The SMAART Way to Care

  • Is your college student making poor grades or performing below his or her potential?

  • Does your college student struggle with organization, balancing multiple adult responsibilities, or procrastination?

  • Do stress, relationship problems, or poor coping skills seem to get in the way of your student's academic success?

If these problems sound familiar, you are not alone. From Kindergarten through 12th grade, schools focus heavily on academic skills, and they emphasize that learning these skills will ensure success at the college level. However, there is another skill set that is often neglected or poorly understood by teachers and parents. These are SMAART skills, and these skills play a major role in determining the success of any given college student. Even students with very high IQs, students with high GPAs, and students who score at the top of the SATs can make poor grades at the college level if they do not have strong SMAART skills.

After working extensively with college students for the past 10 years, I have developed a thorough understanding of the unique issues that college students face, and I have a program to help. I developed the SMAART Skills Training program to help students develop specific skills for college success. SMAART skills are basic adaptive thinking and behavioral patterns.

A person with SMAART skills is able to deal with challenges and manage stress effectively. SMAART skills include:

Self-Awareness: Knowing one's own strengths, weaknesses, common challenges and barriers to success

Metacognition: thinking about thinking. Understanding one's own thought processes.

Adaptation: The ability to respond appropriately and effectively to life changes and challenges

Affirmation: Choosing activities that affirm one's values, goals, and desires.

Relational functioning: Choosing healthy relationships, dealing with conflict effectively

Thought modification: Replacing negative, maladaptive thought patterns with healthier, more adaptive thought processes.

During this program, I help students to build SMAART skills. We work on applying these skills to common issues that college students face, such as time management, stress management, procrastination, adjustment to college, roommate difficulties, forming healthy relationships, choosing a major and career path, frustration tolerance, coping with setbacks, and practicing healthy habits, such as healthy eating, exercise, and sleep.

This program is different than traditional counseling, academic advisement, tutoring, and skills training classes. Time management and study skills classes offer universal tips for improving particular skills, but these classes are unable to address the unique needs of each student. Students often get discouraged and may give up if they are not seeing results quickly enough. Furthermore, students will continue to make poor grades as they waste precious time trying to find a solution.

Personalized coaching is the most effective and efficient way to address each person's weaknesses on core psychological skills. When your college student begins the SMAART Skills Training program, I will develop a unique skill building plan based on their personality and individual needs.

The first appointment begins with a detailed assessment of the student's history, personality, thinking patterns, and current challenges. After I have an understanding of these issues, I will then create a plan that works for your student.

Sign up to begin the program now or to reserve your student's spot for next semester. To sign up or get more information, please Contact Me at Becker Counseling Services.