College Course Work: Help Is Available

In college, you may sometimes feel particularly challenged by an assignment or a class — most students do at some point. But don’t worry — help is available. Colleges offer many resources to help you succeed in class and provide advisers who can help you plan your college path.

Study Support

Get familiar with the following resources for help with course work and studying.

Office hours. Your professors have office hours during which you can meet with them to discuss course work. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this time if you have any questions or problems. If your professors can’t answer your questions, they can point you to other resources.

Deans and department chairs. These are the professionals who run academic departments or other units within a college. If you have more-general questions about your classes, talk to one of them. They're there to help you, and it's best to solve any small problems before they become big ones.

Writing center. Many colleges offer these free centers where you can get help with writing a paper or improving your writing skills in general. The center is staffed by students who are trained to guide you, whether you need broad tips on writing or help with a specific problem.

Tutors and guided study groups. These may be available through the campus learning center or a particular department. They can be a great resource when you need extra help in a class.

Independent study groups. You can join or start study groups with other students. Going over course material with others in your class can help you understand things you're not getting on your own.

Academic Advising

Most students get the chance to work with an academic adviser. An adviser can tell you which classes you need to take, help you plan a schedule that meets your needs and guide you when it’s time to choose a major. Some academic advisers specialize in specific fields of study, such as biology. Others work with certain groups of students, such as athletes.

Transfer Advising

Most community colleges offer advising to students who plan to transfer to a four-year college after completing the two-year program. If this is your plan, contact your college’s transfer advising office before you register for your first classes. The advisers there can help you choose the best classes to prepare for this path.

You should also talk to a transfer adviser at the four-year college you want to attend to make sure you take the classes you need and meet any other requirements for transferring.