Month: April 2020

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan

You’ll notice my examples of the challenges as a first-generation college student in this series of blog posts, did not include intellectual type barriers. When I work with new clients I share this piece of advice about getting through classes, college is 10% intelligence and 90% persistence. You were accepted into your program of study, so you meet the academic criteria. Prior to moving over to STRIPES-VUB, I spent 8 years as faculty. In that entire time, I never had a student fail my class due to lack of intellectual ability. It always came down to preparation and the ability to adapt when life happened. Brushing up on your grammar and math skills is just one part of returning to the classroom. We focus so much on test scores and entrance standards, that we often overlook creating plan to build the critical resiliency skills, changes, and student supports needed to persist. New students often underestimate the amount of time needed to complete assignments, the self discipline to study outside of the classroom, fail to locate student academic support programs at the start of the semester, or make the life adjustments needed to meet their new student responsibilities. These are the things that sink students without a plan the most.

As a new or returning student, what are you going to do when life happens? When the road gets jumbled and it is hard to see the finish line, do you have the support to keep going? What are you doing to build your student support tribe? Hopefully, one of your supports is using the STRIPES-VUB or other Trio program and staff to guide you through this transition. We will gladly stand with you on the arena floor when the battles of life show up. We are ready to help you start a new learning adventure, are you ready to take that first step?

Call, email, message us today. Our email is STRIPES-VUB@uco.edu, office number is 405-974-3686.  You can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/STRIPESVUB/ or follow our program blog at https://blogs.uco.edu/ucostripes/.

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1 The Start

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

You would think that would be enough examples of achieving a higher education and leading through example, right? Well, fast forward 13 years. Now a family of 5, my mother realized she needed a new career. Her one college regret, was not following her initial dream to become a teacher because of the College Algebra credit requirement. It was time for a change. We moved to a single income family and my mother would return to the college classroom ready to tackle Algebra. At the time I was in middle school and can remember the financial adjustments our family made to make ends meet. We threw newspapers, delivered phone books, & shopped at thrift stores. I watched as the “family tribe” stepped in to help make the dream of a new beginning happen for my mother. My father took on the extra work of raising all 3 of us while my mom studied. As the oldest, I can remember endless hours in lines at the Lilliard building watching siblings while my mom enrolled in classes, bought books, and applied for financial aid. Her final school semester included a full student teaching internship, a full right arm cast, and the upcoming June arrival of my youngest sister. To say my mother refuses to allow obstacles to stop her from achieving something, would be an understatement. That May, she completed her 2nd degree from UCO; a Bachelor in Elementary Education. She went into the elementary classroom in what turned into a 27-year career as a public school teacher. My mother’s return to the college classroom and the positive support she received as an adult student instilled even more examples for generational change.

You are never too old or too late to join the party. The opportunity to return to a dream and start again is always there when you are ready.

The people around you can either motivate you to persist or distract you from your goals. It is up to you to refuse admission to detractors and carefully select your battle buddies who are going to stand with you.

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Just like with college students today, life happened and the road to degree completion was a challenge for my parents. At the end of their fall semester back in December 77 I was born three weeks early right at the start of fall finals week. What can I say I have perfect timing! Nothing like going into labor while the father is across campus taking a final! Somehow, my parents managed to successfully finish their finals that semester, continued on to the next semester, and eventually complete their degrees. Money was tight, maintaining employment with a paycheck was a requirement, and their school assignments still had to be done. I cannot imagine having to physically go to the UCO library to type all of my papers on a typewriter! Or the frustration of having to retype an entire paper because of one small error. Or perhaps when your new infant puked milk on the assignment, I’m thinking it was a good thing I was cute! During their college years, there was a rogue black cow that jumped in front of their car late one night on their way home from the library damaging the main family car, a fully paid ’69 Camaro. Obstacles at times seemed to be in abundance for my parents. In the end, their persistence and adaptability prevailed. My father graduated with a Bachelor in Political Science and my mother with a Bachelor in General Studies. Instilling additional examples of how to persist in the face of challenges.

Troubles in life will come, how you overcome them matters more  than the initial delay toward your goals. Always adapt, adjust, and advance again. Achieving the end goal will be worth the bumps in the road in front of you. Just watch out for the cows!

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1 The Start

Generational change begins with someone deciding to take the first step on a new possibility. Beingthe first to take those steps into the unknown can have a lasting impact on the generations behind you. For the many first-generation college students, they are creating new pathways and new ways of overcoming challenges to achieve personal growth and create opportunities for future generations.

I am a 2nd generation college student, both my father and mother were first generation college students on the University of Central Oklahoma campus back in 1975 and 1976. Both began their freshman year of college at a statistical disadvantage. My father was raised by a single mother with limited financial resources. He knew the road out of poverty for him would include completing a college education. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the US Navy Reserves, enrolled at UCO, and moved into Thatcher Hall, the men’s student dorm. At the same time, my mother’s high school guidance counselor was discouraging her from pursuing a college education.  My mother had a seizure disorder that made memorization work challenging and school had always taken a little more effort on her part. Thankfully, my mother ignored the opinion of the guidance counselor, applied for vocational rehabilitation benefits, enrolled at UCO, and commuted from Midwest City to the UCO campus. This first step created a lasting generational change for all four of their future children. Setting the example that, it is okay to create a new path in your life even if it is different from the one you grew up knowing. That the most important belief is the one inside of you, not that of the outside world.

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan