Student Quotes

SENSE Benchmarks: High Expectations and Aspirationsstudent

Here's what students have to say about High Expectations and Aspirations...

"They told us the first day, 'If you miss x number of classes this happens, if you miss another, this happens.' When I got the letter about my absences from my advisor, I thought, 'Oh, they were serious about that.' I've been on time ever since, passing my quizzes, reading."

"My professor, I like her, she goes step-by-step-by-step, she breaks it down. And then she e-mails you, "Did you understand everything okay? I see you were kind of hesitating. Do you have any questions?" They care. She cares. You can tell."

"I think getting your test scores back and being told, "You're gonna be in a remedial class," or, "You're gonna pay for a class you're not getting credit for," just hearing that, it's not a good feeling. 'Cause...your self-esteem, everything that you work for in high school is pretty much, 'Man, I shoulda taken that college prep class in high school. I would've did better."

"My instructors want to see me in class; they want to see me do well so that's why I want to see myself do well."

"All of my instructors talked about how many days you can miss at the beginning of the semester. But, they don't really care how many classes you actually miss."

"Stay on task. It's easy to fall off and it's easy to say you don't want to go to class that day and it's easy to do what you're not supposed to do. Just know that if you miss one day, it's just going to make it a lot harder. You're pretty much going to have to work twice as hard, three times as hard just to get back on track."

"As soon as we walked into the door, my instructor would ask what we did for the weekend. She showed that she was here and that she cared. And when a student was failing she was working with that student and trying to help bring up the grades because she didn't want to see anyone fail or have to drop out of school."

"In my anatomy class, my teacher told all of us in our first class, 'You all are medical students.' He said that we needed to think that in our head. I think about that and it really motivates me to keep studying all the time, to keep my grade up so I can get into nursing school."

"If a class is easy, that makes it easy to miss."

"Of course we can get encouragement from family and friends, but that instructor giving you that pat on the back...it makes coming to class more rewarding."

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What are High Expectations and Aspirations?

Nearly all students arrive at their community colleges intending to succeed and believing that they have the motivation to do so. When entering students perceive clear, high expectations from college staff and faculty, they are more likely to understand what it takes to be successful and adopt behaviors that lead to achievement. Students then often rise to meet expectations, making it more likely that they will attain their goals. Often, students' aspirations also climb, and they seek more advanced credentials than they originally envisioned.

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Center for Community College Student Engagement
—a Research and Service Initiative—
Program in Higher Education Leadership | Department of Educational Leadership and Policy  | College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
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