At Kirkwood we know that transitioning into college often takes extra effort. That’s why our experienced faculty members have prepared some college tips to help you succeed. And, if you need extra help, Kirkwood provides resources like free tutoring and feedback on college writing assignments. Just ask us – we’re here to help.


  • Study. It seems simple enough, but it often needs repeating. Persistence is the key to success.
  • Connect with a study partner or two from each class. Research shows that students who routinely study with others increase their academic performance. When focused on the work, study partners keep each other motivated to perform.
  • Make use of study resources on campus. Use labs, tutors, videos, computer programs and alternative readings.

 Organize the way you learn:

  • Plan and schedule your time wisely. Make it a daily habit. Use a calendar system, to do lists, or other tools such as a Kirkwood student planner.
  • You own your books, so write in them. Take notes, use a highlighter, underline. It is a college myth that you can sell your books for more money if they are in new condition. Students who write in books are active learners.

Prepare and stay ahead:

  • Read the syllabus for every class. The syllabus lists classroom policies and responsibilities. Take note of penalties assessed for late assignments, missed tests, etc.
  • Read the assigned materials before coming to class. If you are prepared for the class, the learning simply makes sense. Not prepared for class one day? Come anyway. Don’t compound one mistake by making another. Be upfront about why you are unprepared and catch up before the next class.

Take responsibility for your education:

  • Take responsibility for your education. Do what it takes to complete projects, attend class, get help and succeed.
  • Get to know your instructors. Talk with them. Help instructors connect your face with a name. They are here to help you learn.
  • Ask for help as soon as you experience difficulty. Don’t wait until an exam to grasp a concept covered during the first week of class.
  • Apply your knowledge. Use every opportunity to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world.
  • Seek out academic advising every semester before registering for classes. Don’t just sign up for random classes.