Well, honestly, you won't really know whether or not your prof teaches in a style or uses methods you'll feel comfortable with until you actually sit in his/her class. But, you can do a little searching to see how other students have rated your potential prof. How? Let me let you in on a little secret, the web holds a boat-load of information on all sorts of people--including the professors at your college!
Where to Find Info
Assuming your college or university doesn't have it's own site where students post comments about their professors, you can always check to see if someone has posted a rating at www.ratemyprofessor.com.
What Sort of Information Can You Find
You can find comments related to how easy the prof is, how helpful he/she is, whether student's think he/she gets the point across clearly, and whether or not the prof is... erm... "hot." You can even, on occassion, find sample videos of lectures (posted on a related site, www.youtube.com).
How "Reliable" is This Information?
Reliability is entirely in the eye of the beholder. All of this information has been posted by students who have, theoretically, taken at least one class with the prof about whom they are blogging. It's "a" source of information, but I wouldn't weigh decisions to heavily on this info.
Where Can I Go for "Real" Info on My Profs?
Set up an appointment with a potential prof and take the opportunity to get to know him/her on a one-to-one basis. Go to faculty/student mixers and mingle. Talk to counselors, other profs in the department and upper-level students. This is where you'll get some of your best out-of-class info.
Until next time!
Preparing for college admissions? Trying to find direction? Need a little help with the planning? Check out my college planning series:
- College Planning Made Easy--the planning and preparation workbook for the take charge, college-bound student,
- Paying for College Made Easy--a college financing guide designed to assist students and families in preparing and planning for higher education expenses; and
- The Great Scholarship Search--my guide for students and parents researching and applying for scholarship funding.