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Expectations of a College Student

Walking into college during those first days can be an overwhelming experience.  A college operates differently than any other educational entity or workplace.   As a result, it can be a challenge to determine what is expected of a student. 

Get Started Well

It is important for college students to make a good impression right from the start.  Whether in the classroom with professors and peers; through assignments, projects, and tests; or using the computer for an online class or to send e-mail messages, a first impression is valuable.  

1. Be on Time

Being late does not make a good impression.  While occasionally it can't be helped, often times with a bit of good planning it can be avoided. 

  • If your class is online, log into class on the first day and log in often so that you are aware of due dates and communications from your instructor. 
  • Turn in assignments by the deadlines

2.  Say it Right from the Beginning

Anyone who is teaching at OCCC has earned a degree and can be referred to as professor.  It is appropriate to refer to them as "Professor" or "Professor Last name".  Dr. is used as an honorific if the person has a doctorate degree.  Dr. Lastname would be an appropriate way to address this person. When in doubt, start with Professor Lastname unless you know the person has a doctorate degree, and in that case, use Dr. Lastname.  If you are unsure how to address someone, it is perfectly fine to ask them what they prefer.

3.  Be Respectful

  • Turn off your cell phone before class begins
  • Tell your instructor if you must arrive late or leave early
  • If you have comments or need to talk, visit with your instructor during office hours
  • Do all that your instructor asks you to do and do it well
  • Take responsibility for your attendance, participation, and learning in the course
  • Do not cheat or help others cheat

4. Be Prepared

  • Take notes on lectures and readings
  • Keep up on all assignments and activities
  • Manipulate class notes to improve understanding
  • Spend at least two hours outside of class for every one hour of class time

5.  Be attentive

  • Listen and read actively
  • Participate in discussions
  • Focus during videos and presentations
  • Avoid distraction

6. Online Communication

How you interact with your instructors online is important as well. Review these Tips for Contacting Instructors through your OCCC Student email.


Want Additional Information?

The VLC has multiple resources and opportunities available to provide assistance to you.  Virtual Learing Center

Schedule a time today for your personal session.  

In person: The VLC is located inside the Center for Learning & Teaching

                SEM 2G3 (Across from the Math Lab)


Phone:  (405) 682-7838