Students have mixed thoughts about faculty office hours


Photo Illustration

Daisy Aguilar

Faculty at Sacramento State make time twice a week for office hours, yet many students on campus can admit to not taking advantage of the opportunity to meet with professors.

Many students do not attend office hours due to inconvenient times, busy schedules, failure to see why they are necessary or intimidation.

Sociology major Santos Pacheco, 29, said he believes younger students are less likely to visit professors because they do not know how to approach them.

“It took me a while to actually visit professors,” Pacheco said. “I didn’t think it would help initially, but as I got older I became more comfortable with speaking to professors.”

He said when he was a freshmen he did not visit professors as much as he does now.

“I think a majority of students never go to office hours,” said Fred Baldini, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “That is unfortunate. (Students) should go to learn, to connect, to have a better experience, to get help.”

He said he believes the more engaged a student is in and out of the classroom, the better learning experience they will have.

Some students said they only attend office hours if it is beneficial to them and wish they were able to visit professors more often, but other obligations get in the way.

Psychology major Kristen Neal, 24, visits her professors once or twice a semester.

“I prefer to visit my professors during finals or when papers are due,” Neal said.

Social work major Gabriela Bermudez, 20, said she has not visited her professors at all this semester.

“I say I’m going to visit professors, but I don’t,” Bermudez said. “I will go when I am concerned with an exam.”

Economics professor Craig Gallet said he usually sees more students in his office right before an exam.

Like Neal and Bermudez, psychology major Shelby Bump, 21, said she admits to not taking advantage of office hours unless she is concerned with a grade or exam.

“Some students probably don’t realize that faculty enjoys talking to students, feel it is an essential part of the job, etc.,” said Edward Lascher, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. “Students might come more often if they realized faculty wanted that.”

While some students attend office hours only if they are concerned with exams or papers, there are a few who make time.

“I try to visit my professors at least once a month to make sure I’m on track,” said 19-year-old math major Claudia Curincita.

Sociology major Eddie Triste, 32, said he takes advantage of office hours and the majority of the time professors remain in their offices.

“I visit professors often,” Triste said. “I think they are always willing to accommodate time for students if their hours don’t work for them.”

Baldini said in order for the majority of students to have more of an interaction with their professors, faculty need to encourage students to visit them during office hours but students should also be willing to act as adults.

“The student also has a responsibility to reach out as well,” Baldini said. “Students are adults and they can make choices that will make their experiences here better and more fulfilling.”