2015 Professor’s Tips

professor's tips

Some Professor’s Tips on what makes a Successful Student

Directly from the mouth of Professor Deborah Mindry is extremely valuable tips that each student should take to heart and follow to make sure of optimal results and success.  Continue reading for some insightful professor’s tips.

I have taught at universities for 15 years and here is what I tell my students at the beginning of each class:

  1. You are responsible for your education, you need to take an active role in your education don’t just sit there passively listening, contribute to the class – ask questions, share relevant experiences or knowledge. It helps you, the professor and the entire class to engage in dialogue related to the course material.
  2. At the start of each course, read your syllabus carefully and put all due dates for course work, tests and exams on your calendar. There is nothing more frustrating to a professor when you have this information in the syllabus but then you claim to have missed a deadline because you did not know the work was due. DO NOT schedule family vacations or other things on these dates and DO NOT expect the professor to make special arrangements just for you.  This is a whole different ball game to school.
  3. Read any assigned material for class so you come to class prepared to ask questions and engage in discussion. If you don’t have time to read the material in careful detail then at least read the introduction, skim read the bulk of the article or chapter, and read the conclusion so you know what the article is about and what you may want clarified in class.
  4. Be sure to go in and see your professor during his/her regular office hours. Even if you don’t have a very specific need to meet with them, it is very good to get to know your professor and for them to get to know you and your interests. Come in with questions about the course material or to make sure you’re on the right track for a class assignment or to get career advice. When a professor knows you are invested in the class, they are more likely to try and help you and to be sympathetic when you are struggling with the course.
  5. Before exams review your course notes, the course materials and any guidelines the professor has offered regarding the exam. In your review, make notes about things you need clarified or did not understand and ask the professor either in class or during office hours. If the professor has not already told you the exam format, ASK.  It is important to know what to expect.
  6. If you have neglected any of the above advice and then find yourself in trouble in the course, don’t expect the professor to suddenly be willing to help you out. BUT, be sure to visit the professor during his/her regular office hours, be honest about having slipped up, and ask what you can do to improve.

Good luck, and enjoy your learning!

Deborah Mindry, PhD

Research Anthropologist

University of California, Los Angeles

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