If all else fails, read the syllabus College Life

Hello everyone:

Some folks are getting ready to start back to college, perhaps for the first time in a long time or maybe for the first time ever. Perchance you are a returning student who was just there last semester. You may all have one thing in common: the failure to read the syllabus and/or the announcement page.

As an instructor, I use both to inform you about class policies. I don’t write them to be mean or to make your life unpleasant. Instead, I utilize this form of communication so you will know exactly how I am conducting the class so that your grades can be better. Maybe you’ve been in business for half of forever and you know exactly how I should do things. That’s nice. When we’re at your company, we’ll do things your way. When you are in my class, you’ll do them my way.

When I was an undergraduate a few years back (2001-2006) I had already been in business for myself for 16 years. I knew how to run a business and was happy to share the information with anyone who asked. But I found out very quickly that my professors, whose business I had entered metaphorically by coming into his or her classroom, had his or her own way of doing things and I’d better adjust. Fast.

Same thing for you. If you want to do well, really well, and have the professor in your corner, do things the way he or she wants. Do that by reading all of the announcements AND the syllabus.


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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