Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Domestic Exchange

Are you interested in studying at another college/university in the country for an academic semester or year? Domestic Exchange is the program for you! Did you know that there are OVER 180 colleges and universities in 48 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam to choose from? Check out the National Student Exchange website to browse all the opportunities: http://nse.org

If you are interested, come to one of our information sessions. They are offered three times a week in 613 Goodell every Wednesday at 4:45 PM and Thursday and Friday at 2:30 PM while classes are in session. Learn more about the different opportunities and great experiences offered through Domestic Exchange.

The  deadline for a Fall 2015/Spring 2016 Exchange is March 1st. Whether you are thinking about going on Exchange next year or sometime in the future, come to an information session soon and learn more about the program.

What are you waiting for? Start planning your adventure today! Limited exchange options are available after the March 1 deadline so don't wait!

Monday, January 26, 2015


Due to the impending storm, we are cancelling tomorrow afternoon’s required Dean’s Meeting for new, Undeclared students starting in Spring 2015. 

We have rescheduled for this Thursday, January 29th from 3:00 to 4:00 PM and will hold the Wednesday, January 28 meeting as originally planned at 4:00 PM.

The first week is over...now what to do with all those syllabi?

Some students refer to the first day of class as "syllabus day," meaning the major activity in most first class meetings is distributing and reviewing the syllabus. So, what's the point of a syllabus in a college class anyway? You should think of the syllabus you receive in each course as a contract between you and your instructor. It is both a right and a responsibility. You should be able to use your syllabi to manage your time, set your priorities, and track your grades throughout the semester.

At the start of the semester (right now) you should:
  • Carefully read each syllabus for information about assignments, papers and tests, and make a note of each in your planner/time management system. If you're missing important information for any class, such as due dates or explorations of how your grades will be calculated, consider bringing this to the instructors attention. As a student, you have a right to know what is expected of you, just as you have a responsibility to adhere to these expectations.
  • Compare all of your classes! Do you have multiple assignments, papers, or projects due on the same day? Will you be studying for several tests at the same time? Busy weeks with multiple assignments due will take advanced planning and careful time management on your part, so you don't want to be caught off guard. If you know now, in the second week of school, you can plan accordingly and get ahead.
  • Make sure you understand how your grade will be calculated, and which assignments will have the greatest impact on your final grade. If you hit a busy point in the semester where you're balancing multiple assignments, you don't want to dedicate the bulk of your time to something that is 2% of your grade over something that is 30% of your grade.
  • Check for specific requirements that could affect your final grade (e.g. how class absences count, whether you can hand in papers or assignments late with no penalty, whether there are rewrite policies that allow you to revise a paper or assignment and resubmit it for a higher grade).

For more information about how to be a savvy student and make use of your syllabi, click here and take note of strategy #4.  While you're there, take a look at the Grade Tracker forms.

Still have questions?  Stop by the Academic Advising Link and one of our Peer Advisors will help!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Preview: January 26 - January 30

There will be an R1 Basic Math Skills Exemption Test on Monday, January 26 at 7:00pm in Marcus 131.  No need to sign up.  Bring your UMass student ID, #2 pencils and a calculator.  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.  No record of the test appears on your ARR unless you pass.  There is no limit to the number of times you make take this test.  The focus of the test is to measure knowledge of basic math skills and is intended for students who are interested in majors that do not require math.

Boltwood Project Recruitment Nights will be held on Monday, January 26, Tuesday, January 27 and Wednesday, January 28.  All interview sessions will be in the Campus Center Auditorium from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  You must attend ONE of these sessions to be considered for enrollment.  For everyone who is accepted into the course, there is a required evening orientation session the evening of Monday, February 2.  Click here to learn more about Boltwood and how you can engage with the local community while earning credit.  Spaces fill up fast!

Are you a Computer Science Major On Contract?  Classes are starting soon and hopefully, your schedule is ready to go!  There is a special Orientation for CS Applicants On Contract (AOCs) and students interested in applying to CS.  Plan to attend the orientation session for important information for your success as an AOC on your way to becoming a CS major!  Monday, January 26, 2015, 4:00 PM, CS Building, Room 150/151.

Are you a new, Undeclared student starting in the Spring 2015 semester?  Don't forget about your mandatory Dean's Welcome Meeting.  Choose one:
  • Tuesday, January 27 at 4:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 28 at 4:00pm
All sessions are in 613 Goodell Building. See you there!

Wondering if the Resource Economics major is right for you?  Learn more at an Information Session!
  • Thursday, January 29 at 4:00pm
  • Friday, January 30 at 12:20pm
  • Friday, February 27 at 11:15am
All sessions are held in Stockbridge 303.  Students must attend an information session and complete the Online Statement of Interest before being invited to schedule an advising appointment to complete the change of major process.  Online Statements of Interest must be submitted by Saturday, April 25 at noon.

Five College Interchange Registration ends on Monday, February 2 at 5:00pmReread our earlier post for more information.  Do not miss the deadline!

Still looking for one more class?  Want to know about available GenEds?  Need help with SPIRE?  Not sure how to edit a class to Pass/Fail or to switch a section?  Our Peer Advisors are here for you!  Stop by the Academic Advising Link in the Learning Commons in the Library from 4:00pm - 8:00pm, Sunday through Thursday.  All students from all majors are welcome!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Eric's Tip of the Week: How to Roll With Your Academic Goals

Hey guys! Allow me to be one of the first to welcome you back from winter break! As you might know, a new semester sometimes means a new beginning, a fresh start to do what you planned to do last semester! A new semester is like a new year: the time to make resolutions. That is why my tip of the week is to discuss goals for the new semester and how to achieve them and stay on track.

   1.    Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew:
      I fall a victim to this myself from time to time. Sometimes we try to set goals for achievements a lot bigger than we are prepared for, like losing 30 pounds or becoming the new master of schoolwork. In the beginning it all sounds pretty basic and achievable, but adding more and more goals makes achieving the bigger goals even harder! Start with a smaller goal and grow from there. For example, start by saying you will go to the gym at least twice this upcoming week or start reading each chapter of a book on Sundays and then review notes after class! It will be much easier and a lot less stressful to have a simple goal and then to build on it because once you have a habit going it’s a lot easier to achieve those bigger goals.
  2.    Make Lists Of Tasks You Need To Get Done:
            I know from experience that if I do not write my goal down somewhere that I can see I will just push it out of the way. It is just so easy to push a goal out of the way and forget about it because you do not want to do it anymore! Try making a list of things needing to be taken care of that day so when free time comes around those smaller tasks can be done while you are bored. There’s a sense of pride that comes with crossing off goals from a list. Being organized is key when it comes to being on top of your goals!

  3.    Try Achieving Goals With A Partner:
Friends make the greatest partners when it comes to achieving goals, especially goals that take time to accomplish. When it comes to motivation there is nothing better than having a friend trying to accomplish the same goal with you. There is a bond that gets created, and friendships grow that way. Your friend will also push you harder when it comes to finishing an achievement because they want to see you do better than you thought you could. If you are trying to lose those 10 pounds at the gym or just gain some muscle, I suggest bringing a friend because it relieves stress but also makes you more comfortable with what you are doing!  More than just workout buddies, friends can also be helpful when it comes to achieving academic success.

So there you have it, everyone: some tips on making goals for the semester! Remember to always keep a positive outlook on the goal you are trying to achieve! Optimism goes a long way, and at the end of the semester, you can look back at all the hard work that you have put in to get where you are now!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Welcome to our New Undeclared Students!!!

Are you a brand new Undeclared student starting in Spring 2015?  Don't forget about your mandatory welcome meeting!

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spring 2015 Five College Interchange Courses: It's time to register!

Are you interested in taking a class at Amherst, Hampshire, Smith or Mt. Holyoke this semester?  Five College Interchange registration has begun!

Registration paperwork is being accepted in 613 Goodell until the last day of UMass Add/Drop: Monday, February 2. 

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 form is available on SPIRE, but you cannot submit your registration through SPIRE. You must follow the UMass paperwork procedure and deadlines and turn in your forms 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 registered for at least one 3-credit UMass course.
  • You must have the instructor's signature in order to be added to the class.
  • You can only register by handing in two copies of the UMass paperwork to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.  There must be original signatures from the instructor on both forms - photocopies cannot be accepted.
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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Take advantage of the Add/Drop period

The spring Add/Drop period ends Monday, February 2nd at 10pm. Just because you have two weeks to play with your schedule doesn't mean you should be making drastic changes at the tail end. Here are a few advising tips for a successful start to your semester:

  • Check your schedule on SPIRE. Now check it again. You are accountable for any course you are registered for on SPIRE whether you attend it or not. Make sure your SPIRE schedule matches your expectations.
  • Look through all your syllabi as soon as you get them. What's your workload look like? Are your reading lists, papers, tests, etc. manageable? If not, don't wait too long to talk to an advisor about changes. Advising offices are usually very busy during the Add/Drop period--plan ahead for a timely appointment.
  • Make sure you maintain at least 12 credits at all times, even while making changes to your schedule. Twelve credits is the minimum you need to be full-time. Falling below that could have financial aid, insurance, and/or housing ramifications. As you make changes to your schedule use the SWAP and EDIT functions on SPIRE--never DROP unless you plan to permanently delete a class and the corresponding credits for that class. Remember, swap don't drop; edit, don't sweat it!
  • Attend any class you are thinking about adding. If it's full, arrive at the first class meeting early and speak to the professor to see if he/she is offering overrides. If they are not, add the course to your Shopping Cart and check regularly for a seat to open. In the meantime, keep attending the class so you aren't behind if and when you do get a seat.

Got questions? Undergraduate Advising Peer Advisors are available at the Academic Advising Link in the Learning Commons to help all students (regardless of major or class year).

Engineering Information Sessions

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekly Preview: January 19 - 23

Welcome to the Spring 2015 semester!
Monday, January 19 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Most offices on campus will be closed.
 Classes start on Tuesday, January 20.
Do you have a copy of your schedule?  Have you double checked the locations of your classes?  Are you actually enrolled in the classes you think you're enrolled in?

Are you interested in Engineering?  There will be two information sessions this week for students wanting to declare an Engineering major.
Both sessions are in 604 Goodell at 5:30pm

Are you a new, Undeclared student starting in the Spring 2015 semester?  Don't forget about your mandatory Dean's Welcome Meeting.  Choose one:
  • Friday, January 23 at 2:30pm
  • Tuesday, January 27 at 4:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 28 at 4:00pm
All sessions are in 613 Goodell Building. See you there!

Want to get away next year?  It's time to plan your Domestic Exchange!  Choose from over 180 schools throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands!  Applications for Fall, Spring, and Full Year exchanges are only available during our Information Sessions in 613 Goodell:
  • Wednesdays at 4:45
  • Thursdays and Fridays at 2:30
Priority Application Deadline: Friday, February 13, 2015
Final Application Deadline: Sunday, March 1, 2015

We'll have more information about Domestic Exchange, so check back soon!

The first few days of the semester should be used to reevaluate the courses in which you are enrolled.  If you're not sure about your schedule, make an appointment to meet with an advisor or visit our Peer Advisors in the Academic Advising Link in the Learning Commons of the DuBois Library.  They are there Sunday - Thursday from 4pm - 8pm.