Heavy reading or light? Discussion or lecture? You’ve worked really hard to get into a college or university, so how do you find the best college professors? You know, the ones who motivate, challenge and mold their students into better people? There are plenty of things that you can do to find the best professors, or at least some of the more popular ones, at your college or university.
Finding the Best Professors at College
Online Ranking Websites
It turns out that online ranking websites are used for more than just rating colleges and universities! You’ll find options that can give you the lowdown on the professors at your school, too. Keep in mind, though, that it’s easier for some people to complain than it is to pay a compliment. But you may be able to find out more about the classroom style: formal or informal, lots of papers or discussion-oriented.
Your Student Adviser
When you are figuring out your course schedule, ask your adviser! Who knows better than someone who hears all day long about what students like or dislike about their courses? Find out if a professor is heavy on the reading or big into papers. Ask direct questions to get a better idea of how they run their classrooms. While your adviser isn’t going to badmouth a fellow co-worker, they can at least guide you to a professor that fits your learning style (and your schedule). Chances are your adviser knows something–just make sure to ask your questions in a way that they can answer.
It’s in the Bio
Many college websites now include bios on their professors. You may have to dig very deep to find this information, but it’s there. Some will go into detail about their experience and also list papers that they have written or other published works. It’s a starting point to finding out more. It won’t tell you if the class is easy, but it may help you figure out who the true experts are in each field at your college. If they teach your major, that’s definitely knowledge worth knowing.
Who knew that you would use the Internet more than as a starting place to find a college? It turns out that it’s also helpful when tracking down a college syllabus. People share them in all sorts of places. Look up the course number and professor to see if you can find one. While you won’t know if the professor is a good fit for you, the syllabus will give you an idea of the course load and if it’s something you feel like you can handle or if you want to keep looking.
If you chose a college major already, chances are you will share courses with some of the same people as time passes (and depending on the size of your school, of course!). Meeting and getting to know upperclassmen is a great way to find out if the classes you are considering are considered great or not so great.
College Profs: Making the Grade
Keep in mind that no matter who you speak with and what you read, the bottom line is that it is someone’s opinion. You may take a course and end up with a completely different perspective.
Sometimes, the people that challenge us the most are the ones that help build and shape our character in ways that no one else could.
Visit www.mycollegeguide.org for more tips and information about college planning.