Student Spotlight-Trent Moore

Many of our students overcome obstacles to be able to sit in our classrooms and pursue their dreams of earning a degree. Trent Moore is no different. Without any type of formal education or support system in place, Trent managed to obtain his GED and enroll himself in college. After a failed attempt and much self-doubt, Trent came to call Chatfield home.

Growing up in Owensville in Clermont County, Trent attended a public elementary school until about the third grade, when his parents pulled him out of school to be home-schooled. Unfortunately, no schooling followed. Any learning Trent did was self-led and very unorthodox. Despite having a difficult home life and no support or encouragement from his parents, Trent, still a child at this point, worked hard to keep himself from falling too far behind his peers.

By the age of 18, having been “out of school” for years, Trent was tired of feeling like the least educated person in the room. He had been motivated to leave home, found a job, and was finally ready to chase after his dream of an education. In the summer of 2014, at the age of 20, Trent earned his GED.

“It was like I needed to prove something to myself… that I was capable, intelligent,” Trent says.
At the age of 19, Trent was taken in by a family friend, Shari Shafer, who offered him a place to live, someone to confide in, and a supportive environment.

“What family I did have was harmful and I had to get away from them; and I had to pursue non-traditional sources of support, like the family that has taken me in. It took a long time for me to heal enough to begin pursuing my goals,” Trent shared.

After earning his GED some time before, he decided that college was his next step, as it had always been an aspiration of his. Although he was working a full-time retail job, Trent enrolled in UC Clermont full time. Stresses like being in a classroom with other students, feeling unprepared, navigating the financial aid process left Trent with high anxiety and panic attacks. Even though Trent had purchased his books, scheduled classes, and had a student id made, he drove to campus on the first day of classes and withdrew.

“My full-time job paired with a full-time course load, no family or friends to support me, fear of the unknown, it all felt like too much,” Trent remembers.

After deciding to withdraw from UC Clermont, Trent continued working but his desire to go to college did not go away. After much deliberation, Trent felt that the first time around, he made the decision too quickly and the whole process just felt rushed.

“It felt like something I had to do, this was just the next logical step,” he said.

After having several talks about college with the family who had taken him in, the adult children in the family shared they had attended Chatfield College and had had a positive experience. When Trent showed interest in Chatfield, one of the daughters, Allison, offered to accompany Trent on a visit.

Trent’s first impression of the Brown County campus and grounds was that it was a very peaceful place. He immediately felt at home. One particular instance that stood out for Trent was meeting with one of Chatfield’s Financial Aid counselors. Trent remembered the financial aid process at UC Clermont as a very stressful experience. As is common practice, students under the age of 24 must submit their parents’ financial and tax information for financial aid. Chatfield was able to wave this stipulation and help Trent gain “independent status” so he would not have to contact his parents, from whom he was estranged, to obtain their financial information—a huge relief for Trent.

Trent began at Chatfield as a part-time student with ten credit hours in the spring of 2015. He was soon enamored with the classroom environment—something he had never really been a part of. Being able to contribute to discussions in class and engage with his classmates made his education even richer. It wasn’t long before Trent was excelling in all his classes and began to tutor other students in his spare time. As his tutoring schedule grew, he was approached to begin tutoring students officially through the library and learning center. In his time at Chatfield, Trent has tutored more than 10 students, in subjects such as Math, English, Psychology, and Biology.

Trent said, “Tutoring was a very rewarding thing for me, and also a learning experience. Being able to work closely with other students and help ease their difficulties also strengthened my own studies.”

As Trent became involved in classes, he increased his extracurricular activities as well. He was a founding member of the Chatfield Student Service Club established in the fall of 2016 and still serves as the vice president. Trent is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, of which he is also the vice president. Through these groups, Trent has served the community as well as his fellow students. He continues to tutor his fellow students as well.

Trent adds, “The Shafer family has made positive and indelible effects upon my life, as has the family at Chatfield College. I don’t know where I’d be without them.”

Graduating this spring, Trent says he plans to go on to earn his bachelor’s degree and ultimately, a PhD. He has several local schools in mind, although he hasn’t chosen one yet. When asked what he wants to use his education for, Trent responded he planned to be an author, professor, and an advocate for those less fortunate.

“Although I have also felt I had a serving heart, I didn’t have the resources for much community service on my own. I really want unique experiences with people different than me. I believe that is part of a well-rounded education,” Trent says. He even shared that he is considering joining AmeriCorps before returning to school.

“I don’t have immodest goals,” Trent said with a laugh.

“If I had to give advice to someone considering going back to school, I’d tell them to trust those who are willing to help, but even more so, trust yourself. Know that you are capable.”

Goodbye, But Not Farewell!

Dear Chatfield Family,

I have many mixed feelings as I report to you that my wife Debbie has accepted an amazing job offer in Las Vegas where she will continue her career in deaf education, and therefore, I will be stepping down as the Director of Development at Chatfield College.  Debbie and I want you to know that we believe, more than ever, in the mission of Chatfield.  This was not an easy decision, but we are happy and excited to begin the next chapter in our lives with our three dogs in the Nevada desert!

During my 24 years as a development professional, I have raised money for many organizations, including the Boy Scouts, American Cancer Society, Mount Notre Dame High School and most recently, Chatfield College.  I have been blessed to work with some of the best volunteers in Greater Cincinnati.  Working for Chatfield has been most rewarding because education makes such a difference in the lives of our students. Every gift, no matter how large or small, goes a long way and can be life-changing for a Chatfield student.  Education or a skilled trade has time and again proven to be the best way to eliminate generation poverty. I know because I have seen it happen!

I will fondly remember my time at Chatfield.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Being a part of the renovation of two historic buildings: the new state-of-the-art OTR campus, and the expansion and remodeling of the Welcome Center in Brown County.
  • Helping increase the number of named endowed scholarships, to provide more opportunities for students.
  • Working with inspiring student-speakers for the scholarship luncheon each spring.
  • Sharing in the joy and success of our students at commencement each May.
  • Serving on a planning committee for special fundraising events, including the successful ChatField of Dreams auction each October.
  • Having the opportunity to work with the dedicated Board Advancement Committee to push forward Chatfield’s strategic plan.

I want to thank John Tafaro and the search committee that hired me for making me your Director of Development.  I have truly grown in my position and will be eternally grateful for the people I have met along the way.  I especially want thank all the investors at Chatfield College for your guidance and support during my four-year tenure at this great institution. In particular, I want to thank the trustees who serve on the Advancement committee with whom I have been privileged to work, including Paul Sittenfeld, Kip Heekin, Shannon Keesee, Anne Castleberry, Chris Benintendi, Brad East, Rosemary Schlachter and John Tafaro. I also want to thank the amazing staff at Chatfield for welcoming me with open arms and for your support throughout my tenure. More specifically, I thank Cheryl Kern for putting up with me on a daily basis!

We will miss you Chatfield, but you will always be in our thoughts and prayers, as well as our estate plan!  Thank you all for what you have done to invest in Chatfield College and what you will continue to do.

Goodbye, but not farewell,

Jim Ludwig


Why Online?

Good question! Colleges and universities all over the country are working to create better and more meaningful online learning opportunities for their students. Chatfield is proud to be joining the world of online learning this January! The rationale behind our decision to offer Chatfield classes online is simple: online courses empower students by eliminating the problems associated with rigid class times and transportation to and from school. Colleges across the country recognize that students are choosing their school for many reasons, including the support they receive given their other responsibilities. Life profiles of today’s students everywhere, including Chatfield, show that many have jobs, families and other circumstances that make attending face-to-face classes on a campus difficult. Students desire more flexibility and accessibility to reach their educational goals. At Chatfield, we want to meet the needs of our students. Online course offerings will allow us to be sensitive to those needs and allow students to receive personalized access to learning at any time and from anywhere.

Caitlin Tucker, an expert and advocate of blended and online learning, identifies that future employers want to hire students who can communicate effectively, think critically, work collaboratively and leverage technology successfully. At Chatfield, we are committed to putting students at the center of their learning and helping them develop these 21st-century skills that are critical to future success. By creating online learning opportunities at Chatfield, we give our students flexible solutions to help them meet their goals and achieve a better future.

Done well, online education can provide a personalized learning culture that encourages student choice in the learning process. Students can expect that the online courses offered at Chatfield will be intentionally designed with the same support and interaction with instructors that they experience in their traditional face-to-face classes at either campus. Students will be challenged online to work in collaboration with other students and the instructor to deepen their understanding and application of course concepts and to meet learning objectives.

If interested in taking an online course this spring, contact your academic advisor or your site director.

By Not Filing FAFSA, Students Passed Up $2.3 B in Aid

Freshmen entering college this fall left $2.3 billion in financial aid on the table by not filling out the free application for federal student aid or the FAFSA, according to an analysis published Monday by NerdWallet, a personal finance site. Researchers at the site came to this number by estimating the number of high school graduates who didn’t complete the FAFSA and would also have been eligible for a Pell grant, the money the government provides to low-income students to pay for college. They multiplied that by the average amount of Pell aid disbursed to students.

The FAFSA functions essentially as “the gateway to free money for college,” said Brianna McGurran, a student loan expert at NerdWallet. Students need to fill it out to get access to federal grants, federal student loans, work-study and in some cases, state and university grants. “The FAFSA is an incredibly important part of any student’s college application and financing strategy,” McGurran said. “It really is a first step to making college affordable.”

Fill out the FASFA here.

The complicated financial-aid system may deter students

The analysis echoes other research indicating that our complicated financial-aid system may deter students interested in attending college and who could benefit from grants or loans from seeking the money out. Of the 20% of students who didn’t apply for financial aid during the 2011-2012 academic year, about 44% said they didn’t apply because they thought they wouldn’t be eligible for help, according to a separate study published last year by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Others cited the complexity of the FAFSA as a reason for not applying. “There’s a sense that only low-income students and families are eligible for aid, when that is false,” McGurran said.

Though the FAFSA includes more than 100 questions, the Obama-era Department of Education took steps to make it easier to fill out. Officials opened the form on Oct. 1 for the first time last year to align better with the rest of the application cycle. The hope was that colleges would time their financial aid offers closer to their offers of admission so that students could have as much relevant information as possible available to them before deciding on a school.


Not all colleges cooperated with the timeline, but the opportunity to get the financial aid application done sooner appears to appeal to students and families. Nearly 238,000 students filled out the application the first day it was opened this year, an 8% increase from the same day last year, according to the Department of Education.

This application cycle also marks the second year students and families haven’t had to take a guess at their family finances when applying for financial aid. That’s because the government recently began requiring applicants to use tax-return information from the tax year two years prior to the year they’re applying for aid. (For example, a student applying for financial aid for the 2018-2019 academic year would use their family’s tax return from 2016.) That way, they’ll be able to use completed tax information and take advantage of the IRS data retrieval tool, which pulls a filer’s income information into the FAFSA directly from the IRS.

Still, despite efforts to make the financial aid process smoother, critics say it still creates too many complications. Requiring low-income students to raise their hands for funds by filling out a complicated form and, in many cases, repeatedly prove how poor they are through various follow ups can deter those who need it from seeking aid.

The NerdWallet analysis indicates that simple messaging may convince more students to seek financial aid. Tennessee had the highest FAFSA completion rate of any state, according to the study. That state also has a robust free community college program, which requires students to fill out the FAFSA to become eligible. “There’s such an appetite for these programs that whatever students need to do get access within reason, I think they’re willing to do,” McGurran said.

Article originally published on Market Watch.

At Chatfield, our financial aid counselors are available to help you navigate every step of the financial aid process. To learn more about Chatfield’s aid process or other scholarships available to help you finance your education, click here.

DJ Berard Named Department Chair of Arts at Chatfield College

DJ Berard has become the Chair of Fine, Creative, and Performing Arts, and Music at Chatfield College.

Previously an instructor at Chatfield, Berard has a wide range of experience in education. She studied ceramics at Arizona State University, earned a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University, and completed graduate work at the University of South Carolina. Ms. Berard also earned a Master of Fine Arts from Lindenwood University. She has been on the Board of Directors for several art organizations and has been featured in magazines like The Artist’s Magazine and American Artist.

Berard has been teaching in both private and public schools for many years, and is familiar with accreditation and assessments at all levels. She has written K-12’s arts curriculum for programs such as the state of Missouri’s Art Assessments and the Getty Institute.

Berard started as a classically trained sculptor using bronze and stone, but became a painter when a Director of the Smithsonian bought one of her first paintings for a museum in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and now her paintings are scattered around places like Scottsdale, Tucson Arizona, St Louis, and now Cincinnati.

She moved east from Arizona to become an Artist-in-Residence in the Smoky Mountains, and was excited to be surrounded by green and mountain streams. This program exists to invite artists for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. This past summer, Berard completed another term as an Artist-in-Residence with the Foothills College Department of Archeology and Anthropology at Ballintober Castle in Ireland, where she illustrated the castle, as well as worked alongside and mentored students.

“Art is so important because anyone can participate anywhere. I’ve worked with mentally challenged adults, gifted high school students, and autistic adolescents in places all over,” Berard said.

She adds, “I am glad to be at Chatfield and to be part of the growing programs here. The students are excited to be in class and a delight to teach.”

“Chatfield has long history of arts education, and DJ will help us to continue and advance this important component of a liberal arts education,” said Dr. Peter Hanson, Chief Academic Officer and Dean.

DJ and her husband, Kirk, have four children and reside in Milford, OH.




Chatfield College is a private, faith-based, liberal arts college offering the Associate of Arts degree in Brown County and Cincinnati, and is an open enrollment college. The Brown County campus is located at 20918 State Route 251; St. Martin, OH 45118; the Cincinnati campus is located at 1544 Central Parkway; Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, visit the website, at, call (513) 875-3344 or e-mail


The Path That Led Me to Chatfield

My very first blog. Strange, as a writer, I have never written a blog—unless journals count. For my first blog, I want to share with you how I got to Chatfield and how I came to be writing a blog for my fellow students now.

The journey that led me to college started very differently for me than most others. At the start of August of my senior year, we lost our home and had to stay with some family friends. I hated it so much, I was severely depressed and I was losing faith. I had to switch schools, but on top of that, I was fourteen and a half credits behind and as a result, the school put me in a work study program. The work study program allowed me to have four classes: English, Math, and two study hall-type classes to get caught up on my credits. This program also allowed me to leave early, but I had to get a job, hence why it’s called “work study”.

While I was in the work study program, I had a teacher who really encouraged me and helped me to actually graduate. In October, I met this amazing guy, who is now my boyfriend. Being with him made me want to push myself to thrive, and think of my future. Through a school program, I connected with a mentor who provided additional support. The mentoring program gave me someone to talk, to who helped me figure out what I wanted to do in life, and the kind of person I would want to be, and much more. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate everything that the three of them have done for me.

As time went on, I was still trying to figure out what exactly I would like to do for a career.
I became frustrated because I had no clue what I wanted to do and where I would go to college. My teacher was telling me about various colleges, but none of them really peaked my interest. One day, my teacher asked if I’d like to go on a field trip to Chatfield College—the same college my mentor had been telling me about. I told my teacher I’d go and a couple weeks later, we visited. I fell in love as soon as I arrived because Chatfield had a small, historic, and beautiful campus. We toured the campus and when the admissions counselor showed us the Sacred Heart Chapel, my goodness, I loved the place even more!

After visiting and deciding Chatfield was the place for me, I applied and couldn’t have been happier when I was accepted! I had also applied for several scholarships through Chatfield and to my surprise, I received the Knowlton Honors Scholarship. You wouldn’t believe the amount of happy tears I cried; I just could not stop crying! Being accepted and getting in Chatfield was one of the greatest things to happen to me in a long time.

Chatfield also allowed me to have a work study job here, which helps pay for the cost of school. Working in the Marketing and Communication department is what led me to write this blog for everyone. Between working on campus and the classes I’m taking, I couldn’t be happier with my life right now!

Even though I’m super-stressed taking on two jobs and school all at once, I know I am going to get to where I want to be here soon and that’s what keeps me moving forward. I can’t thank everyone enough, who helped me and encouraged me along the way. After everything, I still can’t believe that I’m at Chatfield earning a degree! After graduating from Chatfield, I plan to go to school to get a degree in the medical field.

I honestly wouldn’t go back to change anything, because through the tragic and depressing moments, I was blessed with something I couldn’t even imagine for myself. I’m so grateful for every person along the way and every experience I have gone through because I don’t believe I’d be who I am and doing what I want to do right now. I’m truly excited and happy, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

A Memo to My Students as the New Semester Begins

To: My Students
From: Your Teacher
Re: A Better Learning Experience

This is just a brief note to let you know how committed I am to making this a good course. But I can’t do my best teaching without your help. So, I thought I’d share a list of things you can do that will make this a better experience for all of us.

Teaching Professor Blog Be there. When you’re in class or online doing course-related work, I need you to be there completely. Yes, this means being physically present, but I’m hoping for more than just your body in class. I teach better when you are mentally present—listening, taking notes, mulling things over in your head, asking questions, occasionally nodding (when you understand), and sometimes looking surprised, confused, or amused (as the situation warrants). And yes, you may even look bored, if that’s how you’re feeling. I need that feedback, too. What I don’t need—and find very discouraging—is having you in class but not really there. Don’t kid yourself: I know when students are doing things with their devices or finishing homework for another class, looking up every now and then and pretending to listen. Trust me, feigning attention doesn’t look anything like attentive listening. You’ll make the course easier for me to teach and you to learn if you are present and engaged in what’s happening in class.

Participate! Yes, I do give points for participation, even though I know that encourages some students to contribute solely to earn them. There’s no need to speak every day. Less is sometimes more. Speak when you’ve got something to say! Ask a thoughtful question, share a relevant experience, respond to another student’s comment, or voice a different perspective—contributions like these make the class interesting for me and everyone else. And thanks in advance to those of you who voluntarily participate.

I know many students find it difficult to contribute in class. I try to make it easier by broadly defining participation. If you’ve got a question about the reading, something I said in class, or an observation that a classmate offered, and you couldn’t quite find the courage to raise your hand, send your question or contribution to me electronically. You also can participate by posting on the course website. Maybe it will be a list of the three most important things you learned in class on a given day, a short paragraph that summarizes the discussion that ended class, or a set of study questions for an upcoming exam.
And everyone can participate in this course by listening and paying attention—especially when another student is speaking. Good listeners respond nonverbally with eye contact and facial expressions. They don’t look close to comatose.

A class that’s participating energizes my teaching. Your comments, questions, and responses feed me. Without your participation, I feel like I’m at a dinner table where all I do is serve the food and never get to eat it. I’d like to be sharing the meal with you instead.

Help me get to know you. Let’s start with names. I am committed to learning yours and do hope you’ll learn mine. Almost everybody struggles with names, including me. If I speak to you without using your name, call me on it. If I’ve forgotten, give me something that will help me remember. Let’s greet each other by name when we run into each other on campus. Stop by my office. I keep a basket of granola bars for hungry students. I know they’re not as good as candy, but they’re healthier. See, we’ve found some common ground already.

I’d like to get to know you beyond just your name. What’s your major? Why did you decide on it? What courses are you taking? Tell me something you just learned in one of your other classes. Why are you in this course? I know; it’s required. I think it’s required for a compelling set of reasons, but I’m probably not all that objective. What would like to learn in this course? What are you finding easy and difficult about this content?

I teach better when I know the students I see in class or chat with online as real people—students with names, faces, and interesting lives. I do my best teaching when I have students who care about learning (and grades); who have dreams, goals, and ambitions; and who want to get out there and fix what’s broken. I do my best teaching when I have students who are serious about getting ready for life—or getting ready to make a better life. I want you to experience my best teaching, and I hope you’ll help me make that happen this semester.

Note to readers: Be welcome to make this note your own. Use it as a template. Delete or revise what doesn’t fit, add more sections or examples, and change the voice so that it sounds like you and aligns with the things you like to see from your students.

Originally published on Faculty Focus by Maryellen Weimer, PhD

Read other articles in this occasional series:

Need money for college? Here’s how to make a grab for $150,000 in scholarships.

Gabrielle McCormick’s journey started with a fall.

In November of her senior year of high school, she tore her Achilles tendon during a basketball game. The injury simultaneously crushed her dreams of playing college basketball and any hopes she had of earning the athletic scholarship she was counting on.

“My entire high school identity changed because I wasn’t a student athlete,” she said “I really struggled to let my basketball dreams go.”

Fast forward 10 years, and McCormick has completely paid for her education with more than $150,000 in scholarships.

She quickly found out there is a scholarship out there for everything — and everyone — including students with red hair, women over 5-foot-10 and lovers of the game Minecraft.

And now the successful entrepreneur is helping others get on the path to a debt-free education.

“It is possible. You just have to have a system in place,” she said.

Gabrielle McCormick figured out there is a scholarship for everything. She earned more than $150,000 in college scholarships, and now she’s helping others get on a path to debt-free education.

As a result of rising college tuition, student loan debt has reached an all-time high of $1.34 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

At private universities, families have to shell out $33,480 for one year of tuition on average. In-state public schools are a cheaper option, though still a major investment, at $9,650 per year.

Without an athletic scholarship, McCormick wasn’t sure how she could afford it. That’s when it clicked: “I said to myself, ‘Gabrielle, you’ve got to figure out how to win scholarships.’”

McCormick seemed to be the ideal candidate. She was a three-sport athlete, No. 4 in her class, ran her own art business and participated in several extracurricular activities.

But still, her hunt for scholarships came with roadblocks.

McCormick’s research began at a bookstore in her small hometown of Greenville, Texas, 45 minutes outside of Dallas. That netted little. She went to her college counselor almost every day, but she was only “as helpful as she could be.”

“I did not know what I was doing, and because of that I wasted a lot of time,” McCormick said.

She said through trial and error, she developed a winning strategy.  McCormick didn’t qualify for big national scholarships such as the Gates Millennium Scholars program, so she focused on small, local scholarships.

“Everything under $2,000 was what really helped,” she said.

McCormick created a “scholarship profile” for herself, identifying important characteristics that could earn her money.

“I literally typed in everything about myself, added the word scholarship and tried to find out if there were scholarships I could win,” she said.

McCormick also learned that telling her personal story resonated more with scholarship committees than generic essays about her academic goals. She used her scholarship essays like a form of therapy, sharing the pain of getting injured, her grandfather’s death and her mother’s battle with cancer.

“I was so broken as a student,” McCormick said. “Scholarships allowed me to really express myself.”

She applied for more than 50 scholarships, ranging from generic essay contests to merit-based scholarships to one for sportsmanship.

“A good mix is really where the power is,” she said.

In total, she earned well more than 150,000 in scholarship money, but she estimates the true value of everything she received is closer to $200,000. She advised students to be open to any opportunity that can add value to their education, not just money.

She put that money toward her undergraduate degree and her master’s in business administration, all of which she completed in five years. McCormick studied accounting at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she is now pursuing her doctorate.

“They made me the best offer — which was free,” she said, laughing.

Parents and students alike would come to McCormick for advice on how they could pay for college. She realized that school counselors often weren’t able to give adequate attention to each student.

McCormick worried that students felt vital information was “behind some hidden curtain that you have to pay admission for.”

“It shouldn’t be this difficult,” she said.

Right before graduation, she created a resource for students searching for scholarships. Her free online curriculum walks students through the scholarship application process from start to finish.

“Our free education is more valuable than what some people pay for scholarship courses,” she said.

Once she completes her doctorate next year, she’ll work full time on Scholarship Informer. She has a small team now working remotely across the world, and she said expansion is in the near future.

McCormick, now 27, said she wants students to know that no matter the roadblocks they face, there’s money out there for school. They just need to have a plan.

“What matters is someone has the right attitudes and the right mind-set to focus on the strategies and do the work.”

Content originally posted on USA TODAY
N’dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY Published Aug. 18, 2017

Make sure to check out Chatfield’s scholarship page as well! 98% of our students receive financial aid.

To speak with an admission counselor on how to get started at Chatfield, click here.

5 Tips to Ensure You’re Ready For Your First Day of Classes

College can seem like a never-ending stream of new experiences: new school, new friends, new classes. But instead of being overwhelmed, these five tips will go a long way toward making sure your first day of college starts off right.

Even if this isn’t your first college experience, it could be beneficial to you to skim over these tips, too:

1) Take a tour of your classrooms.

You might know where your class buildings are, but where is Room 216A? Make sure you check it out before your first class.

Finding the right room for each of your classes on your first day of college can seem like navigating a maze – and nothing screams “freshman” like wandering the hallways with a confused expression.

Instead, take a quick tour the day before classes start to find out exactly where you need to be. You’ll be stress-free on the first day, and what’s more, you’ll be sure to arrive to class on time and snag a good seat!


2) Bring a notebook.

On the first day of college, your professors will probably review the syllabus and talk about the plan for the semester. They’re also likely to list their office hours and contact information. Keep a notebook handy to record this important information. Some professors also start lecturing on the first day, so it’s critical to come prepared.

Sometimes you’ll know the required books for your classes ahead of time – you might get an email or letter after you’ve registered for your classes with assigned reading for the first day of college, or your syllabus might be available online. But it’s also possible that you won’t be sure what books or specific editions your professor requires.

Unless you have reading assigned for the first day of college, wait to make notes in your books or tear off the plastic wrap. If your professor has a specific request, you’ll want to be able to exchange those expensive textbooks!

3) Be open.

One of the best ways to meet people on your first day of college is simple –be open to new things!

Lots of newcomers mill around campus in the first few days of college looking to meet new people and make new friends. But even if you’re ready to mingle, clamming up suggests that you’re busy or don’t want to be disturbed. College is a great time to meet all kinds of different people with different experiences and beliefs, welcome it!

4) Start work before it’s due.

The homework you’ll get on your first day of college can be a world away from the high school assignments you’re used to. Start some of your assignments right away on the first day of college, so they’ll be sure to be done by the deadline.

College professors tend to assign bigger amounts of work over longer periods of time, so you’ll lack the daily deadlines many high school courses provide. This makes it seem like you have plenty of time, but don’t be fooled!

You’ll probably need a while to get used to the change in workload and discover the best way for you to study for college classes. Consider making a schedule on your first day of college that breaks down the bigger assignments day-by-day.

For example, if you’re reading a 350-page novel in one week, break it down into 50-page segments and read one each day. It’s much easier than trying to skim all 350 the night before class!

5) Take a break.

Your first day of college will be packed with exciting classes, meetings and events – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the things going on. Make sure you take time in your day to relax and enjoy it!

Meet new friends for lunch in the Welcome Center or take a scenic walk around campus. Your college will probably have you pretty busy throughout the first few days of college, so take the opportunity to chill and share stories of your first day with new friends who just went through the very same thing.

Content originally published on University Language Services

Real Life Isn’t Like Harvard: Why Open Enrollment is a Better Choice

There’s a simple truth that many Americans tend to overlook when it comes to furthering their education— not all colleges are created equal and finding the right kind of college or program can be tough.

Plenty of people out there think that getting into an Ivy League university is the only way to guarantee their success in life, but it’s just not true.

The fact is that open enrollment colleges may actually be a better choice for most students— whether heading off to college after just graduating from high school or if you’re going back to get your degree to improve your professional life.

So, why choose open enrollment?

While the Ivies do offer students the chance to study the Humanities and learn skills that are sorely missed in many American workers today, you don’t need to rack up debt at an expensive private university to get this kind of liberal arts education when there are plenty of open enrollment liberal arts colleges out there.

Your decision to go to college should mean that you’re in for a future filled with freedom and opportunity—not unemployment and mountains of debt.

Open enrollment colleges like Chatfield College offer students the financial aid they need (so you don’t have to go into debt to get your degree) and a liberal arts education that gives you the chance to flex your creative muscles to develop effective analytical and critical thinking tools and skills.

And attending an open enrollment college couldn’t be easier.

Because of their “open” policy, students are given the opportunity to prove time and again how much they value their time at school. But just because it’s easier to apply and attend classes, it doesn’t mean those classes won’t offer you a challenging learning experience.

It may be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort.

College is challenging. And it’s supposed to be. But in those challenges, you’ll find a willingness to learn, the drive to do your best, and the chance to find the right job.

Open enrollment colleges like Chatfield College are designed around programs specifically geared to help students develop the skills you need to succeed in your career, like critical thinking.
After you graduate, you’ll find that getting your degree from an open enrollment college has prepared you to be a well-adjusted adult living in the real world. You won’t find that isolating “college bubble” experience here. We strive to keep our students connected to their community while they’re getting their degrees because real life isn’t like college.

We offer prospective students real world opportunities while they’re still in college.

Challenging programs, campus activities, and community outreach means you’ll graduate with the experience you need and the tools you’ll use, to make a positive impact on the job or career of your choice.

Take things one step at a time.

Having a degree from an open enrollment college can provide you with the necessary skills, tools, and experiences you need to face the real world head on. It’s important to remember, though, that no matter how much you’re looking towards the future, you can’t forget about the present.

The time, attention, and focus you give to your classes will only help you after you graduate if you’re willing to put in the effort now. You’ll be better prepared to deal with any situations that come your way after graduation when you approach everything as a learning experience.

• Take the time to get to know your teachers and the students you’re taking classes with.
• Devote time to studying and making sure you’re as prepared as possible for tests.
• Research the papers you’ll be asked to write.
• Volunteer, work, mentor, or tutor whenever you get the chance.

When you choose the right college, all of your experiences can help prepare you for life after a earning a degree.

Think Chatfield may be the place for you? Get started today bu clicking here to schedule a visit.