Helping Unprepared Students Succeed in the college classroom

Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies that Work

More and more students are arriving on campus without the tools they need to succeed. Some lack skills, others lack motivation, and many just don’t seem to “get” that college takes hard work and commitment.


You see it in reading assignments that go unread … homework that’s poorly done, or not done at all … course assignments that are sloppy and incomplete. And, sadly, what you see next is students dropping out.

In the online seminar, Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies that Work, you’ll learn a host of valuable practices and techniques to help get unprepared students better aligned with the demands and expectations of college.

Led by Ken Alford, PhD and Tyler Griffin, PhD, both from Brigham Young University, this seminar introduces proven strategies that will help you:

  • Promote student engagement
  • Get students to buy in to your course and its requirements
  • Guide students to sound decision making by giving them choices with well-defined consequences
  • Communicate your expectations with clarity
  • Make content more relevant for students
  • Instill a sense of accountability and personal responsibility

The ideas shared are strategies that you can apply right now in your classroom. You’ll be able to confidently help students who otherwise face an uphill battle to stay in school and realize their dream of a college education.

Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies that Work will provide you with a wide range of practical tools and strategies to help students succeed at the college level. In addition, you’ll learn how to tailor your mentoring to the unique needs of each student and how to present students with immediate, “just in time” opportunities to embrace good habits.

The insights you’ll gain from the seminar will help you respond confidently and effectively to performance issues common among unprepared or underprepared students, including:

  • Reading assignments that are partially (or entirely) unread
  • Incomplete homework
  • Course assignments that are sloppily completed or completely ignored

Drs. Alford and Griffin provide strategies that will:

  • Help you help the students who need it most. Many struggling students don’t lack the intellectual capacity to succeed in college—they simply didn’t develop a sufficiently disciplined approach to their studies earlier in their academic careers. With the techniques you’ll learn in the seminar, you can help them get on track to meet the demands of college work.
  • Enhance your pedagogy. When you enrich your teaching skills with new pedagogical insights, you’re better able to create a truly transformative experience for your students.
  • Contribute to your institution’s retention efforts. Your school has a lot riding on improved retention—reputation, rankings, and financial stability included. You’re on the front lines when it comes to keeping students on track academically, and this seminar will help you win that battle.

This seminar is now available on CD. The recording includes the complete transcript and all supplemental materials.

An optional Campus Access License is available for an additional $200. It allows the purchasing institution to upload the CD of the seminar onto the institution’s password-protected internal website for unlimited access by the entire campus community.

Intended Audience

Faculty members and administrators at any institution of higher education will find this seminar valuable. It’s equally well-suited for those in community colleges, two- and four-year colleges, and universities.

Applicable to all disciplines, Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies that Work is highly recommend the seminar for anyone working at an institution experiencing the following:

  • A growing influx of unprepared students
  • A declining retention rate
  • Poor academic performance, especially among first-year students
  • A significant number of nontraditional students unfamiliar with current college requirements
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