What every college student needs to know

 

Your Academic Responsibilities ―

 

Unlike in second grade, middle school, or even high school, in college all academic responsibilities are yours not your parentís, not your advisorsí or your professorís.  If you have a problem, are falling behind, or have questions it is your responsibility to get help. Do not delay; you will be further behind and at the end of the semester it is too late.

 

Set yourself up to succeed. It is your responsibility to plan your schedule and choose the courses that you take. If you have trouble with this, go back to your advisor. You can still change your courses the first week of school. Make sure that you have time to get from class to class. It is unacceptable to always leave a class early to get to the next class or to constantly arrive late. Make certain that you donít sign up for too heavy a load. The semester always starts out easy but you want to be able to handle the load when everything is due at the end of the semester. Everyone is busy and everyone has the same number of hours in a day; so the excuse that you are behind or need extra time on an assignment because you are taking 18 hours, have a job, or have other commitments falls back on you. How you choose to use your time is your choice. You have the same amount of time in a day as each of your classmates. It is your responsibility to carefully schedule your time and to use your time wisely. You also need to be sure that you have the required materials, text books, etc.

 

Attending class is required. Class attendance is not optional. It is your responsibility to get to class. The main reason students flunk out of college is from not attending class. You may need to go to bed earlier, buy another alarm clock, or not go out the night before. If you are sick and miss class it is your responsibility to get the notes from someone in the class and to catch up. The most important advice for a college student is: Never miss class.

 

Do not schedule appointments during class time. An academic advisement appointment is not a reason to miss class. Never schedule academic advisement appointments during your class. It is your responsibility to ask your academic advisor for an appointment that is not during any of your classes. If you have a job, schedule your work time outside of your class time. An excuse from your boss is not acceptable.

 

It is your responsibility to read the text and stay caught up. If we are covering chapter 3, it is your responsibility to read chapter 3 without officially being given a reading assignment. Read ahead so that you have already read the material before it is covered in class. In college you are expected to read and study the text without being reminded.

 

If you have special circumstances and had to miss class or have fallen behind, it is your responsibility to contact the professor to ask for help. Donít wait until you are way behind, do this as soon as you can. At the end of the semester it is too late.

 

It is your responsibility to take notes. Write down what is said. It is difficult to remember all of the details if you donít write them down. Even if you think that you are not good at taking notes, do it anyway. Tests usually come from the lecture and your notes are the best study guide that you will have. The second most important advice for the college student is: Always take notes.

 

Know what is on the class web site. It is your responsibility to look at the class web site frequently. It contains useful information such as dates of tests and other announcements, assignments, deadlines, handouts, and study guides.

 

Deadlines are deadlines. You need to schedule your time in order to meet the deadlines. If you are given a week to do an assignment, do not wait until the night before or even the day before to start the assignment. Start assignments early.

 

If you have problems with an assignment it is your responsibility to ask your professor for help. All professors have office hours and if you have a class during those office hours it is your responsibility to ask for an appointment at another time.

The grade you receive is the grade that you earned. This grade is based on your achievement on the required assignments. These assignments were your responsibility to complete and turn in on time. Your grade is not based on special extra credit dreamed up to improve your grade because you did not do well on the required assignments, so donít bother to ask. Read the comments by Kurk Wiesenfeld of GA Tech Making theGrade.( http://www.newsweek.com/1996/06/16/making-the-grade.html)

 

If you are worried about how you are doing in a class, go and talk with the professor. Donít put it off; the sooner you go the better. Find out what help is available, if your professor can give you advice on how to study, if he can help you understand a particular topic, etc.

 

It is your responsibility to check your university email account frequently. Always use your university email address when communicating with your professors. Keep your email professional; no colored text, backgrounds, cute quotes, etc.

 

Donít ever cheat; not even on homework. All cases of cheating are to be reported; in our case at the University of South Carolina, it is to the Office of Academic Integrity. The consequences of cheating could be expulsion and you certainly donít want that. Today it is easy to share information or to copy information from the web. Be certain that the work that you turn in is actually your work. If you cut and paste it from the web it is plagiarism. Carefully cite all quoted passages.

 

It is ok to discuss your work with others but you need to understand it and do it later on your own. If two students turn in the same work, the one who did the work and gave it away is as guilty as the student who took it and turned it in as his own.

 

Think now about how terrible you would feel if you were called in and the proof that you had cheated was spread out on the desk. Frequently, students in this position say, ďI did this, but I want you to know that this really isnít me; I am not a cheater.ĒAre these students different from the other students who cheat? Professors are obligated to turn in all cheating cases, no matter the amount of crying and begging. It is your responsibility to do what is right; cheating is never worth the consequences.

 

Your personal well-being affects your academic success. If you are sick, go to the student health center. Donít wait, go ahead and go before you get worse. The link to Student Health Services at the University of South Carolina is http://www.sa.sc.edu/shs/;

Phone numbers/appointments: hhttp://www.sa.sc.edu/shs/patientinfo/appointments/

 

If you are having trouble functioning, are extremely unhappy, think you could be suffering from depression, or have a relationship or family problem there is free help available on campus. Donít be embarrassed; this is not uncommon. Call and make an appointment and go and get help. Your information will be kept confidential. Donít delay; get help as soon as possible.

At the University of South Carolina the Counseling & Human Development Center:

http://www.sa.sc.edu/shs/chdc/.

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Appointments: 803-777-5223
Location: CHDC is located in the Byrnes Building on the 7th floor
(on Sumter St.across from the Horseshoe)