How To Determine What Kind of College Professor Is Right For You

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Harrison Ford as a Professor in Indiana Jones Movie
There is more than just one type of college professor, and as you start to register for classes you will start to realize how important it is to choose a professor that is right for you. Attending college is about more than just earning your degree, it is about gaining knowledge and enjoying yourself in the process. If you want to make the most of your college experience, you need to determine which type of professor will keep you engaged and challenged. Here are 4 tips so that you do not end up selecting a professor that makes your semester miserable.

Know What Qualities to Look For In Your Professor

While no person fits every stereotype, you can classify professors into one of 8 different types. You have the new age educator, who prefers students to explore their mind rather than stressing the importance of grades. You have the organized but boring lecturer, who follows the same theory lectures every semester. Next, you have the professor who does not believe in grading on a curve. On the opposite spectrum, you have the likable class clown who is eccentric yet fun. There are also the teaching assistants, who want to prove themselves by assigning tons of work over breaks. Or the smart but tired professors who resent modern advances. Know what qualities to look for, sit in on a class, and find out which category is most suitable.

Go to Rating Websites

Believe it or not, college students do their homework on professors before registering for a class. Rating websites have reviews of professors and grades based on the content of the course, personality and teaching style. If you want to confirm that the professor is the right fit for you, visit a site like Rate My Professor and see what other students have to say.

Ask Other Students You Know

Looking at ratingswebsites is definitely a great idea but if you have a fairly large and diverse set of friends you should also consider asking them what they think of the professor in question. Your friends know your personality, just as you know theirs, and this extra information will make their recommendations invaluable to you. Asking multiple friends who have different personalities will help you to gauge the professors teaching ability and whether his style is conducive to your preferred learning method.

Get to Know the Professor Before Class

Some reviews left by students can be biased, and this is why you should not rely solely on ratings. You should do your own homework on the professor by doing a Google search to see what you can find. They may have a website or a page with past assignments that were uploaded by people who took their course. This will help you see how challenging assignments will be, and may help you get to know about the professor's background or their interests.

Wait List Other Classes Just In Case

Sometimes, you have to attend class before you can see what a professor is like and to get more info on how the semester will go. If you need to wait to get a first impression or to read the syllabus, then you should have a backup plan in place. Luckily, you have the option to wait list courses and drop the course within the first few weeks of the semester so that you do not miss out on credits.

Your professor does more than just give lectures. If you like personal discussions, be sure that the professor believes in encouraging students to speak their minds. Some students like to be graded based on test performance and not assignments. You have to consider your strengths as a student, and only then can you find the right professor.

Kandace is from Orlando, Florida. She loves fashion and eating healthy. She currently does freelance work for a variety of organizations since graduating from the University of Florida a few years ago. Kandace is qualified to speak on student-professor interaction because she took this course from Global Learning Systems.

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