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Laney College

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation

I am happy to write academic letters of recommendation for those students who have worked hard and done well in my classes.  It is important that you follow certain guidelines so that I will have time to write a letter that will enhance your application.  All of the following should be provided to me in writing, via email (do not use Canvas for recommendation requests). Please make sure ALL the requested information is in ONE document.  Be aware that students do not have direct access to my recommendation, though some applications may allow you to access the letter. Please do not ask me to send letters directly to you.


The instructions below are for ACADEMIC letter requests. If you have a request for a letter for a scholarship or EOP, please consider asking a teacher outside of Anatomy & Physiology, as A&P teachers already get an overwhelming number of requests. If you want to ask me anyway, you must make it clear what the purpose of the letter is, and you are responsible for providing the information listed below, as well as the additional information that scholarship and EOP letters require (it is your responsibility to be aware of the requirements and send me the appropriate information). 

Current requirements for requesting letters:   If I do not receive your materials by the due date, it is unlikely I will be able to write a letter for you.  Requests for recommendations due June – December 2019 must be received by Wednesday, May 15th, 2019. All requests for recommendations due January – May 2020 are due by Wednesday, November 27, 2019 to guarantee I can write the letter.  I may need to limit the total number of letters I can write, so turn in your materials as soon as possible.  These deadlines are for first-time requests.  If I’ve already written a letter for you, and you need another, please give me as much lead time as possible.

  1. Your full name, which class(es) you took, and when you took the class.  Also include the grade you earned, which I will verify with my records. If it has been a year or more since you took my class, please include a picture to help me remember you.
  2. A draft of the personal statement you intend to turn in with your applications.  I am particularly interested in what led you to decide on your chosen field and any other relevant, personal information that may help me write a more personalized letter.  If you do not need a personal statement for your application, you still need to write one for me so that I can complete your letter. Informative bullet points are fine if you do not have a completed statement ready when you make your request. Include a contact e-mail in case I have questions.
  3.  Online submissions are greatly preferred.  Please make every effort to provide me with an electronic way to submit your letter.  If you absolutely must have a hard copy, your options for getting the completed letter  are to come pick it up from me during my office hours, pick it up before or after class, have me mail it to you, or mail it directly to the school.  You should provide all envelopes, addressed and stamped if appropriate.  If I’m sending the letter to you, you’ll need an extra envelope that I can sign across the seal to ensure confidentiality. You will not be able to pick up a letter in person over a break, so please make sure you give me stamped, addressed envelopes when school is still in session.
  4. Which degree you are seeking, and the name of the specific program at each school you are applying to.  If you request more than one letter, I may elect to write one general letter that would work for all the schools.
  5. If there are forms for me to fill out in addition to a letter, provide those and make sure it is clear which schools they go with if you are applying to more than one.  Make sure you fill out the sections that you need to before you give these to me.  Forms will often ask for the following information, which you should write in yourself:
  • print my name
  • my title:  Biology Department Co-Chair
  • phone #:  (510)464-3295
  • e-mail:  rbailey@peralta.edu
  • school/address:  Laney College, 900 Fallon St., Oakland CA 94607
  1. The date by which the letter must be submitted.  Make sure you are aware of the deadlines for all your schools and request letters soon enough to get your application sent for the earliest deadline.
  2. Please follow all request deadlines (see the “special note” at the top of this page).  Due to the high number of requests I receive, I usually announce a specific date to my current students by which they must give me their materials to receive their letters in time.  For example, if you have due dates during the spring semester, generally I would need all your materials before the Thanksgiving holiday of the previous year to account for time spent on finals, winter break, etc.  Therefore, expect to need to be a few months ahead of your due dates – this is important to you, so plan ahead!
  3. Please do not ask me to write letters over breaks or during finals week.  The best times to request letters (that is, when you are most likely to get me to agree to do it) is September through mid-November (for the following spring) and February through April (for the following summer/fall).