The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Communication aids in conflict issues

By Andrea Conley/reporter

Communication is often one of the most overlooked aspects of the relationship between a student and a professor, a South Campus coordinator told students last week.

A small group of students listened as Chris Carcerano presented a number of strategies in his workshop Communicating with Faculty Sept. 16 on South Campus.

Carcerano said developing effective communication takes time, patience and commitment. During the hourlong presentation, Carcerano of the center for academic success said students should attend class regularly and on time, introduce themselves to the instructor — more than two or three times if necessary, practice active listening and assert themselves when approaching an instructor to discuss issues or problems such as a disputed grade, but avoid being aggressive.

Carcerano, who works closely with counseling and advisement services, said he offers the workshop once a semester and usually coincides with the first exams of the semester.

“About 90 percent of conflict [between students and instructors] occurs during that time,” he said.

Some students receive lower grades than expected, become fearful about failing a course and then get angry at instructors.  Carcerano said such disagreements often can be resolved if the student shows diplomacy and keeps a cool head.  

Carcerano said he does not cover the workshop at orientation so that new students are not focused on potential conflicts in the beginning. In many cases, Carcerano said communication is negatively impacted by a generation gap in which younger, less experienced students have not yet learned to express concerns in a positive, non-adversarial manner.

“It [communication problem] is becoming more and more valid as an issue between people — not just students and professors,” he said.

Carcerano placed some blame on the ever-increasing use of computers and cell phones.

“Many lack practice in face-to-face communication,” he said.

Carcerano said students who missed his seminar can visit him in his office and/or attend future workshops. Those interested can call Carcerano at 817-515-4396 or stop by SACA 1105C.

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