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Interacting With Instructors
Introduce Yourself to the Instructor

  Despite being a relatively large research university, Clemson prides itself in undergraduate teaching and in having a large percentage of classes with 30 students or less. But regardless of whether the course has 20 students or 200, there will always be more students then instructors in the classroom. You must therefore take the initiative and introduce yourself to the instructor.

  This can be done right before or after class, during office hours, or at chance meetings on campus. The important thing is to do it, since a prerequisite for developing a positive relationship with an instructor is for them to know who you are. In general, you will find that faculty are very interested in their students as people, not just as bodies in a classroom, and that they will be happy to get to know you better.

  When you first meet the instructor, tell them a bit about your background, your interests, and your goals for a college education. Find out what the instructor likes to do beyond the course subject to see if you have common interests. Taking the time to establish such contact early on will often pay benefits later when you need help with course material, advice on future courses to take, letters of recommendation, etc.

   Another good way to establish relationships with faculty is to become part of the many diverse student organizations for which faculty serve as sponsors. The Office of Student Affairs on campus can provide you with a listing of these organizations and their contact information.

  Having built such relationships can be invaluable when applying for graduate school or jobs, because those applications typically require letters of recommendation from faculty. If an instructor knows you as more that just a student in one of his/her courses, then the letter they write will have much more impact on a reader. Like good friendships, such relationships take time to cultivate, so begin getting to know your faculty as soon as possible

 


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