|"The will to succeed is important, but
what is more important is the will to prepare."
Basketball Coach Bobby Knight
Often students are not sure where they stand, or what a professor
expects. This list of assumptions is intended to help students
understand what is expected
in my classes. You may find that other professors have similar
expectations, although I encourage you to discuss this with them.
If any of these assumptions does not describe you, please come by
my office EARLY in the semester to talk about it.
- All of my students have great potential.
- Students take responsibility for their own learning.
- All students are in my class because they desire to learn
something. Otherwise, they would not be paying good money to
go to college.
- Students who wish to earn credits without working and
learning have switched to other courses.
- Students understand that it is possible to fail a course.
school, the requirements for passing a college course go beyond
up or making a good effort.
- Learning is more valuable than credit hours.
- Students at Bridgewater have perhaps considered attending a
technical college, but decided that they want the breadth of a
four-year, liberal arts program. This means that they are
willing to do difficult intellectual work in fields that are not
directly related to future employment, and to trust that it will
eventually all make sense. They will not waste their time and
energy wondering how each fact or skill they learn is connected
to future employment. The connections are usually neither direct
- General education courses - which constitute half of an
undergraduate curriculum- are as important as courses in one's
major. Both faculty and students
should act accordingly.
- My class fits the personal schedule of each student in
the class. Otherwise, they would have waited until a more
convenient time to take
the course. Students check the holiday and final exam schedule
- If a student needs to miss a class for any reason, the student
will find out what was missed from a student who was present.
- Students will take notes in class.
- The class is a class, not a bus station. This means that
everyone's attention is primarily IN the room, not elsewhere.
- Students spend two to three hours reading, writing,
and studying for each hour the class is scheduled to
- In courses where I provide lecture notes online, all students
have read them before class.
- Students will read assigned articles or chapters before class,
and will write their own notes about the reading. The 10 minutes
prior to class do not count.
- Each of my courses is a semester long discussion of a set of
ideas. I provide a framework and resources for the discussion,
but I do not provide the entire discussion.
- It is rude to arrive late to, or leave early from, class.
- Any laptops present in my classroom are there for academic,
not social, purposes. They will not be used for IM, e-mail, or
- Any laptops present in my classroom will not distract nearby
students with offensive or provocative material.
- Any laptops present in my classroom will not distract nearby
students with constant, irrelevant use.
- Sometimes genuine crises arise, for which students may need
to excuse themselves from class or arrive late. In such cases,
they will sit near the doors, and be as quiet as possible when
arriving or leaving. If a classroom has two doors, late and
early departure will be through the far door.
- I will not hear cell phones during my classes.
- Each student has - and regularly uses - a
Bridgewater State University e-mail account and Blackboard
- Students who send e-mail to a professor will check for an
response before asking, "Did you get my e-mail?"
- Students will use the name of the course at the beginning of
subject line of each e-mail message (e.g., "GE130 - question
or "GE332 - missing class for medical emergency"). Otherwise,
- Each student has a dictionary, in order to look up unfamiliar
words, or uses an online dictionary. If the proper meaning of a
word contained in assigned readings cannot be discerned before
class, students will ask about the word either by email prior to
class or at the beginning of class discussion.
- In books with a glossary, students first check the glossary,
some words are used in very specific ways in geography texts.
- Students know what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and the
consequences for violations.
- Students will not turn in somebody else's writing without
- Students understand the purposes of citations and how to use
- Students know that a google search is not the same thing as
- Students know when to ask a librarian for assistance.
- All written work is proof-read before it is turned in.
- Just because an essay is printed on a laser printer, it is
not a final copy unless it has been proofread.
- I do not know everything, even in courses I have
taught many times.
- College should be treated as a job, in order to
punctuality, neatness, reasoning skills, computer skills,
decorum, and all of the other things that make liberal arts
- Even students who have outside
responsibilities will plan to spend some time on campus
outside of classroom hours. Otherwise, students will not have
time to take advantage of the many learning opportunities
provided by the campus community. These include special
lectures, library facilities, computing facilities,
opportunities to work on group projects, and - perhaps most
importantly - the opportunity for random interactions with
other students and faculty!
- I should be available to students through office hours,
appointments, telephone calls, and/or e-mail.
- All students know what is in the syllabus for each class they
- Students who do not find me by casually dropping by my office
will try one of the many other ways I make myself available
- Students have access to computers, either at home or at the
university, and they have some ability to use them.
- Students who are unfamiliar with computers will avail
of the free computer training available through the Information
- Students with computer problems will seek help from computer
specialists, friends, or me.
- Students know how to obtain information from the World Wide
or are willing to learn how to do so.
- Students who are writing for my class have read my writing page .
- All of my students are worthy of respect, from me and from
- My students do have a life outside of my classes, and I
should respect that, while striving to ensure that outside
commitments do not erode the quality
of their educational experience.
- I can expect students at Bridgewater State University to be
capable as the students I have taught or studied with at major
because they are!
- I have probably forgotten some of my assumptions.
Return to my Not-the-13th-Grade page.
Any questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D.
Bridgewater State University