What Every Student Needs to Know

Your Responsibilities

Unlike in second grade, middle school, or even high school, in college all academic responsibilities are yours, not your parent's, not your advisors' or your professor's. If you have a problem, are falling behind, or have questions, it is your responsibility to get help. Do not delay; you will be further behind and at the end of the semester it is too late

Set yourself up to succeed.

It is your responsibility to plan your schedule and choose the courses that you take. If you have trouble with this, go back to your advisor. You can still change your courses the first week of school. Make sure that you have time to get from class to class. It is unacceptable to always leave a class early to get to the next class or to constantly arrive late. Make certain that you don't sign up for too heavy a load. The semester always starts out easy but you want to be able to handle the load when everything is due at the end of the semester. Everyone is busy and everyone has the same number of hours in a day; so the excuse that you are behind or need extra time on an assignment because you are taking 18 hours, have a job, or have other commitments falls back on you. How you choose to use your time is your choice. You have the same amount of time in a day as each of your classmates. It is your responsibility to carefully schedule your time and to use your time wisely. You also need to be sure that you have the required materials, text books, etc.

Attending class is required.

Class attendance is not optional. It is your responsibility to get to class. The main reason students flunk out of college is from not attending class. You may need to go to bed earlier, buy another alarm clock, or not go out the night before. If you are sick and miss class it is your responsibility to get the notes from someone in the class and to catch up. The most important advice for a college student is: Never miss class.

Do not schedule appointments during class time

An academic advisement appointment is not a reason to miss class. Never schedule academic advisement appointments during your class. It is your responsibility to ask your academic advisor for an appointment that is not during any of your classes. If you have a job, schedule your work time outside of your class time. An excuse from your boss is not acceptable.

It is your responsibility to read the textbook

It is your responsibility to read the text and stay caught up. If we are covering chapter 3, it is your responsibility to read chapter 3 without officially being given a reading assignment. Read ahead so that you have already read the material before it is covered in class. In college you are expected to read and study the text without being reminded.

It is your responsibility to contact the professor to ask for help

If you have special circumstances and had to miss class or have fallen behind, it is your responsibility to contact the professor to ask for help. Don't wait until you are way behind, do this as soon as you can. At the end of the semester it is too late.

Always take notes

Write down what is said. It is difficult to remember all of the details if you don't write them down. Even if you think that you are not good at taking notes, do it anyway. Tests usually come from the lecture and your notes are the best study guide that you will have. The second most important advice for the college student is: Always take notes.

Know what is on the class web site.

It is your responsibility to look at the class web site frequently. It contains useful information such as dates of tests and other announcements, assignments, deadlines, handouts, and study guides.

Deadlines are deadlines.

You need to schedule your time in order to meet the deadlines. If you are given a week to do an assignment, do not wait until the night before or even the day before to start the assignment. Start assignments early.

Asking for help

If you have problems with an assignment it is your responsibility to ask your professor for help. All professors have office hours and if you have a class during those office hours it is your responsibility to ask for an appointment at another time.

The grade you receive is the grade that you earned

This grade is based on your achievement on the required assignments. These assignments were your responsibility to complete and turn in on time. Your grade is not based on special extra credit dreamed up to improve your grade because you did not do well on the required assignments, so don't bother to ask. Read the comments by Kurk Wiesenfeld of GA Tech Making theGrade. ( http://www.newsweek.com/making-grade-178860)

Academic Coaching and Engagement

Academic Coaching and Engagement, ACE at the Student Success Center at the University of South Carolina provides one-on-one coaches to help students with a variety of issues from academic planning and goal setting to study skills, concentration, note-taking and available resources. Their help can be beneficial for students in general or for problems with a particular class. If you are struggling or better yet, don't wait until you are struggling, go ahead and schedule an appointment and talk with them. Academic Coaching and Engagement (ACE)

Worried about how you are doing?

If you are worried about how you are doing in a class, go and talk with the professor. Don't put it off; the sooner you go the better. Find out what help is available, if your professor can give you advice on how to study, if he can help you understand a particular topic, etc.


It is your responsibility to check your university email account frequently. Always use your university email address when communicating with your professors. Keep your email professional; no colored text, backgrounds, cute quotes, etc. Do not use texting abreviations. Be certain that the email contains your first and last names as well as your course number and section number.

Don't Cheat

Don't ever cheat; not even on homework. All cases of cheating are to be reported; in our case at the University of South Carolina, it is to the Office of Academic Integrity. The consequences of cheating could be expulsion and you certainly don't want that. Today it is easy to share information or to copy information from the web. Be certain that the work that you turn in is actually your work. If you cut and paste it from the web it is plagiarism. Carefully cite all quoted passages.

It is ok to discuss your work with others but you need to understand it and do it later on your own. If two students turn in the same work, the one who did the work and gave it away is as guilty as the student who took it and turned it in as his own.

Think now about how terrible you would feel if you were called in and the proof that you had cheated was spread out on the desk. Frequently, students in this position say, "I did this, but I want you to know that this really isn't me; I am not a cheater." Are these students different from the other students who cheat? Professors are obligated to turn in all cheating cases, no matter the amount of crying and begging. It is your responsibility to do what is right; cheating is never worth the consequences.

Responsible Use of Computer Resources

The University of South Carolina has a strong policy against computer abuse. Students are expected to act responsibly using computers. This includes obeying all applicable laws regarding copyright and harassment. See the Student Guidelines for Responsible Computing at http://www.uts.sc.edu/network/guidelines.shtml. Student Guidelines for Responsible Computing

Technical Issues

If you are having technical issues with your computer, your blackboard account, or your university account or email address contact University Technological Services (UTS). If you have problems with a computer account that was given for a particular course or lab, contact your instructor for help.

The UTS service desk can answer questions about problems with your computer through email, Email: servicedesk@sc.edu (use your university email account) or over the phone; call the UTS Service Desk at (803) 777-1800. University Technological Services - Service Desk

Or you can take your computer to the student technology support center called, the Icare (Computer and Resource Education) Center, located on the corner of Blossom and Sumter streets. They can help you with a variety of problems with your computer including setting it up, connecting to the internet, virus protection, and software installation. See Icare for their hours and for more information.


Blackboard is the course management system used by the University of South Carolina allowing students to see and upload assignments, view grades, take quizzes and communicate with the class. Every course at USC will have a Blackboard site. Blackboard Support and More information about Blackboard at the UTS Frequently asked Questions

Student Health Services

Your personal well-being affects your academic success. If you are sick, go to the student health center. Don't wait, go ahead and go before you get worse. The link to Student Health Services at the University of South Carolina is Student Health Services; Phone numbers/appointments: Appointments - Student Health Services

Counseling and Human Development Center

If you are having trouble functioning, are extremely unhappy, think you could be suffering from depression, or have a relationship or family problem there is free help available on campus. Don't be embarrassed; this is not uncommon. Call and make an appointment and go and get help. Your information will be kept confidential. Don't delay; get help as soon as possible.
At the University of South Carolina the Counseling and Human Development Center:http://www.sa.sc.edu/shs/chdc/ Counseling and Human Development Center
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Appointments: 803-777-5223
Location: CHDC is located in the Byrnes Building on the 7th floor (on Sumter St.across from the Horseshoe)

Student Disability Services

Office of Student Disability Services helps students with many different types of disabilities. Their office is located in LeConte, Room 112A. Phone: 803-777-6142 Office of Student Disability Services http://www.sa.sc.edu/sds/. Office of Student Disability Services

Have a problem and don't know what to do?

If you have a problem and don't know who to ask, talk with your instructor, your advisor or someone in one of the offices mentioned above. Even if the problem is out of our field we may know or be able to find out who can help you. The faculty and staff, even those of us who appear to have a gruff exterior, care about students.