Building Healthy Relationships with Professors

By Alexa Dunn, Correspondent

Back in high school, teachers always said that nothing was going to slide by college professors. If you didn’t show up to class in business formal, coffee in one hand, already planning out your paper as you were walking in the door, you were done for.

Well, turns out college isn’t actually that intimidating. Sure, there are good and bad professors, but the grand majority of them are truly there to see you succeed, and that transcends even the classroom. What high school doesn’t prepare anybody for is that it’s worth it to put in time and effort into building a healthy relationship with the professors at your college.

Especially with how small Embry-Riddle is, it’s not hard to get to know your professors and to build relationships with them. This starts from day one – be prepared. It may seem tempting, if a class doesn’t require attendance, to skip and learn everything yourself. But attending and participating in classes is one of the best ways to get a professor to remember you, and that’s the very first step.

The next step is getting to know professors who have specialties in your field. Thankfully, that’s much easier at ERAU, as compared to many other colleges. Small class sizes and specialized degrees make it easy to find not only other students, but professors who have experience in their field and are looking to pass it on to others. And this doesn’t include just professors either – Teacher Assistants, tutors, and upperclassmen are all great resources to help immerse yourself in your future career field.

It may seem daunting, but asking questions is the best way to get a professor to notice and appreciate the work you put in. Even a simple email asking about the contents of the syllabus, or if they recommend supplemental tutoring along with the course, gives them a sign that you’re invested and looking to succeed.

Finally, get interested in your career field! If you must write a paper for a communications course, see if you can write it about something related to your major, and then go ask your major-related professor if they have any ideas or resources related to it.

College is exhausting, and sometimes it will feel like an insurmountable effort to even send an email. But the payoff in the end is amazing. ERAU’s professors provide an amazing support structure for students, and with just a small amount of effort, you’ve got an incredible number of resources and expertise, just an email, chat, or phone call away.

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