Keys to Student Success

Here are some things every student should do to be successful at New College.

Keys to Student Success

1. Attend class.

2. Get to know your advisor and your professors.

3. Communicate respectfully and face-to-face (not just by email).

Whether it’s to clarify course requirements, assignments, or deadlines; just to get to know one another; or to address a problem, nothing can replace face-to-face communication.

The narrative evaluation system is liberating, but it can also be stressful at first. Be sure to talk with your faculty so you know where you stand in your courses. If you find yourself having difficulty in a class, do not hide!  Get yourself in to see your professor.  Your professor is not disappointed in you or ashamed of you.  Your professor will be proud of you for seeking help.

There is an abundance of help available if people know you need it. If you don’t know where else to ask, contact the Associate Provost (

4. Respond to those who reach out to help

When people reach out offering help, don’t ignore them. They truly want to help.

5. Space out your studying and coursework over time, rather than “cramming”

You have more “free” time during the day than you did in high school. Use it wisely.  You’ll learn more deeply and be less stressed if you do a reasonable amount of work each day rather than waiting until the last minute to complete assignments or preparing for exams. Maybe that worked in high school, but it’s not likely to work well now.

6. Follow your passions

College is a time of remarkable discovery. Maybe you came to NCF knowing exactly what you want to do; maybe you will follow a circuitous route, finding an unexpected passion along the way. What matters most, and what will most ensure your success and happiness, is that you commit yourself to something that excites you.

7. Take initiative/responsibility

Successful students plan ahead, work to solve their own problems, take responsibility for their part in problems, avoid blaming others or expecting others (including parents) to solve their problems for them.

8. Expect good things to happen … but be prepared for challenges and stress and plan ahead for how to handle them.

Have healthy options for dealing with stress: exercise, sleep, eating well, yoga, meditation, relaxed time with friends, spiritual reflection and connections, reaching out to others.

9. Respond to disappointments and failures not by giving up — but with determination


10. Get involved —  but not over-involved.

Find something -– but not too many things –- that you can enjoy outside of your classwork. This will help your overall well-being, which will help your academic success!