Resolutions that Stick! Four Pillars that Drive Success
By: Sherri Donovan, PhD
January 7, 2019
Student checking smartphone and calendar
Each New Year many of us set goals focused on self-improvement. These often focus on things like exercising more, getting in better shape, or breaking a bad habit. And, just as surely as January rolls into February, resolutions often get set aside and forgotten. Then sometime around May, we wonder why we can’t seem to keep these promises to ourselves.
As a member of the Baker learning community, you’ve set a lofty goal. You have a bigger dream that is centered on getting a degree that supports your career success. This goal matters to you, it’s not one you want to see fade away with the winter frost. This type of resolution is different. An aspiration of this magnitude requires a plan.
The foundation of your plan for achieving this academic goal needs to rest on solid Pillars of Success.
Preparation – including skills like time management, note-taking, building on prior knowledge, transferring knowledge, preparing to learn, evaluating your preparation and work patterns, and using feedback to learn.
Participation – understanding what it means to actively engage with the community in each learning experience.
Attitude – involving perseverance, excitement, the expectation and ability to live with discomfort, acceptance of the struggle inherent in learning, recognizing what individual learning looks like, and the willingness to set an individual intention to explore and grow.
Resources – including effective use of the library and ARC, writing and math centers, tutoring, specific course tools, feedback, and communication.
If this is the first time you’ve thought about taking charge and owning your own learning experience, Baker faculty are ready and willing to help. If you aren’t sure how to prepare for a math class, ask your instructor for strategies that support learning in mathematics. If you aren’t sure where to find feedback from your composition instructor or what those comments mean, ask us. We want to help you get the most from your learning experience. Make sure you know where to find support when you need it. Many textbooks come with a wide variety of resources that might be helpful to you and the ARC staff are always ready and willing to support your success with resources and tutoring.
The instructors teaching your interdisciplinary courses like Composition, Mathematics, Psychology, and Science, place a special emphasis on helping develop skills in each of these pillars. In these courses, faculty incorporates activities and assignments specifically designed to support you as you transition from “doing what the instructor says” to owning your own learning processes. For example, your Psychology instructor might help you focus on preparing for class discussion by demonstrating effective methods for taking notes while reading. Believe it or not, these strategies can be different from the best practices used to take notes in class. Your Mathematics instructor may give you a puzzle or open-ended problem with no right answer so that you can practice getting more comfortable when you don’t know the answer and need to “keep trying” to complete a problem.
Your goals are attainable. These are resolutions that don’t have to melt away with the snow. You can achieve your dreams and we’re here to help you.
Let’s get started! What are your next steps in building and strengthening the pillars that support your educational success?
Earning a degree takes a lot of dedication and we want to help make it possible for education to fit your life. Learn more about our College of Interdisciplinary Studies degree programs today and find your way forward!
Sherri Donovan completed a B.A. in Mathematics and Secondary Education at William Jewell College, M.S. in Mathematics at Oklahoma State University, and Ph.D. in Education Technology and E-Learning at Northcentral University. Sherri currently serves as the Department Chair for Mathematics at Baker College where she shares her passion for innovation in the teaching and learning of mathematics with students in the teacher preparation program, through faculty workshops, and conference presentations.