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College Success Tip # 14

Avoid Confusion

Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional Students don’t assume that you don’t have homework on the first few days of school. With each level of higher education one pursues there will always be a new degree of responsibility. This is not only true in one’s academic career but in every aspect of your life. Every higher education student will experience walking into at least one of their higher education courses and a professor, instructor or teacher’s assistant will provide them with a syllabus for the class to review. The syllabus is the outline of objectives, assignments, readings and projects that will be focused on and submitted during the course. Syllabi can range from two to three pages in length or can even be up to, or more than one hundred pages in length. This all depends on your professor, their teaching style and the course. In some cases students will have an opportunity to review their syllabus with the professor or teacher’s assistant. In those instances when a syllabus is reviewed an overview of assignments and the course layout is explained providing students with opportunites to get answers and feedback to their questions and concerns; but there are some situations in which the professor nor the teacher’s assistance will go over the syllabus with students. Some professors will pass out the syllabus after a full lecture on the first day of class, with an assignment due the next class session, expecting the student to review on their own. Or a student might have an instructor who passes out the syllabus on the first class session and then walks out of the room.

If all your professor has provided on the first day of class is a syllabus, then make sure you make it a priority to read the syllabus thoroughly and carefully. If you have to make annotations on the side of the syllabus do so and in a respectful way address your instructor with questions and concerns so that you are able to aim for success! It is important that you READ your Syllabi for each class! It is not only important but it is your responsibility to READ your syllabus and complete everything in the syllabus the way it is outlined unless advised differently from your instructor. It is your responsibility as a student to also UNDERSTAND everything in the syllabus. Don’t ever expect your professor to announce every assignment and every test to you. Some professors assume that you already read your syllabus. So on the first day of school your number one assignment is to carefully comb through the syllabus and any other materials handed out on that day. It may not be verbally announced but if it is an assignment you must have completed before your next class meeting, in most cases it is outlined and stated in the syllabus. Reviewing you syllabus in detail will eliminate unnecessary confusion and will help you to stay on target so that you are less likely to fall behind during the semester. Follow instructions as advised in your syllabus. There is a lot required of you as a student as you pursue your higher education degree.

Scripture Reference:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Luke 12: 48

Giving you something to read and hoping you will take heed,

K.C. Bryant

Industrial Tech Graduate -Texas Southern University

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