Helping Students Make Transitions

Moving from a non-academic setting to an academic setting can be challenging for many students. Listed below are ideas used by many professors to walk their students through this transition.

  • Put in writing a limited number of ground rules regarding absence, late work, testing procedures, grading, and general decorum, and maintain these.
  • Announce office hours frequently and hold them without fail.
  • Show students how to handle learning in large classes and impersonal situations.
  • Give sample test questions and answers.
  • Explain the difference between legitimate collaboration and academic dishonesty; be clear when collaboration is wanted and when it is forbidden.
  • Seek out a different student each day and get to know something about him or her.
  • Ask students to write about what important things are currently going on in their lives.
  • Find out about students’ jobs; if they are working, find out how many hours a week and what kinds of jobs they hold.