"Congratulations! You've gotten into college. Now put down the syllabus and pick up this book! Ellen Bremen's book is a must-read if you want to know how to make your college career a complete success." Chris Westfall, 2011 Elevator Pitch champion, MBA instructor Southern Methodist University, and author of The New Elevator Pitch
"Crossing wits with your superiors is never a good way to get ahead. "Say This, Not That to Your Professor: 36 Talking Tips for College Success" is an advisory guide for college students to form a better relationship with their professors, when to be friendly and when to own up to one's mistakes."-Midwest Book Review
"Ellen is the Dear Abby of college professors, so respectful, and with amazing wisdom about the inner workings of college." Vicki Davis,author of the award winning Cool Cat Teacher blog, Lifetime Television for Women, "The Balancing Act" blogger, and co-author of the upcoming Flattening Classrooms, Expanding Minds.
"Professors made a huge impact in my life and Ellen shows students how to make the most of these relationships to fuel their educational goals. This book is a must-read for every college student." Isa Adney, author of Community College Success: How to Finish with Friends, Scholarships, Internships, and the Career of Your Dreams.
From the Author
Why is This Professor Willing to Talk? It's simple: I started to see students, like yourself, unknowingly sabotage their education when a simple conversation could have helped their academic standing so much. Instead, students either dealt with class-related issues in a completely clueless way ("Can I turn in this paper late?" -- Me: "Sure, if I can let 27 other people turn it in late, too.") or, they just wouldn't say anything at all... which was even worse. Then, the problem never resolved, and grades suffered. Believe me, my colleagues all over the country report the same issues. What's the bigger problem? When students fumble their words, most profs won't sit down later with the student and say, "Hey, this is how the communication should have gone down." I'll admit, even as a Communication prof, I was guilty of this, too! Why? Because a term has only so many weeks. Profs have to be swift problem solvers for students, and then we have to move on to the next issue. Also, many profs don't believe their job is to teach students communication. I decided it was time to change all that and write the very first book in the college success genre to deal with this relationship that students will deal with every single day! Students, college is the ideal place for you to practice excellent communication, and professors are among the first people in your life you'll interact with as an adult. And guess what? You don't text with them. You don't Facebook with them (even if you Facebook about them). You need to deal with most issues face-to-face and sometimes via e-mail. My goal is to give you inside tips on how to interact so your professors will respond in a positive manner. I want you to learn what goes on behind the scenes of your classes so you can create opportunities, rather than fumble over excuses. I want you to confidently and properly stand up for yourself when you're concerned about your classes or grades. The result? Improved relationships with your profs, a stronger learning experience, and most of all, better grades.
A 14-year classroom veteran, Ellen Bremen is tenured faculty in the Communication Studies department at Highline Community College. Ellen is a professor who stops at nothing to help students strengthen their communication skills: Peanut butter and jelly to illustrate problematic messages, pipe cleaners to teach communication models, and Post-it notes to reduce speaking anxiety. Not surprisingly, Ellen has received national recognition for teaching innovation by the Sloan-Consortium (2011), the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and the National Council of Instructional Administrators (2003). Ellen blogs weekly as The Chatty Professor (http://ellenbremen.com), she speaks to college audiences through Samara Lectures, and is an insanely active tweeter (@chattyprof). Ellen lives in Seattle with her husband, daughter, and son.
I have a daughter going to college and two sons in college. I can assure you that they don't want to read during the summer before going to college. They believe that high school was to prepare them for college. This is an excellent book and should be required reading during high school. I read the book and found many of the ideas very useful. My daughter has agreed to read the sections that I have tagged for her. I have also had many conversations with all of my children about the ideas contained in the book. Ellen has lots of insight, but getting the information to the students is the challenge. It is a great book and for my family the best way to get the information is to share together. After sharing as a family, I believe they may be interested enough to read the book themselves, at least I am hoping that will happen.
As a communication studies professor the best thing that I can say about this book is that it takes solid communication theory and puts it into an accessible format that will motivate students. The second best thing I can say about it is that this stuff works! I have been in many (probably most) of the situations that Ellen Bremen describes in her book and without a doubt she nails how I wish each student had handled the situation. She is clear and practical. I don't think talking to your professor should be a mystery, and now, thanks to "Say This, NOT That to Your Professor" it isn't! Highly recommend this book.
As a non-traditional student, I take my education very seriously (4.0 GPA at present). I used some of the excellent advice contained in this book when I saw a potential disaster looming; upheaval within my family and a major project due. By following these recommendations, I was able to plan for all my responsibilities and reduce my stress level AND maintain my 4.0. What you won't find in this book: Gimmicks or preaching lectures. You will get clear, sound advice to use in building a solid working relationship with your instructor. Ellen Bremen offers real strategies any student can (and should) to use to take responsibility for and control of the educational process. She lays out the right way to approach the transition into higher education as well as how to turn things around when they've gone off course. Education takes hard work and planning. These strategies pave the way toward getting the most out of the process that you possibly can by putting you into the right frame of mind right from the start. Fellow students, read this book!
I interviewed Professor Bremen on my radio show and also had her as a guest on #DadChat, the largest Twitter Chat on Twitter. Professor Bremen's book was personal to me as the parent of a son who is college-bound this fall. When she talks about the blunders students might make, I could see those words coming out of my kids. Students want to be the victims and want to lash out. Heck, sadly, that seems to be the "American Way" these days, doesn't it? Professor Bremen points out that this is not going to get you far. But when she says she "gives students the words" to help them through challenging situations, she means that literally. Professor Bremen has so many valuable examples of actual phrases students can use. She teaches students that although they may be right, how they address an issue--from the words they use and even their tone--is so critical to the outcome of that issue. Really, this book is so much more than a college success book. It is a communication book, and the tips within, will help in ALL of life, not just college.
I started to skim it since Professor Bremen was going to be a guest on my radio show. Skimming turned into avid reading as the lessons taught here are valuable for life in so many different ways. When I finished, I marched upstairs and handed the book to my soon-to-be-freshman son saying, "This is the one book you need to have as you embark on your college journey!"
Do yourself and your kids a favor and get this book!
A must read for college-bound students, and really good advice that can be applied to every aspect of everyone's life. This book is so easy to follow. It offers 36 practical ways to ask questions to college professors that will open up communication lines and put you in a favorable light. Such practical advice, yet not so obvious to so many students who will benefit by knowing these secrets to approaching your professor. It is written from the viewpoint of a seasoned professor who knows.
I am in love with this book! It is one resource that will help ensure success for every college student that reads it. It provides many of the best tips on what not to say to your professor (and these situations really do occur on a regular basis); however, also includes the tips on what should say to your professor so that you are effective. Buy it for yourself or buy it for your college student but definitely buy it and pay close attention to the advice it provides.
This is a brave and honest book that bridges the long standing communication gap between professors and students. The author makes the point that college is the learning ground for students to practice conflict resolution, communication, and skills that will serve them well in the workplace. Then the author gives specific examples of what to say and what NOT to say in various and common scenarios students will encounter in college. This is a must read for all parents with high school graduates and all college bound students. This book can change the high drop out rate for first year students and serve as a blueprint for how to step into the a proactive problem solving role for college and career success.