Increasingly, state-supported institutions are being expected to have
students complete not only their courses, but also the overall programs
in which they are enrolled. There are three primary mileposts during a
semester that largely influence our ability to retain students to complete
their course, and maintain their momentum: the first class meeting, the
first examination or major assignment, and the final class meeting.
As we approach the final class meeting of most courses this term, be
sure that you:
- Create a positive final visual impression for students to take from
the course, through appropriate professional appearance and a neat classroom;
- Prepare an agenda in advance that includes status of assignments,
a forecast of the final exam structure and procedures, etc.;
- Provide a comprehensive review and study aids for the final exam;
- Relieve final test anxiety by greeting students as they enter the
classroom, then encourage them toward success;
- Identify the next logical course for students to take in their degree
progression, as well as the course you will likely be teaching;
- Conduct the student evaluation according to the protocol outlined
in the packet provided you, and review the evaluations following the
submission of your final grades, in your dean's office;
- As students leave following your final exam, say a quiet, personalized
"good-bye," and provide feedback on some contribution each
student made during your course.
Your proactive management of each of the key mileposts impacting the
retention students - including the final class meeting -- will make your
teaching much more rewarding, and help you discover your true significance
in the long-term success of your students.
Taken from The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success: Surviving and Thriving
in the College Classroom, by Richard Lyons, Marcella Kysilka, and George Pawlas.
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