The challenges that students are facing as they engage in virtual and socially distanced learning environments are unprecedented.  Students are expected to be comfortable working with new technology, and be flexible as new situations develop.

But they’re not the only ones having to adapt. Professors are facing a learning curve as well. Professors want to help, and one of the best ways for students to engage with their professors is to attend their virtual or in-person office hours.

Understandably, students may have some trepidation about meeting with their professor one on one. They may feel like:

  • They’re asking for too much extra help
  • They’ll look stupid or lazy
  • Their professor isn’t interested in helping them outside of the classroom

It’s important to end that stigma, because office hours for college professors are much different than they are in high school, and what your college student may not realize is that professors love meeting with students!

It’s important for your child to know the advantages of making personal appointments with their professors, as they may yield many benefits:

It Shows They Care About The Course

A professor deals with many students each semester, and the ones that reach out for help will stand out. Asking for extra help, questions about the assignment, or anything else related to what they’re learning will show they taking the course seriously. Even a brief check in is evidence that your child is taking one step that many of their peers don’t, and having that face to face will be advantageous throughout the semester.

It Will Make Asking For Help A Lot Easier

There may be a situation in which your child needs clarification about the material or needs to understand the professor’s expectations, and they’ll feel more comfortable if they already have a relationship with the professor. Nobody likes asking for help, but reaching out will be a lot easier if they’ve already established their work ethic to their professor.

It Will Help Your Child Feel Connected and Supported

Particularly during the pandemic, your child may feel disconnected or unmotivated due to the lack of normalcy. Making an appointment with a professor can help to cut back on those anxieties; connecting with someone on a personal level can help put the human aspect back into their learning.

Professors Are a Great Source of Information

A meeting with a professor doesn’t have to be related to the course specifically; professors are a great resource for students who have questions about their future. Professors may be able to answer questions about majors, give advice on what courses to take, and give them tips on how to succeed in their field of study.

Professors Are a Great Networking Tool

In today’s job climate, who your child knows is just as important as what they know. As students expand their network, professors can help them find on and off campus individuals who may be useful in finding careers or internships. If a student has a positive relationship with their professors, they can work together to find opportunities that pertain to your student’s interests.

Students Will Need Letters of Recommendation

As they make the first steps towards applying for internships and jobs, your child will need solid sources that can write them a personal and compelling letter of recommendation; in fact, some jobs specifically require a recommendation letter from an educator using the university’s letterhead. If a professor knows a student personally, they can write a letter that goes beyond the basics and includes personal details. Professors are asked to write many letters, and your student can stand out and make themselves a priority.

A college professor is not your child’s:

  • Enemy
  • Boss
  • High School teacher

Finding a professor that serves as a mentor or friend will be hugely advantageous, and while a student can’t expect to know every professor on that level, it never hurts to reach out. Whether it’s an in depth discussion or just a few quick questions, it’s a chance for them both to have a conversation.

Our guest blogger, Dale, is a health coach who is focused on helping college students sot that they can do well academically, have a positive social experience, and maintain physical and emotional health. For more on Dale’s programs, email GAMECHANGER