Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What College Profs Wish Freshmen Knew

Our local support group’s first panel discussion this year provided some of the most valuable information that college-bound high school students will ever receive. We invited four faculty members from three area institutes of higher education to speak to high school students and their parents about what they wish freshmen knew about navigating college.

Our speakers, all homeschooling parents, were: the head of the English department at a small private college (enrollment of about 1000); a psychology instructor and biology professor at our local community college (enrollment of 11,000); and a biology professor at the University of Tennessee (enrollment of 21,000 undergraduates).
We had a wide range of class sizes, demographics of students, and instructor teaching load, and yet these faculty members have remarkably similar experiences, advice, and insight for college freshmen.
Our purpose for the discussion was to provide insight into what professors want from students, their insights into how to be better students and make freshman year easier. We selected topics that the panelists found most important and often most lacking in freshmen and went through these one by one:

Writing skills

Importance of syllabus, handouts, etc.

Personal responsibility/time management

Interaction with professors

Study skills

Campus involvement

Over the course of the next week or so, I’ll be posting their words of wisdom, so stay tuned and check back often!

#1. Write Well 
#2: Read the Syllabus 
#3. Be Responsible 
#4. How to Interact with Professors 
#5. Study 
#6: Get Involved

{Special thanks to my 16-year-old daughter for taking phenomenal notes during the session, from which I am working. I am thrilled that she has such excellent note-taking skills!}


  1. Glad you are posting this. Looking forward to reading

  2. I'm looking forward to this Sarah! These are definitely items that we can tackle and make sure we teach our kids as homeschoolers.

  3. I'll be interested to see how your panelists' comments compare to those of my dh - a faculty member at a unviersity down here in New Zealand.

  4. What a great idea! I find that it is often the simple things that trip up college Freshmen. I wrote on that last fall http://www.karentrina.com/2013/08/5-simple-steps-to-college-success-all.html#more

  5. Excellent tips. That is a great idea for a homeschool program. I think I will pass it along to our support group president.

  6. Hi Sarah, it's Jackie stopping by from Let's Homeschool High School's February Blog Hop. Thank you so much for linking up with us this month.

    What valuable info you are putting at our (homeschooling parents) fingertips! Thank you so much for sharing with us all, and a special thanks to your daughter for taking the notes.

    I look forward to you linking up with us in March!


  7. Great post! Found you at Blogging Homeschool Google community..question: I'm doing a round up on "Considering Homeschool". Can I link back to this post in it?
    Rachael @ http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com


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