Proper College Etiquette
It is important for college students to make a good impression right from the start. Whether in the classroom with professors and peers; through assignments, projects, and tests; or using the computer for an online class or to send e-mail messages, how students communicate is very important.
How to address a college professor
Anyone who is teaching at OCCC has earned a degree and can be referred to as professor. It is appropriate to refer to them as Professor or Professor Lastname. Dr. is used as an honorific if the person has a doctorate degree. Dr. Lastname would be an appropriate way to address this person. When in doubt, start with Professor Lastname unless you know the person has a doctorate degree, and in that case, use Dr. Lastname. If you are unsure how to address someone, it is perfectly fine to ask them what they prefer.
What to include in an email to a professor
When emailing a professor, be sure to include the following:
Subject line with your first and last name as well as the course name and section number example: Mary Jones SCL 1001 08S
Greeting addressed as the title appears in the syllabus example: Hello, Professor Smith.
Message should be specific and to the point. Be sure to use proper grammar, sentence structure, appropriate word choice, and sensible organization. Avoid giving excuses or telling long stories.
Ending should show appreciation example: “Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.” Close with your first and last name.
Before you hit send, read the message out loud and use spell check!
Expected behavior in the classroom
To make the classroom a place that is academically rewarding for both the students and the instructor, follow these behaviors:
Be aware of academic policies and requirements
- Read the syllabus
- Follow the guidelines for assignments
- Ask when you don’t understand
- Take notes on lectures and assigned readings
- Keep up on all assignments and class activities
- Manipulate class notes to improve understanding
- Spend at least two hours outside of class for every one hour of class time
- Listen actively
- Participate in discussions
- Focus during videos, presentations, peer reports, guest speakers etc.
- Avoid distractions
- Arrive to class on time
- Turn assignments in by the deadlines
- Turn off your cell phone before class begins
- Tell the instructor if you must arrive late or leave early
- If you have comments, criticisms or need to talk, see the instructor during office
- Work hard
- Take responsibility for your attendance, participation and learning in the course
- Do not cheat or assist in cheating