It is important for students to understand what is expected of them in the classroom and at the College. The College experience offers students a lot of individual freedom, but along with this freedom comes responsibility. A clear understanding of what professors expect of their students will help make college much more enjoyable and rewarding. Many of your professors’ expectations are outlined in the syllabus that is given the first week of classes.
Some faculty insist that you attend every class without fail, others may not be nearly as strict, but regardless, their attendance policy will be outlined in the syllabus. You should determine if your attendance and participation can contribute to your grade through your syllabus and your professor. Here are some hints on how to be more successful in the classroom:
Attend class regularly, do not miss class except for emergencies
If you have to miss class, contact your instructor to let them know why, preferably before class. Never ask them if you missed anything important, rather ask them what material was discussed and what you can do to make up the work missed. You may want to contact a classmate to see what happened during class, whether any handouts or assignments were given, or whether any changes were made in the course schedule.
Be attentive and participate in the class
Whenever there are discussions, projects, or labs, be an active and willing participate. The class will be more enjoyable and you will learn more. When you participate in class, you also show the instructor that you know the material. Some instructors give points for class participation. Make sure you read your course syllabus closely.
By actively listening to your classmates and your professor, you can gain knowledge on what the person is saying. Identify key points of the discussion and supporting details. This does not mean you can not ask questions, as questions can help clarify information, but listening to what is being said is key to academic success.
Sit near the front of the classroom whenever possible
It’s easier to pay attention and stay focused when you sit in the front of the class. With the rest of the class behind you, there are fewer distractions; it’s also easier to hear your instructor, ask questions, and see visuals (i.e. board, television, overhead, etc.).
Be prepared for each class
Do your reading or your assignment prior to the class so that you can fully participate in the discussion.
Get to know your instructors
Most instructors will give you their phone number, e-mail address, and/or office hours at the beginning of the semester. Do not hesitate to contact the instructor whenever you have a concern, problem, or question. For example, if you have a paper to write and are having a difficult time determining how to approach the subject, talk to your instructor. Most instructors are willing and happy to help you, but you must initiate the contact. You should, of course, respect your instructor’s privacy and personal time. Talk to him/her after class, call during office hours or send an e-mail. **Note: A large percentage of our instructors at NECC are considered part-time instructors and do no have offices on campus. Please check with them to see how and when are the best times to contact them.
Get to know your classmates
If for any reason you have to miss a class, it is a good idea to get copies of notes taken by other students. It’s also a good idea to discuss the class content with your classmates to assure your confidence in the missed subject matter.
Turn your cell phone on vibrate prior to coming to class
While it is distracting to faculty and your fellow classmates to answer a phone call in the midst of a class, we understand that there are emergencies. IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, exit the classroom quietly to take your phone call; do not answer it while in the classroom.
In addition to these helpful hints for Student Success, you may want to consult The Student Code of Conduct to determine policies at the College in regards to behavior and other expectations, including Cheating and Plagiarism.