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Setting Goals for Student Success

A student's decision to pursue a program of study is a commitment to an overall goal and vision of success, which is getting a degree. The pursuit of a degree is both a rewarding and a challenging experience. 

In today’s academic world, students must be adaptable in order to succeed. Classes are taught in a variety of formats, such as in-person, virtually, or a combination of both. Resources come in a variety of formats, through an array of channels. Navigating through a program of study can be cumbersome, and sometimes disappointing. As a result, we procrastinate, our studies go from being a top priority to a low priority in our already complicated everyday lives, and we begin to question our commitment to the pursuit of our dream.

So, how to do we overcome this trend?

We set goals.

Why is setting goals so important? Because…

• Goal setting is the best way to make sure that we are staying on track and holding ourselves accountable for our academic performance.
• Goals help us to stay focused and keep our eye on the ball.
• Goals help us to avoid procrastination and help us to use our time wisely.
• Goals help us to avoid burnout, which can lead to poor academic performance.
• Goals keep us motivated, energetic, and adaptable when changes need to be made.
• Goals help us to see where we need help before it is too late.
• Goals help to make your tutoring sessions more efficient and effective.

The concept of goal setting is simple.
 
 
Compare setting a goal to planning a trip: the goal is the destination.

But how do we know we have reached our goal?

We have to set a measurable outcome.

Here is an example of a goal with an outcome that is measurable:

• On the next Spanish test, I want to get a score of 90% or above.
(Simply, we know we have met our goal if our score is 90% or above).

Here is an example of a goal with an outcome that is NOT measurable:
• On the next Spanish test, I want to do well.
(How do we know what “well” is if it is not defined? How will I know if I have done “well”?)

Goals with measurable outcomes help us to see more clearly where we have successes and where we have failures. These successes and failures help us to see what we are doing right, so we can create good habits for avoiding procrastination and subsequent burnout; they also help us to see where we need to improve, so we can seek help before it is too late.

Goal Setting and Tutoring

The functions of goals speak to the heart of the tutoring concept. A tutor’s goals for a student should be the same as the student’s goals, and the student’s goals should be directly linked to his or her vision of success. The student’s goals set the foundation for effective tutoring sessions that resonate with the student for positive, long-lasting results that contribute to the student’s success. Tutoring goals assist tutors in the evaluation of their performance, as well as the quality and effectiveness of the tutoring sessions.

Therefore, make sure that you and your tutor are on the same page. When you seek the assistance of a tutor, make sure that you share these goals with your tutor, so that he or she can make sure that his or her efforts contribute to your efforts to succeed. Tutoring goals with measurable outcomes are an effective way to determine whether or not you, as the student, are getting the most out of your tutoring sessions.

If you are not sure of how to set goals or what type of goals to set, collaborate with your tutor; he or she can help you formulate goals with measurable outcomes that will create effective tutoring sessions that contribute to your success.

In conclusion, when we commit to completing a program of study to earn a degree, we must remember that each class, each assignment, is a step toward reaching that goal. Sure, we sometimes stumble along the way, but making sure we are staying on track in the whole scheme of things is important to staying motivated.

So, make sure that you are setting goals for yourself that will further your commitment and efforts for pursuing your degree. When you seek the assistance of a tutor, make sure that you share these goals with your tutor, so that he or she can make sure that his or her efforts contribute to your efforts to reach your goals. You will find that taking the time to set goals is a wise investment into your commitment as a successful student.