York University Professor Thomas Klassen will continue his popular “Common Read” series of workshops for first-year McLaughlin College students on Feb. 4 beginning at noon in the 140 McLaughlin College Senior Common Room. This will be the fourth such workshop being offered to the college’s first-year students this academic year and will focus primarily on “Practical Problem-Solving and Critical Skills.”
Studies show that first-year students are challenged, to varying degrees, in their transition to the rigors of university. The adjustment from high school or the labour force to higher education can be strenuous and grueling. It’s a new and unfamiliar learning environment for all first-year students, and perhaps more so for international students, who must develop a number of new skills and abilities to meet the demands and expectations of their professors. Recent studies have shown that regardless of how well students may have performed in high school, they may struggle in their university studies because of a lack of essential academic skill sets.
With this in mind, prior to beginning their classes, all first-year McLaughlin students were asked to read Klassen’s highly acclaimed book with co-author and York University Professor John A. Dwyer, How to Succeed at University (And Get A Great Job!): Mastering the Critical Skills you Need for School, Work, and Life, that is available as a free download.
According to Klassen, first-year students are ready and eager to learn in order to successfully complete their degree programs and graduate, but they often need the guidance, encouragement, reinforcement and moral support to channel their energies and efforts appropriately. “I am thrilled to see how our first-year students make significant strides in their academic skill sets when they apply themselves with some personal guidance and support on the part of all of the faculty and staff at York University,” Klassen said. “This is why I am so delighted to be offering this “Common Read” series. It is a highly rewarding and engaging experience, and the students’ enthusiasm and eagerness to learn is infectious and carries over into my own research and teaching.”
“First-year students are on a very steep learning curve when they arrive at our College at York University,” McLaughlin College Head James C. Simeon points out. “They must learn their way around the campus, make new friends, forge constructive learning partnerships and communities with their class members, and acquire new research, analytical, writing and presentation skills in order to do well in their courses. One of our primary roles in the colleges and within the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies is to help ensure that first-year students make a smooth transition to their university studies by assisting them in acquiring the critical skill sets that will allow them to succeed.”
The “Common Read” series is intended to enhance students’ all-important first-year experience at the college and York University. All members of the University community are welcome to attend the workshops. A calendar of upcoming college events can be found on the McLaughlin College website.