I've tried a similar program with similar results.  Prior to last year, I
named the workshops what they were--"Test-taking Skills Workshop," etc., and
advertized with posters.  Attendance was abysmal.  Last year I gave the
workshops catchy titles and themes ("Shop 'til You Drop" for a basic math
workshop, with all exercises and props designed to save them money when they
shopped); printed and distributed eye-catching posters based on the theme;
scanned all class schedules of the targeted audience, so I could offer the
workshops at a time the most students could come; emailed every student and
faculty member a copy of the posters, which many of the faculty announced,
printed and posted.  I even had snacks--and it said that on the posters,
too.  Attendance ran from 0 to 3.

We were forced to conclude that we just couldn't get the students to come to
workshops.  What did I do?

Our college offers courses on three campuses. This year a faculty member who
teaches freshmen on one campus, and is committed to the students at least
being exposed to various academic enhancement strategies, is actually giving
me the first ten minutes of many of her 75-minute classes to do a "hit and
run" on a specific theme such as memory skills, time management, stress
management, active reading, active listening, etc..  On another campus, I am
teaching a one-hour for-credit elective course that includes all of the
above, and all new freshmen and sophomore transfer students are urged to
take it.  On the third campus, I have six hours available for individual
tutoring per week.  I will only be doing workshops if a faculty member
requests it and requires some or all the students to attend as a course
assignment.  We have had no success in getting them to come if it's
voluntary.  I'll be watching for other responses with interest.


Linda Riggs Mayfield, MA
Associate Faculty for Academic Enhancement

       Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing
Quincy, IL 62305-7005
[log in to unmask]

> ----------
> From:         Bruce A. Myers[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Reply To:     [log in to unmask]
> Sent:         Thursday, August 24, 2000 2:19 PM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Academic Seminars
> We have been attempting a seminar series that we call the Academic Success
> Series.
> The topics have typically been study skills related (test-taking skills,
> problem-solving skills, essay writing, overcoming math anxiety, etc.).
> While we have admittedly been a bit deficient in promoting the sessions to
> our
> students, attendance has been very poor.  We are a mid-size community
> college where
> time is definitely a limiting factor for students (oh yeah, add time
> management to
> the above list). We want these offerings to be of real academic value to
> our
> students.
> I am interested in your responses to a couple of questions:
> 1.    What are your thoughts and opinions concerning such a program?
> 2.    Is there a better alternative?
> 3.    Can we actually accomplish anything substantial in 45-minute
> sessions?
> 4.    What should we be attempting to accomplish?
> 5.    Do you offer a similar service; has it been successful (as you would
> define
> success)?
> 6.    What are some of the topics presented?
> 7.    What types of creative things have you done to promote your program?
> Thank you in advance for your help!  I know that everyone is busy as the
> school year
> gets underway.
> --
> ________________________________________________
> Bruce Myers
> Coordinator of Academic Support Services
> Kankakee Community College
> PO Box 888, River Road
> Kankakee, IL 60901
> (815) 933-0335
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> College Web Address:
> Professional Web Address:
> Personal Web Address:
> Enhancing Quality of Life Through Learning