This page contains general information for students who are currently enrolled in, or who are interested in taking, my classes.
Students often ask for advice on how to succeed in class. The following is a list of general tips and guidelines that may be useful to anyone taking any of my undergraduate or graduate courses.
Attend class regularly. The most basic thing you can do to improve your performance is to attend class regularly, take good notes, and pay attention. Please note that I post all lecture slides online, so you do not need to copy each individual slide. Instead, try to focus on the overarching concepts or additional details that supplement the core points appearing on the slides. Also, please note that missing class for family events or other social activities does not exempt you from completing assigned material on time. While I realize that everyone values different aspects of their college experience in different ways, please understand that it is not my responsibility to accommodate the social schedules of every student. My job is to provide you with an opportunity to learn—whether or not you take advantage of that opportunity is up to you.
Do the readings. As with attendance, another simple step you can take to improve performance is to keep up with the readings. Spend even a short amount of time each day with the material covered in class and in the assigned texts—spending 15 minutes per day reviewing material will be considerably more useful to you can 4 hours of cramming just before a test.
Ask Questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The whole reason you’re here is because you lack knowledge, not because you possess it. Whether it’s in class, after class, or during office hours, asking questions to clarify difficult material is a critical step.
Document special needs, disabilities, or illness early. I’m always happy to accommodate students with special needs, but please do not wait until the last week in the semester to inform me of something that has been systematically affecting your grade all semester. Please speak with the Student Access Center for more information.
Students deal with a lot. Aside from demanding class schedules, many students are also dealing with complicated personal lives, family issues, or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. This can take a toll on students, and many may be dealing with depression, anxiety, food insecurity, or other issues that can make it difficult to keep up in the classroom. The sheet below provides a variety of on-campus and off-campus resources for students.