How to Succeed at Rhodes


Bud Richey, Director of Constituent Programs

When we contemplate what it means to succeed as a student at Rhodes, there is a wide continuum of how we might define that success, but what we likely mean is having each individual reach his or her potential as an emerging scholar and as a person.

For some, success may be defined as returning to Rhodes the next semester in good academic standing. Simply put, while our students are bright and capable, some struggle more with adjustment matters and developing strategies for success than do others. Thus, the student is “succeeding” if able to return until such time that he/she becomes a more focused, self-directed learner and develops a strong sense of passion and excitement for learning.

For other students, taking full advantage of the research, scholarship, and development opportunities which exist through the campus and the greater community and successfully competing for a national or international postgraduate scholarship may be the standard that would be used to measure “success.”

These are extremes, but in either scenario, the advice I would offer on how to succeed at Rhodes is to utilize the resources that are in place to help students get the most they can from their experience here. We have a wonderful faculty committed to helping students achieve at the highest levels they can. Our staff members are equally committed to supporting student success. That commitment is translated into action as they help students develop new study strategies to meet the increased rigor of college-level work, in ensuring that students’ developmental and health needs are being met in order that they may concentrate on their scholarly work, and in encouraging students to find a sense of community with their fellow students, faculty, and staff in defining their own sense of engagement within the college.

As a parent, you need to know that Rhodes College is committed to providing support for students. Should your student express concern, frustration, or seem perplexed about where to turn, ask, “Have you seen anyone on the campus about this?” If the answer is “No,” encourage your student to seek help. The Dean of Students′ Office is a great place to start for any concern that a student may have. Beyond helping students work through a multitude of issues or concerns, the office is a key resource in making referrals to faculty and staff members who can provide more specialized services.

We have a fine faculty and a great staff, all of whom are willing to help students succeed. In spite of our many programs and services that are in place to help students get the most from their college experiences, at times we fall short in knowing when students need us. Here, too, is a place where parents become valued partners in helping to connect the students to the people standing ready to assist. Encouraging your student to take initiative to use the programs, services, and people will go far in our mutually shared goal of graduating students who have a passion for learning and are able to provide leadership in the communities they enter upon leaving Rhodes.