Some students might be intimidated to attend a professor or administrator’s office hours. But they shouldn’t be.
Professors and administrators are happy to meet with you! This is a great way to make a connection that can benefit you well beyond the course material.
"Office hours provide students a valuable opportunity to engage with administrators one-on-one and deepen their understanding of their career path or course materials," says Joe Allegra, senior associate director for the department of Management Information Systems. “It's a pivotal support system for academic success.”
Office hours are available in many formats—physical campus office, video chat, answering questions via email and talking before or after class—making it convenient for both the student and the professor or administrator.
Here are the top 5 reasons to attend office hours:
Help with coursework
Be prepared with specific questions you have that are relevant to the class material. This is the most efficient way for you to gain clarity around the subject matter.
Brainstorm research papers or projects
Not sure if your paper idea fits the assignment parameters? Share your ideas with the professor and establish a productive dialogue.
Get feedback on a grade
Are you confused about a grade? Having a conversation with your professor is the best way to determine how to succeed in the course. Feedback is important and provides you with a chance to prepare for future assignments. Showing up also shows that you care about your academic success.
Request a letter of recommendation
If you are seeking a letter of recommendation, having your professor, advisor or administrator already know your performance, academic ability and goals makes this process easier—and more personal.
Build a mentor relationship
Many professors and administrators have connections to industry. Establish a conversation about your goals and ask them questions about career paths. These discussions can open a world of opportunities you didn’t realize existed.
As marketing professor Jennifer Sundstrom-Fitzgerald summarizes, “Attending office hours is an investment in a student’s own success, signifying a deliberate choice to steer their own educational journey.”