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Making it Work

Need some practical advice for going back to school? Tracy A. Funk, vice chancellor for enrollment management at Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana, offers these tips:

 

Time Management. “Subtract all the hours a person needs for essentials of life (sleep, work, travel, eating, exercise, family time, entertainment, household chores, etc.) and you are left with the number of hours a student can dedicate to college coursework,” Funk says. “It’s very telling and definitely helps students set priorities in consideration of their personal life situation.”

2 for 1 Rule: Funk recommends getting familiar with your class syllabus so you’ll know what to expect from the beginning of the semester to the end. “We talk with students about the ‘2 for 1’ rule, which recommends spending two hours outside of class studying for every one hour/credit spent in class,” Funk says. “For instance, at 15 credit hours a student should expect to spend 30 hours per week studying and preparing assignments. Certainly some students will need to study more or less; this is just a general rule of thumb.”

Ask for Help. Become your own best advocate. Many resources exist on college campuses to help students with academic, financial, or even mental or physical health problems. For example, know where the campus tutoring center is, and don’t be afraid to ask for help in succeeding in a tough class or finishing your degree,” Funk says. “When things do get tough, raise your hand and ask: can someone help me out here? Everyone needs a hand sometimes,” Funk says. “When you are launched in your new career and life, you can reach back and do the same thing for someone else.”

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