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College Readiness & Executive Functioning: Is Your Student Ready for College?

Time moves fast as a parent. One day you’re looking to enroll your child in a pre-K program – then, before you know it, your child is all set to graduate from high school and embark into adulthood. While senior year is an exciting time for your student, transitioning to college also brings the subject of college preparedness to mind for us as parents, raising one critically important question: Is my child ready for college? 


Of course, college may not be the preferred option (or even the most accessible option) for every student – but a wealth of research routinely shows possessing a bachelor’s degree leads to greater income potential compared to a high school diploma. For example, data from 2021 illustrated that individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree earned approximately $22,000 more on average per year when compared to their peers who possessed a high school diploma. 


The same study notes that college graduates were able to navigate the Great Recession better than their peers who did not possess a bachelor’s degree. During economically uncertain times, a college education may afford your student some much-needed stability. 


Despite the clear advantages associated with pursuing a college education, students will inevitably experience a wide array of academic challenges which compromise their ability to earn a degree. Common academic challenges include poor study habits, difficulties comprehending course materials, test anxiety which contributes to negative exam scores, and much more. The ability to meet and exceed these challenges greatly hinges on your student’s overall college readiness

What is College Readiness?


College readiness (also referred to as college preparedness) is defined as the level of competence an independent student requires to enroll and succeed academically in a postsecondary institution offering a bachelor’s degree program. 


Want to help your student get ready for college? Start focusing on what NOT to do for them. As parents and full-time caretakers, we constantly grapple with allowing our children to do things for themselves. It’s easy to lose sight that hardship – and even failure – is oftentimes a precursor to empowerment and autonomy. When it comes to preparing your student for college success, it’s your job to create the space required for your student to decide to do things for themselves. Academic coaching services from Effective Students are specifically designed to show you how. 

College Readiness Skills = Executive Functioning

Executive functioning skills are the number one indicator of long-term success. Self-awareness, a lead executive functioning skill, coupled with self-management, is what can make freshman year a success or failure. Think about how your student may have to create structure in college in an environment of significantly less structure than they experienced in high school.  The late years of high school and early years of college are when students have the real opportunity to develop these skills through practice, success, struggles, and adjustments.    


The sooner students become independent with executive functioning skills, the more prepared they’ll be for studies in higher education. Living life on their own or living away from home for the first time will expose the presence of executive functioning skills or lack thereof. So, if we’re intentional about building these skills in our kids, they will develop the ability to self-direct, no matter which path they choose.  So what kind of skills are we talking about?  Here are some things to consider: 

  • Is your student getting him/herself up and ready for the day on their own?
  • If they’re already in college, are they going to class?
  • Can the student tidy their rooms and find their materials if needed? (notice we didn’t say want to tidy!)
  • Can the student show up to class, work, appointments on time?
  • Does the student have some knowledge of how to use a digital calendar?
  • Does the student know how to communicate with adults about their needs?
  • Is the student willing to separate from social events to step away and attend to personal responsibilities?
  • Does the student know how to evaluate resources in their academic environment and implement their accommodations?
  • Can your student prioritize or do they become overwhelmed?

Effective Students will help your child become aware of what they can do themselves and where they may need to practice becoming more independent, while also assuring parents that their concerns are being addressed.  Our academic coaches are ready to help college students achieve academic success.

How to Get Ready for College with Effective Students


Has your student recently transitioned back to college or arrived for their freshman year?   Effective Students has coaches that exclusively work with college students; coaches who have the inside track on what it takes for students to be successful as they make this transition. Parents and students have invested considerable time and resources to ensure this next step out of high school is a success.    Empower your student with the support and skills that help them achieve their goals in education, paving the way to long term college success. Have questions about whether this is right for your student?  Contact us for more information or to learn more about our academic coaching solutions for college

© 2023 Effective Students by W3 Connections Inc.