What College Students Can Expect from Their Professors
With college, it’s as much about who’s teaching your classes as the classes themselves. For example, even a subject you had little interest in could become your favorite if you have a good professor. On the other hand, a bad professor can harm your ability to learn. Thankfully, the professors at Fort Hays State University are held to a high standard, and you can expect someone equally enthusiastic about the subject and their students. Many of my teachers I continue to look up to as role models, and regardless of who you take classes with, I hope you can do the same.
At FHSU, there is a mutual agreement between the professors and their students: you do your work and show up willing to learn and your professors will make the class fun and worthwhile. Common sense, right?
What if I told you there’s more you can expect from your professors? Even the word “professor” is an acronym for all they stand for. Ok, so maybe I made it up, but these are still the traits I have seen in the teachers at FHSU, and which you can expect your professors to have as well.
What is a professor if they’re not professional? The teachers I’ve met at FHSU have all treated me with respect. They understand that, even though we are students, we are adults. Classes are also constructed in a nondiscriminatory way that gives everyone an equal opportunity to learn and feel comfortable while taking the course.
You should never feel undermined (or on the flipside have your professor seem immature). Being professional is in the job description at FHSU, and you can expect them to act like the professional professors they are.
Your professor isn’t going to be your best friend or your babysitter. They’re here to teach and you’re here to learn. Expect to be appropriately challenged. That being said, don’t worry; college professors don’t feed off student tears (though that 100-question final made me skeptical). Their goal is to help prepare you for the “real world” and get you to the level you need to be at to do well in the future.
They understand you’re still human and life can be unpredictable. The professors at FHSU do their best to work with each student, especially when it comes to unforeseen circumstances. While every professor handles a situation differently (and in ways that can seem harsh), they’re not trying to run you out of college, and nothing will be given to you that you can’t handle.
I had a teacher who opened a class warning us that she could be a little disorganized. What proceeded was an online course with a syllabus that outlined the due date of every project of the semester and each week a new folder released with every assignment neatly labeled and easy to follow contained within it. Despite having many assignments over the course of the semester, I never felt lost or overwhelmed, all thanks to how well structured the class was.
Like with my example, you can expect a syllabus to be given to you at the beginning of every course and feel confident that your college professor will make good use of your time.
While there will always be accusations of “teacher’s pets,” the professors at FHSU are required to treat every student equally. The same expectations are applied to everyone, and the grade you receive in a class is the grade you’ve earned. While the standards expected of their students varies by the professor, everyone is held to the same ones, and they are certain to be clearly outlined in the course syllabus or on the first day of class.
As I said before, the professors at FHSU are equally enthusiastic about the subject and their students. They want you to learn and grow, and in truth are still growing themselves. Feel free to ask them about their experience in the field or questions outside of an assignment.
While Calculus isn’t exactly an action movie, your professors will do their best to make the material entertaining. Expect each professor to put their own spin on the material and embrace that learning can be fun.
A professor can’t be enthusiastic without being sincere. They truly want you to do well and spread their passion for a subject. You can rest assured that a professor isn’t going to lie to you on a subject or waste your time when they are as passionate about your education as you are.
I know this word has a negative connotation, but it’s actually desirable in a professor. When I say strict, I mean your teachers will demand that certain rules concerning behavior are followed. This is necessary to keep the class in order and genuinely help you focus on your education. Instead of getting in trouble, however, the strictness comes in making you take responsibility for your actions, often resulting in a failing grade and tuition money down the drain. In short, if you were a troublemaker in high school, you’ll learn to straighten up quickly in college.
You come to college because you’re excited about the future and what you’ll make of it. Professors go into teaching because they feel the same passion for learning. While no, not every professor you have is going to be bubbly and bursting with smiles, they are always hopeful for their students, and grateful to be here at FHSU. As long as you’re willing to learn, even if you’ve hit burnout, they’ll be there to help you push forward and improve.
Possibly the most important thing a professor should be is responsive. Questions, comments, and interaction both in and out of the classroom are encouraged. At FHSU, the professors have scheduled office hours when you can ask for help. Many also share their email so you may get in contact that way.
The teachers I have encountered at FHSU have always been as invested in their students. They have given me constructive criticism on my work and opportunities to give my own criticism and help them improve in teaching, which brings me to the final point I’d like to make…
So, these are the traits that you can expect of your professors: to be professional, reasonable, organized, fair, enthusiastic, sincere, strict, optimistic, and responsive. I can personally vouch for all of the professors I have had at FHSU.
However, even if you have a professor who doesn’t fulfill these expectations, at the end of the semester, you have the chance to fill out a course evaluation for each of your classes. This is a way to rate your experience in a class and give feedback to your instructors, helping them learn and grow with you.
Whether your teacher is laid-back or stern, teaches online or in-person, they’ll be the ones lifting you through college, not holding you back. As long as you keep to your end of the agreement and give them your attention, they will gladly share with you their knowledge and experience. Be excited to meet your new professors and help them pave the way to your future.
Mild-mannered student by day, writer by night... but typically by day, I’m Bailey Werner, current junior and graphic design major at Fort Hays State University. With a passion for storytelling that stemmed from 3rd grade writing hour, I’ve been crafting worlds and characters as a hobby for over a decade. Now, as a part-time content creator for the school, I’m living out my dream of writing professionally. If I’m not in my room reading, gaming, or making art, you can find me at the lake. I strongly believe in the power of storytelling, and I’ll continue to use my writing skills after graduation, in my work as a graphic designer.