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Dear Leonard,

I forwarded this response to your listserv question via the listserv  since
we may
be able to assist you and others directly. NOTE: Long response

We believe that practically all learning problems (unless specifically
diagnosed
as learning disabled) are defined as learning management problems, and as
such,
are treatable by teaching learners how to work more effectively.  Our
organization
assists students in middle school through college (including adults,
international,
and online learners) with specific methods that validate better management
skills
for learning.

The key is teaching through "hands-on learning" and in the context of  timed
and
structured experience with college level assignments where students can
learn through
the trial and error of others.  This method of coaching learners to  apply
skills on actual learning problems demonstrates what they actually do  currently
versus how they can immediately do better once they use the  appropriate
technique.  Practice thereafter
is imperative but the concept is covered.

Information at our web site below speaks to a 10 Hour Academic Success
Seminar
entitled Ten Tips for Academic Success by June Crawford  (English/Spanish
editions)
for precollege and college students (including adults)  It is not
developmental in nature
but serves to help all students practice college learning skills  through
timed and
structured exercises that replicate learning in actual college-level
classrooms and
assignments.  Most use it as an across the board seminar for all  incoming
freshmen
but many deans have used it successfully as an intervention for students on
probation
and readmits.

If you can urge your dean to require it for probationary, trial, readmits,
etc., you will
gain sufficient feedback to urge it as a requirement for all incoming
students.  Just
validate retention results against the previous 3 years without the  seminar.
NOTE:
Any instructor can teach or team teach without any special training: i.e.
scripted
lessons. It clones developmental educators overnight and faculty in  all
departments
can easily teach the 10 Hour Seminar to their own students..

Please understand, this level of coaching works but only for those willing
to
learn.  Like all skills including sports, the best rewards go to those  who
desire
to practice.  While you cannot guarantee all will, 10 hours of  interaction
certainly
gives a wide cross-section of skills-orientation that, once covered, can be
reviewed
by tutors, learning centers, and individual faculty to help students master
independent
learning.

The problem is that while it is true that no "one-size curriculum" works  for
all,
using nothing or a mixture of many prevents all staff from knowing what the
student
has actually covered and how to follow up with support.  Plus, once a  student
completes the 10 Hour Seminar as a freshman and later experiences learning
problems, he/she is best able to pinpoint where the problems lie (i.e.  time
manage-
ment, speed reading, note taking, critical thinking, test taking,  etc.).  It
then becomes
easier to intervene specifically with more coaching or teaching.  For  those
who
lacked attention or failed to attend/apply the skills during the first 10
Hour Seminar
and subsequently go on probation, it is also easy to re-teach the same  10
Hours
one-year later as required by the dean. Many students will simply  admit to
needing a second review and practice of what they didn't apply to  their
manage-
ment of course responsibilities.

A key concept is "keep it simple but practice as often as possible."   A full
semester

study skills course is not always necessary for all students.   However, many
who
took the 10 Hour Seminar admit to never being taught the techniques that
have proven
to increase learning efficiency.  Isn't it unfortunate that we  sometimes
waste so
many educational resources on students who never were taught how to learn  to
use them wisely and effectively?  Would 10 Hours make a  difference?  Ask the
students who complete it.  Then tell all other student supporters how  to
support
what was taught to your students.

I hope this helps.  For those interested, a Preview Manual can be  forwarded.



Collegially,
Peter W. Stevens, President
Cambridge Stratford,  Ltd.
8560 Main Street
Williamsville, New York 14221
(800)  466-2232
(716) 626-9076 fax
email  [log in to unmask]
www.cambridgestratford.com

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