6 Non-Academic Lessons Taught at Schools

Early on, college can seem like just another chore. When I was a student and was done with my work, I would put my notes on my desk and never thought about them until test day. When your mind is constantly being fed new information that you are expected to retain, time for reflection often becomes lost. It took a few years of working for me to finally realize just how much my professors had taught me. To save you from that trouble, here is a list of common non-academic lessons you may not realize you’re being taught in schools.

  1. Have Patience

When you’re in the thick of a degree hunt, waiting is the hardest part. Everything is about planning for the future at this point — in two years I’ll have a job; in four years I’ll get a promotion, etc. Learning to be patient will greatly influence how you go about your career. Most employers see drive and enthusiasm as good traits, but too much of either can be detrimental to finding a mobile path.

  1. Learn to Love Learning

Education doesn’t end once you’ve gotten your degree. Once you learn to love learning, you will have a skill that can create opportunities for a lifetime. Learning doesn’t mean studying your biology notes for years after you’ve graduated. It can be as simple as making a mistake, owning that mistake, and knowing how to do better next time.

  1. Know That You Don’t Know

This is the inevitable paradox of education—the more you know, the more you see what you don’t know. Being cognizant of what you still need to learn will drastically improve how you approach your future.

  1. Embrace the Art of Multitasking

It’s the middle of the semester, and you see that you have two tests and two essays due on the same day. It seems like a cruel game, right? Pure evil. But, these kind of days prepare you for real world experiences. Learning to balance time and energy effectively are skills that many employers find attractive.

  1. Appreciate the Small Things

You don’t have to win the lottery every day for your day to be a success. Finding victories in things like arriving to work on time, or eating a healthy breakfast can go a long way in improving your self-esteem and outlook.

  1. Figure Out How to Push Yourself

It doesn’t take a football coach kind of mentality to push yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone responds differently to motivation. Yelling, cursing, and screaming doesn’t always wake the warrior inside. Learn what motivates you and exploit it. Some students are motivated by breaking a big goal into small tasks. Others get stuff done when they can look forward to a reward. This is a very personal, yet profound journey you must take.

It may take time to learn these lessons for yourself, but once you do, you’ll really start to appreciate the education you received rather than just the degree.


Building and Benefiting from a Diverse Campus

CU Denver prides itself on being one of the most diverse campuses in the University of Colorado school system. Doing so gives our students a much better chance to succeed both in the classroom and in post-collegiate endeavors.

Why Diversity Matters in Education

The reason we still talk about diversity and inclusion on campuses nationwide is because of the Coleman Report. Commissioned in 1966 by the U.S. Office of Education, the report detailed how diversity positively affects education in general. The study considered both the characteristics of schools and faculty members in its discoveries.

These findings were groundbreaking, to say the least.

Bringing together students from different backgrounds improves students’ cognitive abilities and opens students up to new ideas about the world that would otherwise be untouched.

Students who study at diverse campuses learn to navigate an increasingly diverse world, something that employers find very attractive.

Simply stated, diversity improves the way people think about a multitude of ideas like race, gender, sexual orientation/identity, etc.

Diversity at CU Denver

At #201 in national diversity rankings, CU Denver is leaps and bounds ahead of the national average.

Over half of our undergraduate students and faculty members are female, with nearly even splits among age groups. According to, the undergraduate population at CU Denver mirrors this distribution, with approx. 6,254 males and 7,255 females.

30% of CU Denver’s students are in the traditional 18-22 year-old demographic, nearly half of the national average. The remaining 70% are 22 years old or older, giving the younger students a chance to learn from people who decided to gain work experience before returning to college later in life.

CU Denver hosts monthly cultural events that emphasize supporting students of all cultural backgrounds on campus. They are both creative and academic based events for all students, faculty, family and friends to attend. 41% of students at CU Denver indentify as being students of color and the campus is hope to 7% international students.

small class

6 Benefits of Studying in a Small Class

CU Denver has a faculty to student ratio of 16:1. Over 1/3 of the classes at CU Denver have 20 or less students. Small classes give you more access to the professors and more opportunity to discuss and participate. CU Denver gives you the benefits of a state school and a small school at the same time.

  1. Better Relationships with Classmates – When you’re one in twenty instead of one in fifty or even one hundred, you’ll be able to get to know your classmates and their views on the subject. Personal discussion with classmates can improve your own understanding of the material and simply make the class more fun and interesting.
  2. More One-On-One Time – Professors are able and willing to stay after class or extend their office hours when there are less students for them to make contact with. Besides the time you make for out-of-class conversations, you’ll also be able to converse more directly during class and allow your professor to get to know you in a way they couldn’t in a larger class. Professors aren’t dependent on teaching assistants when they only have twenty students.
  3. More Focused Conversations – In a smaller class, professors are free to stray from the class outline and fit the material to their specific class and students. Your professor is sure to have a better read on the class and will feel comfortable spending another day or two on material your class wants to learn more in-depth while not hammering in a point that you already understand.
  4. Tailored Education – Vanilla syllabi and PowerPoint presentations are few and far between in smaller classes. Your professor will get to know you as an individual and will be able to teach to your needs and interests. You won’t feel like you’re sitting in on a lecture meant for hundreds of students when discussion and questions can flow freely.
  5. Higher Program Involvement – Whether you’re taking a class within your major or just want to become more involved in the department, you’ll be able to make genuine connections with your professor and peers which will in turn strengthen your ties with the program. When you have connections in a department, professors are more likely to know you by name, develop a personal relationship with you, and think of you when opportunities arise.
  6. Immersive Experience – No one has ever been more immersed in a lecture hall than a small group discussion. Within a smaller class, you’ll be free to ask questions, let the discussion veer towards what your specific class is interested in, and bond with your professor and peers. Your education is in your hands in a way it couldn’t be when you cannot participate fully.

Though CU Denver’s overall enrollment is large, we keep most of our classes small. We pride ourselves in the benefits our students receive as a result of more attention and opportunity. If you’re interested in attending a university with benefits of a state school and small school all in one, or want to know anything else about our school, visit our website to request more information.

college tour

How to Plan a College Tour Road Trip

One of the biggest influences in choosing a college is the campus tour. The tour allows you to not only see campus, but interact with current students and envision what it would be like to join that community. While planning a college tour road trip, try to follow these tips:

Start Planning Early

Yes, it’s possible to sign up for a college tour the night before, but tours tend to fill up fast, especially during times like spring break. Pick an area with at least a few schools you want to visit and sign up for about two tours a day. It’s possible and more efficient to tour two campuses in a day, but any more will have you feeling rushed and things might blur together. Remember, you’ll probably want to save time for a meal in the dining hall, a meeting with a coach, or a special tour of a specific department.

Write and Reflect as Soon as Possible

Because you’ll be visiting multiple schools, it’s likely you’ll forget the specifics. Ask yourself – no, force yourself! – to write down all of your thoughts on each school as soon as you can, maybe each night after dinner, or even in the car on your way to the next school. Don’t forget to take note of not only the facts like how big the school is and what resources they offer, but how you felt there.

Try to Look at Different Options

Even if you think you’d never consider a big public school or a highly selective one, it’s a good idea to get a real sense of different options. Chances are you’ll have the opportunity within the region you’re visiting to tour a school that’s fairly different than the others on your list. It’ll give you perspective and either solidify your wants or open your eyes to something you didn’t consider before.

Connect with a Student

Whether you are able to schedule a one-on-one lunch or department tour with a student, or simply approach someone around campus, a student different from your group tour guide will be able to give you other insights into the school and may even feel more comfortable telling you about things tour guides don’t typically mention.

Don’t Neglect the Surrounding Area

Don’t forget that starting college means not only a new campus, but probably a new city or even state. Take some time apart from campus visits to check out the surrounding area. Go to dinner on a recommendation from a tour guide instead of at the dining hall and make time to simply walk around. Try to get a feel for the area as a whole instead of just the campus.

“Unofficial” Visits are Okay, Too

There may be a college you wanted to see but couldn’t get onto a tour during your visit to the region, or one that got the short end of the stick and you didn’t have time for. Don’t be afraid to simply take a stroll on the campus. While you won’t get the regular vibe of an official tour, you’ll still get to see the campus, watch students in action, and maybe chat with someone. The more laid back approach is a great way to break up a long stint of touring.

Planning a college tour road trip during spring break or any other opportunity is exciting, but don’t get overwhelmed by having a plan and knowing what you want to get out of the experience. Sign up for a University of Colorado Denver tour today.