College. The most exciting and most terrifying four years (give or take a couple) of your life.
There are so many factors that make up college life: roommate fun, late night pizza runs, homework cram sessions, eight a.m. classes, and more. When searching for a college or university to attend, you might have thought about all those things.
But have you thought about the faculty at your school?
Who are the faculty? Do they really affect you?
College and university faculty are the professors and teaching staff of a college or university. They are the people who will know when you fall asleep in your eight a.m. class, watch you completely blank on your presentation, and even notice the tear stains on the homework you turn in. They are also the ones that will help you find an internship, applaud you for a job well done, and cheer the loudest when you walk across the stage for that degree.
How can faculty break your college experience?
Every college tries to have excellent faculty members, but sometimes faculty can fall short and negatively impact your experience. Some faculty members might not be thinking about working with the students. For them, teaching is a job. They go to work to teach and return home. They might provide limited access outside of class, and are extremely strict graders with little rationale.
Faculty who offer poor communication to students can significantly impact your time at that college or university.
But don't let one bad experience with a single faculty member shape your whole journey:
- One bad faculty experience at a university doesn't mean you can't have hundreds of other truly great faculty experiences at that same school.
- You have the ability to choose a university that has amazing faculty. So pick wisely!
How can they make your experience amazing?
Great faculty will encourage you and push you to reach the most of your potential.
They will prepare you for the working world as best as they can. They won’t hold your hand or serve you with a golden spoon, but rather they will challenge you and give you that extra push at the right moments of your college career.
They will help you find internships that might lead to jobs you love. They provide support outside of class hours and will often become trusted advisors and mentors.
Great faculty can help you thrive, and can give you an overall positive experience at your college or university. You will always remember your favorite teachers.
Go and meet them
Some students forget to take time to meet a university's faculty when they're deciding on a college. But faculty are essential to your time in school! A good way to evaluate the faculty at the schools you are looking at is to go and meet them.
Schedule a personal visit to campus and ask to meet a faculty member in the department with your major of interest. Often, schools also have visit events with meet and greet times or academic fairs. Go shake some hands and meet some future teachers!
Ask the faculty questions!
When you meet the faculty, what kind of questions should you ask? Basically, any questions you feel are important to you getting that education and that job you love. See if the faculty match your vision of what a good education looks like, and how they can best support you in the pursuit of that education.