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Educational Goals in Academic Success

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You must want success and be committed to striving for it because you are in charge of your own success. In order to become successful you have to want success and continuously strive for it. This exhibits motivation and motivation is the most important key to success. It is the inner power that pushes you toward taking action and achievement and it is driven by ambition and desire. A student must possess motivation in order to succeed. Without motivation a student will have difficulty or may not even be able to follow through with the assignments and tasks. (It is essential that the student embrace a sense of intrinsic motivation to fully obtain academic achievement.)(Whittington, 2015) Intrinsic motivation comes from within, meaning that an individual is excited and driven by internal rewards. (Motivation does not always lead to creating a cash incentive; however, it does lead to providing a path that allows individuals to distinctively express themselves and feel a sense of accomplishment and value.) (Petty, 2014) Simply put, when a student is motivated intrinsically they will work on a problem or towards a goal because it provides them a sense of pleasure or fulfillment.

Motivation becomes even stronger when you have a clear goal in mind to work towards. This gives you the desire and direction you need to turn your vision into a reality. My educational goals are to enter each course with a positive attitude, give one hundred percent on all my assignments, work hard, study hard and complete my program with a high GPA so that I can reach my career goal of someday becoming the Chief Executive Officer of a hospital. Setting goals are important to me because I know the importance of having a plan, aspirations and knowing where you want to go. With goals set, you know what you are working towards and understand the significance and fulfillment that your achievements will bring.

Once a student is sufficiently motivated with their goals in place, the next component to academic success is academic integrity. Academic integrity is the moral code or ethical policy of the institution and it is a primary value for any institution of higher education. Academic integrity is expected of every student in all academic undertakings, including formal coursework and all relationships and interactions with the educational process. This includes values such as avoiding plagiarism, honesty in research and academic publishing and maintaining academic standards. Any instance of breaching academic integrity will be dealt with in accordance to your institutions policies and procedures. Your academic institution should have an explanation of the rules, regulations and expectations listed in your student handbook. As a new student, one thing that excites me about this university is all of the resources that are available. They pretty much ensure success you just have to utilize them!

There are tons and tons of tools, tutoring and online support to help me get through all of my assignments, papers, tests, research, simulations, dissertations and everything else that comes my way. UOP provides help from outside sources also, but exercise caution when using them. Outside sources can either be helpful or harmful because not all sources are credible. During this class, I learned how to determine which sources are legitimate and trustworthy and which ones are biased and/or non-credible. I think that this was by far one of the most important things that I have had the pleasure of learning over these past few weeks. Everyone learns and processes new information differently so when a student is striving for academic success they should be aware of their strengths, weaknesses and their personal style of learning and studying. Identifying your learning style is important and useful so that you can make the most of it and succeed. Once you grasp your learning style you will probably have a better understanding of your previous academic trials and triumphs and can use this to your advantage.

You may have one dominant style of learning and another that is a close second or you may have several different learning styles. There is no right or wrong combination, it’s about however you are able to study and learn the best. I am a visual and a kinesthetic learner – meaning that I learn by seeing -visual- and by doing -kinesthetic. When I take notes, I draw pictures and graphs to help me better learn and understand the material. I also prefer to do things rather than read about how to do them. I like to try, test, explore, and initiate hands on so that I know what went right and where I went wrong. Critical thinking plays yet another role in academic and professional success. The ability to think deeply, clearly, and rationally is important no matter what you choose to do. Critical thinking means looking at the minor details to understand the full masterpiece. (Small steps lead to great successes.) (Buller, 2010) For example, when car shopping and you can’t decide between a Jeep and a Jaguar – the Jaguar may look better, but it’s more expensive, while the Jeep is not as stylish but costs less. The Jeep has less mileage, but the Jaguar comes fully loaded.

The Jeep is an American car and the Jaguar is a foreign car, which means more costly repairs. A critical thinker will probably purchase the Jeep because it’s the sensible choice. Critical thinking provides a solid framework for collecting and evaluating data and helps you make decisions based on logic and not assumption. It enables you to take on the information, sum it up, choose your theory and argument, communicate and justify the view you have formed, and then construct and execute a plan of brilliance. In order to improve my critical thinking skills I will think better, check logic, research, intercede my biases, ask questions, evaluate what I hear, read or think and don’t assume. Critical thinking promotes success and provides you with an intellectual approach to information that can be very valuable and it is very much expected of a university graduate. The last but certainly not least important factor to know about continuing academic success or any other type of success is that success is earned not given.

Everyone is entitled to pursue success but success itself is not an entitlement. A lot of people expect success as if it’s owed to them, but success only comes after hard work, smart decisions and sacrifice. Sometimes even after all of this you may still fall short of true success, but success does not exist without failure or losses. Some of your biggest lessons in life will come from your losses not your successes. This is because when you experience a loss or failure you are able to reflect on what went right and what went wrong. Then you can make alterations to your previous plan, and come back with a more thought out, better executed plan. So don’t let a failure discourage you from pursuing your happiness.

Try, try again!! Think of your setbacks as set ups for come backs! In conclusion, hard work and dedication are inevitably the means to success. So go the extra mile, put forth the extra effort and look at the minor details in order to fully understand the masterpiece. Find out what style of learning and studying works for you, make weekly schedules with time frames allocated for your personal time, work time, and study time. Don’t procrastinate, take notes, ask questions, seek the answers, and set goals for yourself, but most importantly don’t give up! Success more than likely will not happen overnight, but it will more than likely happen if you are persistent.

Citations and References

Buller, J. L. (2010). Academic Leadership : Small Steps That Lead to Great Success, Preface xiv, Hoboken, NJ, USA: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

Petty, T., E.D.D. (2014). MOTIVATING FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS AND COLLEGE COMPLETION, College Student Journal, 48(2), 257-264. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1552786194?accountid=458

Whittington, K. (2015), Does Motivation Predict Persistence and Academic Success?. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 10-16. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.51002.

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