Advice from Chickie: Vague professor expectations

Dear Chickie,  

We are almost done with February and I am still struggling with one of my professors being vague with their expectations for assignments. I have tried asking them and other classmates, but we don’t know what to do! Do you have any advice? 



Hi Ja’el,  

     This time of year can start to be frustrating and overwhelming. I am glad you sent in your question. I hope I can help!  

     One thing that I want you to start off with is making a list of all the questions you have asked and the answers that you have received from this professor. This will allow you to start to see the pattern of what you have asked, and their response to you. Make note of the assignments and the grades you received on them and if you had a conversation with them beforehand or not.  

     Making a list not only provides you with a tool to use but also if you need to take this to a higher level you have the notes to provide evidence, like a time log.  

     Staying after class to ask questions is not a good time to get a solid conversation in with your professor, as they are trying to get out of the room before the next class comes in. Look at the syllabus to see when their office hours are and ensure that you make time to be there.  

     When you express your concerns to your professor, you want to make sure that you are very clear with what you are talking to them about. If you are confused, stand up for yourself and continue to ask questions.  

     You are paying for your education and have every right to ask questions about assignments and what is expected of you.  

     Making sure that you are clear and have notes ready shows the professor that you are prepared and ready to have a conversation. Do not beat around the bush, get to the point and explain exactly what you want to know.  

     As you talk with them, write down all the answers you receive from them. That way you have something to reference when you are working on assignments. I hope this helps!  

Your friend,