Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Top 10+ People to Meet When You Get to Campus

Top 10+ People to Meet When You Get to Campus

1: Your academic adviser -- Meet early, meet often, document everything.

2-5: Your teachers

6: The Dean -- Meet once, then just say Hello in the hall-way.

7-10: Your cohort

#11: (Bonus) - Your IT Support Person

Academic Adviser Meeting Goals

  • Evaluate any previous coursework (AP or transfer credits) 
  • Create your educational plan based on your aspirations, interests, and values
  • Set academic goals, set plans, and work towards those goals
  • Understand your academic program requirements
  • Set your next meeting

Meeting with your Teachers

It does not have to be elaborate, try inviting your teacher to a "Professional Coffee". Ask questions about the school, the curriculum, your specific classes, and learn how to succeed in their class. Uncomfortable with the idea... then have your cohort invite the professor.

Meeting with the Dean

The Dean leads the department and usually is responsible for curriculum planning and development, staffing, evaluations, and budgets. Introduce yourself to the Dean and discuss your overall plan for your education. Make sure to ask about conflict management (class waivers, problems with other students, teachers, etc.). Don't raise every small problem to the Dean. But, when you bump into a problem that is not being solved by teachers or academic advisers, the Dean is the next point of contact. Establish the relationship before you need help. 

Meeting with your cohort

College is not a trivial matter. Some schools have adopted specific programs to ease the transition into college. Schools might offer freshman orientation classes, "Freshman Success Communities", "Freshman Learning Communities" and study groups based on academic curriculum. If your school offers these programs you should seriously consider joining. If not, you should seriously consider creating one of your own. Find 3-4 other students with the same major or minor, and start meeting for study sessions. Throw a little recreation into the mix and you might start life-long relationships.

Meeting your IT Support Person

If you need network connectivity, are planning to take online classes, use BlackBoard  eCollege, Sungard Higher Education, or other academic/education service, the IT Support Person is a valuable friend to have in your address book.

For example: Austin Community College has many different campus locations and each has quirks for getting logged into their network. Big tip: write down the instructions to connect... on paper, and try them a couple of times when you are not on a deadline. Also, learn how to disconnect (for safety) when you do not need a network connection. 


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