Supporting College Students
Because we work with students of all different ages and backgrounds, our experience affords us the ability to notice trends in the education space. Recently, we’ve noticed college students feeling increasingly unmotivated and stuck. Many are falling behind in their classes and feel as if they are sinking deeper and deeper into a hole they cannot get out of. It makes sense; this period of their life was supposed to centered around their independence, and now many are stuck with a college workload without the college experience. Some college students are living at home, far from their college campuses and attending class via Zoom rather than in-person lectures. Their bedroom has become their workspace, living quarters, and library. So, where are these students struggling, and how can we, as a community, support them?
Because many students are attending class from the comfort of their childhood homes, many of them have stopped showing up for class. They find Zoom classes disengaging, so they opt to play video games, scroll through social media, or hang out with friends instead. Because of this, college students completely miss the content of their classes, and they fall further and further behind. Some are “attending” class, but their camera is off, and they only have their Zoom tab open to check off the box for attendance. Younger students have parents holding them accountable for virtual learning. In college, however, the responsibility is on the college student; there’s a different level of expectation. Furthermore, professors are managing so many students that they do not have the time or the bandwidth to keep tabs on each student they teach. The problem? There’s no one to catch those falling behind.
What college students need is someone to help them with their executive functioning. They need expediency, organization, an actionable plan, and solid resources. Many of these students are failing their classes and need a lot of support right away. College is expensive and passing their classes has high stakes for these students’ future careers. College students don’t have a week to waste waiting on getting matched with a tutor. That’s one of the beautiful things about Wright Academics: our community. We have a plethora of tutors who are ready and excited to help students get back on track. We recently had a student come to us, and we were able to match him with two tutors, one for each subject area, the same day. I knew right away who would work well with him! He needed 2 hours of math with one tutor and 3-4 hours of writing help with another. We matched him with tutors who would help him in the areas where he was struggling and would connect with him well.
We also help our students take practical steps to get back on track. Some students need to drop classes and retake them with more support. While we acknowledge how much of an impact having support can make, we also know that none of us are superhuman. It’s not feasible to make up a full semester of work in one weekend. We sit down with the student and look at everything they have on their to-do list. We put everything in one place. That could be a notebook, Google doc, or digital calendar. By gathering all of their due dates, assignments, and instructions in one place, we provide the student with a clear roadmap. They don’t have to go from one platform to the next to find out what they need to accomplish each day. In this way, we are able to help students navigate their workload. This is often enough to give them a boost out of the hole they have been sitting in. When a student is able to put their hand up for help, then we are able to push them to take action.
The most important part of tutoring is connection. If the student is able to relate to their tutor, they are more likely to take action and participate in their individualized plan. Why? Because with connection comes engagement. With more engagement comes better results. Thus, pairing a student with the right tutor is paramount. If a student tells us they are really into film, we try to find a tutor who shares that passion. To that point, it is not just about the student connecting with the tutor but the tutor connecting with me as well. If they connect with me and trust me, they will be more likely to give their tutor a fair shake. College students are young adults, so I treat them like young adults. They’re struggling and need support.
One student we recently started working with first went to his college for support. They said they could arrange for a grad student to work with him once a week. The problem? He needed much more than that! He was failing some of his classes. He had a lot of anxiety, avoidance, and lack of motivation. He was stuck. After chatting with him, I was able to provide him resources and a tutor the same day. I was also able to connect with his grandmother and let her know what was going on. The difference between Wright Academics and a college’s academic resources? We provide fast, individualized, connection-based support.
The number one emotion students and family members note after working with us is hope. Hope allows a student’s confidence to grow. This confidence often spills over into feeling better about themselves and growing in many other areas of their lives aside from academics. We help dig these students out of a hole so that they can gain momentum.
Are you a college student looking for support? A parent in need of resources for your student? Click HERE.
About Evelyn Wright
Evelyn Wright is the Director of Wright Academics, a tutoring business created to target kids’ specific needs. Her passion is helping students and families succeed so that they achieve their maximum potential in and out of the classroom.
With over 25 years of experience working with children and their families in public and private schools, as well as in private practice, Evelyn’s focus is understanding the individual’s learning profile, guiding families of children with learning differences and matching students to the tutor or coach that best fits the student. She believes in not only matching educational needs to the right tutor’s skills, but matching a student to the tutor with the right personality.