College Readiness

By Sophia K. Havasy, Ph.D.

going to collage

The process involved in successful college launching starts well before the student ever leaves. Certainly the behaviors and skills demonstrated (or not) during the Junior and Senior years of high school should inform the expectations and needs once the student is away. The skill set to manage academic demands is only one part of being a successful college student. The student needs to be able to get themselves up in the morning, go to all of their classes, make friends, create a new niche for themselves, take medications regularly, and manage tendencies towards depression, debilitating anxiety, or procrastination. The list goes on and on.

The preparation process involves the parents and student figuring out what the work is, make a plan to develop the necessary skills, and then assess, even over these few months, as to whether the skills are in place. This is executive functioning for the college level! Do not believe in good intentions without consistent evidence to back it up. The data is in the daily functioning. High school is a highly structured 4 years. Never again will the schedule be 7:50 am. to 2:40 pm. Monday through Friday. How well your student manages his or her life in that kind of structure is somewhat indicative of how the same student will manage when all the time is theirs to do with what they want. But, it is not entirely indicative. What did last summer look like? Students who plan “to do nothing” may be telling you something.

Graduation rates for a college degree in this country are low—anywhere from 50 – 58%, and that is allowing 6 years to completion. At the Tarnow Center we strongly encourage parents and students to work together to appreciate the student’s risk factors and the parents’ expectations and develop plans for management and optimizing success once the student is no longer nestled in the home. Dr. Sophia Havasy has been doing this work with students and families for 20+ years. Check out her blog on Complicated Launchings at, or call and schedule a consultation at 713-621-9515.

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