Your college student may have been an outstanding scholar in high school, or he may have struggled throughout his academic career. His patterns of being a student have been set for years. However, college provides a new academic start for students. Students who breezed through high school may find themselves challenged for the first time. Students who found themselves labeled as poor students in high school may find that the fresh start gives them new energy and perspective on their studies.
Whether your student is encountering academic difficulty for the first time in college, or has fought this battle before, you may receive the phone call in which your student worries about her grades, complains about the amount and difficulty of the work, is aggravated at the professor, and is generally discouraged. Academics in college are very different than in high school and they often require a new approach.
What is a parent to do? First of all, listen. Let your student vent. Sometimes, that may be all that is necessary. But second, ask some questions to help your student try to figure out what he can do to make things better. Help him think about taking action. Here are twelve questions that you might ask your struggling student to help him think through the issue.