Nutt’s About Learning

Yes! College Students Are Entitled

A common complaint among college faculty and administrators is about the audacious expectations of some (albeit not all) college students. These expectations get translated as “students are so entitled these days!” They are the source of much head shaking and the impetus for conversations that start with “when I was in school I would never…”. …

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Beliefs of College Students: Survey Results

The results of a survey I recently conducted to validate 17 proposed beliefs of successful college students are provided below. Each of the beliefs can be tied to growth mindset and GRIT constructs. Most of the 32 respondents were from Texas, but Georgia, Florida and California were also represented. Of the respondents, 77.24% currently work …

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Changing the Student Success Narrative in Community Colleges

Community colleges are open admissions institutions, providing everyone with access to higher education. Everyone. And it should stay that way. Unfortunately, and probably unintentionally, with the focus now on completion (not just access) a collective narrative that is framed within a deficit perspective has developed around the myriad reasons students don’t finish college ( a …

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Students “Don’t Do Optional”…Or Do They?

Today’s conventional wisdom (driven by research on student success and completion) has community colleges believing that “students don’t do optional.” This belief has perpetuated many of us to focus on two primary tactics to improve college completion: (1) mandate and (2) automate. Mandate: Orientation Student Success Course Meeting with an advisor Enrollment in a “learning community” Supplemental instruction …

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Real Life, Real Challenges

According to a September 2011 report by Complete College America, 75% of community college students are commuters, often juggling multiple priorities (families, jobs, school).  As such, non-traditional students are the majority now. Beyond juggling multiple priorities, many community college students are also dealing with incredibly complex life challenges (e.g. homelessness, poverty). They have significant obstacles …

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Finish What You Start

Think of something you’ve started. A diet, exercise program, home improvement project, a class, a relationship, a do it yourself project. Why did you start it? What compelled you to begin? Did you start something because of a desired future state? Dissatisfaction with the current reality? Hope for a change for the better? Curiosity? Ambition? Money? Desperation? …

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Incomplete Completion Agenda = Policy + Process – People

Policy + Process + People = Outcomes Community colleges across the United States have been working hard over the past several years to figure out how to get more students to finish a degree or certificate.  This work has been funded by the institutions themselves as well as several major foundations (think Lumina, Bill & …

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