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Post-Secondary Success Starts with Better Skills


Stressed out university student

Every student wants to achieve post-secondary success. There’s a lot of pressure on teens regarding higher education. A lot of thought must go into the application process—teens want to make a good impression on admissions and be confident in their choices for the future. However, the process can quickly become overwhelming for many teens.

Grades Shouldn’t Be The Only Focus

Studies show that 14% of first-year students drop out of their programs. Only 39% of students in a Bachelor’s program earn their degree by the expected date [source]. These statistics are a good indicator that while grades are an essential part of the application process, learning skills need to be considered. The proper habits and skills will help teens successfully handle higher education’s demands and expectations. Without them, University or College success is harder to achieve.

Requirements For Post-Secondary Success

Strong cognitive skills make learning a lot easier. Unfortunately, schools don’t spend a lot of time developing these skills. As a result, students can feel overwhelmed and confused.

Below is a list of some skills required to succeed in University or College:

  1. Goal Setting: Once students decide if post-secondary is right for them, the goal-setting process has already started. From getting into their top choice of school, to graduating in their program, goal setting is crucial for academic success.
  2. Planning & Organization: Students have a lot more assignments and deadlines to keep track of. Ensuring they have good organization skills to plan around priorities will be extremely helpful.
  3. Non-Cognitive or “Soft” skills: Verbal communication, resiliency, curiosity, and more. These transferable skills encourage better learning and self-esteem as a student.
  4. Time Management: Post-secondary life is busy so good time management skills can ensure each day runs smoothly.
  5. Social skills: For teens choosing to go to a school in a differenct city, it’s most likely their first time living away from their family and friends. Having strong social skills will help build relationships during class and in everyday life.
  6. Teamwork:  University and College involve a lot of collaboration with other students. Because of this, knowing how to work as a team will go a long way in eliminating groupwork frustrations.

The stronger these skills are, the better students can handle the pressure!

Practise Makes Progress

Most importantly, these skills can be developed anytime; the best way to develop these skills is by practising!

  • Extracurricular activities assist with social and teamwork skills.
  • A daily planner is great for goal-setting, planning & organization, as well as time management.
  • Encourage curiosity by having a “Backwards Day” at home. A quick Google search can find additional activities to help build the skill.
  • Reading and writing at home helps with communication skills and overall comprehension.

Small steps every day lead to significant changes. It’s not too early or late to start!

We Can Help!

Regarding strengthening skills, Oxford Learning’s University Application Support Program can help graduating students and those who have not yet thought about post-secondary. Any student who needs extra support to begin thinking about taking the next step in their academic journey can also benefit from this program.

Post-secondary should be an exciting new chapter! Oxford Learning is dedicated to helping teens feel less stressed about the direction of their future. Contact a local centre near you to learn more!

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