Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What College Students Need to be Successful- A Professor's Point of View

I need to say something right up front: if you ask me what my job title is, I would not say that I am a college professor. I am a college administrator who also teaches a freshman level class. I see both sides of the academic world: the administrative and the academic. However, my main focus as of this point in time is the administrative.

I came across a cute blog known as Words on my Page written by Sierra Bailey who is a college English major. I highly recommend that you check out her blog and like her Facebook page. She wrote a blog post entitled Five Things to do the Week Before Classes Start. She shares tips on how to prepare for class from a student's perspective. The post inspired me to give some tips from an instructor's point of view on what college students need to do to prepare for class and have a successful semester.

I have worked in the field of higher education for almost eight years. I have seen many students succeed and many students fail. Here are my tips for all college students as you get ready for classes!

1) Get a planner and use it! This will help you keep all of your classes, extracurriculars, and projects in order. I had an intelligent student get a 'D' in my class because she said she kept forgetting about the assignments. She could have gotten an easy 'A' if she handed her stuff in on time.

2) Make sure you check your school e-mail regularly! All official notifications from the administration and faculty will go to your school e-mail. If you don't check it then you will be missing out on important announcements.

3) Have easy access to all syllabi! The syllabus is like a contract between professor and student. It should outline all expectations and assignments. I would recommend that you either print off all of your syllabi or save them to your computer/tablet so that you can refer to them regularly.

4) Set aside money for printing. It typically costs 10-30 cents per page and a lot of students don't keep those costs in mind when making a budget. You don't want to turn in a paper late because you had to scrounge around for printing money.

5) Use the resources on campus! Most of them are free (covered in the cost of the tuition that you pay) and are there for your use. I have seen a lot of students drop out because they did not utilize the resources that were available to them. Taking advantage of departments like academic support, tutoring, career services, and disability support can be the difference between getting that lambskin or dropping out.

College can be a stressful time. However, if you plan your days wisely and take advantage of the programs and resources available to you, then your college years should be filled with lots of growth and adventure.


  1. Being a college student I couldn't agree with these more.

  2. These are all great tips as college students and nice to hear from someone on the other side of things.

    xoxo, Jenny