Andrew: a College Freshman Success Story

How a newly matriculated undergrad worked with Vested Academics to get his transition from high school to college back on track

How It All Started

A rising college freshman, Andrew was ready for independence. Attempting to set their son up for success, his parents worked hard to find a school that offered learning accommodations similar to those Andrew had in high school. After meeting with the head of the Student Success Center at their top-choice college, they felt confident that Andrew would be in good hands.

However, three weeks later, the panicked voice on the other end of a late-night phone call was anything but reassuring. In the middle of his first set of exams, Andrew was struggling.

Dependent on student labor and peer tutoring, the resource center at his college was not only disorganized but had also failed to deliver the accommodations his parents had been promised. In fact, the only learning support professional at the center was so overwhelmed with their caseload that one-on-one time was almost nonexistent. Lost and disappointed, Andrew’s parents reached out to Vested Academics for help.

Parent Perspective

  • Upset by seeing their son in distress
  • Frustrated by the absence of support and accountability
  • Lack of school contacts made them feel helpless

Andrew’s Perspective

  • Could see that he was overwhelmed and disorganized
  • Felt completely alone and disconnected
  • Increased anxiety gave him frequent panic attacks

How the Vested Academics Team Helped Andrew and his Parents

One-On-One Support—Working regularly with Andrew via private video conference, the Vested Academics Team was able to quickly assist Andrew with advocating for himself. His new academic coach helped him book tutoring sessions with qualified tutors, email professors to address missing assignments, and connect with a mental health professional on campus to manage his anxiety attacks.

Executive Functioning—In the past, Andrew had relied on a teacher’s aide to go over his daily and weekly assignments with him. Andrew’s academic coach taught him how to use a planner and create a sustainable study schedule. Regular check-ins ensured Andrew stayed on track while he gradually gained confidence in his new skillset.

College Search—Our College Coaching Team created a new list of schools that could accommodate Andrew’s learning challenges and guided his family, step by step, through the transfer application process.

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The Result

With his academic coach’s support, Andrew effectively self-advocated, developed new organizational techniques, and brought his grades back up. While he had salvaged his fall semester, he had decided that this was not the best college fit for him. The lack of learning support resources was a deal-breaker.

With a combined effort from our Learning Support and College Coaching teams, Andrew found and applied to a new school with a program that—having been properly vetted—was well-equipped to provide him with the one-on-one support and accommodations he needed to thrive.

Although adjusting to a new school can be difficult, Andrew had a much easier transition the second time around as he continued working with his academic coach. And, after his new support team had everything squared away, he finally felt ready for the independence that awaited him. Suffice it to say, his parents were thrilled when future conversations with Andrew rang with excitement and enthusiasm, just as they hoped.

In His Own Words

“It was like swimming with a backpack stuffed with rocks. It was like no matter what I did I kept sinking down and down and deeper and deeper. He basically pulled all that weight off me and swam for me, you know, until I could start it up on my own again. But now I have a great school with great friends and great tutors and counselors. It feels like home—the place I’m supposed to be.”

Andrew
College Freshman

Next Steps

At Vested Academics, our learning support professionals help students reach their academic goals. Contact Our Team to learn more.

Attend our classes and events on this topic. From webinars to in-person events, guest speakers to professional instruction, our events calendar is filled with outstanding resources for parents and students alike. Go to the Events Calendar.

With nearly twenty years of experience as an educator, Jennifer Chase has developed a natural ability to meet individual students at their level, helping them find confidence while working toward their goals.

More about Jen C.

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