What’s the fuss with my syllabus?

Hey First Years! Now that we are a few weeks into the fall semester it’s time to talk about the fundamental difference between high school classes and your new college courses – your class syllabus.

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A syllabus is the framework in which your class will be working, outlining your professor’s expectations of you throughout the course, as well as providing you with expectations for what they will be able to do for you throughout the semester.

In your syllabus you will find information such as:

  • The class title, classroom location and class meeting time of your course
  • The professor’s contact information – phone number, email
  • The professor’s office hours
  • Grading policies – how much assignments will affect your grade
  • Late work policies
  • Absence policies
  • Major Assignment due dates (for the whole semester!) 

Tips for reading your syllabus:

  • Refer back to your syllabus REGULARLY – seriously, check it every week. This way you can stay on top of your work and upcoming due dates and avoid the tendency to procrastinate (which we all do)
  • Before asking your professor, check the syllabus – it’s likely the answer you are looking for is written in the syllabus, saving both you and your professor some time
  • Highlight important due dates – it’s likely your professors have put the dates of your exams, including your midterm and final in the syllabus
  • Class scheduling – many professors will even put a day by day agenda for the entire semester in the syllabus; follow it as it goes! Cross out the classes as they happen so you can see where you are in the syllabus and how much of the syllabus is left to go

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Hope this information is helpful in your success during your first semester
and welcome to Salem State!
FYM Kelly

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