Credentials are nice, as far as they go. I have plenty, and they have served their purposes. But I would never expect to rest on them, and neither would I expect you to rest on them.
Passing a class is NOT the same as knowing the material. Earning your endorsement is NOT the same as earning their trust. Receiving your certification is shorthand for getting institutional approval, but some institutions make a hefty sum selling credentials.
Better - every time - is to master the subject, and welcome the credential if and when it comes.
Just as a portfolio is better than a resume, so is a mastery of the material better than a credential. One looks better on your wall, but the other looks far better at your interview, when you're negotiating your salary.
Would you trust a medical doctor who stopped learning 12 years ago after she graduated from med school and received her credential? I doubt it. Would you trust a financial advisor who coasts on the credentials he earned in school three decades ago? No - and neither should you.
Never rest on your past successes, your recent awards, or your new acceptance into a program. Instead, be grateful for them, and let them serve you when nothing else will do. But most of all, through study and application, master the material - yesterday, today, and tomorrow. - c
I've been there. I've sat with the young man in my office who needs advising.
He's struggling in his classes because he's struggling to get himself out of bed and into am 8:00am class that he doesn't understand. And he's not motivated to attend the class because he stayed up until 2:00am that morning gaming with his new roommate, the one who stopped going to *his* 8:00am class three weeks ago.
As an advisor, as an academic consultant, the initial answers are quite clear, but as a professor at the university, I have mixed allegiances.
Of course, I am fully committed to the success of the student, who must make some difficult changes in his day-to-day habits immediately. But what if those necessary changes begin to work against the interests of the school he's attending? What if the dropping of a class or a changing of a major will jeopardize a college program already under administrative scrutiny? Advising from inside the school gives me many advantages, but it also provides some questions as to who benefits most from my counsel: The student or the school?
At Mind the Gap, we aim to offer seasoned academic consulting services, familiar with the internal dynamics of a college or university setting, but free from vested interests. We can focus solely on the well-being of the student, without strings attached. We don't get kickbacks from any schools to cloud our vision.
When we consult with you, we are already fully invested in Team You. No other mascot can compete.
Blessings! - c
You know he's smart.
You know he's capable.
But you also know he isn't going to land a respectable job at this rate. He's stuck.
'Stuck' is a place we live. Far too often and far too frequently, we find ourselves in a rut - again. There might as well be a sign on the side of the road:
WELCOME TO STUCK - POPULATION 1 BILLION
We aren't happy here. We try to get out, but our wheels just spin. We aren't proud of it, but we're stuck.
Failing to find traction is usually related to fear, in some way. There are many ways out of the bog, but none of them work when we are paralyzed by fear, especially if the fear is nebulous and unnamed.
Sometimes we can find it: "I'm afraid of the shame of failure." And we can address it for what it is.
Other times we can just make a good guess: "I'm probably afraid of ending up like [so-and-so]." And we can begin moving again, even just to test our assumption. The key is to own the problem. This is yours.
Mind the gap, friend.
You might be wondering what you should expect from academic advising in a college preparatory program. Fair question! Weekly, 20-minute meetings are the energy shot that should offer the insight and accountability to keep you moving. While each student is different, and should see specifically personalized methods, here are some non-negotiables:
• Scripture - Our academic coaching staff takes a high view of Scripture, recognizing and practicing daily immersion in the Word. Why? "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 1). We can't offer you what we don't have, and without regular recognition of Jehovah God as the fount of all wisdom, and coming to that Source, we cannot offer any wisdom to you.
• More Scripture - Our checklist of questions to you for nearly every advising session will include the questions, "Have you spent daily time with the LORD? What has that time produced?" In the opening chapter of his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul reminds us that our relationship with God has immediate consequence in our thinking: "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened" (Romans 1). Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4).
• Goal Setting - You will be required to create and communicate specific, time-bound, measurable goals. (In fact, these goals are a big piece of determining how much we charge you for Mind the Gap advising!) This is how we know whether we are truly helping you to gain the traction you seek in building your unique skillset for academic or pre-professional success.
• Curriculum - We have designed several series of short assignments that will help us to find your optimal learning styles, basic skills in self management, project management, and people management, and help you to learn how to be your own best coach.
• Short Meetings - What we need to accomplish in an advising session is usually very simple and direct. We don't belabor the process with lectures or long-winded advice. Rather, we identify any challenges and/or roadblocks you seem to be facing, and we equip you to overcome these. You do the rest.
• Prayer - Don't be surprised if your coach asks to pray with you. Again, this is simply our response to the God Who has commanded us to boldly approach the throne and lay our requests before Him. This is important work, and we want the LORD's blessing on every aspect of our work together. It won't be a 45-minute prayer meeting with an altar call...
• Housekeeping - Is your schedule clear for our next meeting? Are your goals for next week clarified? Do you have what you need for the next step? Do you have any questions? Quick and direct.
Let's get started!