DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Academic Advising > Academic Success

Academic Success

How do I figure out my grade for class?

Keep track of your grades through the class syllabus and points you earn throughout the term. For info on how to calculate your grade based on a percentile system, click here. For info on how to calculate your grade based on a points system, click here.​ Keeping track of your progress, self-monitoring and understanding how to meet the expectations of an authority figure are important skills for life after DePaul. Employers expect employees to possess these skills.

I'm struggling in my classes. What should I do?

If you're struggling with class content, always reach out to your professor and go to office hours. Keep going to office hours and work with your professor(s) until you're able to grasp the material. In addition, use these free tutoring services:
  1. Center for Writing-based Learning
  2. First Year Academic Success (free, zero-credit classes to help boost your confidence and meet prerequisite requirements without using up your open electives - WRD 102, MAT 94, 95, 100, 101, 130 - available summer and December intersession)
  3. Language Learning Center (free, one-hour tutoring session per week)
  4. Learning Commons (library space for a variety of free tutoring services)
  5. Science & Math Learning Center (free tutoring and academic support for chemistry, mathematical sciences, nursing, physics, and psychology)
  6. Supplemental Instruction (peer-assisted study sessions for historically difficult courses)
  7. Quantitative Reasoning Center (for LSP 120/121)

If you're experiencing a personal issue, which is preventing you from focusing on your academic responsibilities, you may wish to review these options:

  1. Dean of Students ~ Leave of Absence Notification
  2. Dean of Students ~ Late Withdrawal
  3. College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences ~ Late Withdrawal

Where can I learn more about academic success strategies?

Check out these resources for information on how to polish the skills you need for college and beyond!
  1. Dartmouth academic skills webpage
  2. Harvard Bureau of Study Counsel webpage (study strategies, time management, etc.)
  3. University of Florida academic concerns (test anxiety, etc.)
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Academic Excellence (action plan, study habits, etc.)


Successfully navigating academic life includes the ability to navigate bureaucracy. Understanding who does what, why and how is an important life skill that will serve you well in and out of college. Our university community is comprised of many individual units all working to live the Mission and Vision of DePaul University. Below are some links and information to help you better acclimate to our DePaul community.

How do I develop rapport with faculty?

  1. Be approachable, respectful and courteous in your interactions.
  2. Review their research (listed on faculty bio pages) and write down questions about their research and/or background.
  3. Seek out connections with faculty who share similar interests, or have a different view/philosophy than you, depending on the type of relationship, interaction and/or experience you are seeking.
  4. Set up appointments, ask a few informational interview questions to start the conversation and let it flow naturally from there.
  5. Attend department/program events and initiate conversation.
  6. Review these additional articles for more ideas on how to develop rapport with faculty. Though your professors are not actually your supervisors, you may experience less transitional stress from student to full-time employee if you sometimes think of them as your supervisors and behave accordingly: APAUSNews, Forbes

Where can I find resources?

We have a wealth of resources at DePaul! Check the Student Affairs website for resources related to student life. Check your major/program's department/office website for resources related to your major/program. Check the department/center website and/or syllabus for resources related to a class/subject you are taking/need help with. If you have difficulty finding a department, center or staff/faculty contact info, try the DePaul Directory.

Where do I go for help?

Well, this can depend on the type of assistance you need. However, your staff advisor is a good first step, as s/he is likely able to point you in the right direction. 

Your ability to answer this simple, yet complex question for yourself is an important life skill you can hone while in college. Learn more about how to seek academic assistance by reviewing this. Break down your needs to ascertain next steps.

  1. What kind of help do you need?
  2. Who is likely to be in a position/have the authority/have access to what you need to help you?
  3. Who/what type of person/office is likely to "own"/be responsible for this type of resource or information​?

How do I ask for a letter of recommendation?

Many online resources exist to help you more successfully request a letter of recommendation or reference. Here are a few tips to start you off.
  • Establish rapport with the person. Anyone you ask for a letter of recommendation/reference should feel comfortable writing you this letter due to his/her experiences with you.
  • Give several weeks advance notice. You demonstrate professionalism, courtesy and organization when you make a request far in advance of the deadline. Conversely, you demonstrate a lack of these qualities when you do not and may therefore decrease your chances of obtaining a quality letter of recommendation.
  • Review this student behavior checklist to ascertain whether or not you've set yourself up to receive a quality letter of recommendation.
  • Online resources:

I'm experiencing a conflict. What should I do?

As difficult as it may feel now, learning how to manage conflict in college is one of the many ways to make the most of your college experience. The type of conflict you experience in college will most likely be experienced out of college, too. 

For example:

  • classmate not doing her share of the team project....coworker not doing his share of the team project
  • not understanding what an instructor wants from you/for assignments....not understanding what a supervisor wants from you
  • college roommate is too clingy, but you don't want to hurt his feelings....coworker/colleague is too clingy, but you don't want to hurt her feelings
  • disagree on how to complete class project....disagree on how to complete work project

Consult your advisors or other university employees (e.g., Student Affairs employees) for guidance on how to handle difficult situations. Discuss what you did, how you did it, why you did it that way and receive feedback about the experience. You'll strengthen your relationships with these professionals by seeking their feedback and you'll gain insight into how you may choose to handle conflict in the future.

Read books such as Difficult Conversations and watch online videos such as this (log-in required) to learn more about how to manage conflict.

How do I approach an instructor for help?

Check out this great article from the University of Florida. Things such as when to meet and why are outlined on their webpage.