Understanding Office Hours

Understanding Office Hours

Meeting your faculty and going to office hours can be an important part of your success in Public Health and at Cal State East Bay!

Here are some tips and resources:

What are office hours?

Faculty at Cal State East Bay have a lot of responsibilities: doing research, writing, helping to run the university, teaching, and advising. Office hours is a term used to describe a particular day and time that faculty are available exclusively for you. They are available outside of office hours but office hours are a guarantee that they are available for you.

My professor seems really busy, won’t I be bothering her?

No. Office hours are specifically for you. Your professor wants to help and to get to know you.  If you are unsure about going right to office hours, you can reach out to your professor through email or Slack DMs. 

What should I do to prepare for office hours?

If you have questions about class or material that you don’t understand, try and identify a few questions.

Expect that you will be asked questions. Your faculty want to find out where you are having trouble, what you understand, and what will work to help you specifically.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Visit your faculty frequently, even if you don’t have a problem or issue.

Follow the instructions your faculty member has for making an appointment. Even if you don’t have an appointment, you should still be able to drop in. Just be patient if there is a line!

What should I call my professor?

Always refer to your professor as Dr. or Professor. Even if your professor asks you to call them by their given name, you should probably still just call them Dr. or Professor.

I am doing well in classes, why should I go to office hours?

Faculty love the subjects that they research and teach and love to talk about them. What’s more, they are all experts on the topic. Office hours are a great chance to talk about the topics in Public Health.

Faculty have large social and professional networks that can help you find research opportunities, employment, graduate programs, and internships.

Faculty have also been where you are and can help with a lot of topics: how to study, how to stay organized, etc.

What are Slack Office Hours?

Some faculty and TAs have “offices” on Slack. During their office hours on slack, you can join the channel and be guaranteed that the person will be there. Faculty who have a slack office, might also post resources and information for their advisees.

What about office hours for advising?

You definitely should meet with your assigned faculty advisor to discuss your progress in your coursework, what career you might be interested in, etc. If you have questions about what classes to sign up for, degree roadmaps, etc., you should reach out to the Student Service Center in the College of Science.

Other Resources

How to Make Office Hours Less Scary - NPR

Your Guide to Office Hours - UC Berkeley

Using Office Hours Effectively - UNC