Professor says students need to ask for help early

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Teachers offer many resources for students to succeed.

By Alan Torres

With midsemester exams in October, students with low averages in classes start to panic and ask their teachers for help, but at least one professor warns that it may be too late to bring up grades.

Alice Laffere, professor of student development, said now it’s too late for the best results.

“You have to stay on top from the beginning,” she said Oct. 4 in an interview. “It is now too late to raise your grade up, but if students would seek help earlier, they wouldn’t be in this hole.

“With resources on campus such as the BioSpot, math lab, writing center and library, there is “no excuse to not to seek help,” she said.

“Students who are too afraid to ask questions in class, especially freshmen, may want to form small study groups,” she said.

“If you don’t understand something in class, then maybe in a small study group after class you can ask again and get an answer,” Laffere said.

She believes most teachers are willing to help their students, but students rarely seek help.

“A teacher always has tutoring hours and most times are posted outside the classrooms and always in the syllabus,” she said. “But the minority of the students ever come in for tutoring.”

“A teacher wants to help, but a student has to try,” she said with a shrug.

Laffere recommends students form a good relationship with their teachers and to show effort in class because students might need a reference or a recommendation letter in the future.

“A teacher has a lot of students throughout their career, so it’s hard to remember everyone,” she said. “But if a student shows effort and does good in class, then it’s easier to remember that student.”

“Right now its too late for advice, but if you get the right mentality on the first day of class, ask questions and stay on top of everything, then you wont need advice,” Laffere said.

Leticia Adams, advising team leader, says there are other things to consider when struggling with a class.

“First thing we recommend is talking to their professors to see what is the last thing they can do to save their grades,” Adams said Oct. 7 in an interview.

“After they talk to their professors and if there is nothing else they can do, then we recommend for students to come and see an adviser to weigh out their options and how much dropping would affect them,” she said.

Students who attend public colleges in Texas are allowed a total of six drops in undergraduate courses.

“If a student can drop the class, then we take a look at their financial aid to see if the dropping of the course will affect it,” she said.

“We understand there is life, work and school, but if a student talks to their professors and seeks helps, then they are more likely to succeed,” she said.


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