Thursday, October 23, 2014

Victor's Tip of the Week: Studying

Hello everyone! My name is Victor, and I am a Peer Advisor in the Undergraduate Advising Office. I am a Junior majoring in Communication. As we wrap up this week, we officially mark the halfway point of the semester, which for many of us means mid-term exams or papers. Having been through a few rounds of mid-terms, I have some advice to share that can really help you get the results you want to see!

Don't wait until the last minute to start studying!
  • Cramming before an exam is not an effective method of studying. Give yourself 2-3 days to review your material before the exam. Studying for an hour or two every day for 3 days will be far more effective than studying everything for 4 hours an hour before the exam.
Form study groups with peers in your classes!

  • Reviewing your material is very important, but discussing the material with a partner or group reinforces your knowledge of the subject. By getting together and asking questions within a group, you can clarify points of confusion for yourself and also help others understand the material better.

Go to your Instructor's Office Hours with questions!

  • Office hours are a great time to ask your Professor or TA questions concerning the material you are learning in class. You can stop in without making an appointment, or you can speak to them and reserve a time period to ask questions. Prepare a few questions or topics that you would like to go over during that time. People are often afraid of going to office hours because they don't want to bother the professor, but in reality your professors enjoy being able to help you!

Visit the Learning Resource Center or the Writing Center!

  • The 10th floor of the Library is home to the Learning Resource Center which offers free tutoring for a handful of Introductory-Level courses and Gen-Eds. The basement of the Library Learning Commons is home to the Writing Center, which can help you prepare, edit, and review your paper before you hand it in for a grade! 

Find a conducive learning environment for you!

  • Find a spot to study where you won't get distracted. In front of your computer or television may not be the most productive place to study; instead try studying in the Library, Student Union, or outside in a shaded spot! Keep away from distractions such as other people, computers, cell phones, etc. Maybe find a playlist with some relaxing music, grab some brain foods (blueberries, nuts, and tea are great for this!), and indulge in your snacks and studies.

IMPORTANT: You don't have to be failing to seek help! Attending office hours, tutoring, or study groups can help you bring that B to an A. 

Use some of these tips to get you through this stressful period of mid-terms, and refer back to this for finals period as well! As always, you can stop by the Academic Advising Link to ask advising-related questions to a Peer Advisor, Sunday through Thursday 4-8 pm in the Learning Commons. 

Good luck and keep up the good work!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Have you not yet declared a major at UMass?  Or, if you have one, is it still a good fit for you?  Or perhaps does it leave you plenty of time to complete a double major or a minor?

In one week, you'll have a once-a-year opportunity to meet with representatives from ALL majors at UMass, in one place, at one time.  The Majors Fair is popular with students, as THE moment to gather information about academic programs and other opportunities to round out your degree.

Here's what you can do, at the Majors Fair:

  • Ask about a potential major, minor or certificate;

  • Ask about what courses would be a good introduction to a field;

  • Ask about internship, grad school, research, and employment prospects with a particular major;  

  • Chat with faculty and student representatives about their experience in the department.

  • Don't miss it!

    Majors Fair 2014

    Wednesday, October 29th


    Campus Center Auditorium

    Here's what recent students have said about the Majors Fair:

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Business Careers: You CAN Get There From Here

    If you are interested in a career in business, no matter what your major is, attend this Business Career panel! Four department representatives from Isenberg, Economics,Resource Economics, and Career Services will be there to discuss the many majors that can lead to a business career. Learn more about internships, business-related careers and ask questions!

    This panel is for ALL MAJORS!Learn what other students
    have done for:
    - Internships
    - Post-graduation jobs
    - Business Careers
    - And more!

    When: Thursday, October 23rd from 5:30-7pm

    Where: Isenberg Room 108

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    Weekly Preview: October 20-24

    Business Careers: 
    You CAN Get There From Here

    Interested in a career in Business regardless of your major?
    Attend the Business Career Panel. Department representatives from Isenberg, Economics, Resource Economics and Career Services will be there to discuss the many majors that can lead to a business career. Learn more about internships, business-related careers and ask questions! Everyone is Welcome to attend!
    When: Thursday, October 23rd from 5:30-7pm

    Where: Isenberg Room 108

                                Campus Sustainability Day 
    UMass Sustainability
    Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (All day)
    Campus Sustainability Day 2014: Empowering Change on Campus and in the Community Campus Sustainability Day (CSD) is a time to recognize the successes, challenges, and innovations of sustainability in higher education on each campus. The theme for the upcoming Campus Sustainability Day is Empowering Change on Campus and in the Community.

     Friday, October 24th  - Sunday, October 26th 
    Family Weekend is bringing an exciting array of events for family members and UMass students including some fall foliage! Check-out the schedule here!

    It’s that time of year …Don't let the flu bug U!

    Get your flu vaccination!!

    Flu season is almost here. Take steps now to stay healthy, with a free flu vaccination. UHS clinics are open to all UMass Amherst students; and faculty, staff and students' dependents whose primary care provider is at UHS. Click for more info and the flu clinic schedule.

     Interested in Declaring Sociology?
       Stop by the Sociology Department in 712 Thompson
                           or the
          Sociology Peer Advisors Office in 722 Thompson
    Fall Sociology Declaration period ends November 12th

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Haley's Tip of the Week: How I Found My Major

    Hey guys! My name is Haley and I am a Peer Advisor with Undergraduate Advising. I am happy to be of assistance to you and to answer your questions any time! Settling into my first few months as a senior at UMass, I often find myself reflecting. So, this week I wanted to share with you my story of how I found my major.
    I came into UMass as a timid, but eager, undeclared student. Right from the start, I had a great foundation of support. I was part of the Focus Connections undeclared RAP (Residential Academic Program) and was also enrolled in the fall OASIS seminar. I found that living with all undeclared students gave me a real sense of comradery, I loved that I was able to meet new people who were in the same situation as me. OASIS was also a great opportunity for me because I was able to meet and be in consistent contact with my academic advisor.

    However, even with all of that support I still felt confused, overwhelmed, and a little bewildered at all of the options that UMass had to offer. Coming from a small high school, I was used to one-on-one attention from guidance counselors and teachers. UMass was a whole new world for me and I actually expected my advisor to consider my interests and simply tell me what to do, just like high school. I soon realized that no one was going to decide this for me or tell me what to do. I had to be my own advocate for my interests and academic goals.

    I think my first official move in the right direction was after my first Res-Econ class. After about 20 minutes I knew that it was not the right class or direction for me. Walking out, I realized that the only reason I was in the class was to appease my family's wishes. I wanted to make my family proud but came to the realization that this was my education and that I had to pursue what I was actually interested in and not what they wanted me to be interested in. After class I went to 613 Goodell and spoke to an advisor during drop-in hours. After talking about my interests we decided that Linguistics 101 would be a great class for me to try. Three years later, it is still my favorite gen-ed!

    But I still had a lot of work to do! I knew I wanted to work with children and with my advisor's help, I eventually narrowed my options down to Psychology and Communication Disorders. I knew that either of these two majors would allow me to work and make a difference with children in the future. In following year, I took introductory courses in both majors along with speaking to their department heads. I gathered as much information as I could before making my final decision.In the middle of my fall semester of my sophomore year I felt ready to declare. I pulled the trigger and declared Communication Disorders with minors in Psychology and Education.

    Of course, everyone's situation is unique and different but hopefully mine can give you some insight into yours! Just remember a few key things and everything will fall into place:

    • Meet with your advisor regularly and come prepared with questions!
    • Follow your interests!
    • Become aware of your options!  Do your homework!
    • Remember all of the resources available to you... and use them!

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    "W" Drop and Pass/Fail Deadline!

    The Mid-Semester date is Thursday, October 16th! This is the deadline to drop a class with a "W" or choose to take a course Pass/Fail.

    Dropping a class with a "W" will not count against you. It will remain on your transcript, but you will not receive a grade and therefore your GPA will not be affected. The "W" indicated that the course was dropped after the Add/Drop period. Just make sure that you are not going below 12-credits, which is the necessary amount of credits to be considered full time. 

    A course change form  with an instructor's signature is required to withdraw from a course, So make sure to get all of your paperwork taken care of before the deadline!

    The mid-semester date is also the deadline for changing a class to Pass/Fail. Instead of dropping a class, Pass/Fail will allow you to remain in the class, but instead of receiving a letter grade, your transcript will indicate P (pass) or F (fail). Passing will not affect your GPA, but failing will. Keep in mind that P/F grading will not count toward Gen Eds, major or minor requirements, predictor courses etc.

    A course change form is also necessary when changing a course to Pass/Fail, but an instructor's signature is not required.

    You can pick up the necessary paperwork in Undergraduate Advising (if you're Undeclared) or the Registrar's Office  in 213 Whitmore.

    All paperwork must be COMPLETED and submitted by 5:00 pm on Thursday! 

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    Isenberg School of Management INFO SESSIONS

    Interested in the BBA (Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations & Information Management), Hospitality & Tourism Management or Sport Management majors?

    Attend an Info Session!
    BBA:  Wednesday, October 15th  @ 5:30pm in the Bernie Dallas Room (5th floor Goodell)
    HTM: Wednesday, October 15th @5:30 pm  in Isenberg 106.

    Sport: Wednesday, October 15th @5:30 pm  in Isenberg 108.

    Here are some tips to keep in mind if you plan on attending:
    1. Get there early! To avoid fighting for a seat or worse, interrupting the session, be sure to get there approximately TEN MINUTES PRIOR to the start time. Treat it like a job interview and be professional--you don't have to wear your haute couture, but you do want to make a good impression.
    2. Know which session to attend! Upon arriving, they will direct you to different rooms based on your interests. Make sure you're in the right place! If you have multiple interests in SOM (both BBA and Sports Management, for example), you should attend an info session for BOTH programs.  Students interested in applying to Sport Management or HTM must attend an Information Session.
    3. Be informed! Read their website and be familiar with the program you are interested in, as well as procedures for applying.
    4. Have an Alternate Major in mind! Remember that you will be required to apply in order to gain admission--and that applications, by nature, can be rejected. Have an alternate major in mind just in case. For more information on suitable alternates, you can call (413) 545-2191 and make an appointment to see an advisor in our office

    Applications for ISOM majors are due on December 1.  If you miss this deadline you will have to wait until the Spring semester to apply.

    Sunday, October 12, 2014

    Columbus Day Schedule Change

     There are no classes on Monday, October 13 and most offices on campus will be closed.

    Tuesday, October 14 will follow a Monday class schedule.
    The rest of the week will follow a normal schedule. 
    The Academic Advising Link will be closed on Sunday and Monday.  It will reopen at 4:00pm on Tuesday. 

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Weekly Preview: October 13 - 17

    Monday, October 13 is Columbus Day. No classes are held and most campus offices are closed.
    Tuesday will follow a Monday class schedule.  The rest of the week will be normal.
    The Academic Advising Link will be closed on Sunday and Monday and will reopen at 4:00pm on Tuesday.

    Applications to declare Public Health Sciences are due by Tuesday, October 14Click here for information about the Public Health Peer Advisors and to download the application.  Typed forms need to be delivered to the Public Health Peer Advising Office in 330 Arnold House.

    iCons applications are due by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, October 14Click here for more information about the program and to access the application.

    Isenberg School of Management Information Sessions for Sport Management, the BBA program, and Hospitality & Tourism Management will be held on Wednesday, October 15 promptly at 5:30pm.  Do not be late!
    • HTM will meet in Isenberg 106.
    • Sport Management will meet in Isenberg 108.
    • The BBA Program will meet in the Bernie Dallas Room on the 5th floor of Goodell.
    Attending an Information Session is required before applying to the Sport Management or HTM majors and highly recommended before applying to the BBA program.  Reread our earlier post on how to prepare for these information sessions.  Plan on meeting with an advisor to discuss a backup plan!

    Thursday, October 16 is the last day to drop with a W or change a class to Pass/Fail!  Reread our earlier post to learn moreCompleted paperwork must be passed in to the Office of the Registrar in 213 Whitmore before 5:00pm!  If you have questions about how a W or a Pass/Fail will affect you, make an appointment to talk to an advisor before Thursday

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    W-Drop Deadline is Oct. 16th!

    The Mid-Semester date is Thursday, October 16th. This is the deadline to drop a class with a "W" or elect to take a course Pass/Fail. Before you decide to do either, here are some things you need to know:

    Dropping with a W isn't a bad thing. It will not count against you should you decide to apply for/declare a major (as long as you have completed all the prerequisites, predictor courses, and any other requirements). Dropping a course at this point means a "W" will always remain on your transcript, but you will not receive a grade for that class, so the class will not affect your GPA. The W just indicates that you dropped a course after the Add/Drop deadline. You should consider withdrawing from a course with a "W" if you know that you are not doing well in it and there is little chance you can remedy that, especially if  your intended major expects a strong cumulative GPA or specific grade in that class. Be careful though that you are not going below 12 credits (full-time) in doing so, as doing so could have an effect on your financial aid, insurance, etc.

    There is actual paperwork required to withdraw from a course (you can't do it on SPIRE) and you will need your instructor's signature. So, don't  wait until the day of the deadline to make your decision!

    The mid-semester date is also your last chance to change a class to Pass/Fail grading. Rather than dropping a course from your schedule you can elect to remain in the class, but instead of getting a letter grade, your transcript will just indicate a P (if you pass) or an F (if you fail). A P will not affect your GPA, but an F will. If you're considering the P/F grading option, be careful! There are many things to consider before making this choice, including the fact that courses taken P/F may not count toward Gen Eds, major reqs, or predictor courses. Just like dropping with a W, electing to take a class P/F requires paperwork (but not an instructor's signature).

    You should see your advisor soon if you're considering either taking a W or changing a course to P/F. You can pick up the necessary paperwork in Undergraduate Advising (if you're Undeclared) or the Registrar's Office  in 213 Whitmore.