You may think that the first class session requires no preparation.  If so, you could not be more wrong. Preparation for the first day of class is important.

The First Day of a College Class is Important

There are many reasons why the first day of class is important to college students. Failure to attend class can lead to problems because the student does not learn important course information. That information includes:

  • instructor contact information;
  • instructor office hours;
  • what books and supplies are required (thought this information is usually available at the bookstore);
  • how grades will be calculated;
  • whether late work will be accepted;
  • the instructor’s policy on attendance and tardiness;
  • whether extra credit is offered;
  • when tests are scheduled;
  • what major assignments (papers, projects, etc.) are required;
  • when major assignments are due;

What College Students Should do the First Day of Class

Actually, before the first day of class students should double-check their schedule and locate their classrooms.  At the start of every term, lost and confused college students wonder college hallways and arrive at class late.  Sometimes they are in the wrong building or even on the wrong campus.

The First Day of Class, college students should:

  1. Arrive Early – This may not be possible, but by arriving early students can choose where they want to sit and make a positive impression on their instructors.  The first impression a student makes goes a long way with college instructors.
  2. Pay Attention – This is so important!  Once the class starts, do not talk to others or use your cell phone.  Failure to pay attention shows disrespect to the instructor, and that never works in favor of the student.  In addition, students who do not pay close attention often miss important information.
  3. Study the Syllabus – Not every instructor provides a syllabus during the first class session, but most do.  Students should make sure they understand the syllabus.  One of the most important things to know are how grades will be assigned.  Students must also know any special rules and the instructor’s expectations.
  4. Ask Questions – This is a student’s opportunity to clarify issues that are important to him/her.

© 2011 Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

August 22, 2011


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