Academic Options for Students with Low MotivationNovember 18, 2019
If students aren’t motivated, it is difficult, if not impossible, to improve their academic achievement, no matter how good the teacher, curriculum, or school is. A recent report by the Center of Education Policy suggests that upwards of 40% of students are disengaged from learning, are inattentive, exert little effort on school work, and report being bored in school. This lack of motivation is also associated with students feeling detached from their personal goals and relationships, not just their school experience. While many students who struggle with low motivation may not think school is for them, there are many academic options available to them to help them feel more confident about reaching their personal goals.
Motivation, Not Performance, Determines Academic Success
Students who are motivated to learn have higher achievement, show better understanding of the concepts they are taught, are more satisfied with school, and have lower dropout rates. However, their success is not measured by how well they do in school and the level of postsecondary education they pursue. This message often gets lost in our American meritocracy. The most successful people maintain positive attitudes and are passionate about and motivated by their goals. This is possible for every young adult–regardless of the path they take.
Students’ beliefs about themselves have a significant impact on their motivation. For example, students who believe they have a limited capacity to learn or feel they are unlikely to succeed often have problems with motivation. Many young adults believe that their past academic performance is the most significant predictor of their future success and struggle with grasping the concept of a learning curve. Learning is a dynamic process, rather than a straight line, that takes trial, error, and commitment.
Young adults who feel hopeless about their future find motivation by making shorter-term goals aligned with what they feel is relevant and realistic for them.
Dimensions of Motivation
- Competence: Students believe they have the ability to complete the task.
- Control and autonomy. Students feel in control by seeing a direct link between their actions and outcomes and retain autonomy by having some choice about taking on tasks.
- Interest and value. Students have some interest in the task or see the value of completing it.
- Relatedness. Completing the task offers rewards in their personal lives, like approval from others, a sense of belonging, self-esteem, or the ability to apply lessons learned in other areas of their lives.
Academic Pathways at Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum provides its students with three, distinct education tracks that support a growth mindset and allow students to reimagine their academic potential:
High School Completion
Trails Momentum students who have not yet graduated from high school are able to take advantage of the program’s unique approach to experiential teaching and learning and engage in AdvancED accredited coursework in order to satisfy graduation requirements. Trails Momentum’s Academic Director will assess a student’s academic record and partner with him/her to identify a plan of study that works to fulfill remaining obligations for high school graduation.
GED and HISET Preparation
Trails Momentum students who have a significant amount of high school coursework to complete before being eligible for graduation have the option of collaborating with Trails Momentum faculty to prepare for either the GED© or HISET© exams in order to get back on track towards further education or a career.
Through an innovative collaboration with partners in higher education, students can earn college credit at Trails Momentum. By contextualizing the curriculum, faculty help students build knowledge and skills for outdoor adventure and for personal growth. Throughout their tenure at Momentum, students can work independently and in small groups to actively apply academic concepts to their own experiences. Trails Momentum students have the opportunity to earn college credits in “Principles of Outdoor Recreation and Outdoor Adventure” and “Introduction to Communication and Leadership” that will transfer to any school they go to.
Trails Momentum Can Help
Trails Momentum is a wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-25 who struggle with anxiety and depression. The program’s goal is to inspire change in young adults that draws on a sense of community and adventure that helps shift the narrative about a young adult’s trajectory. Students are taught how to connect with the greater world, foster real relationships, and personally develop their own identity. Trails Momentum gives students the opportunity and tools they need to recreate themselves, becoming more independent from their parents, and get on track to a healthy, happy, and successful future.
Contact us at 877-296-8711.