Short-Term Goals for Community College Students

Short-Term Goals for Community College Students
  • Opening Intro -

    As you begin your community college experience, you may find that the campus environment has some similarities to high school, with some stark differences too.


Your first semester classes may be familiar, courses you took while in high school or close to it. As you move through your experience, there are several short-term education goals that every community college student should keep in mind.

1. Attend your classes. Avoid skipping classes unless you are sick. Miss out on a class and you’ll miss out on what your instructor shared. This can effect your grade both for missing the discussion and with attendance included as part of your final grade.

2. Take understandable notes. Your professor may say something that you understand, but the way that it was said may not be clear to you. Seek clarification and write your notes to reflect how well you understand what was said. In other words, use your own words to explain what you learned.

3. Prepare for quizzes and tests. At the beginning of each semester, your instructors will give you an outline of what is expected of you for that class. You’ll have several quizzes and tests as you make your way through the semester, requiring that you go over your notes beforehand. It is good practice to review your notes soon after class and as you study. Avoid cramming for an exam — you’ll retain more information if your study as you go. If you have a term paper, begin an outline as soon as the assignment is given; complete your work days before it is due.

4. Ask for help. Chances are you’ll have at least one class that has you stumped. Your instructor can help you, but only if you ask for help. Your advisor is another person to meet with especially if your meetings with your instructor haven’t helped raise your grades. Your advisor may also refer you to a tutor. Take advantage of tutoring or any other assistance offered.

5. Look ahead to the next semester. As you work your way through one semester, you should also consider what courses you will take the next semester. This means reviewing your course requirements and finding out what classes will be available the next semester. As soon as registration opens, you’ll be ready to sign up.

6. Enjoy your experience. Community college may be a steppingstone to greater academic pursuits, but that doesn’t mean you cannot or should not enjoy it while attending. Many students are commuters and do not have the same camaraderie as four-year students have. Still, if there are clubs to join and other extracurricular activities to pursue, then do so. You’ll enjoy your time better and plant the seeds of networking.

Refining Your Goals

It isn’t uncommon for college students to change their majors and modify their goals while attending college. If you are considering making such a change, explore your options carefully. Then, make an appointment with your academic advisor to make the transition to a new major. To delay can mean that you may lose some credits and slow down your college transfer process.

Further Reading

How to Apply to College for Free

Long-Term Goals for Community College Students


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Categories: Academics