Five Key Tools to Achieve Academic Success

5 key tools to achieve academic success

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Achieving academic success is always on the minds of college students.   Most students have preconceived ideas about how to go about it.


Just study hard, do your work, and and the grades will come… you can hear that hack in your sleep!


And when students finally get to college or university, they find that their pathway to academic success is not what they originally envisioned or have been told.


In fact, there are 5 key academic policy strategies available to help most students achieve their academic goals.


Although students learn about these policies at New Student Orientation sessions, this information usually goes in one ear and out the other.

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Most students don’t become aware of their existence until they encounter an academic challenge and seek advice and counsel from their academic adviser.


With over 3700+ colleges and universities in the U.S., these policies do differ, in name and content,   from campus to campus


Okay…so what are they?


Five Key Academic Policy Tools:


Add/Drop Period


Pass/Fail Option


Course Withdrawal Option


Degree Audit


Information Literacy


These academic policies are designed specifically to support student achievement.  However, when and how to use them takes some strategic planning on your part.   And also regular consultation with your academic adviser.


By collaborating regularly with your academic adviser,  you have the opportunity to do the following:Five Key Tools


  • assess the merits of your current course schedule,
  • analyze your schedule for potential academic challenges,
  • and determine which of the above policies you need to implement for that particular semester.


The first 3 policies, Add/Drop, Pass/Fail, and Course Withdrawal, have specific registration procedures and deadlines.


Contact your Registrar’s Office to learn about those specifics.


Getting the most benefits from utilizing the other two policies, Degree Audit and Information Literacy, requires a 2 step collaborative consultation process.


First, meet with your academic adviser to discuss your individual degree audit.   Ask questions,  take notes, and revisit occasionally during the semester for updates.


And secondly, plan to collaborate regularly with your campus reference librarian.  They are, by far, the best academic resource on campus.


Academic librarians know more about academic resources and how to use them than your typical faculty member.


Your academic adviser and campus reference librarian are two resources you need to meet with regularly throughout the academic year.


And don’t forget to check periodically your college student handbook for updates on the five key tools for academic success.