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The Academic Blueprint for Student Success

The Academic Blueprint for Student Success

Blueprint for Student Success

The “Momentum for Life”(r) Blueprint for Student Success is a research-based, multi-tiered framework designed to support all students in meeting the highest level of excellent academic standards. The Blueprint identifies essential elements for student success.

Pre-College Checklist

A college education is a major investment that will pay off in the form of a better career and earning potential. But the road to college can be a tough one. This is why we’ve created a pre-college checklist to help you get started on the right foot. This checklist covers everything from the academic customization process to college planning tips.

Time Management

Assuming you’ll have 2-4 hours of homework each day, practice these habits to condition yourself for college. Don’t worry, you will still have time for extracurriculars, friends, prom, homecoming, and other personal interests.

Think of time management skills like preparing for a marathon.  You will not likely finish if you did not put in enough preparation before the race.  Here are some simple suggestions to get you started with student success.

  • Sunday:
    • Review the week’s work and upcoming tests. Make a list of what needs to be done.
    •  Study for any upcoming tests.
    •  Complete any assignments that are due Monday.
  • Monday:
    • Study for any upcoming tests.
    • Complete any assignments that are due Tuesday.
  • Tuesday:
    • Study for any upcoming tests.
    • Complete any assignments that are due Wednesday.
  • Wednesday:
    • Take a break! Relax and enjoy your free time. You’ve earned it!
  • Thursday:
    • Study for any upcoming tests.
    •  Complete any assignments that are due Friday.

Goal Setting

You’ve probably heard it before, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” That statement is especially true when it comes to college. Every successful student needs to have a goal, or several goals, in mind before they can even begin to plan a course of action.

Start by reflecting on some questions:

  1. What do I want to achieve in college?
  2. What kind of person do I want to become?
  3. What kind of career do I want to have?
  4. How much money do I want to make?
  5. What kind of lifestyle do I want to live?

Once you have a general idea of what you want to achieve, you can start setting some specific goals. These can be short-term goals that you want to achieve within the first year or two of college or long-term student success goals that may take four or more years to accomplish. Either way, it is important to write your goals down and keep them somewhere where you will see them often. This will help keep you motivated and on track.

  • Some examples of short-term goals might be:
    • Get a 4.0 GPA my first semester
    • Join a club or student organization
    • Meet new people from all over the world
    • Play on a sports team
    • Earn a leadership position in my student organization
    • Study abroad for a semester

Developing Good Study Habits

You’ve probably heard it said that college is a lot different from high school. In college, you will have more freedom and be expected to take more responsibility for your own learning. One of the most important things you can do to prepare for college is to develop good study habits.

Here are some tips:

  • Find a place to study where you can concentrate and won’t be distracted. Some people like to study in silence, others prefer to have music playing in the background.
  • Break up your studying into manageable chunks. Cramming for an exam the night before is not an effective way to learn the material and is more likely to lead to anxiety and poor performance on the exam.
  • Get enough sleep! A well-rested brain will be able to retain information better than a tired one.
  • Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and has been shown to improve cognitive function.
  • Talk to your professors! They are there to help you succeed and can offer guidance on what material will be covered on exams, what resources are available, etc.

Taking the time to develop good study habits now will pay off in the long run. You’ll be able to approach your studies with confidence, knowing that you have the tools you need to succeed.

Creating an Academic Support Network

One of the most important student success strategies you can do before you head off to college is to create a supportive network for yourself. This support system will be a crucial part of your success in college, and it can come from many different people and sources.

Keep Your Family in the Loop with College Planning

Your first step should be to reach out to your family, especially those who are advocates for education.  Let them know that you’re going to be attending college. This will help them understand what you’re going through, and they can offer you support and advice when you need it.

You should also try to stay in close contact with them while you’re in college so that you can keep them updated on your progress and let them know if you need any help.

Reach Out to Academic Professionals

In addition to your academic coach, family, and friends, there are many other people who can offer you support as you head off to college. Your high school guidance counselor or academic coach can be a great resource, and they can help you with everything from choosing the right classes to filling out financial aid forms. Similarly, your teachers can also be a great source of support and advice, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you need help or have questions about your classes.

Make College Preparation a Group Activity

Finally, don’t forget about the other students on your campus. College planning can seem like a lonely and tedious activity, but there are plenty of people who are going through the same thing as you. Reach out to them and get involved with college-bound groups, and you’ll find that developing your lifetime student success plan is easier than you think.

The Roadmap to College

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning for college. There are so many things to think about and it can be overwhelming. This pre-college checklist will help you plan and prepare for college so that you can set yourself up for success. We’ll cover everything from academic customization to choosing the right college.

Academic Customization

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting into college. The best way to improve your chances of being accepted is to customize your application to each school. Start by doing your research and then tailor your application, essays, and extracurricular activities to match what the school is looking for.

Some schools place a lot of importance on extracurricular activities, while others are more interested in academic achievement. Some schools are looking for well-rounded students, while others are looking for students with specific interests or talents. By doing your research and customizing your application, you can increase your chances of getting into the school of your choice.

College Planning

It is never too early to start planning for college. In fact, the earlier you start, the better off you will be. College planning is a process that should begin after identifying a specific talent or set of skills.  This can be in middle school, but many parents of young students are discovering talents in elementary or intermediate school.

If a talent has not been identified by ninth grade, it is likely that the scholar has not had enough exposure to a range of activities, or they have not had the right type of encouragement through mentors or resources.

There are a number of student success steps that you can take to plan for college.

Step 1: Choose a Degree Program to Study

The first step is to choose a degree program that interests you. The college application process can be daunting, but if you take the time to plan and prepare, it will go more smoothly.  Gifted and accelerated students will definitely need to focus on one key item,  even if they have several areas of interest.

Step 2: Research Colleges and Universities

Once you have chosen a degree program, you need to research colleges and universities that offer that program. Start by researching the colleges and universities that you are interested in. Look at their admissions requirements and deadlines.

Step 3: Begin the Application Process

Once you have narrowed down your choices, you need to begin the application process.  Then, begin working on your applications. Make sure to give yourself enough time to write strong essays and complete all of the required tasks before the deadlines.

Step 4: Study Coursework Ahead of Time

After you have applied to colleges, it is time to begin preparing for college life itself. Start by learning about your chosen degree program and what you can expect from your coursework.

Step 5: Plan for “Quality of Life” Budgeting

Research housing options and decide whether you want to live on campus or off campus. You will also need to make a budget so that you know how much money you will need to cover tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses.  For example, who will wash your clothes, buy new shoes, and order pizza?

Planning for college can seem overwhelming at times, but if you take student success steps one step at a time, it will be much easier than it seems. Start early and stay organized, and you will be on your way to a successful collegiate experience!

The College Application Process

The college application process can be daunting, but if you take it one step at a time, you can conquer it. Begin by researching the schools that interest you and put together a list of deadlines. Once you have a list of deadlines, you can work backward to make sure you complete everything on time.

  1. The first step in the process is the college essay. This is your opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are beyond your transcripts and standardized test scores. Start brainstorming ideas for your essay early and give yourself plenty of time to write and revise your essay.
  2. In addition to the essay, you will also need to submit letters of recommendation and your high school transcript. Ask your teachers and counselors for help in choosing who should write your letters of recommendation. They will be able to speak to your strengths as a student. When requesting your transcript, be sure to request it from your guidance counselor or registrar well in advance so they have time to process your request.
  3. After you have completed all of the necessary paperwork, it is time to submit your applications! Be sure to double-check that everything is complete before submitting each application. Once everything is submitted, all you can do is wait for a response from the colleges on your list.

If you are planning on applying to colleges, start the process early so you do not feel overwhelmed later on. Research schools, put together a timeline of deadlines, get letters of recommendation, write a great college essay, and submit everything on time.

In conclusion, remember these five key points for success in college:

1. Get involved on campus and in the community.
2. Manage your time wisely by setting priorities and using a daily planner.
3. Get to know your professors and ask for help when needed.
4. Take care of yourself physically and mentally by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking counseling when necessary.
5. Stay positive and don’t be afraid to ask for support from family and friends.


Need a Dedicated Academic Coach to Keep you on Track?  Contact us and Learn about our Momentum for Life Student Success Program!