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IE MICHIGAN DAILY
Making the University Workable:
Tips for the Incoming Freshman
U 'Academic Counseling Offei
Variet of Specialized Services
Below are a number of informal tips to help you, the incom-
ing student, make it through your four years at the University.
Although you will probably pick them up along the way inde-
pendently, The Daily hopes to save you a little time and pos-
sibiy a little discomfort.
HOW TO FIND OUT WHAT COURSES TO TAKE:
Your academic counselor usually will not provide advice on
a specific course. However, he is a valuable source of informa-
tion in finding out what courses you will be required to take
He will also not fill you in on just who are the really fine
professors currently teaching courses within the reach of fresh-
men, You should turn to your fellow students for this type of
advice. They May be prejudiced, but they are usually helpful.
Always check the name of the professor , who is teaching
the courses before asking for advice. The success of a course
depends almost entirely on quality of the individual professor.
If the name of the professor does not appear in the time sched-
ule, go to the departmental office and ask one of the coopera-
tive secretaries there. Most courses are usually offered at least
once a year and a student can wait to take the subject until the
preferred professor is assigned to teach the particular course.
Certain courses, listed in the general catalogue, however,
are taught only infrequently. If you are interested in a course
not listed in the time schedule, for a particular semester, you
should once again seek information in the departmental office.
Beware of advice from fellow students which emphasizes a
professor's personality, rather than his approach to his subject.
Comedy and flare in a professor's lectures usually wear thin by
the end of the semester
HOW TO CHANGE COURSES AFTER
YOU HAVE REGISTERED:
This procedure is commonly referred to as dropping and
adding. It is a time-consuming process, but well worth your
while if you are unhappy with a particular course. Drops be-
come more difficult as the semester progresses, so effect them as
soon as possible. There are only four years to an undergradu-
ate education; you should take full advantage of your limited
All drops must be approved by an academic counselor, not.
necessarily the one assigned to you. Go to the counseling offices
in Angell Hall and make an appointment. The lines will prob-
ably be long, but so is a semester with a disappointing professor.
Your counselor will probably ask for an excuse as to why you
wish to drop the course. The best policy is to speak with him
frankly about your difficulties. He will tell you -the procedure
for filling out the proper forms.
Before you go to your counselor pick an alternative course
and make sure it is not closed. Lists of closed coturses, can be
found in the counseling, office or you can contact the professor
in charge of the course.
WHAT IS A TEACHING FELLOW:
To have a teaching fellow as an instructor is a fate far
better than death. Most of the University's TF's are highly
competent graduate students more than capable of teaching
freshman courses. The Rackham School of Graduate Studies
has very demanding admissions standards, and takes only the
top of the nation's graduating college seniors.
Most TF's hope to be professors in a few years, so flatter
their ages and tell them they are underpaid. If you have a TF
for a recitation section of a course, there may be a difference
of opinion between the lecturer, who is usually a professor and
the TF. It is suggested that you side with the TF; since he has
the responsibility for final grading.
Remember, a TF is also a student and thus has two respon-
sibilities. He must keep up with his graduate studies while
simultaneously teaching a course. Many times his teaching will
HOW TO BECOME FRIENDS WITH A PROFESSOR:
Most professors are anxious to meet and talk with their
students. It is a vital addition to a college education and should
not be missed.
Even the most foreboding looking lecturer will probably be
happy to discuss his subject with you. Often times professors
even turn their conversations to campus affairs and national
politics. You can form lasting friendships and gain valuable
information by talking freely with your professors.
All professors have office hours which are especially set
aside for consulting with students. Most instructors are not
happy with large classes and yearn for a chance to establish
meaningful personal relationships with their students.
WHO ARE THE BIG-NAME PROFESSORS:
Well, most of the time nobody cares who the "big-name"
professors are, so don't worry about it. As you increase your
knowledge in a particular field, you will quicklysee who are the
leaders in an academic discipline. Most college professors are
not famous outside University communities, since their works
are either scholarly or scientific, and therefore have no appeal
to the mainstream of American thought.
The University has a generous snare of "big-name" pro-
fessors and ranks highly in almost all academic disciplines.
"Big-name" professors are usually famous for their books,
research and papers. This does not necessarily mean they are
good instructors. So make sure each is a fine "teacher" before
you take his course.
WHAT IS THE TRIMESTER:
The trimester is a new innovation in scheduling. It offers
you a jam-packed, tension-ridden eight months of intensive
study with few vacations. But it ends in April and gives you a
full four months with no exams to worry about. You are also
given a jump on students from other colleges and universities
in obtaining summer jobs.
You can finish your undergraduate education, under the
system, in less than three years, if you wish to take courses
during the summer months. Under the former system, this
would be nearly impossible.
The semesters are short, so there is little or no time to let
work pile up. Without a vacation break there is also no free
time to concentrate on researching term papers. So, watch the
calendar and keep up with the pace.
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