Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 3418 Learn about the classes you’re considering If there’s a class you are thinking of taking, get a copy of the course syllabus and talk to students who have taken the course. Review the course description and requirements, and learn how grades are assigned. Go to the college bookstore and leaf through the required textbooks. To get an idea of a professor’s temperament and teaching style, visit him or her during office hours and ask about the course, the assignments, and the availability of extra help. Note whether the professor is approach- able and willing to discuss the course. Better yet, sit in on a class you’re considering taking in the future. Before or after class, ask a few students what they think of the course and the professor. Don’t put too much stock in the evaluations posted by students online. These comments and ratings vary widely among students, and those who underperform often blame professors for their own academic shortcom- ings. Communicate in a respectful manner When first addressing a professor, use a term of respect: Dr., Mr., Ms., or Mrs. If they prefer to be addressed by their first names, they’ll let you know. Similarly, when emailing professors, avoid the informal writing style typical of email communication to family and friends. Remind the professor what class and section you’re in, be polite, write in full sentences, and use correct spelling and grammar. Remember that your professors went into teach- ing because of their passion for their subject, and for the satisfaction they derive from sharing it with stu- dents. Many professors report that there’s nothing more professionally satisfying and enjoyable than mentoring their most highly motivated students. Be one of those students. “I have gotten to know a few of my professors pretty well just by drop- ping in during office hours. Sometimes we discuss the class, but mostly we just chat about whatever is happening on campus or going on in the world. I enjoy talking to someone who’s older and smarter than me.” Keith, sophomore mechanical engineering major