Whether you are a college student taking classes online or on campus, getting to know your professors is important. They post their office hours, phone numbers, and e-mails on their syllabi for a reason and that reason is they want students to communicate with them, ask questions, be engaged students, etc.
Reasons why building relationships with professors is important:
- They are more likely to help you when you are struggling, have questions, or have a request
- They can write letters of recommendation for jobs, scholarships, or internships
- They can serve as mentors
- They can help clarify course material and help you prepare for your exams (what better tutor can you have than a professor)
The new academic year begins this fall, read on for some important tips to help you build relationships with your professors:
Read the syllabus: The best way to get to know your professor and effectively communicate with them is to have a clear understanding of their expectations, policies, and how to get a hold them. All that information is usually available on the class syllabus.
Don’t be an online stranger: Students taking online classes sometimes feel they have fewer opportunities to communicate with their professor due to the lack of face-to-face interaction. However, you can still build a relationship with your professor through calls during their office hours and/or emails.
- If you are emailing your professor to asks questions or discuss something related to the class, make sure your email addresses them properly (include a salutation and their full name. Make sure your email is professional, this includes introducing yourself and letting them know which of their classes you are enrolled in. Finally, make sure you thank them for their time and promptly respond to any emails they send you.
- If you are calling the professor make sure you are prepared with the questions you want to ask or topics you want to discuss with them. Also, make sure you thank them for taking the time to talk to you.
Be an engaged student: In order to build relationships with your professors, it is important that you show engagement in their courses. This can be done in many ways including being an active participant in class (or message boards for online classes), stop by their office, email them questions, turn in assignments on time, etc.