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How to Be a Successful College Student

Written by Alexander College in Student Services on August 26, 2020

Our goal at Alexander College is to provide you with all the necessary tools in order to become a successful student. As a student at AC, you will have access to a variety of services. They are aimed at giving you the tools that you will need towards your academics, and as an individual.

You will find these services as part of our Student Affairs division at AC. Regardless of your background and current abilities, we provide learning support services to help all students succeed.

Here are some services that you have access to as a student at Alexander College:

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Student Orientation
As a new student at AC, the very first event you’ll attend is the New Student Orientation!
Alexander College students discussing
Find all the resources you need and get one-on-one learning appointments with our tutors!
Alexander College student checking out books at campus bookstore
A great way to be a successful student in college is to volunteer during many of our on campus events!
Scholarship Opportunities at Alexander College
Scholarships are a great way for you to save on your tuition costs, and can help when you apply to universities.
instructor teaching student
The Career Advisors at AC is here to help you plan your future and teach you important skills needed to start your job search.
Celebrating graduation

It’s a day to celebrate our graduating class and all the work that you have put in during your time in college.

Participate in THRIVE: New Student Orientation

As a new student at AC, the very first event you’ll attend is New Student Orientation. This two-day event is usually held the week prior to your first week of classes in college. During which, you will be able to meet and speak with our knowledge staff and instructors.

Among them include the Office of the Registrar, Student Affairs Division, Academic Advisors and Enrolment team. They will be able to help you with questions about admissions requirements, important documents as well as the different pathways to student success.

Our orientation format is usually similar to a fair, where you will visit each booth to learn more about AC.

You may be wondering, how can I make the most of New Student Orientation?

Student Orientation at Alexander College
International Students in Vancouver

Some good tips when making your way to orientation include:

  • Plan your travel time ahead and double check the location of where orientation will be held
  • Do plan on arriving 10-15 minutes earlier than the start time of orientation as you will sign in prior to it starting
  • If you have friends who will be attending orientation, a good tip is to go together! You can also connect with staff and students prior to orientation through the various AC social media feeds
  • It’s completely normal if you feel nervous, be sure to eat prior and come with a smile!

During Orientation, you will find fun activities such as an airbrush tattoo station, games, and exciting giveaways.

Plus, we have a fun theme for orientation every year! Among our previous themes is our 2019 carnival themed orientation.

Social Media Booth
Student Orientation at Alexander College

As a current student at AC, you can also be more involved in the preparation of orientation as well. We always encourage our students to be proactive as it’s a great way to pave your success in school.

Be an active member in college by joining the AC Student Association (ACSA), or help as a student worker during orientation. ACSA students are often seen working tables as student liaisons making new students feel comfortable about joining extracurriculars. They also establish connections early so that new students can feel more comfortable adjusting to either a new school or new life in Canada.

You will also find that many of our current students and alumni have benefitted from these volunteer activities. They have used these as part of their university applications, resumes, and as a way to practice their English and public speaking skills.

AC 101 & Online New Student Orientation

For students attending orientation digitally, visit our AC 101 online orientation course, your go-to for learning about our services and campus.

The online orientation consists of several learning modules to help guide you step by step as if a staff member were with you in person!

Student handshake professor
Happy Students

Students will find a series of videos, PDFs and links that you can use to familiarize with Alexander College. Discover how to get ready for your first week of classes, login to MyAC and Canva, create a Student ID or even what school supplies you will need if you’re doing classes online. Be sure to check and revisit if you ever need clarification. Or, feel free to reach out to the Student Engagement team after New Student Orientation!

Find all the resources you need through the AC Library

As a student, you will regularly frequent the AC Library. Located at the Burnaby campus, the AC Library is key resource for many services.

Here, you’ll find many fiction, non-fiction and academic books that are available for borrowing. If you love movies, you will also find a collection of DVDs readily available to students.

In addition, the library is your go-to for printing, learning about the various databases and articles, and where you will get your student ID.

Alexander College Library
Students inside the library

While you are navigating your personal pathway to success, you will find that the library is a great location for you to study with all the resources you need. There are also quiet study rooms available to book if you prefer a quieter spot. They are also great if you want to host a group study session.

You can use one of the many available computers for your work and research as well.

Ask our librarians for any help that you need in regards to library resources, best practices during your research, if you’d like to request any books to be ordered in and more. You can also find our video tutorials online on our AC YouTube channel and website.

Our video tutorials encompass a variety of important topics in an easy to follow, step-by-step format.

Plus, if you would like to be a student worker at AC, you can work in the library! Many of our student workers have taken shifts in the library in both campuses and have gained lots of experience in the role.

Student Worker at Alexander College
Students using computer inside the library

“I work as a Student Worker in the Library and they are very friendly and teach me how to get to know the college community better!”
– Mana Khalesi

Career Advising is a great place for you to get more information on how to apply to be a student worker. This is a great way for you to gain work experience while being a student and excelling in school. We touch on the importance of volunteering and working at AC further down in this article.

Get one-on-one help at the Writing and Learning Centre

As a student, you have access to one-on-one learning appointments with our tutors at the Writing and Learning Centre (WLC). If you’re looking for tips for being a successful college student, the WLC is a great resource for students looking to improve themselves, as well as work towards their academic success.

You will be able to book individual tutoring sessions for many of your courses, go over academic policies at AC and more. It is very easy for you to book an appointment on the AC website within minutes.

one-one-one learning appointments
Writing and Learning Centre

Do you need help with improving your writing skills, or would like to know the best practices for a good article?

You will be able to book specific sessions on your needs. The WLC provides a variety of workshops, tips on avoiding plagiarism, and resources on topics such as Math, Science, Economics, Computer Science and Business.

During this current pandemic, you can also access the WLC for information and support on virtual resources such as Zoom. We aim to assist you in succeeding as a student from the safety of your home.

With all these tools on hand, you can empower yourself with many ways to continually develop as a student. To some, it may be through adjusting your various study habits — perhaps finding a study spot in Vancouver that is conducive for your learning.

Writing and Learning Centre
One-on-One Learning Appointments

“It is really good that the college has a service like the WLC because it helps students to practice English and other subjects. The staff there is also really responsible and friendly.”– Nicole Zou

A part of creating good study habits is that you will find questions are welcomed. Asking for help will help you further develop and improve yourself.

In addition, you will find that it is greatly important to review your work. Doing research can expand your mind and abilities.

In the field of medicine, and or finance, research and growth is an important aspect in making sure that professionals continually make the best and well informed decisions.

The Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs at Alexander College will assist you in various academic policies while you’re a student. You can find help in the Office of Student Affairs for any events that become a barrier to your success as a student. Among these could be related to appeals, accessibility, grade appeals, academic concerns, exam policies, complaints and more.

Happy Students at Alexander College
Student Affairs at Alexander College

As you grow as a college student, you will be learning more about yourself and your potential. You may also be working towards transferring to a university. Utilize these services available to you as it will help you towards a successful pathway to university, all while protecting your academic integrity and overall achievement as a college student.

You can also contact the Office of Student Affairs for any questions you have in regards to academic policies or documentation.

Embrace the Health and Wellness Services at AC

Being a successful student doesn’t only refer to academics. It’s equally, and if not, more important for you to take care of your physical and mental health wellbeing.

Health and Wellness at Alexander College
Mental Health of Students

You will have access to up to 10 free health and wellness counselling sessions with our counsellor. These sessions are all confidential and you are free to talk about anything that is affecting your mental health.

Among common items that you may face include anxiety, depressions or relationship questions. Plus, you will also have access to various mental health workshops related to stress management, school- life balance and more.

If you are a new student, it is completely normal for you to feel homesickness while you are also adjusting to a new environment. It is important to be aware of these emotions and take care of yourself. Some ways that you can work towards overcoming homesickness can include being more involved in AC events and activities, talking to others and finding stores, such as grocers, that remind you of home.

Alexander College students can also access various self-help resources or the Here2Talk app, which provides free, 24/7 single session mental health support through phone or chat. Students who use Here2Talk still have access to existing campus counselling services.

Student at Alexander College
Students Feeling Homesick

A healthy mind equals a healthy body. In turn, that adds to being a good student, staying productive and having a social circle that is supportive! In the same way, it’s important for you to also maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising, drinking water daily and eating balanced meals.

We are always here for you to talk to, and you can easily book an appointment online on the AC website.

Get Support and Support Others Through Peer Mentorship

For additional tips for being a successful student, visiting our Peer Mentorship program is a must!

The Peer Mentorship program is designed towards helping students and mentors be successful while in college. You will have the opportunity to support your fellow students towards achieving academic success, growth both personally and professionally, plus provide new students with someone to lean on in their first year.

Making Friends as a Student
Peer Mentorship Program

On the flipside, as a new student, we want to make your first year at AC a memorable one. One where you have the support needed from your peers.

What will you do and gain from being a peer mentor?

As a mentor in this program, you will be empowered to develop leadership skills, be responsible in instilling a sense of community, encourage new students to embrace their uniqueness and culture. In other words, you essentially bring about growth in someone. Plus, mentors who successfully complete the peer mentorship program will receive priority registration for the following term and a letter of completion as well!

To qualify, Mentors must be in their second term or later, hold a CGPA of 2.50 or higher and must be available for eight meetings throughout the term (approximately 10 hours total).

Be a Volunteer or Student Worker at AC

“I was a full time student and worked part time. You just need to have a schedule and stick to it!”– Karan Vallache

Part Time Student Worker
Student Worker at Alexander College

A great way to be a successful student in college is to volunteer during many of our on-campus events. You will see many events happen on campus on a daily basis, and many of these are hosted by our Student Life team.

We are always looking for student volunteers to assist in brainstorming event ideas, planning the events, and help out in executing the events on the day of.

If you’re someone who is interested in being in videos and photoshoots, we are always looking for new faces to be involved in our fun productions.

Are you looking for work while being a student?

Student Worker at Alexander College
Behind The Scenes Video Shoot

We want to provide you with the opportunities to succeed as a college student in Vancouver. One way for you to work while studying is by applying to be a student worker.

As a student worker, you’ll gain valuable work experience while studying. This is great for your personal growth as a student and can help with building your resume.

With the flexibility of your work and school schedule, you can manage a balanced lifestyle between school, work and friends. Plus, you will be able to connect with many of our AC staff.

Some of the events that you can involve yourself in, either as a volunteer or student worker, include our New Student Orientation, Convocation and Award Ceremony, club events on campus, beach clean ups with the AC Green Committee and more!

One way to start volunteering is by joining the Alexander College Student Association (ACSA)! Students meet every Friday to brainstorm ways to improve student engagement at AC.

AC Student Association
Kayaking in Vancouver

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact our Student Life team. If you’re interested in applying as a student worker, please contact Career Advising and they’ll be happy to assist you.

Scholarship Opportunities at Alexander College

We want to award outstanding academic achievements to further fuel your success as a student. As such, there are a variety of scholarships available to you. Scholarships are a great way for you to save on your tuition costs, and can help when you apply to universities.

Internal Scholarships

At AC, we offer scholarships every major term — Fall, Winter and Spring. You are chosen for scholarships at AC by excelling in your classes and are nominated by your respective instructors. Some nomination factors include grades, class participation and engagement in the classroom.

Scholarship at Alexander College
Scholarship Recipient

You will find scholarships available in many disciplines such as the Norman Swartz, English for Academic Purposes (EAP), Commerce, Physics, Psychology and French, among many others.

External Scholarships

In addition, you can also apply to many external scholarships available to college students. Just reach out to Student Engagement and they can provide you with more information.

Plan your Pathway to Success with Career Advising

You will find that as you progress as a college student, you will begin to plan for life after graduation. The Career Advisors at AC  are here to help you plan your future and teach you important skills needed to start your job search.

Skills such as learning how to write a proper resume, cover letter, and where to begin searching for work as an international or domestic student.

In addition, there are also many ways that you can utilize social media to your benefit. Create a brand for yourself online and utilize the connectivity of social media platforms to connect and interact with people in the workforce, and potential employers.

Pathway to Success
Students talking on their way to school

By speaking with your career advisor, it is important to highlight ways that you can learn specific skills while in college, which can be useful when entering the workforce. These are called transferable skills!

You may find that some of your classes involve group projects where you will need to coordinate responsibilities with other students. Or, you may find that you’re involved in budgeting finances while planning events and clubs for students. These are great ways for you to utilize the skills you’ve learned and implement them in your future career.

Booking one-on-one appointments with career advising can help you solidify what these skills are and how you can best represent yourself in your job search.

Celebrate Your Journey During the Convocation and Awards Ceremony

Congratulations, you did it!

Convocation is an exciting moment to mark the achievements of our graduates. Our AC Convocation and Awards Ceremony is held twice per year, in the Fall and Spring. It’s a day to celebrate our graduating class and all the work that you have put in during your time in college.

Graduating Class
Graduation Speech

Prior to the actual ceremony, you will receive an approval for graduation by the Office of the Registrar, Graduation unit. Graduates will receive an invitation to the ceremony from Student Engagement. Once you receive your invitation via email, graduates need to confirm their attendance and number of guests.

It’s an exciting time, and you will be able to invite your friends and family to rejoice in the occasion together.

What happens on the day of the convocation ceremony:

On the day of, you will register at the front desk of the venue. You will then be led to get your graduation cap and gown on.

Then, it’s time for photos! We will have professional photographers and videography taken at the event to help you commemorate this special day. Come excited, bring your loved ones, and don’t forget your smile!

During the ceremony, there will be speeches from the President and Provost of Alexander College, faculty members, special guests, and the valedictorian of the graduating class. Valedictorians are students who have displayed leadership and academic success in their studies, and also been engaged in various events and clubs on campus. They also have shown interest and dedication in volunteering and/or being a student worker at AC.

You can stand out by showcasing the motivation to succeed, and these are all applicable when applying for work as it demonstrates experience and growth.

Graduation at Alexander College
Graduating Students

In addition to the speeches, graduates will have the opportunity to walk across the stage and shake hands with the Dean of Arts and Sciences. This is photographed professionally so you’ll have photos to look back on later, as well as the flipping of the graduation hat tassel.

What is the tassel flipping all about, you ask?

Prior to the ceremony, you would wear the graduation cap with the tassel flipped over to the right side. The tassel is flipped over to the left when you receive your diploma.

The day is a significant one, and similarly, the flipping of the tassels provides that extra gesture to symbolize your success as a graduate.

Your Road to Success Starts Here

We are invested in your success as a student and individual at AC.

If you are looking to develop skills outside of just academics — whether that’s your readings and books, our team at Student Affairs is here to help.

Happy Students at Alexander College
group of students having fun

Whether you are a new or current student, all our staff is open and willing to help you in how to become a successful student in school.

On behalf of the entire Division of Student Affairs, we are happy to answer any questions, help support you through your college experience, and provide you with the tools to be successful at Alexander College.

Looking to start the application process? Apply to AC here
You can apply online above or request additional information below.

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