MU professors talk about how students can succeed

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — As your parents will no doubt remind you, students come to college for an education.

With that in mind, several MU professors were willing to speak to the Missourian to offer some advice for incoming students to ensure they get off to a decent start.

Classroom attendance

One aspect of college life that can be overlooked by students from time to time are classes.

Students are actually expected to attend them.

"I just wish students would be more respectful about coming late for class," biochemistry professor Shari Freyermuth said.

The associate professor of biochemistry said that while students should show up to class on time, if they are late, they should cause as little disruption as possible.

Anthropology professor Lee Lyman, also tells students that it's important to show up for class. Poor attendance often leads to a poor grade.

"The ones who don't come, virtually without fail, fail the class," Lyman said.

Technology in the classroom

While political science professor Amanda Murdei is not opposed to students using their smartphones or laptops in class, she would prefer if they were used as learning aids.

"Don't try to hide the fact that you're texting; it just looks weird," Murdei said.

Getting to know professors

Several professors recommended that students meet with them during office hours.

"I encourage them to talk to me or the TA, particularly if they need help with understanding the material, preparing for tests or adjusting to school," said Kirby Miller of the History Department.

"I would encourage students to go by office hours and meet their professors even when they don't have much to talk about," said John Howe of MU's Finance Department.

Meeting a professor during office hours gives the instructor a chance to know the student better, Howe said, which can be beneficial when the student wants a recommendation to apply for jobs, internships or study abroad.

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