a reason that satisfies you for taking the class; talk with other students and the professor.
Anxiety about studies
Make sure you know how to study effectively. Put the course in perspective.
Intimidating study tasks
Break up large tasks into achievable subtasks. Do the most intimidating task first. Give yourself rewards for progress.
Separate daydreams from studying. When your mind starts to wander, write down the interrupting thought and continue studying. Or, recall important points and then turn away from your book and continue to daydream. When you're ready to read again, do so. The trick is not to daydream and read at the same time.
Identify and define the problem and develop a concrete, specific plan to resolve personal worries. Talk with someone who can help: a friend, a counselor, or a specialist.
Data shows students with a positive attitude toward their college experience have more academic success than those without one!
The Academic Success Center at Dartmouth College gives these tips about motivation:
Motivation has a strong influence on how well you do your job. Students often develop a "Slave Mentality." That is, they see themselves performing tasks which are required by their teachers but which are utterly meaningless to them.
In contrast, the students who see how their schoolwork fits into their plans for themselves become willing workers. It is quite true that "you can do anything you want to do" because wanting makes the necessary work easy.
Determination to work does not mean the same as motivation. "Will Power" will not work over a lengthy period of time. You can force yourself on occasion, but there are definite limits to the success of such an approach.
How to Gain Motivation
Step 1: Decide what you're trying to do in college. (You may need a counselor or other advisor to help with this, but that's why they're there.) Find out exactly how you go about achieving what you want. (What classes are required. Equally important, what classes aren't required. How long will it take you? How much will it cost?) With this information you can see the end of the tunnel. You can see yourself progressing, and you can avoid a lot of "wheel spinning."
Step 2: Make college your job. Don't let the incidental business of earning a living and leading a social life interfere with your central task of getting through school. If something must be neglected (and good planning can usually avoid this), then neglect something other than school. Your job is probably a short-term, dead-end proposition anyway. Don't get bumped out of school just to work 48 hours a week for the minimum wage.
a. Real students own their own books, have a suitable place to work, and keep their materials conveniently available.
b. Most distractions come from within you. If you have trouble concentrating, try to see what's bothering you and take steps to eliminate it. Most problems yield to direct action, but you must do the acting.
Step 3: Set short-range goals
- Analyze your study task. What do you want to achieve? How can it best be done?
- Set a definite time limit. You can get as much done in one hour as six if you know you must. Work expands to fit the time available.
- Evaluate your success or failure. You can learn best from making mistakes, provided you recognize that they are mistakes.
Stomach flip-floping? Nervous sweats? If you have test anxiety you are not alone.
The problem is more than simply being worried about a test. It is normal for a student to be nervous before a big exam. In fact, research shows that some anxiety can actually be helpful. The increased arousal that comes with a little anxiety can actually increase energy and sharpen thinking. However, the same studies have found that too much is definitely not better, leading to a rapid decrease in thinking and an inability to focus and concentrate on the task at hand.
- Most likely, you’re going to do some last-minute cramming the night before a final. Just do it without cups and bottles worth of caffeine. Caffeine actually adds to stress.
- Stay away from heavy food, which might make you drowsy, because your digestive system will be competing with your brain for oxygen-rich blood. Try going for a walk instead of eating.
- Concentrate only on the test, not the people studying next to you. They will only distract you.
- Take breaks whenever you are tense.
- Relax your body and your mind: deep breathing and closing your eyes helps.
- Studies show students score higher when they study and take the test both in a relaxed state.
- Mentally run through test day. Imagine yourself entering the testing room, taking a seat, breathing deeply, and lastly, imaging yourself doing well:
- Have confidence in your knowledge!
- Answer first questions you absolutely know. Then go back and answer harder questions. Lastly answer questions you have no idea about.
Washington State University suggests these statements to think about during a stressful test:
- I’m starting to get too anxious so I’d better slow down a little…there’s plenty of time.
- I’m starting to lose control…better take a deep breath…relax…let it out slowly…that’s better.
- I keep making myself anxious…I’ll switch my focus to the test.
- What is it I have to do? Focus. No negative self-talk.
- Focus on the task…exactly what does this question ask for?
- What’s the basic question…the main point?
- Why should I worry about how everyone else is doing?...just think about myself and read the next question.
Since college classes are often not the back-to-back seven hours of school that high school was, you will have a lot more free time to spend on your own things, like a job, studying, or relaxing. The hours in-between are excellent times to do studying or run errands, but avoid wasting time.
To a college student, time is more important than money. Even bright kids drop out of college because they fail to manage their time.
- Hours in the library are much more important than hours at parties or hours on Facebook.
- Invest in a daily planner to write important dates, homework or tests down.
- Being organized isn’t about being neat or clean. It means being able to find what your looking for quickly and accomplish things efficiently.
- Start long-term projects the day they are assigned.
- Schedule your free-time.
- Start studying two weeks in advance.
- Meet often with your professors.
- Focus more on your school work than a minimum-wage-paying job: graduating will help you get a better paying job.
- Learn to prioritize: beginning to write a paper is more important than beginning to get ready to go out.
- Remember to eat well, sleep, and exercise in addition to all that studying!
If you have questions about accommodations, please see our page on Accessibility Services information.
UW-Sheboygan is now connected with StudyBlue! StudyBlue is an online service that helps students study smarter by connecting them with their classmates and other students around the country working on the same problems, studying the same topics, and using the same textbooks. Students can share notes with classmates, take notes online, automatically create flashcards, take quizzes, play brain games, and even create audio and video flashcards and notes. Check out more about it on their website: StudyBlue.com. Your registration link is coming soon!
The College Board, one of the best resources for college students and schools alike, offers these easy tips for the best ways to take usable and organized notes in class:
How to Get Your Class Notes into Shape
Getting the most out of high school and college means studying hard and using your time in class wisely. Make the most of your time in class and out with an effective note-taking strategy.
It may seem obvious, but your class notes can only help you if you can find them. When you're taking notes be sure to:
- Keep all your notes for one class in one place.
- Date and number pages to keep them in order and make it easier to refer back to them.
Review the materials assigned for that class period thoroughly. Bring a list of questions you may have from the reading and be sure to get answers.
Make the best use of your class time by having a note-taking method. The Cornell Note-Taking System is one that has been proven effective by countless high school and college students.
Start by using the main section of your notebook page to take down your notes during class. Be sure to leave space on the left side of the page and the bottom. Things to keep in mind:
- Get the speaker's main points. Don't write down every word you hear.
- Leave blanks in your notes to add explanations later.
- Organize as you write. Pay attention to cues such as repetition and emphasis.
- Indicate main points and supporting points as you go.
- Jot down key vocabulary, important facts, and formulas.
- Ask questions. If you're confused, it's better to ask while the material is fresh in your mind.
As soon as you can after class, review your notes and fill in any blanks. Underline, highlight, and use symbols to sort through the information. If you don't understand something, get help from your teacher or classmates.
After you've reviewed all your notes from class, in the left-hand area of the page write down key words and questions your teacher might ask on a test.
At the bottom of each page, write a summary of the notes on the page. This helps you digest what you've learned, and will improve your memory of the notes in the long term, for tests down the road.
Once you've done all of the above, you'll find you've created your own personalized study guide. Cover the main section of the page and use the key words and questions in the left margin as a quiz.
Stick to It
Review your notes the day you take them, and all your notes once a week, and you'll hardly need to study when tests come around. You've been doing the work all along.
Try out the Cornell system, but if it doesn't work for you, experiment with other methods. Ask your classmates how they take notes or ask a teacher for advice. Taking good notes requires practice, like any other skill. And the more you work at it now, the more prepared you'll be later in college.