College protocol refers to the expected behavior of both students and faculty. For many of you, this is your first semester in college. You will find that the protocol is quite different from what you experienced in high school. In order to be successful as a college student, you should be aware of these standards of college protocol.
Choices Have Consequences
As a college student you are an adult with many choices to make. Along with those choices come consequences.
- If you choose to not attend class regularly, one consequence will be that you will fail the course.
- If you choose to drop the course before you fail a class, there are many consequences
- You will prolong the time it will take to meet your academic goal.
- You may be required to repay financial aid.
- You may be placed on probation or suspension.
- You may lose your scholarship.
- It is strongly suggested that if there are extenuating circumstances preventing you from attending class, you should first speak with your instructor and/or academic advisor for assistance before making a decision.
Regular Attendance is Critical
- Faculty expect students to maintain regular attendance.
- Each instructor sets specific criteria as to how your attendance may affect your grade.
- It is your responsibility to make sure you understand the specific attendance policy of each of your instructors.
- Arriving late to class and leaving early are tied to attendance.
- If an absence is unavoidable, it is your responsibility to determine what was missed, to learn the missed topics, and to complete the missed work.
- If the instructor does not count the make-up work, you still will need to learn the material to proceed successfully in the course.
- The instructor will not be able to teach again the topics that you missed during your absence.
- You should meet with your instructor outside of class to develop a plan for catching up with the missed work.
Class Preparation is Essential
- Come to class prepared.
- Take the appropriate texts and materials such as pencil or pen, paper, and calculator to class. These are your work tools!
- Complete your out-of-class assignments on time. Assignments are not limited to the required practice that you do to master a concept. Assignments also include previewing the topic or topics that will be covered in the next class.
Instructors Facilitate Learning
- Instructors prepare a lesson for each class meeting. Your understanding of the lesson is greatly affected by your preparation for class and your participation in class.
- The instructor sets the tone for the class, but you must do your part.
Classroom Environment Affects Learning
- The classroom environment must be appropriate for learning to take place.
- Avoid any activity or behavior that is distracting for other students and your instructor, such as cell phones, beepers, pagers, headphones, talking, coming in late, putting heads on desks, walking out and returning to the classroom, and leaving early.
- Other less common but equally distracting habits involve eating and drinking in class, even chewing gum. The noise from food wrappers can be very distracting during class.
- Be aware of distracting nervous habits such as clicking a ball point pen, drumming on the desk, and bouncing one’s knees.
- Students must always be respectful of others.
Emergencies Should be Handled Properly
- Understand what constitutes an emergency and how to respond appropriately.
- If an emergency prevents you from attending class, notify your instructor as soon as possible.
- If an emergency arises during class, quietly leave the room and give your instructor an explanatory note or explain the situation as soon as possible after class.
- Documentation of the nature of the emergency may be required.
Conflict Resolution Requires Attention
- The resolution of conflicts should be handled privately.
- If you are involved in a disturbance and your instructor asks you to leave, you must leave the class and then discuss the situation with your instructor privately.
- If the problem is not resolved by communicating with your instructor, contact the departmental office for consultation and advice.
Following college protocol will help you to have a positive, pleasant college experience. Every instructor has special expectations that they will share with you, but in general, attend classes regularly and on time, be prepared for class, avoid causing distractions, and be respectful of others.