By Jeannie Simmons, senior director, Columbia College-Fort Worth

Many professionals are returning to school for additional credentials and skills. “Lifelong learning” is no longer as simple as picking up a copy of the Wall Street Journal or National Geographic. In an environment where industry changes and innovation are a constant, it is important to level-up your skills and learn new tactics for success. It is important to be set up for success. Here are some tried and true tips that are just as valid today as they were five, 10 or even 30 years ago.

  1. Start the session with good study habits. Do your reading. Work on your assignments before they are due. Spend time each day reviewing your notes.
  2. Attend class and show up on time. Attendance is important and will lead to greater success in a course. It’s an expectation, not an option.

Fort Worth Senior Director Jeannie Simmons
  1. Set aside online learning time just like class learning time. Schedule a consistent time to be in your online course. Don’t let other things interfere with course time.
  2. Submit all assignments on time and prepare well in advance for your exams. Make sure you allow sufficient time for test preparation, especially for your first exam.
  3. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand a concept or need help with homework. This is what college is about – stretching your mind and thinking in new ways. Seek help from your instructor or a tutor early and often. This helps you get the assistance you need and demonstrates to your professor that you are dedicated to your education.
  4. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Chances are the question you have is the same one that other students in your class may be too afraid to ask (and you may be the hero).
  5. Life happens. For adult students, this may mean increased job responsibilities, health problems and unexpected family issues. If it interferes to the point that it is negatively affecting your ability to be academically successful, come in and talk to an academic advisor immediately.
  6. Feel good about yourself and the decision you’ve made to complete your education. You should be proud of taking steps to grow personally and professionally. Give yourself a big pat on the back – we here at Columbia College are proud to be a part of that growth!