The University of Alabama
Center for Academic Success
124 Osband

Just what is expected of you as a college student? Here are some of the things professors look for, and some ideas to help you get off to a good start on your academic career.

1. PUNCTUALITY: Students who are consistently late to class or appointments really irritate professors. Lateness may not cause you to fail a course, but it could cost you the benefit of the doubt. Be smart – be on time!

2. INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT: Professors like to see students who pay attention and ask serious questions. Students who sleep, clown, or work on other material during class should expect no sympathy when the professor figures grades.

3. MATURITY: Be responsible for yourself. Show up for class and turn in assignments on time. If you’ve got a problem, speak up! Talk to the instructor yourself, after class or during office hours.

4. CREATIVE THINKING: Be more than a face in the crowd. Put something of your own uniqueness into your work.

5. ADAPTABILITY: Grow as you go. Let your early mistakes teach you, and inject your improvement into your coursework. Some professors drop or give less weight to grades earned early in a course WHEN the student shows substantial improvement.

6. WILLINGNESS TO TAKE CRITICISM: Honesty can hurt, especially if you’re not used to it. Don’t get defensive or give up. Professors usually give out criticism to be constructive. Take it that way and you’ll grow.

7. ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Spelling errors will cost you points in history and biology just as they will in English. Give credit to the proper source, document your work carefully and correctly (plagiarism can get you expelled, too!) Study and remember the contents of the course syllabus. Vital information is usually included that is never mentioned elsewhere in the course.