Throughout high school, teenagers are challenged to become college ready. Academic excellence, positive peer relationships and extracurricular activities are the resume builders that equate to success. But are the tools this generation has enough for them to compete today?
Last year’s graduates are job searching in a bleak labor market. The unemployment rate for young college graduates, ages 21-24, averaged 9.4 percent over the past year. The underemployment rate for this cohort averaged a grim 19.1 percent, according to a briefing paper by the Economic Policy Institute published in May 2012.
“With a higher number of qualified and over-qualified applicants competing for jobs, grade-point averages and appealing resumes are no longer sufficient to stand apart from the crowd,” explains Priscilla Baer, co-director of LearningRx in Melbourne. “Fast, efficient thinking is a priority for this generation, and those to follow, in order to achieve success.”
LearningRx trains individuals ranging from preschoolers to seniors, from learning disabled to gifted, and from victims of brain trauma to career adults looking for a competitive edge in the workforce.
INCREASING INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY
Advancements in brain science offer encouraging new options to enhancing performance. According to Dr. Ron Kotkin, clinical director at the UC-Irvine Child Development Center, “We are now in an era where neurobiology and behavioral science can combine to enhance an individual’s cognitive functioning beyond the static concept of IQ.”
The brain responds to appropriate training approaches by making new synaptic connections, according to Lori Bryan in the advanced online publication, “Brain plasticity and cognition: A review of the literature.” Just like a computer, more connections mean more processing power.
“Reduced to its common denominator, all brain function, from moving a finger to solving a mathematical equation to planning one’s future, occurs at the synapse … Intellectual capacity itself (learning, memory, reasoning, planning, and all other cognition) results from networks of individual synapses operating in concert,” writes Brenda Patoine, science journalist for the Dana Forum on Brain Science.
Research shows that the innovative training methodology of LearningRx boosts brain performance, resulting in the ability to retain information longer, process ideas faster and handle new challenges with speed and ease. Baer points to the following case studies that explore the power of brain training in unlocking the potential for success.
CASE STUDY: ALEXIS
Alexis, a 24-year-old recent college graduate, was on the cusp of her chosen career. In fact, she had a job opportunity waiting. However, Alexis’s future was on hold as she struggled to pass a board examination. After investing in a college education, Alexis was at a standstill and the family felt discouraged.
Initial testing with the Woodcock Johnson III identified weaknesses in short-term memory, logic/reasoning and auditory processing. These deficits resulted in Alexis’s struggle to read fluently, retain information she read and make connections along the way.
Alexis signed on for 12 weeks of brain training. “I was a little hesitant,” she says. “Coming (to LearningRx) was a pride issue. Once I got into the training and realized what it was doing for my confidence, I started opening up and letting it do what it needed to do.”
Six weeks into the program, Alexis took the board exam. This time, she passed! “It was a big relief when I was able to pass that test, and an exciting time for everyone, because everyone knew what was as stake,” recalls Alexis.
Post-testing showed an average of 27.9-percentile point growth across Alexis’s cognitive skills, and an average increase in standard score (IQ marker) of 15 points. Confident in her processing and retention abilities, Alexis went on to a sports therapist position at Vanderbilt University with an even brighter picture of her future.
CASE STUDY: WES
Wes is an intelligent and talented 18-year-old young man. Embarking on his collegiate education with a spot on the University of Tennessee at Martin’s baseball team, one might wonder why he would take the summer to enroll in brain training.
High achievers may become so by compensating for weaker skills. According to Wes’s father, “You would have never thought of him as struggling academically. Most things you would write off as teenage symptoms – can’t find my keys, follow through on tasks or errands.”
For Wes, storing information for long-term use, and retrieving information were challenges. He often had to re-read passages for comprehension, and consistently scored below his classroom performance on standardized tests. Even with $2,000 of academic training for the SAT/ACT, the scores were exactly the same all three times.
Wes completed 36 hours of intensive training at LearningRx. While initially reluctant, the competitive nature of the procedures appealed to the high-performance athlete. The training uncovered skill weakness behind long-standing “preferences.” It also showed his strength in numerical memorization. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is equally important for success.
Wes would avoid completing puzzles with his family — the result of visual-discrimination difficulties. The gains made in visual processing have reduced the struggle associated with jigsaw puzzles, and are contributing to his performance on the baseball diamond. He went from an inability to differentiate vowel sounds, to automatically processing auditory information – a priceless skill for students transitioning to university lecture halls.
The training at LearningRx achieved for Wes what tutoring could not do. “Everyone should have their child tested to determine (cognitive) strengths and weaknesses,” says Wes’s father. “It is absolutely invaluable. This is not tutoring. It is 10 times better.”
With an average gain of 37.3 percentile points, and an increase of 18 standard score points, Wes went to college with the processing skills necessary for success. Recently completing his first semester, Wes reports a 3.4 GPA and an 80 percent increase in his reading retention.
Anyone can benefit from a boost in brain power. For more information on LearningRx, call (321) 727-3996 or visit LearningRX.com.