Succeeding in college: A professor’s thoughts
September 01, 2016
A professor at Georgia State University shares his thoughts on how students can succeed in higher education.
Transitioning to college can be tough, faculty members may have different expectations of you than you have encountered up to now. In order to be successful, you may want to put yourself in your professor’s shoes and look at classes from his/her side of the podium. Dr. Bob Jenkins, an associate professor at Georgia State University, shared his faculty-student “pledge” at the end of an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. He states:
“I pledge to do my part. I will:
- Stay abreast of the latest ideas in my field.
- Teach you what I believe you need to know, with all the enthusiasm I possess.
- Invite your comments and questions and respond constructively.
- Make myself available to you outside of class (within reason).
- Evaluate your work carefully and return it promptly with feedback.
- Be as fair, respectful, and understanding as I can humanly be.
- If you need help beyond the scope of this course, I will do my best to provide it or see that you get it.
In return, I expect you to:
- Show up for class each day or let me know (preferably in advance) if you have some good reason to be absent.
- Do your reading and other assignments outside of class and be prepared for each class meeting.
- Focus during class on the work we’re doing and not on extraneous matters (like whoever or whatever is on your phone at the moment).
- Participate in class discussions.
- Be respectful of your fellow students and their points of view.
- In short, I expect you to devote as much effort to learning as I devote to teaching.
What you get out of this relationship is that you’ll be better equipped to succeed in this and other college courses, work-related assignments, and life in general. What I get is a great deal of professional and personal satisfaction. Because I do really like you guys and want the best for you…”