Teachers’ Study Tips

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The transition from high school to college is not an easy process. The professors can seem intimidating and the independent work is much different from the way most students learned in high school.

Skyline’s professors discussed the kinds of struggles they see among their students, and the strategies they suggest for succeeding academically.

“I think the best tip and advice that I could give, is to get to know your professors as soon as possible,” said English 100 Professor Jorey Cantu. “Once you establish a relationship, coming to class makes it a lot less stressful.” Cantu emphasized that feeling comfortable and connected with your other classmates and your professor is important in order to feel comfortable in the classroom and able to learn.

On the topic of what a student should do if they are failing or doing poorly in class, Cantu reiterates that a student should communicate why with their teacher.

“If both parties involved know exactly what’s going on, we can take action in order to kind of rectify any missing assignments, not understanding a specific topic, ideas,” said Cantu.

Christopher Gibson, the interim dean of language arts, claims that late work is a large issue in English classes. “When someone falls behind on an essay, it’s not like the rest of the course pauses until they get caught up… so it’s really important for students who fall behind to find a way to get caught up.”

Gibson describes three main steps which he believes will almost always lead a student to be successful: Be physically and mentally present every day, do all the homework, and get help when you need it. He also believes that going to office hours is important, but that sometimes students are afraid of attending.

Like Professor Cantu, Gibson believes that communication is important to success in any college class. “There’s another major component to student success, and that is a relationship between the professor and the student.”

Professor Elizabeth Ingber teaches violin and piano classes, and has been a professor at Skyline College for 12 years. Ingber states that one of the major issues she has throughout her classes is absence from class, and that many of the students who chronically miss class do not attempt to connect with her and explain why they’re struggling or unable to make class.

Ingber states that one of the major bad habits students get into in her classes is a lack of consistent practice. While consistent practice is primarily important to music, the principle is still the same in other disciplines: if you don’t practice what you have learned on your own time, you likely won’t progress very far.

For those who are failing, Ingber believes that the most important things you can do are to study in a group, communicate your difficulties with your professor, use additional resources, and of course attend office hours.

First-year student Angelica Marcelo talked about her experience so far, and what her experience in college is like compared to high school.

Marcelo states that while the workload is similar to that of high school, the level of time management that is required is higher. She suggests that new students improve their time management skills, as well as making sure to submit work on time.

Skyline College has great additional resources outside of class to help students. For those who struggle academically, Skyline offers tutoring at the Learning Center, and some classes may have an SI leader who hosts study sessions to help students. The SparkPoint center can help for those who struggle financially outside of class. Finally, you always have your professors.