Get To Know Your Professors

Sep 9, 2022

by Tangela Walker-Craft

At Florida Southern College, our professors are nothing short of extraordinary.

They’ve completed graduate programs, professional certifications, and various research projects in their field. Now, they’re eager to share that knowledge with our students through engaging lessons and activities. They understand better than anyone that sometimes students need additional assistance or clarification about the course material. That’s why every professor has office hours and wants you to use them! 

Here are a few ways to best make use of your time with FSC’s incredible faculty:

Professors are People
Get to know your professors beyond their syllabuses, lectures, assignments, and exams. Their job includes being an educational advocate and mentor for you. They should know as much as possible about your academic and career aspirations, and you should know as much as possible about them as facilitators of knowledge. There are several ways you can get to know your professors.

  1. Ask where your professors went to college and what were their majors, minors, and concentrations. Inquire about whether they participated in any research projects. This can spark an opportunity to ask if there are any opportunities for you to participate in research.
  2. Find out which upcoming classes they would recommend. If the professor is teaching a course in your major area, they are likely to know which classes will best prepare you for your prospective career. Don’t wait for class registration to reach out to your professor.
  3. Ask for career advice. Many professors have worked outside the classroom prior to becoming educators. They have connections in the academic and professional world who can also assist you with either furthering your education and/or pursuing a career.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck
Taking a course without collaborating with the professor is like going to a restaurant and letting someone else order your food for you. There is no harm in informing your professors what you want to learn from them. Yes, a professor knows what he or she plans to teach but informing him or her about what educational and informational gaps you want to fill could inspire a new lesson, or a new twist on an old lesson. Take the “KWL” approach when talking with professors. Share K (what you know), W (want to know), and throughout the course L (what you are learning).

  1. Share why you took their class with your professor, whether it be a general education requirement or a requirement for your major.
  2. Do not wait until the class is over to find out what you should be able to do at the end of the course. Ask the professor what he or she expects you to know or be able to do so you can track your own learning.
  3. Update your professor on your progress. Share your takeaways, old perceptions versus new perceptions, and lessons you enjoyed. If you were confused by a lesson, tell the professor.

Seek Solutions
Don't be ashamed or afraid to ask for help if a course is challenging for you. Schedule a meeting with the professor during his or her office hours. If you are uncomfortable meeting with a professor one-on-one, and you know other students who are also struggling, see if the professor can meet with you in a small group.

  1. Communicate with your professors to pinpoint what is causing your confusion. Since the professor teaching the course content is an expert, they can answer your questions and identify any problem areas.
  2. Get recommendations for additional resources beyond the textbook for the course. If the class reading is not adequate, he or she may be familiar with supplemental material that you can consult.
  3. Inform your professors if you find yourself struggling because of physical illness, mental illness, or a personal emergency. Personal issues can hinder academic success, so he or she can recommend campus resources. 

Mocs on a Mission
The mission of Florida Southern College is to prepare students through dynamic engaged learning to make a positive and consequential impact on society. Achieving that mission is easier when students and professors are in constant communication. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, share your concerns, or make suggestions.