First Semester Experience

The First Semester Experience program changed my life. Thanks to this program I have made friendships that will last a life time, gained knowledge that can never be forgotten, and I finally found my place in the world. First Semester Experience gave my life a meaningful purpose. To give back to this program as an embedded tutor for FSE, has been the best gift I could have ever recieved. Thank you!
-Shanna Beach

I knew in the beginning I wanted to give this my best shot, never in my wildest dreams did I actually believe I would be fully completing this semester and with some pretty decent grades I might add. I remember meeting everyone on the first day, thinking to myself, “What in the world am I doing here”. Looking around at everyone at the big table we were all sitting at, I was feeling as if we were all so different, and how in the world was I going to make friends with some of them. As time went on, each day was starting to become a little easier, especially when I realized we were all here for basically the same reason, to better ourselves. I also discovered I was never alone with my fears, I now believe that every person in our group had some fears; each of ours was just in different areas. My biggest fear was not succeeding, and I now have proven that to never be true of myself again.
-Nicole Skidmore

Getting the opportunity to be a part of the F.S.E. was the best thing that could have happened to me. The decision to return back to school after such a long absence was completely intimidating. The level and pace of the semester is perfect for someone who is trying to make the transition to become a sucessful college student. The resources and information provided by the wonderful instructors and guest speakers has guided me through the semesters following my F.S.E.experience.
-Julie Peavey F.S.E.

The first semester experience program was the best way to create a foundation for my journey in the world of higher education. Going through this program has increased my level of confidence as a student. The college survival class was a very important part of the program. It helped me understand the expectations of college, and also informed me of all the resources available at Columbia College. I started the program with a goal to just get through the semester, and ended the program with a two year plan to graduate with a degree in business. I am now in my second semester, and I am enjoying every moment of it. I recommend this program to all students especially those who have had an extensive sabbatical from school.
-Jacque Copeland

On Ramp

I am scared to death to attend college at 54. I have not been a student since the early seventies. Growing up I was bounced around from foster home to foster home. At some schools I would be ahead academically and at some schools I would be behind in academics. By age 16 I was so fed up with the foster home system and school that I decide I wanted to become an emancipated minor. I have just completed a short version of a study skills class. It was amazing! I felt completely empowered after taking this short class. I learned so many tools and strategies to help my learning process. I have learned a whole new way to approach learning, studying and being successful in school. I have a huge challenge now to apply all I have learned and start school this fall. I know now i will not be setting myself up to fail but I will succeed. I will also not be afraid to ask for help in any way I can get it because I know the feeling I get when I am learning something new. I feel so great like I am on top of my world and climbing as high as I can get. I have also challenged a couple of my adult children to go to college, especially if your old mom can do it. My grandchildren are seeing grandma go to school. I am trying to impress on them how important it is at any age to keep learning whatever you can. Last but not least it is on my bucket list.

I was told by a friend about the "On-Ramp Program" here at Columbia. I immediately thought this would be the best way for me to enter the college world. I am now at the end of the three week program and again my confidence is higher than it was when I past my G.E.D. The Skills 690 course is by far the most rewarding class for a first time student or someone who is struggling in their college courses. This class has most definitely helped me overcome some of my biggest fears entering college. Being at the end of this , I feel very confident about starting the Fall Semester. This course has also taught me to be honest with myself and pull out all my weaknesses. From that I am now able to analyze them. By doing this, I have been able to truly sit and look into how I can turn them around into positive actions. I have also learned that when you’re trying to figure out what you techniques are for successful study skills you need to dive deep within yourself and find the you you forgot you had.

So now I am back, different attitude, yes still a little scared but not so much so. The strategies I really feel I applied were The Creator and Inner Guide. Tired of being the victim and having the negative talk in my head. Changing my beliefs and my behavior about issues that would come up was much easier than when I was in college in the 80’s, 90’s. I am the one responsible for my own actions, not the “smart people” or the teachers or my mother. I will create how I want things to go. I will look into all the resources available here on the campus when I am struggling; I will face up to difficult issues and not RUN away. The smart words were starting to sink in. I caught myself actually speaking of few of these smart words. I was feeling more relaxed. I’m on my way to learning.

GPS Tools

GPS makes me more aware of new ways to do things that I already knew (or worse, thought I knew) how to do. It provided some new and useful perspectives.

GPS tools are directly applicable to classes and studying, so all of them are useful as simple but effective pieces of advice and encouragement.

Time and Stress management have been an issue for me all year, but the tips on GPS have helped me stay on task and remind me to breath.

GPS allowed me to reflect and organize my assignments!