Advice for Incoming Community College Students


Your community college is looking forward to seeing you.

Here are some tips to help you have a successful first semester.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.20.55 PM1) Meet with your academic advisor: Ask your advisor what courses to take. If you are thinking about graduating or transferring in two years, make sure you find out how many courses you need to take your first semester. Some colleges require you take four or five courses a semester in order to graduate with an Associate’s degree in two years.

2) Find student clubs and activities at your college:

Participating in a club is a Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.20.50 PMgreat way to make friends and help you feel at home on your college’s campus. Having friends at school also makes it easier to be successful with your studies.

3) Get the name and number of a fellow student in your class: Talk to a classmate about the material you are learning. Your fellow students will help you understand the classwork and inspire you to learn more.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.20.56 PM4) Go to the career center and make an appointment with a career counselor: You can find out about internship programs and skill-building workshops. Ask about personality quizzes that wScreen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.20.53 PMill help you pick a major.

5) Get to know a professor or staff member on campus: There are many experienced people on campus who care about your educational success. They will give you advice and help you find good opportunities.

6) If you have to miss a class, be sure to let your professor know in Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.20.56 PM (1)advance: They will tell you what you will miss and help you get caught up.

You will figure out how to balance school, work, and your personal life. Good friends and mentors on campus can help. It is worth taking the time to build those relationships.

Rachel is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Sciences and Comparative Education at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She has worked closely with undocumented youth activists in several states, the Bhutanese refugee community and LGBT community in Oakland, California. Rachel taught in two public high schools in Okinawa, Japan for two years and has worked in the community college and higher education sector for Bunker Hill Community College, MassBay Community College, Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Achieving the Dream, and Jobs for the Future. She received her Masters in Higher Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and her Bachelors in Philosophy from the University of Chicago.


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