Book cover for Connections Are Everything: A College Student's Guide to Relationship-Rich Education by Peter Felten, Leo M. Lambert, Isis Artze-Vega, and Oscar R. Miranda Tapia. An illustration of a female student in graduation cap and gown is surrounded by illustrations of various people (other students, professors, and many other people) -- all these people are connected by lines, forming a network.
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ISBN: 9781421443126

Johns Hopkins University Press, July 2023

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You might never have heard of “office hours” before college. Here are four things you need to know:

  1. Office hours are student hours. Bryan Dewsbury, a biology professor at Florida International University, found that some students thought the term “office hours” meant that was the time professors were in their offices getting their work done. He renamed them “student hours” to clear up their purpose. No matter what your professor calls them, office hours are for you.
  2. Office hours don’t always take place in professors’ offices. Professor Dewsbury often holds “student hours” in a residence hall to make it easier for students to attend and so there will be more space for a crowd—because many students tend to stop by. Professors who teach online courses, and sometimes professors who teach on-campus courses, will have office hours virtually (for example, on Zoom) to make it convenient to connect.
  3. You don’t have to go alone. Professor Dewsbury encourages his students to attend office hours in groups. Students will respond to one another’s questions and work together to solve problems. Even if your professor does not explicitly mention visiting office hours in pairs or groups, feel free to go together with another student from your class.
  4. Office hours are also a time to ask questions beyond the course material. You might be interested in talking about choosing a major, pursuing undergraduate research, or other bigger questions, from internship or community service possibilities to career or life advice.