Helping Male College Students Succeed

  1. What college instructors need to know about male students to help them succeed.

“Helping Male College Students Succeed” is the title of chapter 12 in The Pedagogy of the 21st Century by William A. Draves and Julie Coates. This is a book worth reading. And this is a chapter on a subject demanding attention from college instructors and administrators.

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Teaching Male College Students

It is no secret. More women graduate from college than men. The failures of male students may stem from our American culture and early childhood learning experiences. So says Ali Carr-Chellman. Every college instructor needs to understand his or her students, and this video will help you understand some of the lower achieving men you may have in your class.

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Getting Students to Like You

How can a college instructor get students to like him or her?

This is a great question! In fact, it was the search term some of you entered when you found me website.

I have so many thoughts to share, and now I have another one. Perhaps some of you would be so kind as to share your thoughts on this subject. If you are a regular reader, you know how opinionated I am. But trust me, I value the opinions of others.

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The 1st of 7 Principles of Good Teaching

When was the last time you told a student how sorry you were that he didn’t have the time to complete his paper and then give him another week? My guess is probably never, at least not without deducting from his grade. So don’t expect your students to feel sorry for you with your busy schedule. Don’t expect them to give you a week to answer a question or give them help with a problem.

Student Evaluations

Make Sure Your Evaluations Aren’t “Evil-uations”

Does this apply to you?

To many (most?) college instructors, “student evals” are a once-a-term event that prompts a bit of anxiety and not much more. Your students complete them, they are sent in a sealed envelope to someone at your college who reviews them, and later you receive the results. The moment arrives. Drum roll!!! With fear and trepidation, you open the envelope. There are the ratings and comments from students. They are good, bad or indifferent. You close the envelope, file it (possibly in the circular file), and you move on. That is, you move on unless they were really bad.

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A New Way of Looking at Students

I doubt you ever thought of students this way before.

Terms like raw material, assembly line worker, quality control inspector, product, and customer mean something to most of us. Just to be sure we are on a level playing field, I will put these in the context of a clothing manufacturer. Raw materials include the fabric used to make pants. Pieces of fabric are cut to shape and sewn together by an assembly line worker known as a seamstress to make the product, a pair of pants. A quality control inspector checks to make sure the product meets certain standards, for example the quantity of legs. Assuring there are two legs, the inspector puts a little slip of paper in the pocket that reads, “Inspected by No, 7.” Now, if there are fewer than two legs or there are no pockets, I am not sure what the inspector does. But, somehow, the pants make it to the store where I, the customer, shop. Unfortunately, I don’t realize the problem until I get them home and have no place to put my left leg. (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)

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Do You Have an Open Door Policy?

If your answer is yes, think again.

No matter how approachable you think you are, there will be some students who don’t see it that way. You won’t know if they have complaints. You may be totally blindsided when they go to the dean to complain. More often than not, when this occurs, I learn that the student has not discussed the issue directly with his instructor. Why is this? There are several reasons:

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