Success Depends on Student Buy-In. Here’s How We Get It.
All of our programs are based upon student goals and student buy-in, without them, we and our students are nowhere. Because we know that the foundations of success are desire and determination, we start with student-centered purpose-driven inquiry. We engage with the student early to create an informal, trust-based relationship. This is where student buy-in begins: we acknowledge the student’s desire and create the framework for determination and success.
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal … that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
~Mario Andretti, sportscar driver
College-aged students, especially those with learning differences, are eager to start their engines, but their preparedness does not always match their enthusiasm. Focus Collegiate empowers students to recognize and manage this gap. By treating students as adults—they are, after all—we engage them through shared and genuine enthusiasm for their goals. We coach them in incremental steps toward their achievement.
The support we provide is not an intervention, but more of a recognition. We acknowledge and capitalize on a student’s strengths; we also identify and develop lagging areas. We all have both. The key to college success is finding the balance between them.
For Focus Collegiate students, that balance consists of enough support to encourage and empower, but not so much as to overwhelm and overtake. We gain and regain this balance through regular dialogue, empathic listening, and collaboration. This iterative approach to development, where the focus is on what works in the moment and how it progresses long-term success, furthers student buy-in. The student has a say in what works and what doesn’t.
By visiting and revisiting what is working, we celebrate successes as we hone each program to meet a student’s dynamically changing needs. Together we arrive at a Student Support Agreement that is essentially created by the student. With the appropriate amount of support, students are more likely to stick to plans of their own creation.
The appropriate and timely amount of support is determined in the same way as the Student Support Agreement. Dialogue, good listening, and collaboration keeps student buy-in strong. We respect a student’s wishes while simultaneously helping them recognize how they can be accountable to their own goals.
Our Collegiate Life Coordinators are experts in non-reactive, non-diagnostic, and non-stigmatizing approaches. At Focus Collegiate, we also enjoy the distinct advantage of not being the student’s parents. We have no history, and no agenda other than the one the student creates.