Students begin every term with the potential to earn a 4.0 grade point average, says Patricia Feldman, associate director of SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (or A-LEC). “When we see students acting like 4.0 students, we see them reaching their academic goals,” she says.
She adds that one high-achieving senior recommends getting one assignment ahead of the syllabus. “That way, you will always know what’s coming up next in class, allowing you to take better notes, clarify confusing points and more easily master the material,” she says.
Here are more tips from Feldman for students as they begin the spring term:
• Go to every class. Arrive on time. Sit in front.
• Complete reading or homework assignments before class so you are fully prepared to learn.
• Go to each professor’s office hours to get acquainted and to ask for advice on how to excel in the course.
• After each class, edit and review your notes.
• Every week, review all reading and notes in your hardest course or two.
A-LEC offers workshops throughout the term to support students, including on textbook study reading, taking notes and preparing for the first round of tests and test anxiety. Find the workshop schedule here.
A-LEC also offers free drop-in tutoring Sundays through Fridays. Find the tutor schedule here. Also at A-LEC, the Writing Center’s English faculty offer help with any paper in any course. Call 214-768-3648 for a half-hour appointment Mondays through Fridays.
And remember: Ask a Librarian
Before students begin writing their papers, librarians at SMU’s Central University Libraries can help them refine their topics and efficiently find the best resources, allowing more time for refining papers, says Rebecca Graff, research librarian and instruction coordinator.
“When your students mention the words ‘research paper,’ tell them to ‘Ask a Librarian,’” she says. As part of the “Ask a Librarian” service, librarians are available through instant-messaging, phone, e-mail and at the libraries’ reference desks. Students also may schedule consultations for larger research projects.
“Our librarians also offer a range of resources organized by subject in our Research Guides,” Graff says.