Rate your professors!

When the time to register for next semester approaches, you may want to visit "http://ratemyprofessors.com" to see if the teachers you're going to be taking have been rated by your classmates. Be careful, though: anyone with less than five or so student reviews hasn't really been rated. Don't just look at the numbers: you have to read the reviews. Not only is it important to know what students did or didn't like about a teacher, but also, who those students are! Consider these two reviews:
  • He are GREAT! First 'A' I ever! gotted.
    • (Avoid teachers who get such reviews! They won't teach you anything.)
  • He are WORST teacher anywhere. EVRYBODDY hate him!! I anatamy GENIUS, but he FAIL ME in ANP220 here at CBCC!
    • (Really!? 'Nuff said.)
A second concern: the numbers are sometimes misleading, since a single angry student can post over and over again to lower a teacher's score. Finally, be sure you have the right teacher. I'm listed three times, for example: twice without any first name, and once as "Michael."

Please: help your peers and future students by posting reviews (of me, and of all of your teachers). Please be civil and specific even regarding teachers you hate or love! Also: return after you reach the next step in your career. (See below for examples.)

Examples:

Useful to others:
IF YOU LIKED THE INSTRUCTOR'S COURSE:
Example 1: I learned a lot, and the tests were fair. I really feel prepared for the next course.
Example 2: I'm in nursing school now, and the way this instructor taught "neurotransmitters" when I was in the class has been really helpful.

IF YOU DIDN'T LIKE THE INSTRUCTOR'S COURSE:
Example 3: I worked hard but never managed to study or practice the right things for the tests, they simply didn't seem to be based on material we'd covered or skills we'd practiced.
Example 4: I got an "A" in this instructor's course when I took it a year ago, but found that I didn't learn nearly enough to help me do well in nursing school, where I'm really struggling!

Not useful to others:
He's AWESOME, I got an A!
OR
He's AWFUL, I got an F!


Career Information 1

No matter where you are (CCBC or elsewhere), I always hope to encourage an interest in gerontology. (My own field is biogerontology.) If you're a nursing student, here is a link you should visit if you have any interest in aging: http://www.geriatricnursing.org/applications/applications.asp.

If you are a CCBC student looking for information on the CCBC nursing programs, or other health professions, here are some useful links - I'd recommend you spend two or three hours reading everything on their site if you really want to know what you need to do and how the system works!

Career Information 2

Not everyone should plan a career in nursing! There are other options. Scientific American offers an excellent summary of growth careers in the health care field here.

I learned of the following new program from a student, and thought I'd pass the information on in case others would be interested:
The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy.


Ask for recommendation letters while teacher and employer memories are fresh!

A general hint for all classes: if you get an "A" and think you might someday want a letter of recommendation, request a "To whom it may concern" letter as soon as grades are posted. That way, the teacher can write it while the semester's events are fresh in his or her memory. Most of us have hundreds of students each year, and our memories of even the best of you will fade and blur as the years march past. (If you need a more specific letter years later, include a photocopy of the original one with the request, and explain that you're hoping the teacher will write another, similar one addressed to <the school or employer of your choice>.)  This strategy is also a wise one if you are leaving a job: ask your supervisor for such a letter. Such letters can make the decision between two otherwise identical applicants much easier for future employers or admissions committees.

Above all: when you receive any benefit from your teachers or your peers: pay it forward!

Just after I'd earned my Ph.D., I tried to find my best teachers so that I could thank them for what they'd done for me. Several had passed away! I can never pay them back or thank them, but I can still do as they did, and strive to "pay it forward." I hope that you will also - and if you can do a better job than I, by all means, do so: I'll be cheering you on!