Posts Tagged ‘professors’

5 Ways to Get to Know Your RA!

Categories: College Life
5 Ways to Get to Know Your RA


Your RA is your Resident Assistant (or Resident Advisor). They are upperclassmen that live in residence halls and dorms with underclassmen. RA’s have been trained to resolve disputes between students, uphold housing guidelines, and give you any and all advice you require as a freshman. Your RA is a terrific resource for all things college and will be there for you if anything goes wrong. Here are five ways you can get to know him or her better.

1. Attend meetings your RA arranges. It might feel silly or lame, but go anyway! Especially at the beginning of the school year. She will have important information on dorm rules and will share something about herself. Like a professor, your RA will have certain hours she is available to you and can point out special tips for your specific dormitory.

2. Friend your RA on Facebook. If she’s on your news feed, you can see what sorts of activities she is involved in and invite her to your own! You can also message her privately if you have an issue you don’t feel comfortable talking about in person. However, keep in mind Cappex’s tips on How to Use Social Media EffectivelyYour posts are available for all eyes on Facebook – including your RA.

3. Ask about her major and extra-curricular activities. Finding out that your RA has similar interests (football!) and stressors (bio exams!) will make her more accessible. Take it from Kaitlin Travers, who wrote an article for USA Today’s College section last year on being an RA. Instead of power hungry tyrants, Kaitlin proves that RA’s are college students just like you.

4. Use your RA and their training! Don’t be shy. If you have any sort of question or issue, check with your RA first. Chances are she is eager to help and will have an answer for you. You’ll get to know her problem solving strategies and how she interacts with you.

5. Invite your RA to a study session. Since they are upperclassmen, RA’s might have insight into study tools to use or great professors to take. They also might have experience working internships or be able to share their experience being an RA! Being an RA is a great way to save money on room and board during college.

Bottom line? Your RA doesn’t have to be a stranger. She also doesn’t have to be your best friend! But RA’s are definitely a good resource and will work with you if you work with them.

Have any RA success stories? Share them here!

Are you an RA? How do you like it?

Comments: No Comments »

Tips to Get to Know Your Professor

Categories: College Life
College Prof


Getting to know your college professors can be intimidating. You may feel a greater distance between you and your professors than you did with high school teachers. This is probably due to your large lecture hall courses and the number of students in each class. It’s easy to feel lost in the shuffle or confused as to the best way to connect with a professor. Here are some tips for getting to know those elusive collegiate course conductors!

Go to class. Seems simple enough, right? It is the best way to make your presence known to your professor. It also makes utilizing the rest of the tips on this list much easier. It’s hard to get to know your professor when you refuse to attend their class. Just go to class. If you feel ambitious, sit in the front row for the first few classes so the professor recognizes you! It is easier and more genuine to make an impression early. You’ll save yourself from scrambling to get to know them during finals week.

Ask questions. When you go to lecture or discussion, participate. Some classes grade students on their participation, but even if your class doesn’t, it’s important to engage in the conversation. Asking questions demonstrates your curiosity about the subject matter and willingness to learn more. It does not make you look stupid – if you have a question, chances are so do several other students in class.

Go to office hours. Professors usually have scheduled blocks of time for students to visit them in their office. These are called office hours and you should definitely take advantage of them. Use this time to discuss more questions you have about the course or what the professor looks for when grading. Office hours are especially helpful when the lecture hall is full of students. Stand out by actively meeting your professor!

Take more classes with your professor. If you like their teaching style, take another class from the same teacher! This is a huge compliment and they will be happy to see you in another course.

Read their published material. College professors often have published work out in the world – research papers or novels that they wrote before or during their time at your school. Some even use their materials in their coursework. Either way, take a look at these published works. It may give you insight into what their background is and what they value in education and life.

Not only are professors excellent learning resources, they will be more inclined to mentor you or write you a letter of recommendation down the line. Don’t be afraid to get to know them!


Comments: No Comments »

How to ask a Professor for a Recommendation Letter

Categories: College Life

For college students entering their senior year this fall, knowing how and when to request recommendation letters from professors is important. You got questions? We got answers!

Why would I need a recommendation letter from a professor?

If you decide to apply to any graduate school or program, in most cases you will need a recommendation letter to send with your application. Certain companies may also request one during or before a job interview.

How do I pick the professor?

Think about professors who know you well – preferably one who knows you by your first name – and have given you decent grades in their courses. Maybe you’ve taken more than one course from them. A professor who you have met with outside of class and has consistently given you Bs or above is a good choice.

How do I ask the professor?

Ask either in person or via email. When sending an email, be professional and clear about what you need from them. Explain why you need the letter and why you chose them to write it. If he or she doesn’t reply right away, give them some time and check back a week or so later. When asking a professor in person, be ready to answer questions about your graduate school plans and specific due dates.

When do I ask the professor?

Ask your professor 3-6 weeks before the letter is due. The more time you allow them to write it, the more thought and care they can put into you!

What do I do when they agree to write my recommendation letter?

Thank them! Then give your professor a list of all of the programs you are applying to with the deadline for each. Your professor may need to tweak their letters depending on where they are sent if programs vary. If your grad school or future employer asks that the teacher send the letter directly, provide an addressed and stamped envelope. The key here is to give your professor the least amount of work to do.

What do I do after they’ve written the letter?

Follow up to make sure they’ve completed it and it has been sent. You can do this in person or via email. You can also check in with the graduate admissions office to see if they received it.

Last but not least: THANK YOUR PROFESSOR! They’ve done you a huge service and put a lot of effort into this recommendation letter.

Get more college tips and information about colleges and scholarships on Cappex!

Comments: No Comments »