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Building a Rapport With Your College Professor

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Believe it or not, college professors were not created for the sole purpose of making your life as a college student miserable. In fact, if you take some time to develop rapport with your college professors, you will find that most, if not all, are very passionate about their profession and the success of their students. You might also discover that your college professors can be some of your most dependable allies when your coursework gets to a point where it feels overwhelming. To assist you in the process of establishing rapport with your professors, Dr. Chance W. Lewis, the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education and the Endowed Chair of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers a few suggestions.

Tip #1--Attend class regularly, arrive early and always be prepared to work

ALL professors love students who attend class and are eager to learn.

Tip #2--Utilize office hours to ask questions

I encourage students to take full advantage of a professor's office hours to ask questions and explore opportunities that may be beneficial for the student while they are in college and once they graduate from college.

Tip #3--Produce quality work

Producing high-quality work that is above and beyond the status quo is an essential element in building rapport with professors. Professors can identify those students who have placed a lot of effort in the work that they submit. If you really want to establish rapport with your professors, you must strive to submit work that reflects dedication and excellence.

Tip #4--Be willing to take advantage of opportunities

Professors can be a great resource for a student if he or she is interested in learning about internships, assistantships, scholarships, work study opportunities, conferences, etc. When provided with an opportunity, students should make every effort to take full advantage and make the most of it.  But remember, if the professor does not know you, you may miss out on a great opportunity.

As stated, building rapport with college professors can be extremely helpful for students. Not only can professors assist you with classwork, but they can also serve as a great resource. Just remember the four points provided by Dr. Lewis, and you should be well on your way to getting the process started.