The following are not simply suggestions for becoming a successful college student: they are your responsibilities as a college student.
Set yourself up to succeed. It is your responsibility to plan a schedule that accommodates your lifestyle. For example, if you know that you are not a morning person, do not schedule 8:00 a.m. classes. On the other hand, if you work in the afternoon, morning classes are your best option. Arriving to class late or leaving early are both unacceptable. Take care not to overload yourself. What looks easy at the beginning of the semester often compounds when you have several papers due at once or final exams to study for. Sign up for a course load that you will be able to handle at the end of the semester. Professors are not obligated or inclined to extend due dates for projects. You have the same amount of time in a day as each of your classmates, and it is your responsibility to carefully schedule your time and use it wisely.
Purchase all of the required materials. You will not be able to pass a class if you do not purchase the required textbook and any supplemental materials that the professor requires. Having those materials on the first day of class increases your chances of a great start in the class which will contribute to later success.
Attend all classes. It is mandatory and essential that you attend class. One of the main reasons that students fail courses is because they skip classes. However, if you have a genuine emergency and must miss, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and consult your professor about making up the work. If you are going to be out for more than one class period, or if you know that you are going to have to miss a class, contact your professor in advance. Make missing a class a final option. It always affects your grade negatively.
Schedule your appointments outside of class time. You know when you are supposed to be in class. Plan your doctors’ appointments or any other meetings outside of the class schedule. Even meetings on campus, such as academic advising or club meetings, are not excused absences. If you have a job, schedule your work hours around your class schedule. In the event that your work schedule changes, make sure your boss has a copy of your class schedule and understands that your education is a priority and you will not be able to work during the hours that you are scheduled to be in class.
Know what is on the course syllabus. It is your responsibility to frequently read and comprehend the course syllabus. It contains useful information such as dates of tests and other announcements, assignments, instructions, and deadlines. Compare the course syllabi from all of your classes and make a master calendar with deadlines so you are not overwhelmed at key times of the semester.
Read the course materials and stay caught up. If your professor will be lecturing on Chapter 3 in the next class session, you should read Chapter 3 before class meets so you will know what he or she is talking about. Your professors will not always remind you that you need to read and study. In addition, read and study all handouts or study guides that your professor gives you. This is your responsibility!
Take notes in class. Your professors may or may not remind you to take notes. They just expect that you will. It is difficult to remember all of the details of a lecture if you do not write the key points down. Even if you think that you are not good at taking notes, do it anyway. You will improve with practice. Test questions usually come from lectures and your notes will be a great source; however, these notes are not any good if you don’t study them!
Know your deadlines. Professors rarely extend deadlines even in exceptional circumstances. You need to schedule your time in order to meet the deadlines, and start early. If you are given a week to do an assignment, do not wait until the day before to begin it. Likewise, if you are given a month to do a project, do not wait until the week before to begin it. If a professor assigns a project with a month deadline, he or she expects more effort than you will be able to put forth in a week.
Behave responsibly and respectfully. Disruptive, crude, or otherwise inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated in the classroom. By the same token, you will encounter many differences of opinions as you pursue your education. When debating ideas with others, do so in a respectful manner. Check your course syllabus for additional classroom behavioral expectations.
Ask your professors for help. If you have problems with an assignment or understanding a particular concept, it is your responsibility to ask your professor for help. All professors have office hours and are happy to meet with students. If you have other classes during those office hours, it is your responsibility to ask for an appointment at a different time. Do this when you first realize that you are having problems. The end of the semester is too late.
The grade that you receive is based on your achievement on the required assignments and is the grade that you earned. It is your responsibility to attend and participate in all classes, study, complete all assignments, and turn them in on time. Grading criteria is spelled out in detail in the course syllabus. Professors will follow this guide and will expect all students to do the same.
It is your job to be a responsible college student: study hard, hold yourself accountable, set high standards, and seek help from additional resources, if necessary, to meet your goal of becoming a college graduate. This catalog/handbook is for your reference while you are attending Texarkana College.