Avoiding Conflict: What you can learn from the syllabus
As a college student, you'll spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the world expects of you. Such mysteries can drive you crazy. Luckily, a lot of the answers are provided in the form of a syllabus, which is created for each course offering. Read it thoroughly and refer to it throughout the semester. Too many students embarrass themselves in class by asking questions that the syllabus has already answered. Don't be one of them. Here is the information you'll routinely find:
- How the professor prefers to be addressed
- How to contact the professor; his or her office hours
- What supplies you'll need for the course
- What books you'll need
- The purpose of the class and the professor's philosophy
- What is expected of the student in terms of attendance, class participation, homework, etc.
- Rules about submitting assignments and policies regarding lateness
- The course schedule, including a calendar showing when classes are being held
- Other details concerning extra credit, absence policies, and retesting
- Study tips
- How your grade will be determined.
Choron, Sandra and Harry. College in a Can. New York: Houghton Mifflin, New York, 2004.