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Students Success @ AU http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com Albizu University Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:38:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/cropped-AU-Icon-32x32.jpg Students Success @ AU http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com 32 32 Insight into College Life: My Experience with the B.A. in Exceptional Student Education Program http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/07/16/insight-into-college-life-my-experience-with-the-b-a-in-exceptional-student-education-program/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/07/16/insight-into-college-life-my-experience-with-the-b-a-in-exceptional-student-education-program/#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:38:43 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=734 The Exceptional Student Education program at Albizu University officially started in the fall of 2015 to address the critical shortage of teachers specializing in working with students with disabilities, including those with autism. Graduates typically go on to pursue graduate degrees in exceptional student education, speech/language pathology, occupational therapy, or applied behavior analysis. A standout component of the program is the minor in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This addition prepares future professionals to obtain the Florida Endorsement in Autism Spectrum Disorders, allowing graduates to work with the autism population in the Florida school system.

There are so many benefits to being a student in the program. I was personally very intrigued by the courses in the autism minor. Many of these—like Nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Behavior Management and Support, and Identification of Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder—have prepared me to effectively work in school settings with students with ASD. I’m now not only able to understand the students’ challenges at the social-communication, cognitive, and sensory levels but also have the skills to anticipate possible triggers for their maladaptive behaviors and to plan interventions to effectively decrease the incidence of such behaviors. In addition, the autism minor allowed me to acquire knowledge and strategies to support the learning of students with ASD. I became more sensitive to an individual’s unique characteristics as it relates to his or her learning process, which positively impacted my effectiveness as an elementary education tutor.

In addition to my interest in the autism minor, courses like Diagnosis and Remediation of Language, Communication Disorders, and Reading Disorders introduced me to the techniques for and various approaches to the recognition, assessment, diagnosis, and remediation of language disorders. In these courses I was introduced to some of the speech and language challenges children with autism may face. These classes inspired my curiosity in the field of Speech/Language Pathology and my decision to pursue a master’s degree in the field at Albizu University.

Having completed my B.A. in the Exceptional Student Education program, I feel confident and prepared to move on to my next educational goals. The program allowed me to learn from professors who currently work in the field and who have taught me not only from the instructional material but also from their own personal experiences. I have successfully moved on to being accepted into the Masters of Speech and Language program and will begin in the fall of 2018. My goal is to eventually work with children on the autism spectrum in either a school or clinical setting.

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A Spanish Student’s Experience at Albizu University http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/06/28/a-spanish-students-experience-at-albizu-university/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/06/28/a-spanish-students-experience-at-albizu-university/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 20:08:28 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=719 My name is Belén Aguilera. I am from Seville, a city in the south of Spain. There I obtained my degree in Psychology. I currently live in Córdoba, where I am enrolled in a master’s program in General Health Psychology.

This master’s program has partnerships with different universities and psychology centers in several countries, which allows students to study abroad, enabling them to live a unique experience and to increase their knowledge and practice in psychology. One of those destinations is Albizu University, Miami Campus, where I arrived at the beginning of October 2017, receiving a warm welcome from everyone, both staff and students.

I am very interested in cultural diversity and migration, and I found that Albizu University helps me build upon those interests. Besides, South of Florida and, more specifically, Miami, has a context rich in multiculturalism because of its location and history.

About my experience in Albizu University, I am attending the didactic training that the Psy. D. students receive in the Goodman Center where every week a topic is presented by different professionals. In the Research Center I met Dr. Proctor, who has helped me address any concern I may have about the university or the city. He introduced me to Dr. Ellis, who gave me the opportunity to write an article for The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, where I am currently working. I also attended the Hatian Mental Health Summit, which took place at the beginning of October, and which I found really interesting.

Beyond the university, I am attending the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC), where a number of Psy. D. students from Albizu University intern. CVAC offers a holistic assistance to victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse, having in the same center advocates, lawyers, psychologists, etc. There, I am working with the psychologist and internship students to become familiar with this service and especially with the psychology department.

Although I am here for only two months, I consider myself very lucky to have this opportunity and thankful to all of those who made it possible, especially the Provost, Dr. Etiony Aldarondo, and the director of my master’s program, Juan Antonio Moriana.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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Men and Boys Versus Women and Girls: A Closer Look at Human Trafficking http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/22/men-and-boys-versus-women-and-girls-a-closer-look-at-human-trafficking/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/22/men-and-boys-versus-women-and-girls-a-closer-look-at-human-trafficking/#respond Tue, 22 May 2018 20:25:54 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=690 The spotlight on victims of human trafficking has primarily focused on women and girls. It has been assumed that the majority of victims are females and the perpetrators are males. With new laws, arrests, and victims speaking out, it is now known that we must not forget about men and boys. Males are often discounted as victims and prevented from seeking help due to over generalization and stereotyping. Recent findings have indicated that the number of boys and girls within child sex trafficking is closer to equal, rather than one-sided (Greenbaum, 2014). With males comprising nearly half of the population of this horrendous and growing crime, stereotyping, biases, and over generalizations continue to run rampant, which can affect aspects of both physical and mental health.

Men and boys are often viewed as stronger and possessing the added ability to defend themselves, in contrast to women who are perceived as vulnerable and weak. Feminist philosophy posits our patriarchal society has negative effects for both genders. Feminism egalitarian stance and envisions a society that will one day place equal value on women and men. However, the negative effect is evident in the area of human trafficking where females are rescued more often than males. The fight for mental health is calling for equality, as it would be difficult and naïve to go on and say that the psychological damage is greater for one gender than the other, when in fact, males may be even more at risk because they face the assumption that they “should” be able to defend themselves more so than females.

Although male trafficked victims have much in common with female trafficked victims, age, economic status, sexual preference, and ethnicity holds no boundaries in who may become a victim. They are fearful for coming out with the truth regarding their sexual preference and identity, or may be nervous of what others perceive as their preference (e.g.. being portrayed as gay when they are not). Many boys and men are not only sex trafficked but forced into labor, stemming from survival needs such as shelter and food. Lured with financial promises and then threatened, there is no way out for many victims (Surtees, 2008). With financial hardship comes the will to do anything to live, and under false pretenses of a legal and legitimate opportunity, they are lured in. Once victimized, threats against life, the use of drugs for sedation, and a lack of resources may make it difficult, if not impossible, to escape. Although statistics differ across countries, this is a problem both at the domestic and foreign forefront. One assumption, wrongly so, is that these victims come from uneducated and low-income backgrounds, and have no family or support system. This incorrect assumption holds true for both the male and female victims.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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The Importance of Mental Health Hygiene: Learn to Live Not Just Survive http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/17/the-importance-of-mental-health-hygiene-learn-to-live-not-just-survive/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/17/the-importance-of-mental-health-hygiene-learn-to-live-not-just-survive/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 15:51:23 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=684 In most cases, when people reflect on the meaning of health, they recognize nutrition and exercise as fundamental components associated with wellness. And while nutrition and exercise are recognized as two essential elements necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mental health is often overlooked. In today’s fast paced world of gadgets, projects, and work commitments, the importance of mental health ranks low, if it at all, on the daily “To Do List.” Despite the growing body of empirical evidence that confirms numerous health-related ailments attributed to prolonged stress such as high blood pressure, fatigue, gastro-intestinal problems, sleep disturbances, irritability, depression, and headaches, mental health is often overlooked. Perhaps mental health hygiene is easily dismissed because its symptom manifestation fails to surface in palpable ways unlike medical conditions that are assessed with instruments leading to tangible outcomes. Outcomes that are intangible and unexplained are often discredited, shunned, or dismissed because they fail to produce quantifiable measures with consistent results.

The propensity for society to address stress-related symptoms with pharmaceutical treatment is on the rise. The fast acting remedies allow people to continue to push themselves further without becoming aware of the underlying causal factors that tend to implicate both the body and mind. Failure to address the causal agents that lurk beneath the daily activities of life may cause simple to treat conditions to graduate into needless chronic diseases. As such, learning to listen to your body and what it’s attempting to tell you should take priority. Understand that your body holds an innate wisdom that will send you alerts indicating it is time to slow down, recharge, and replenish. As such, honor your body and treat it with respect. Learn to listen to its needs and what it is trying to communicate to you. To help create a balanced lifestyle, find an activity that regenerates you such as taking up a hobby, schedule a walk in nature, register for that salsa class you have always put off, take to the mat with yoga, learn to meditate, attend a workshop on health and wellness, or simply use heart-centered breathing to help you center yourself daily. Whatever you choose, learn to invite new experiences into your life that allow you to balance your personal and professional paths. My humble philosophy is that you can only give to others that which you have to give. Hence, as a parent, spouse, student, or employee, take care of yourself emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically for they are all intertwined in the beautiful tapestry called life.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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3 Reasons to Submit to a Research Conference: And Why You Should Start Planning NOW! http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/07/3-reasons-to-submit-to-a-research-conference-and-why-you-should-start-planning-now/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/07/3-reasons-to-submit-to-a-research-conference-and-why-you-should-start-planning-now/#respond Mon, 07 May 2018 16:50:26 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=670 On Friday, March 23, 2018, Albizu University hosted its 3rd Annual South Florida Research Symposium. Over 29 posters were submitted and accepted for presentation. Students from all levels of study (bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral) presented their research findings outside of the Multipurpose Room, talking and networking with fellow students, faculty members, and staff.

But what is a research conference?
A research conference is an opportunity for professionals and students to present research findings to gain experience in the field, receive invaluable input from colleagues about how to strengthen their work, and disseminate exciting and cutting-edge findings from their field of study.

Why should I submit to research conferences?
So many reasons! But here are our top 3:

  1. It’s a great way to get seen. Maybe you’re looking to build up a closer mentor-mentee relationship with a professor, or maybe you’re looking to network with top leaders in your field. Either way, a research conference is an excellent way to get involved, get your name out there, and build up a reputation for yourself.
  2. It adds to your research experience. In psychology, everyone is trained in understanding, reading, and digesting research, even if it’s not a primary focus of their education. Being able to think critically about the things you’re reading, and make sense of them, has tangible effects.
  3. Graduate schools, internships, and postdocs love it. Presenting at a conference looks great to a prospective academic program or clinical placement. It shows that you’re active and dedicated to the practice of your field.

Okay, I’m sold. But how do I actually get involved?
Awesome! Here are the steps needed to get yourself to presenter-status:

  1. Get involved now. Find a professor with whom you think your research interests match well. Your interests don’t need to match exactly, but should be in a relatively similar field (for example, if you’re interested in clinical psychology, stay with a psychology faculty member).
  2. Weigh out the pros/cons of doing your own research versus linking up with a faculty members’ established research lab. Being a student means igniting your passion for what interests you, but it may not always be feasible from a cost and time perspective. You may find yourself really excited about studying the EKG patterns in individuals with schizophrenia…but…gaining access to that population, the instruments needed to study it, and the resources to effectively make sense of your results may make that a challenge. Instead, you may elect to study an archival database, or a dataset that your professor is currently collecting.
  3. Start researching the research! Once you and your professor establish a topic and figure out a course of action, start your literature review. Not sure where to start for that? We’ve got you covered here.
  4. Know your end game. Unlike a traditional course where you may have to write a paper, a poster is essentially a shortened and to-the-point version of a research paper. It involves a 36” x 48” poster that summarizes the literature you reviewed, the methodology used, analyses and results, and primary conclusions reached from the data. Read more about designing a poster here.
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Working with Male Inmates in Solitary Confinement – A Mental Health Counselor’s Perspective http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/03/working-with-male-inmates-in-solitary-confinement-a-mental-health-counselors-perspective/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/05/03/working-with-male-inmates-in-solitary-confinement-a-mental-health-counselors-perspective/#respond Thu, 03 May 2018 15:39:23 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=665 Based on my personal experiences, I believe one of the most difficult tasks for a mental health counselor is to work with inmates that are in solitary confinement. I am a licensed mental health counselor and I have been in the field of mental health for over twelve years. During my career I have worked for different populations such as a dual diagnosis program, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. But one of the most interesting and challenging populations that I have worked with as a mental health counselor is at a correctional institution with male inmates that were housed in confinement.

Inmates who are housed in confinement have been placed there because they have broken prison rules. I usually tend to say that inmates that are sent to confinement are going to a jail within a prison because they have lost their institutional privileges, their personal properties have been stripped from them, and their family visits are taken away. Plus, they are being confined to a small cell for thirty to ninety days, or even longer. This makes it very stressful for them and in such cases some inmates become suicidal.

Self-harm is a prevalent and dangerous occurrence within correctional settings, specially when inmates are sent to confinement. Usually, inmates who are sent to confinement often have a history of self-harm. Most inmates that I have attended to in confinement attempted to harm themselves by cutting, hanging, overdosing, and many other ways. There are many reasons why inmates try to harm themselves. Some of these suicidal attempts can be influenced by environmental stressors within correctional settings or preexisting mental illness. Also, sometimes inmates malinger feeling suicidal or fake a mental illness to avoid certain situations or any type of punishment. So the motivation of the inmate can be complex and difficult to discern for a mental health counselor.

The effects of confinement are significant with inmates that have severe mental illness such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. The lack of social contact and being in solitude with unstructured days can exacerbate symptoms of illness. They tend to display bizarre behaviors and even become dangerous to others or themselves. In my opinion, many of these inmates with mental illness should not be placed in confinement because their mental condition will not improve but rather deteriorate. I will always refer them to an in-patient unit were they will be provided with the proper treatment.

Furthermore, in the correctional institution that I worked, an average of three to six inmates were sent to confinement on a daily basis and these inmates needed to be seen as soon as possible – no later than five days – to avoid any suicidal attempts and to insure their emotional and mental state. These daily evaluations and crisis interventions tended to consume the workday and this can be challenging for any mental health counselor.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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Insight into College Life: Should Graduate School Be My Only Avenue? http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/26/insight-into-college-life-should-graduate-school-be-my-only-avenue/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/26/insight-into-college-life-should-graduate-school-be-my-only-avenue/#respond Thu, 26 Apr 2018 14:03:09 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=660 Graduating with a bachelor’s degree is often met with conflicting feelings of accomplishment and fear. The accomplishment stems from knowing that you as a student have achieved your designated goals. However, reality may begin to surface as students begin to contemplate their next steps in life. Deciding whether to continue with education by way of graduate school or obtain employment can be the toughest and most crucial decision an individual will make at this early junction.

Many questions may arise during this transitional phase, most of which will likely stem from the financial obligations related to real-world expectations (i.e., rent, loans, etc.). If you find yourself grappling with what decision to make, ask yourself these questions: What are my goals in life? What professional career will allow me to achieve these goals?  Will a graduate degree help me break into the field?

Keep in mind that this is an individual journey and everyone has a unique path to follow. Many of your peers may decide that continuing on to a graduate program is more beneficial to reaching their goals; however, that doesn’t mean you must follow in their footsteps. Life itself is unexpected. No two paths will be the same and neither will be straight, and it will not be easy. It’s important not to place limitations on what you want to achieve or to succumb to pressure from family members and friends.

As graduation nears, be mindful of your chosen career path. Does your career require you to obtain a graduate degree, or will real-world experiences suffice? For instance, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in psychology, it would be beneficial to gain a better understanding of the qualifications needed to reach this goal, as they may vary according to the psychological discipline (such as clinical, counseling, forensic, child, health, or neuro). Determining the type of psychology you want to practice will impact the direction you choose to take regarding educational advancement.

An undergraduate degree in psychology can lead to employment as a social worker, case manager, human resource professional, certified addiction professional, behavioral technician, child life specialist, or associate behavior analyst. A master’s degree in counseling psychology is needed if you’re interested in providing therapeutic services, since you must complete an accredited counseling program before you can apply to obtain a license in mental health counseling. If you are interested in providing clinical assessment and evaluation, you will be required to obtain a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Graduate school is quite a different experience than an undergraduate program. Students are more autonomous, which, for many, can leave them feeling lost or without guidance. The important thing to remember is there are various resources that greatly improve the graduate school experience, including tutoring, mentoring programs, and academic advisors.

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Coping with Autism – A Parent’s Perspective http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/23/coping-with-autism-a-parents-perspective/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/23/coping-with-autism-a-parents-perspective/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:44:37 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=646 One of our own undergraduate psychology students, Ingrid Castillo, was kind of enough to share her story during an interview for autism awareness month. 

*Please note, this blog includes excerpts from the full interview to keep with length and formatting requirements*

What situation are you facing and more specifically, what symptoms did you notice that gave you your first suspicions that something was wrong?
I am a mom of two boys with autism. Although they have the same condition, the manifestation of the symptoms was somewhat different. My oldest son experienced a slow regression. The changes in his behavior began when he was 21 months old. As time passed, the intensity of the symptoms increased. He lost a significant amount of words in his vocabulary, stopped responding when hearing his name, was biting everything and everyone, and was putting inedible objects in his mouth. He would also vomit or gag during meals due to textures, smells, and tastes, became restless, was oversensitive or had no tolerance to pain, and had difficulty sleeping and transitioning.

On the other hand, my other son had a drastic and sudden regression at 15 months old. He had a complete loss of communication and social skills, appeared to be lost in his mind, and had abrupt changes in mood. Some other differences were that he was unpredictable, constantly screaming, had endless tantrums, insomnia, vomiting and gagging due to sensory issues, and would be drawn to dangerous things without fear or danger awareness. At the same time, however, both also developed extraordinary abilities.

Why did you decide to get a diagnosis and how did you go about it?
I decided to get a diagnosis immediately as soon as Nico, the youngest, showed manifestations of the symptoms. I was desperate and wanted to find answers and solutions. We even emigrated from our beloved island, leaving everything behind. A few months after Nico showed symptoms, Ian’s symptoms became more noticeable and I once again felt blindsided and desperate.

What was the diagnosis experience like?
The doctor gave us the diagnosis with not much explanation and rushed to his next patient. His secretary handed us a packet of referrals along with an autism booklet full of advertisements instead of useful information. Ironically, this was the first time I witnessed the correlation between autism and a lack of empathy. At least I had some information to start with. Unfortunately, the amount of information given, although appreciated, was not practical. None of the suggestions could be translated into reality.

How did you and your children initially react to the diagnosis?
I was in disbelief despite the undeniable fact. For sure, it was a knock out but the war was far from over. Although I was dazed, confused, and hurt, the adrenaline caused by the fear of losing them kept me going.

The boys did not react to the diagnosis because they were too young to comprehend it. They have grown knowing their condition, the challenges involved, and believing there is no limit to their abilities if they work hard and persist. They are able to feel just like everyone else because they understand the reality that everyone is unique. They see autism like it is, as just a label to a group of symptoms.

What about you? Has your life changed and do you feel supported through this change?
It changed me in many ways. It made me a highly multifaceted person. My personal experience made it easier to understand what my children were going through and at the same time seeing them experience the struggles helped me visualize, study, comprehend, and modify certain processes that I lacked. To be very honest, I feel this experience has broken me. I was unable to finish my last year studying Human Resources, had to turn down what was once my dream job, I have been sleep deprived for years, struggling financially, and often mistreated and underestimated by others for being late or taking too long to finish a task. What people do not understand is that I do everything while also taking care of my children. I gave them my all not knowing that in return they would give so much more back. They have rebuilt me in a better way. Thankfully, I have recently been able to continue my studies and thanks to them, I know the real person I am and my true potential.

My main source of support has been given by God. I know with certainty that no matter what happens He will take care of us. I can also count on my husband. He is great dad and there is nothing he wouldn’t do for our kids. Other than them, I’ve felt support in very few places and from very few people. Surprisingly, though, that support has come from people I didn’t expect.

What advice would you give to a family who is about to go through what you have gone through?
You should love and support your children. Be open-minded and expect changes. Recognize that there will be obstacles but this should not limit anyone from having life experiences. Read, read and do more reading. Remember that no one cares for your child more than you do. Believe your child is awesome and eventually people will think the same way. Above all else, enjoy your experiences with them.

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Finals Week Already? Here Are 5 Top Study Tips for Exams http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/13/finals-week-already-here-are-5-top-study-tips-for-exams/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/13/finals-week-already-here-are-5-top-study-tips-for-exams/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 19:12:13 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=642 Whether you’re studying for a placement test, the GRE, the GK, or just trying to ace your way through finals, here are five tips on how to study smarter, not harder.

1. Minimize useless distractions
Knowing how to be a successful student means knowing how to put things aside that decrease your ability to concentrate. Studying effectively requires being able to focus on what’s in front of you. Try setting your phone on ‘do not disturb,’ avoiding social media, and using headphones to listen to relaxing music while blocking out other noise.

2. Find a few different study locations
Changing study locations throughout the day can help you avoid burnout and keep your mind sharp. A mixture of indoor and outdoor spots can also help to break up any restless feelings. Check out on-campus locations like the computer lab, the library, or the outdoor patio areas. For a change in scenery, hit up coffee shops near campus like Pasion de Cielo or your go-to Starbucks location. Here are my favorite off-campus spots in Doral:

  • Pasion del Cielo Coffee, 8550 NW 53rd St
  • Starbucks, 10690 NW 19th St
  • Doral Central Park, 3000 NW 87th Ave

3. Organize your notes
Reading the material before meeting for class gives you the opportunity to write notes and ask questions while in class. Bring your notes to class and augment any areas you may have missed that the instructor highlights or spends lots of time on. Date all of your notes and make sure you group them in a logical way. Ensure you include all of the questions gathered while reading, studying, or attending class so that you can easily follow up on them. Instead of keeping one bulky binder or a backpack of loose paper, organize your notes and handouts into separate folders. This makes it easier to find what you need for each exam, keep your homework together, and prevent overwhelming clutter. Color-coding can also help you keep different topics separate.

4. Seek help right away
The longer you wait to ask questions or get help when you need it, the harder it becomes to keep up in your classes. Don’t let frustration, anger, or fear of failure stop you from getting help. Seek out your instructor and ask for some one-on-one time. If they can’t fit you into their schedule, don’t shy away from contacting our on-campus tutors, who can also help you with a variety of subjects ranging from math to APA and MLA writing styles to research methodology. Study groups can really help you with difficult topics and course material as well. Remember the old saying: “Two heads are better than one; three heads are better than two…”

5. Don’t overdo it
If studying always feels hard to you, then you probably need to change your approach. Many students study too much. It’s better to stop as soon as you feel like you have a reasonable handle on the material. If you feel like you’re putting in a lot of time and not getting anywhere, it‘s a sign you need help. The more you try to push on by yourself, the less chance you’ll have of grasping what you’re trying to learn.

Finals week can be a stressful time for all students–I know it is for me. Knowing how to properly study for finals is the key to avoiding stress and acing every single one of your exams. Good luck!

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A Week as Dean of Students http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/12/a-week-as-dean-of-students/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2018/04/12/a-week-as-dean-of-students/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:22:51 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=636 The role of Dean of Students at Albizu University (AU) comes with great responsibility and even greater reward. Deans are often pragmatic stewards of institutional rules and regulations. However, an essential function of a dean is to advocate for students and the matters that are of most importance to them. Cultivating a campus climate of support is an integral aspect of the Office of Student Affairs’ mission to improve satisfaction and enhance the overall AU student life experience.

Daily life as AU’s Dean of Students often reminds me of a living case study where there is much to observe, learn, and ultimately resolve. A week as Dean of Students consists of appraising policy, drafting reports, analyzing data, chairing committees, conferring with institutional leaders, meeting with students, replying to correspondences, delivering speeches, launching impartial inquiries, and adjudicating student misconduct matters. The latter requires the most time and attention. The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) facilitates and adheres to equitable grievance and disciplinary procedures; therefore, the meticulous process of investigating a student’s case can take weeks and even months. Investigations require interviewing a number of interested parties, the systematic review of evidentiary material, referencing institutional policy manuals, drafting reports, and reviewing federal and state law.  When the opportunity presents itself, I pause to attend a campus life activity sponsored by OSA or one of its many student organizations. This level of engagement allows the opportunity to interface with students and gain insight into their lives at AU.

Daily oversight of the various student support units and their staff is required to ensure the prompt and accurate delivery of services. This commitment to serving students encourages collaboration between AU’s faculty and student support staff.  During planned meetings, the various programs and departments discuss converging interests. The strategic planning sessions produce quality student programming that enhances the overall collegiate experience.

The role of AU Dean of Students never ceases and defies OSA departmental hours and campus geographical boundaries. Accessibility is key. I am simply an email away at all times. This might seem rather daunting to some, but the ability to respond to the needs of the AU community in real time further reinforces OSA’s mission to foster a supportive environment that promotes humanity and compassion. Life at AU is caring, inclusive, and inspires positive experiences for all members of the campus community.

For more great content, visit the Albizu University Facebook page and Instagram account, too!

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