Structure Equals Success in School and College Admission!

Studies have shown that students can foster academic success if they have the proper internal and external supports.  As part of my services I teach students how to develop internal structures.

Internal structures are developed and supported through the utilization of:

  • Self-Monitoring Journals (SMJ’s).
  • Behavioral Charts
  • Behavioral Contracts
  • Proximal Goals
  • Long Term Goals

School and College Admissions: What can I do to improve my odds?

External supports are necessary for permanent behavioral change. External supports are something the parent and student can identify and develop together.

Examples of external structures include:

  • Educational Consultants
  • Tutors
  • Therapists
  • A support group for school issues, or a study group
  • Parents who have agreed to assist the child with study card checking, paper checking, etcetera on a REGULAR and SYSTEMATIC basis.
  • Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles that provide encouragement, support, and even tangible rewards for successful completion of established goals.

Primary Grades

During the primary grades, external structure in the academic environment is front and center.  Teachers regulate student learning by setting explicit guidelines for classroom functioning.  In early grades, students are not expected to engage in significant self-regulated learning experiences outside the classroom, such as homework or studying.  In the middle school students must assume greater responsibility and display greater personal initiative.  Students experience substantial increases in the difficulty and amount of assigned homework during the middle school years at a time when parental support declines. This difficulty can lead to significant self-esteem problems for students who have failed to become sufficiently self-regulatory to function on their own.

High School Years

In high school years, students experience further decreases in the structure of their academic environment as well as further increases in the amount and difficulty of homework.  Students in upper grades are expected to complete not only teacher-assigned work but also to engage in self-initiated forms of studying, such as preparation for tests such as the S.A.T.  These tests play a pivotal role in gaining access to further educational opportunities, such as placement in advanced classes and entrance into college.

Students are expected to develop self-regulatory skills, such as goal setting, self-monitoring, and time management, as well as sources of motivation to self-initiate and sustain learning.  Many students respond to these increasing demands for self-regulation by adopting effective learning strategies, but a significant number of students do not adopt them.  Students need to self-monitor their academic progress and to seek out teachers and peers for help when it is needed (i.e., a help seeking strategy), but poorly regulated students are reluctant to ask for help, often fearing exposure to criticism.

When working with students who need additional structure to succeed academically, we focus on developing self-regulatory skills as part of the four targets for behavioral change.  These targets are based on established treatment methods for behavioral change in adolescents and teens but are adapted for improving academic progress.  The chart below provides a summary of the four targets:

Maximize Decision to Change

(Click on Chart for Better View)

If you believe your child could benefit from additional structure to gain admission into the best private school or college possible, then as a parent you need to advocate for them.  Dr. Bishop can assist you with developing the proper structure for your child to become successful academically.  To schedule a consultation, call Dr. Bishop directly at 813-454-1050.