Contacting your college professor made easy College Life

Hello everyone:

If you are taking a college course and need to get in contact with your professor outside of class, there are a few tips that will be very helpful:

First, check the syllabus for the professor’s preferred contact method. Does she or he like to be emailed? If so, what email address does the prof want you to use? With the many platforms used by colleges throughout the world, sometimes a platform will allow direct contact with the professor but other times it won’t.

For example, one of my colleges uses Blackboard but the institution did not pay for direct email access. Students must type in my email address directly in order to reach me. Many times, they misspell my first or last name and I never get the email. Another of my colleges uses Desire to Learn, which mixes up the emails between my classes and I have no idea which class you are taking when I check my messages.

When emailing the professor, please tell us which class you are taking and which assignment you are asking about. It takes up precious time if you write something like “I don’t understand what you were talking about in class today.” I then have to email you back and ask which of the six classes I am teaching that you are asking about and what assignment is muddy or unclear. That might take up as much as 24 to 48 hours, depending on when you emailed me, for you to get the answer you need.

On the other hand, if you tell me “Dr. Parmelee, this is Joe Smith from your 10 am Monday/Wednesday COM 1010 class. I need more information on the Informative speech Works Cited formatting,” then I have a real good idea what you need to know.

I do not check my email at night. That is family time. The best time to email me is about noon, Monday through Saturday, because early afternoon is usually when I am online. Check with your individual professors to see when the best time to reach him or her is.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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