Friday, April 24, 2015

Weekly Preview: April 27 - May 1



You've made it to the final week of classes!  Take a deep breath, finish those papers and projects and get your study plans in place for finals!





Thursday, April 30 will follow a Monday class schedule and is no longer a Reading Day.  Be sure to check with your instructors if you have any questions.






There will be an R1 Basic Math Skills Exemption Test on Monday, April 27 at 7:00pm in Marcus 131.  Passing the R1 exam (at least 12 out of 20 correct) will satisfy the R1 requirement for graduation but will not result in the awarding of any credits. A student ID and a #2 pencil are required. A calculator is recommended. There is no limit on the number of times a student may take this test. The focus of this exam is to measure knowledge of basic math skills.  Click here to learn more about the test and to confirm the room location before Monday.





On Wednesday, April 29, celebrate Founders Day! Join us on Goodell Lawn from 11:00am - 2:00pm for a FREE Campus Cookout.  The Campus Cookout is free to all students, faculty, and staff. Rain or shine, we hope you will be able to join in on the fun as we honor the faculty, staff, and students who make UMass Amherst a great place to be. 






The Academic Advising Link will close for the semester on Thursday, April 30.  Stop by any time between 4:00pm - 8:00pm Sunday - Thursday in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library and get your last minute questions answered.  Need to find one more class for the Fall?  Looking for a great GenEd?  Have questions about major requirements?  Come see the Peer Advisors before they finish the semester.



Applications for all Isenberg School of Management majors are due by 5:00pm on Friday, May 1.  No late applications will be accepted.  Find information below on transfer requirements and how to apply. 
  • Requirements and application information for current UMass students to transfer into the BBA Program.    
  • Requirements and application information for current UMass students to transfer into the BS in Hospitality & Tourism Management program.   
  • Requirements and application information for current UMass students to transfer into the BS in Sport Management program.





Thursday, April 23, 2015

Victor Goes to Spain: A Dispatch from a Peer Blogger







Being overseas, studying in a different country, learning like you've never learned before. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience. Living in another country and entering a new community for a semester (or longer), is something that I believe everybody should try. 

I decided to go abroad last semester, cutting it very close to the deadline to apply. I'm now studying Spanish in Granada, Spain at the University of Granada, in the Center for Modern Languages (Centro de Lenguas Modernas). I never thought that I could study abroad, being a Communication major with a Certificate in Film Studies, I didn't think I could find a program that would benefit me and fulfill requirements. Studying here though actually helps me complete my Global Education Requirement, a language requirement for students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. When I discovered that studying abroad could work towards completing that requirement, I decided to apply.

Applying for the study abroad program was a much lengthier process than I had imagined. Between applying to my program, API (Academic Programs International), which was a separate application process from the IPO (International Programs Office, UMass’ study abroad office), figuring out finances and budgets, applying for a passport and a visa, I was very busy for the weeks to come. 

Two pieces of advice when applying or deciding to study abroad. One: Don't wait for the last minute to decide or apply: it’ll save you lots of stress, time, and possibly money. Two: If you do decide or apply late, make sure it’s something you really want to do. Before I applied, I wasn't very sure if I would ever want to study abroad, but when I walked into class that day and received a brochure to study abroad in Spain, I knew right there that I wanted to apply, so I went home and started the process. Allowing yourself a decent amount of time to look into other programs and familiarize yourself with the application process is a very good idea, I wish that I had done that when applying.

And if you apply and are accepted, you will realize that you are leaving, off onto new adventures in foreign lands. It won't hit you so hard until a few weeks before you leave, when you begin to pack your things and say your goodbyes and see-you-later's. You might start to panic and think that you're not ready to go, the time will start to slip from your mind, and before you know it, you're boarding that plane to go wherever it is you're going.  

Another piece of advice: Pack lightly. Bring only the essentials, it makes traveling easier. You'll also come back with souvenirs (most likely), so you'll want to make sure you have room for everything you buy while you're abroad. 

Don't forget your chargers, your medicines, maybe even your favorite movie. A little reminder of home will be important too, some days you'll miss it.

But you will be so excited once you land in your new (temporary) home! Everything will seem new to you, like you're stepping into a new world. You'll begin to meet new people and make new friends, eat new foods, maybe even study a new language. Everything that happens will be a new experience, and not before long will you become a part of a new community. Adjusting may take some time, but once you know your way around your new home and establish relationships with the people around you, I swear you'll never want to leave.

Now before you get all excited for your adventure, you must remember why you're abroad: to study. School for me has been amazing, I love my classes, my professors, and I love what I’m learning. I am only studying Spanish while I am abroad, and like I said before, it is fulfilling a requirement for me for my degree. Make sure when you are looking through different programs, that you consider what courses will help you fulfill requirements, or if none of them do, make sure you know what other courses you'll need to take when you return. You don't want to fall behind, so just make sure you aware of what position a semester abroad will put you in, in terms of major, college, and university requirements.

I am excited to return home and bring what I've learned back with me, but I will dearly miss Granada. The entire study abroad experience has been an absolutely wonderful time. If you think that study abroad may be for you, I strongly encourage you to pursue a study abroad program. The International Programs Office, located on the 4th floor of Hills South, is very helpful with assuring your questions are answered and assisting with every aspect of the study abroad process. They also have a desk in the Learning Commons of the Library (right next to the Academic Advising Link!) staffed with Peer Advisors to answer your questions and help you out. 

Another great opportunity for students who want to travel, but may not want to go abroad, is National Student Exchange. There is a list of schools of which you can study at across the country while still being a UMass Amherst Student. If you have questions about that, you can go to 613 Goodell for more information.


Regardless of whether it’s in the country, or across the world, I think everyone should take the opportunity to travel and study abroad. There’s no time like the present, and there’s a big world out there, I suggest that you go see it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Resource Economics online statement of interest due FRIDAY!



If you are hoping to be a Resource Economics major, and you have already attended an information session, remember that the online statement of interest is due this FRIDAY 4/24. See the website for details and instructions!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Patriots' Day Schedule Change

 
 
 
Monday, April 20 is Patriots' Day.  There are no classes and most offices on campus will be closed.  
 
Wednesday, April 22 will follow a Monday schedule.
 
The rest of the week follows a normal schedule.
 
 
 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Weekly Preview: April 20 - April 24



Monday, April 20 is Patriots' Day.  There are no classes and most offices on campus will be closed.  
Wednesday, April 22 will follow a Monday schedule.
The rest of the week follows a normal schedule.



If you are interested in becoming a Public Health Science major and taking majors only classes in the Fall, don't miss the final Prospective Major Information Session on Wednesday, April 22nd, 5:30PM, WEB DuBois Library 720!

Attendance is REQUIRED for those applying to the major.  Click here to register.

If you would like to learn more about the major but are not ready to apply, go to the information session!  Bring your unofficial transcript, personal information page and a tracking form. Tracking form should be mostly filled out.  Click here for the application materials.



Are you planning on declaring Resource Economics and taking majors only classes in the Fall?  Your online statement of interest is due on Friday, April 24.  Don't miss the deadline!




Thursday, April 16, 2015

Last Day of FIVE COLLEGE PRE-REGISTRATION is TOMORROW, Friday 4/17

The registration procedure for Five College Interchange classes is different from your regular UMass enrollment process. Once you find the course(s) you want,read the detailed instructions on our website very carefully. The Five College Enrollment Request Form is available on your SPIRE account under enrollment in the main menu. Fill out the form online, but it must be submitted to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.

Important information:
  • You must be in good academic standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • You must be registering for at least one 3-credit UMass course.
  • You also have an opportunity to register for Five College Interchange classes during the UMass add/drop period in the Spring. So this is not your only opportunity to register!
  • You can only pre-register by handing in two copies of your interchange request form to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.
  • Make sure you read the course description for each course which gives important information like "instructor consent" which would mean you would need the instructor's signature to pre-register for that course
Please remember that Pre-registration is a request; you do not find out your enrollment status immediately.

Questions? Visit our website, come see us in 613 Goodell, call us at 413 545 5352 or send an email to 5collreg@acad.umass.edu.

For a student's perspective, check out this Daily Collegian article!

Brian's Tip of the Week: Getting into closed classes

Today is the big day. 


You've fought so hard to finally make it to this day: the day of your enrollment appointment. You've sat through long hours of academic advising, crumpled hundreds of notebook pages, and clicked through page after page on SPIRE trying to create the perfect, flawless schedule for Fall 2015. Alas, all of the time and stress has finally paid off. Only a few hours until you can finally click "enroll," and your pristine schedule will be officially permanent. Just to be sure, why not check out SPIRE now?

What? No! It can't be!! How is this possible?! The one class that brings the perfect schedule all together has filled? But you just checked it yesterday! Everything fit so well together! You've been sucker-punched right in the gut. Your fall is ruined. Your life is ruined. No schedule could replace what you had; it was too perfect. It was the only one for you.



Alright, STOP.


Yes, course enrollment is an ugly process, and classes are going to close on you. It happens to every student, every year. Fortunately, this does not mean the end of your schedule, or your college career, or your life. Despite what SPIRE says, there are actually many methods to getting yourself into these "closed" classes. Here are some tips on how to salvage the perfect schedule:

1. Backup Plan


First and foremost: always have a backup plan. You should already have one before enrollment. If you don't, make one! Course enrollment will rarely be peachy, so it's best to have a second class/schedule ready to go. Use your backup plan to enroll in your second choice classes while you work out how to get back into your original favorites.


2. Learn to Love SPIRE


All hope is not lost. For the next few days, SPIRE should be your best friend. Make it your favorite website. Make it your favorite thing to browse on your phone. Be on SPIRE as much as possible. If the class is closed, it doesn't mean it's closed for good. Keep in mind that many other students on campus are simultaneously adding/dropping courses to create their own perfect schedules, so it's very likely that a spot or two could open up. If that happens, you want to be ready to snag that seat.


3. Keep it in the Shopping Cart


Don't remove it from your cart because you couldn't enroll at the time of your appointment. Have it ready for when a spot opens up. Click the "Add" tab, then check the box, and enroll to make it quick and painless. Voila!

4. Communicate


Find the professor of the desired course and contact him or her via email. Depending on the class size and class restrictions, some professors have the ability to override SPIRE and give you a spot in the course. It's very important to be in constant contact up until you've gained access. Sometimes professors will extend the class size, or open it to all majors, weeks after it has been closed.




5. Go to that Class

Whether or not you have already talked to the professor (you should have at least tried by this point), attend the class once the semester starts. Even though you aren't officially enrolled, go sit in the lectures and talk to the professor after classes. If you aren't at the first class meeting, it's very unlikely the professor will go out of his or her way to let you into the class.


To wrap it up simply: expect setbacks, be ready on SPIRE, contact your professors, and don't fall behind! Good luck this year, and may the odds be ever in your favor!








Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This Thursday: Networking & Career TechTalks With Alumni & IT Industry Professionals


Join us this Thursday, April 16, 2015 for two networking and career TechTalks!

 
The Adventures of an IT Leader
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Campus Center Room 165


Alumnus Robert Solis will speak about his role as an Information Technology (IT) leader, from UMass Amherst to his current position as Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the University of Massachusetts President's Office. The event is open to students, faculty, staff, and the larger community. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in a career in technology are especially encouraged to attend. 
For more information and to register, see:
www.it.umass.edu/events/april16-2015-solis

________________________________

Networking & Career Panel Featuring Alumni & Industry Professionals in Information Technology
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Campus Center, Room 174-76


Come meet industry professionals, including two UMass Amherst alumni, from Verizon Wireless, Adobe, and Fiksu who will be discussing the interview process, what questions interviewers really ask, tips for effective resumes, networking, and internship opportunities with their organizations. Don't forget your resume! 
For more information and to register, see:
www.it.umass.edu/events/april16-2015-career-panel



Monday, April 13, 2015

End of the Semester Tips from Shaylene

With only a couple of weeks left, the semester will be over before you know it. This is the perfect time to get on track especially with all of those final papers, projects, and exams. It's also a good time to find out where you stand in each course. Here are some tips to start preparing for the end of the semester stretch.

  1. Check SPIRE for a schedule of your final exams. It's important to check now in case you have more than two exams scheduled in one day or two exams scheduled at the same time. If you do, consult the Registrar's office as soon as possible. 
  2. Next make a list of all of your classes and keep these questions in mind:
    • Calculate your current grades for a class and compare it to your target grade or goal. Do NOT just guess! Add up your exam scores, grades on papers, homework assignments, etc. and try to calculate your current grade at this point in the semester. It's great to have this in mind going into final projects and exams. Do this for each of your classes.
    • Have you missed any assignments that you can make up? Always take the opportunity to make up missed assignments. Even if the professor is offering half credit, it's still better than receiving a zero for that homework, quiz, or whatever it is that you might have missed. 
    • Will you have a final for this class? If you do, write down the date, time, and location. Then find out if it is cumulative and preparing accordingly. Start flipping through your notes from the beginning of the semester and refresh yourself on the material. Also find out what format the final will be (essay, multiple choice, etc.) and decide what strategies you will use to study.
    • Do you have any papers/other assignments due? With the warm weather starting to kick in and the sun shining, it's easy to forget about those last few assignments you may have for a class. Make sure to check over the syllabus and see if you have any assignments left. If you do, try to space out the work. The last thing you want is to be attempting lots of final projects and assignments all at once.
  3. Eat healthy and get lots of rest. The end of the semester is a hectic time of year. It always seems as though you have plenty of time left and before you know it, finals week is quickly approaching. That being said, despite all the studying and hard work, be sure to make time for yourself to eat a healthy meal and get an ample amount of sleep. It's okay to have some fun! Don't be afraid to take a study break and relax every once in a while.
It's the final stretch so just keep on hanging in there! Be sure to look for our upcoming post on study tips the closer it gets to final week. For now, if you have any questions and want advice from fellow peers, stop by the Academic Advising Link in the lower levels of the library Sunday-Thursday from 4-8 PM!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Resources for First-Generation College Students

The first-year students who move onto campus every fall have expectations and anxieties about their time in a new environment. Although all students are now living separately from their parents, some were left with more support than others when they were dropped off on move-in day. Here at UMass Amherst, 25% of freshmen are first-generation college students, meaning that their parents did not attend college or obtain at least a bachelor’s degree.  For the other three quarters of first-years, their transition to university life is shaped to a degree by the expectations of the parents who have the experiences of college under their belt.  

Retaining first-generation students is important not only for the universities, but for the students’ social mobility and economic success later in life.  Because first-generation college students are the pioneers of the complicated workings of a university, they must be more proactive in finding resources on and off-campus.  Below are some helpful resources for first-generation college students to aid in their success and transition to college!


Websites like imfirst.org and firstgenerationstudent.com are informational online communities where students aspiring to go to college or students attending college can get information on an array of subjects, from the undergraduate and graduate application process to how to feel like part of the student body once you arrive! Other web pages such as this tip sheet from the New York Times give thoughtful pieces of advice to students on how to succeed in their studies.


At UMass, the Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success has wonderful resources for first- generation (as well as other) students at the University. Check out their website for a rundown of programs and services. 


UMass Amherst also looks to extend extra help towards first-generation college students by offering additional scholarships. Information can be found on the UMass website, http://www.umass.edu/umccc/financial-matters and through individual department websites.

However, UMass does not only offer financial supportthe flagship campus at Amherst is reaching out to first-generation college students and students from low-income families through a new policy that will be in effect this upcoming fall semester. For students who transfer from in-state community colleges with a minimum 2.5 GPA, the university gives priority course registration and housing priority, generous scholarships, and tailored advising services.