Professors give advice to help students succeed

Photo by Tyler Brown
Derrick Dean, a student working on his master’s degree in professional communications, seeks help from professors Ty Sanders, Allison Hess and Kathy Edwards.

The semester will be over before students know it, and to get good grades, students might want to keep their teachers happy. When Weber State University professors are asked what students can do to stay on their teachers’ good sides, the top suggestions tend to be similar.

Something professors suggested was most important was for students to be active in their learning and want to learn.

“It is important that your professors see you not just wanting to get a grade and move on; we want you to set and achieve your learning goals,” said Susan Hafen, a communication professor at WSU.

Hafen suggested students focus on three things: reading the syllabus and instructions for assignments before asking questions, participating in classroom discussions, and being curious and interested in class topics. She also suggested that students should avoid texting in class or missing class regularly.

Hafen also suggested students should pick majors that excite them.

“When starting your major, pick something you can be a mini-expert in,” she said. “You don’t have to know what exactly you want to be; just find a topic you really enjoy and that excites you.”

Sheree Josephson, chair of the WSU Department of Communication, said students should be on time to class, always be prepared with the reading, and ask questions.

“I’m always willing to help students,” she said. “When students ask questions, it shows that they are interested and engaged.”

Josephson said students should avoid missing class, check Canvas and be familiar with the information, and not procrastinate on assignments or studying.

“Professors aren’t scary,” she said. “We want our students to succeed. Students spend a lot of money, and our job is to challenge you academically.”

Allison Hess, also a communication professor, said she helps her students succeed by being prepared herself for every class period. She said she focuses on the level of the class itself and gears her instruction to fit that level. She assesses her students to find out where they are and their current understanding of the information.

“I want to make students want to come to class,” she said.

Hess said she does this by trying to make her lectures interesting and staying up to date with current information.

“Students learn better when they teach other students what they know,” she said.

Hess said she gives students the opportunity to help other students with their strengths and let other students get help on their weaknesses.

“I teach the way I would like to be taught,” she said.