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How to make the most of your Academic Relationships Presented by Jennifer Duncan In association with the Academic Advisement Center
Make the most of the relationship you have with your Advisor. Many people will have an impact on your academic career. However, out of everyone on campus who will influence you academically, few will be as helpful as your academic adviser. A successful academic advising session includes more than just finding out what classes are offered and whether you are taking the right classes to graduate.
When to visit your Advisor • Missouri State students are required to meet with their advisors prior to registration each semester until they have earned 75 hours. Juniors or Seniors on academic probations must also have advisor approval. • This does not mean that is the only time you should meet with them. This is the BARE MINIMUM!
Understand the role of an Academic Advisor • Your academic advisor is invested in your successes and persistence in school. • Advisors have a wealth of information! They can help with: • Course selection • Staying on track toward graduation • Answer questions regarding university procedures • Provide guidance if you experience academic difficulties
Establish a positive relationship with your Advisor • Get to know your advisor! He or she can be a great asset throughout your college experience. • Don’t just see your advisor for course scheduling. • The better you know your advisor, the more likely you will be to turn to them when in need of assistance.
There are different types of Advisors… • Academic Advisement Center • Advisors for student with less than 60 credit hours and undecided in their major. • Department Advisement Centers • Certain departments have their own advisement centers located inside an academic building. i.e. Business, Education, and Adult Student Services • Faculty Advisors • Most departments assign students to faculty members within their department who act as both teacher and advisor.
Be prepared for Advising Appointments • Create a few class schedules that include the courses you wish to take. • Have a list of questions for your advisor written down so you won’t forget them once you arrive. • Be on time for your advising appointment to make the most of you limited time together.
More on How to Prepare • Check out your degree audit. • Degree audits are designed to assist the student, advisor, and University in tracking student progress toward completion of all applicable degree requirements. Look into transfer equivalents for summer school.
How to use a Degree Audit Courses in a Degree Audit are grouped not by semester of completion, but by categories. (Ex. General Education Requirements) + equals completed requirement - equals requirement not completed yet Know where you are in completion of your requirements before you meet with your advisor. Ask questions too!
Look into Transfer Courses • Are you interested in taking a course at another school over the summer or in addition to your current course load? • Find out what courses are offered at other institutions and how they will transfer to Missouri State.
Keep all of your advisement materials organized and on hand. • Create an advisement folder or binder. Each semester, be sure to include your advisement information in this folder. • Keep your university bulletin/catalog and class schedule guide with this information. • This will serve as a great reference to you throughout your tenure at the university.
Make the most of the relationship you have with your Professors. Talking to a professor–out of genuine curiosity, a genuine interest in learning, a genuine desire to improve–is one of the smartest things a college student can do. Professors are people, just like everyone else, and many are happy to talk to students.
Questions to Consider: What do you think professors expect of students in the college environment? What do you think students can do to develop good relationships with their professors? Why is it important for students to have good relationships with professors?
Put Yourself in a Professor’s Shoes What is your academic background? How do you feel about the subject you teach? What student behaviors would annoy you? What activities fill your days? What student behaviors would you appreciate?
When to visit your Professor • Make an appointment with a specific subject for discussion in mind. • Stop by during office hours just to say hello. • Discuss questions about the course or an assignment you may be struggling with. • Talk about potential careers in their field of expertise.
Establish a positive relationship with your Professors • Be Polite & Respectful • Show Initiative • Pay Social Calls • Be Clear & Concise
13 Things You Should Never Say to Your Professor 1) “I’m ready to take the test I missed last week. Where do you want me to take it?” 2) “I’m going to miss class tomorrow. Will I be missing anything important?” 3) “I missed class yesterday. Can you go over anything important with me that I missed?” 4)“I worked too hard on that paper to get a “C”. Can you look at it again?” 5) Why did I get a “C”? I was in class everyday and took notes.” 6)“Why do I need to worry so much about spelling, grammar, and punctuation? I’ll have a secretary to take care of that.”
13 Things Continued… 7) “If you had read it like I meant it, you’d understand.” 8) “Why do we have to learn this stuff? They don’t use this in the real world.” 9) “Is this important?” Or “Will this be on the test?” 10) “You know, some of us have to work and we have other classes beside this one.” 11) “Can I schedule to take the test on a different day? I have another test that day that’s a lot harder.” 12) “I’m sorry this assignment is late, but I had to work so I can pay for my new car and I can’t quit work or I’d have to drive a piece of junk.” 13) “I don’t understand.” “What don’t you understand?” “Everything!”
Along with the 13 things… College professors are people who like to be treated civilly and with respect. Other things you shouldn’t do: • Talk while they are talking • Pack up your materials to leave while they are lecturing • Sleep during their lectures • Text on your phone • Play games or look at Facebook on your laptop.
Questions? Thank you for your time!
References • Leddy, M. (2005). How to talk to a professor. Retrieved April 6, 2010, from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/how-to-talk-to-a-professor.html • Michigan State University (2007). How to make the most of your academic advisor. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from http://criminaljustice.msu.edu/current/making.php?current_advising_making • Wax, D. (2007). Advice for students: how to talk to professors. Retrieved April 6, 2010, from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/advice-for-students-how-to-talk-to-professors.html