Cramming may be the study method many college students use today, but it may not be such a smart plan if one wants to succeed.
Studying 25 to 35 hours per week is the proper and time-tested method for success in college, according to Philip Bailey, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematic.
Bailey, a veteran of the college of science and mathematics for the last 22 years, spends much of his time looking for ways to encourage students in and out of his department to develop good study habits.
“The math and science department is the cornerstone of this polytechnic university because all of the students in engineering and architecture have to take classes with us before they begin the major course work,” Bailey said.
In high school, students spend six to seven hours a day in school. Added up over the course of a week, this is the equivalent to 30 or 35 hours a week. Coupled with extra curricular activities, it could translate to nearly a 50-hour work week.
Bailey also noted that when students make the transition to college they often are bombarded with an abundance of free time which they spend doing activities not associated with the classroom.
“We’re trying to teach students good study habits,” Bailey said. “Habits that they will need to make it through their majors.”
“Its unreasonable,” senior software engineering major, Broc Miramontes said.
But according to Bailey, 25 to 35 hours per week is hardly unreasonable.
During an average quarter in the College of Science and Mathematics, roughly 13 percent of the new class is placed on academic probation during their first year, according to Bailey. Bailey also noted that up until the 25 to 35 hours per week was implemented, the number of students that made the Dean’s List on an average quarter was comparable to the number of students placed on AP. Directly following the implementation of the program, the number of students placed on the Dean’s List increased by nearly ten percent.
Bailey made the point that despite the fact that this was just one class of students and that their number of Dean’s List eligible students increased, there was a direct correlation between the implementation of the program and the increased performance of the students in the science and math department.
“Only 50 percent of the people that begin college receive a college degree,” Bailey said. “A student may have not needed to study in high school to make good grades, but you can’t do that here.”
Although Bailey seems open to the idea of joking about his 25 to 35 hours per week program, he is vigorously dedicated to the idea of implementing good study habits in Cal Poly students, habits that one day could translate to a successful individual and a lifelong love of learning.