Jumpstarting Your Child’s Collegiate Success by Odey Raviv, Ph.D.

As many of our community members approach the beginning of the college term, some students and parents are becoming more and more anxious.  Starting college is a huge undertaking that often leads to a disconnect between parents and their adolescents.

The pressure of facing a new social environment while trying to uncover the correct approach to courses can be overwhelming for many students.  Parents are asked to find a way to accept their child’s independence, while worrying about the academic and emotional challenges that college presents.  The legal reality that a parent’s eighteen year old student is an adult in the eyes of college administrators intensifies the stress of the college transition.

Parents are writing huge checks and hoping that their child will adapt to the rigors of a new academic atmosphere. Students are asked to navigate sophisticated syllabi and textbooks while often left waiting to receive feedback on their progress from professors till the semester is half over.

Studying with accountability, preparing for tests, and writing at the college level without parent supervision and input can be an obstacle for even the brightest and most well meaning student.

Moreover, students with a variety of Learning Differences, ADHD, and Executive Functioning Deficits are put in a difficult bind.  I have seen many students eligible for support programs at college decide they can go it alone.  The reality that the student must initiate contact with available services and their professors can be a difficult and often a costly lesson to learn.

In order to succeed, students must advocate for themselves.  Making connections with professors and fostering relationships with academically motivated students are key ingredients to weathering the storm.  Freshmen must learn to organize, prioritize, strategize and be willing to check the temptations and distractions that are abundant on campus.  If students are overwhelmed by the pressure of difficult classes, they must search out help as quickly as possible.  Parents must be sensitive and realize that the days of hovering over your child is no longer possible or advisable.

Now is certainly the time to have a heartfelt conversation with your child about honest expectations. It is wise to set up an appropriate communications framework with your college bound student.  If problems arise, it is necessary  to consider consulting with an academic coach as soon as you sense the semester is not going well.

College is both an incredible opportunity and a major investment.  College acceptance is just the beginning of the journey.   Ensuring your child’s success as they go off to college must be monitored with care and diligence.


With over 30 years, Dr. Odey Raviv, a Collegiate Academic Coach, has helped students struggling with academic challenges….particularly those who learn differently. With individualized skills, tools and strategies, students feel empowered to deal with with their Learning Differences, ADHD, Executive Functioning Deficits, Low Academic Self Esteem, Test Anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and even Poor Motivation. He is able to address a wide array of subjects including Reading Comprehension and Fluency, Written Expression, Problem Solving, Study Skills, Time Management, and Standardized Test Preparation. He is patient, supportive and inspiring. He has even been referred to as the “SAT Whisperer.” He is particularly adept at helping high school students transition to college and succeed with the heightened coursework and organizational demands that come when they are in college. He is available to work nationwide via Skype and FaceTime. and may be reached at odeyraviv@aol.com.  Like his page on Facebook to keep abreast of goings-on in the special needs arena.  Visit http://dr.odeyraviv.com/.