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Can I visit a former professor during office hours?

SaoirseFlemingSaoirseFleming 5 replies2 threads New Member
I want to visit a former professor during office hours. I’m just not sure what they will think since I am not in their class this semester. Is it still okay to visit?
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Replies to: Can I visit a former professor during office hours?

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2827 replies65 threads Senior Member
    What are your reasons for wanting to visit and, out of respect for the professors time and that of the students actually paying for his/her time this semester, can your objectives be achieved using less than a minute or two total time?
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3559 replies12 threads Senior Member
    You can go visit. It doesn’t need to be a one or two minute visit, jeez. Professor office hours are often under attended unless something is due soon.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1944 replies31 threads Senior Member
    edited January 25
    I’d say you can attend but defer to students that are currently in classes - that’s the purpose. If current students are there to get help, I’d come back later or limit it to the suggested minute or two.

    If no one is there, I suspect a professor would enjoy some company and interaction with a former student. Professors are people too ;).
    edited January 25
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 811 replies17 threads Member
    Yes of course you can. You can also email them and ask to have coffee.
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  • dentmom4dentmom4 1437 replies4 threads Senior Member
    H has many students visit him during office hours, and outside of office hours. Past and present. No big deal.

    But, if a line is forming outside the door, cut your visit short. He doesn’t do one-on-one coffee or meals with students.
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  • SaoirseFlemingSaoirseFleming 5 replies2 threads New Member
    I just wanted to visit to say hi and tell him how my semester is going so far. I am also still trying to figure out my core concentration (a school requirement that’s basically a minor of my choice) and I wanted to discuss some possible ideas with him. I will definitely wait until any current students finish meeting with him. It’s the beginning of the semester so I figured it might be a good time before things get really busy. I have a good relationship with this professor by the way.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9363 replies352 threads Senior Member
    edited January 26
    Are you still being bullied at your current school? Why aren't you discussing your academic plan with the advisor there? Your former professor isn't being paid to understand the requirements at your new school and may be reluctant to take on that responsibity. Stopping in to say hi is different than asking him to take on advising responsibilities for you.

    If you enjoy your former school more, is there a chance you could transfer back? You wouldn't be the first student to decide their first school was a better fit for them.
    edited January 26
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  • jym626jym626 56617 replies2968 threads Senior Member
    edited January 26
    Is the bullying (mentioned in another thread) part of the reason you want to talk to this professor?
    edited January 26
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5494 replies25 threads Senior Member
    I find it interesting that you even are asking the question. But is this a former professor at the school you transferred from or is this a former professor at your current school?

    Since you have a question "if" you should then just email and ask. Ask them if it OK to stop by, If there's push back then at least you know. My daughter had a professor as a mentor that moved to another college out of state. She's been great answering questions for my daughter. They had a great relationship when she was a professor at her school.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8807 replies85 threads Senior Member
    My D has gone for coffee with past professors and sought their counsel/feedback so it doesn’t seem strange to me.

    I would email the prof and ask if it would be better to come to office hours or schedule another time.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7537 replies7 threads Senior Member
    edited January 26
    I see nothing wrong with visiting a former professor. I would send an email asking if office hours are best or should a different time be scheduled.

    My D has also gone for coffee etc with past professors and still remains in touch.

    edited January 26
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  • jym626jym626 56617 replies2968 threads Senior Member
    Agree- might be best to send an email first and set up a time to stop by.
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  • SaoirseFlemingSaoirseFleming 5 replies2 threads New Member
    I am not talking about the school that I transferred from. I like my new current school better and would never want to transfer back. The former professor I’m talking about is from my new current school not the school I transferred from. I had this professor just last semester when I started at the school.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9363 replies352 threads Senior Member
    I'd email them to ask when is a good time for them. At our university professors seem to keep office hours for currently enrolled students but they're very open to setting up appointments at other times with former students.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5494 replies25 threads Senior Member
    That is why I am confused. If it's a relatively current professor at your current school and you established a relationship with then yes, go for it. Many students will just walk by and if the door is open per se, just visit with the professor, as long as they have time. I am sure the professor would be glad you did. But why I am confused is why ask the question at all if you had a good relationship with them. My daughter just told me she did this exact thing on Thursday. The professor loved catching up with her and gave her some good advice since she will be graduating this year (finally
    Lol).
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3559 replies12 threads Senior Member
    For everyone saying “Why is this even a question,” let me point out that informing students on what office hours are for is a common component of programs to help first generation students. Many first gens are reluctant to “bother” their profs while students from higher SES backgrounds just naturally assume that the office hours are a time to discuss term paper ideas, career plans, etc. I don’t know if OP is first gen, but not everyone arrives at college with the same amount of cultural capital.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5494 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Good point. But usually professors give office hours times, emails and phone numbers the first day of class plus she was already at another institution. Many office hours are literally drop in sessions. If the door is open you can ask if they have time, if your walking by their office. Others want it more structured and some do both.
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  • SaoirseFlemingSaoirseFleming 5 replies2 threads New Member
    I am not a first gen college student, but I just wasn’t sure if professors want to see former students since I have never really bothered to see former professors unless they were my advisor. It’s just that I developed a particularly good relationship with this professor so I want to visit. One of my other former professors from last semester has offered to take me out for a drink on my 21st birthday. I had good relationships with all my professors last semester.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 39987 replies2198 threads Super Moderator
    My dad was a professor for over 50 years and previous students came by to see him all the time. And now that he's ill, he really enjoys it when they come see him!

    I have to say I don't think it would be appropriate for a professor to take you out for a drink. I would decline that offer if it were me.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5494 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Just make sure you have other people with you if you take him up on the drink for your birthday.
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