Student-faculty interaction, a win-win campus connection
The Vanguard Vision
December 6, 2010 —
If you were by the Rotunda last Thursday afternoon, you may have seen something out of the ordinary: students and faculty out of their usual classroom environment, sharing snacks and conversation. The FYRE Side Chats put on by Residential Life offered students the chance to connect with professors, this time with members of the Arts and Behavior Sciences faculty.
The FYRE Side Chat series show how important and mutually beneficial student-faculty relationships can be. It also shows that SVSU is the kind of school where such valuable relationships can thrive. Relatively small class sizes and numerous venues for one-on-one interaction set SVSU apart from some larger academic institutions in the state.
The benefits for students are real. Talking to faculty members can help students become more comfortable asking for help and using office hours. Students can feel comfortable while getting the help they need and professors may find better outcomes in their instruction. Students can gain a new perspective on their professors as real and down-to-Earth rather than aloof and intimidating.
Students get the chance to learn more about their long-term academic or career goals. Professors, who usually have professional contacts and career experience, can aid students in networking and job hunting. A good connection with a professor in your field may be the best resource you have for finding the career you’ve envisioned.
Professors can help students find ways to be more involved in campus life. Many instructors serve as faculty advisers or donate their time to resident student organizations. A simple conversation about your interests could open up new paths for you to pursue those interests.
Professors have valuable advice when it comes to study skills and testtaking strategies. If you plan to take a high-stakes graduate school exam, talk to a professor in your department who has taken the test or who knows how to prepare for it.
Students are not the only ones who stand to gain from the student-faculty relationship. Professors who make themselves available and who remain open to interactions with students also stand to benefit from the relationships they create.
Interacting with students allows professors to learn about needs and interests of their learners. When faculty members know what captures students’ attention, they can refine their methods, topics and materials to suit their learners. It helps professors keep their courses packed with fresh and relevant content.
Through interaction with students, faculty can find interested parties to participate in projects and conferences. While students are learning how to contribute to the knowledge of thier fields, professors are securing the futures of their academic disciplines.
Faculty members are investing in future contacts. When students graduate and move into their careers, professors have a former pupil who is up on the latest developments in the field. Such contacts are valuable for the professor and the next class of Cardinals entering SVSU.
The Vanguard hopes that each student and faculty member makes an opportunity to foster such a professional and mutually beneficial relationship.