Professor tips: How to make the most of an open house

John Foust, standing, talking to three people
John Foust, chair of the environmental conservation and horticulture department, talks to visitors at a previous open house. Photo by Rikki Van Camp

About 40 professors typically take part in open houses at FLCC so prospective students can meet the people who will teach them, and in some cases, become their advisor.

This includes Michael Van Etten, assistant professor of modern language and coordinator of the esports program, who will be at the next open house on Saturday, Nov. 5.  He encourages students to talk to everyone they meet.

“Ask the administration, faculty, staff, and students – directly – why they are at FLCC instead of working or studying somewhere else?”

Don’t skip the tours, he added.

Michael Van Etten, seated, talking to parent, student
Michael Van Etten teaches Spanish classes and coordinates the esports team. Photo by Rikki Van Camp

“Take a good look at where on campus you would spend the majority of your time for your major, program, or interests.”

For academics, ask faculty about learning modalities and class activities:

  • What percentage of courses in a program are offered online, face-to-face, or only in one modality or another?
  • How much time – per day – should be reserved for homework and coursework?
  • What kind of everyday work does the program require? Reading, essays, lectures, presentations, workbooks, productions, field journals?
Richard Walsh, standing talking to parent, student
Richard Walsh, who coordinates the sports studies program, speaks to a prospective student and parent. Photo by Rikki Van Camp

Richard Walsh, assistant professor of business and coordinator of the sports studies program, suggests students think about end goals.

“Go to every table. Ask what job skills are needed. Ask how many graduates have job offers before they graduate, or shortly after graduating.”

  • Another question he recommends: “Are there additional courses they could add to a program to boost hiring chances?”
  • Find out if a program requires an internship and whether a program or class offers opportunities for on-the-job experiences early in their studies.
  • With so many faculty in one area, he recommends finding out what their expectations might be. “What goals do you, as the instructor, have for this class? What’s your idea of being a successful student in your class?”

John Foust, chair of the environmental conservation and horticulture department, encourages students to share a little about themselves so faculty can provide the most relevant advice. Do they plan to transfer?  Are they transferring credits into FLCC?  Do they have military service?

“I would suggest that students visit all the tables and keep an open mind.  My advice would be to find something that makes sense to them as a vocation but also find something they’re truly passionate about,” he said, adding a few questions he recommends:

  • What is it like to be working as a professional in the field?
  • How do I get started in this field?
  • How do I advance in this field?

Click here to register for the Nov. 5 open house.

Author: Lenore Friend

Lenore Friend is the director of public relations and communications at FLCC and the college's liaison with Finger Lakes TV. Contact her at (585) 785-1623 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.