Expectations and Skills Taught
"Students should be prepared to work, study hard, and appreciate challenges," says Lake Michigan College pre-law transfer program coordinator Dr. Gary Roberts. "I expect my students to learn how to use their analytical skills. The development of good analytical skills is absolutely key to law school." Dr. Roberts also comments that students should learn a little bit about as many subjects as possible, because all will someday be relevant.
Coursework is set up to encourage critical thinking. How well you perform on weekly one-page critiques of current event issues, a midterm, an argumentative paper, quizzes, and the final exam determine your final grade. "One thing that I demand in class is participation," says Dr. Roberts.
Occasionally you will break into groups to discuss topics. You will also be expected to present your argumentative paper to the class, and take questions from the class.
Dr. Roberts stated that "most students typically enjoy the sections on civil liberties; freedom of religion, freedom of speech, cruel and unusual punishments, and unlawful searches and seizures. These sections typically relate to everyone's daily life and students tend to enjoy them more. More controversial topics come out of this section as well."
"Learning can be a fun process. I want students to not just accept what is reported to them. Learn to question everything. Do not just accept it," adds Dr. Roberts.
Technology in the Classroom
PowerPoint presentations, videos, the Internet, and materials available on Canvas play an important role in class. This technology is used as a tool to aid in the traditional classroom structure. "Occasionally, I do show a pertinent film to the class, usually a documentary," comments Dr. Roberts.
Getting the Most from the Program
Dr. Roberts states that if students need additional assistance with an idea or concept presented during class, "I provide open office hours for students to easily come by and see me. I include email and telephone on my syllabus (both home and at school). I also tutor students who have a difficult time with my subject. I also occasionally set up group study sessions for students to pose questions."
You should take the time to become involved in the full college experience. "I encourage students to become members of any association that they believe might further open their horizons," says Dr. Roberts.
It is also important to keep in touch with your advisor. Maintaining this relationship will help make sure that graduation requirements are met, and transferring to a four-year school goes smoothly.