Talk to Me: Increase Faculty Approachability with Materials for Students on How to Engage with Professors

How many students take advantage of your office hours...before they are in trouble in a course?

Talk to Me materials reduce the wariness some students feel in approaching faculty outside of class by giving them information about engaging with their professors.

The Talk To Me materials were designed to be used by Women in Engineering Program Directors and Student Affairs administrators—with 1st-year and 2nd-year women engineering students—to increase student-faculty interaction.  The materials have three components:

1. Talk to Me Tips for Students:

  • Why and How to Talk with Your Professors
  • What to Consider Before You Meet with Your Professor
  • What to Say When You Meet with Your Professor
  • What to Do if Things Don't Go Well

2. Talk to Me Seminar: Secrets of Success A slide deck designed to be used for presentations in group settings.

3. Talk to Me Facilitator's Tool Kit and Student Handouts  For use in conjunction with the 'Secrets of Success' presentation.

Each of these components was designed to be used  “as is” or, to be customized.  You can adapt the design and/or contents to be relevant to students on your own campus.  Feel free to add your own examples, modify graphics, change content, delete sections you feel won’t resonate with your students, etc.  While conveying this material, interactivity with students is encouraged.

What do students think about "Talk to Me"?

Five ENGAGE schools piloted Talk to Me with first year students.  Students reported that the Talk to Me seminar increased their interest and confidence in meeting with a professor and  influenced their decision to meet with a professor.  Overall students were very pleased with the results of these meetings.

I never realized that my professors were real people. Now I feel more comfortable talking to my professors about non-class material such as their research.