The best way to seek information on campus or clarification in the classroom is often just to ask a question. And face to face conversations can help your student build relationships, work effectively and efficiently with others, and make a large university like U-M feel more accessible.
Plus, being able to communicate with faculty, staff, and other students in a meaningful way can help your student to eliminate conflict, succeed academically, and develop life-long leadership skills.
The University of Michigan and Student Life offer many resources to help students speak up in the classroom, engage with faculty, or clarify a misunderstanding with a peer.
- Newnan Academic Advising Center is one of many academic advising offices; students from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts can connect with advisors at Newnan to talk about their classes and learn strategies for success.
- The Office of Student Conflict Resolution in Student Life provides guidance, mediation, and shuttle diplomacy for students negotiating conflicts like disagreements with roommates.
- Housing students have a team of peer and professional staff called RAs and Hall Directors who live in their building and can offer assistance when in conflict or as students work to build community.
- Faculty member office hours offer a one on one environment where students can interact with faculty about a shared interest, a recent test, or ways to further their learning. Attending office hours early and often can help develop a relationship with the professor and stay on track academically. Encourage your student to attend!
Asking questions is certainly one part of the communication equation, the other is listening. According to leadership guru and author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey, most people listen with the intent to reply (evaluating or judging) and miss the meaning of what another is actually saying (allowing for a thoughtful response.)
Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Stephen R Covey
With time and practice, your student will develop new skills in college for asking questions, listening intently to responses, and communicating effectively with a wide range of people. You can encourage them to utilize the resources available on campus to make the most of their Michigan experience.
To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.