FSEM Week 16: Finals Week Bonus

Two quick reminders for you this week: FSEM Instructors Debrief: Please join me and some your fellow FSEM instructors Wednesday, December 13, at 1 pm in HCC 111 for an FSEM debrief. If your FSEM experience sucked, please come. If it didn’t suck, please, please, please come. We’ll share our war stories, and I’ll share some of the data I have from the first-year student survey. Faculty Survey: You should have received an email from me on Saturday with a link to the Qualtrics FSEM Instructors & Advisors Survey. Please take a few minutes to complete it this week while the semester is still fresh on your mind. Best wishes during finals week—hope to see you on Wednesday (Dec 13) at 1pm! … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 15

We are almost there—just one week of classes and then a week of finals. At this point, your students are hopefully positioned to perform well on their final assignments and exams. Let’s do our best to support them and to offer advice on how to handle these final weeks. Topics you might bring up include: (not) pulling all-nighters, prioritizing time between work (a job) and final exams, informing friends and family about their schedule and the importance of final exams, understanding how the final exam contributes to the final course grade, studying in groups (and choosing members who stay on topic), and how to study for final exams. Academic Services has two more Finals Prep Workshops coming up this week (Monday 12/4 and Tuesday 12/5, both from 4 to 5pm in HCC 210 – see the flyer)—please encourage your students to attend. The Writing Center and Speaking Center will also hold a special open session this Friday, December 8th from 8pm to midnight—your students can stop in for help with … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 14

ADVISING NOTES: A policy that comes up at the end of every term is the one on Incomplete Grades. Here is a copy of the policy for your review: Incomplete grades are issued on a case-by-case basis when students cannot complete the assigned work or final examination for a particular course due to unforeseen circumstances, e.g., illness, natural disaster, or family catastrophe. Supporting documentation may be required. A grade of I is issued in lieu of an actual grade for the course. To secure permission for an incomplete grade, the student and faculty member must communicate in writing (such as an email), clearly stating the reason for the incomplete, the work to be completed, and the due date. If appropriate, students must drop any subsequent course for which the incomplete course is a prerequisite. Students must complete the course work by the specified contract date which will be no later than the end of the following semester, whether enrolled in University course work or not. A … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 13: Thanksgiving

CO-CURRICULAR ANNOUNCEMENTS: Academic Services will be offering a series of Finals Prep Workshops on Wednesday, Nov. 29 (UC 314 Capital Room, 2-3pm), Monday, Dec. 4 (HCC 210, 4-5pm), and Tuesday, Dec. 5 (HCC 210, 4-5pm). They will discuss time management tips, how to make a study plan, and how to study for finals. You can download the flyer here: http://bit.ly/2B25r9i. Our first-year students (and second-year, and third-year students) are feeling pretty overwhelmed at this point in the semester, and this workshop can be a great help as they start to plan for finals. Please send this info to your students when you see them this week, and then again when they get back from Thanksgiving. MANDATORY FSEM INSTRUCTORS MEETING THIS WEDNESDAY, NOV. 22nd AT 4PM: Just kidding! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break this week. I have heard from many first-year students about their first-year experience, and they routinely comment on how much they appreciate and value you, their FSEM … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 12

ADVISING NOTES: Ask how registration went. Discuss the opportunities to drop/add for the spring term. Students most likely had trouble getting into a few of their desired courses (more so than they did in June when they were registering for Fall 2017), so be supportive and offer advice on drop/add. You should also encourage each student to run a degree evaluation after they have registered. This will help them to see how the classes they signed up for count toward the various requirements. As your students start thinking about their upcoming final exams (Fall 2017 schedule here), it would be good to review the policy on final exams. You can follow the link to read the full policy, but let me point out a few highlights which you may want to bring to the attention of your students. If you get questions about any of these items, please refer to the complete policy. Examinations are scheduled for specific periods and should not interfere with subsequent examinations. A student who … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 11

ADVISING NOTES: Thank you for your work in advising our first-year students—I know both how overwhelming it can be for you, and also how much our students appreciate your support and guidance. Your work is truly appreciated! CO-CURRICULAR ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Writing and Speaking Centers will offer their last student workshops of the year in just over a week from now. The Writing Center will offer “How to Edit and Revise Your Work” on Thursday, Nov. 16th from 3:30-4:45 and again on Friday, Nov. 17th from 3-4pm, both in HCC 427. The Speaking Center will offer “Talk Like TED” on Tuesday, Nov. 14th from 4-5pm in HCC 307 and again on Wednesday, Nov. 15th from 5-6pm in UC 314. Both workshops are useful for students as they prepare for their end-of-semester writing and speaking assignments. Please encourage your students to attend. QEP ANNOUNCEMENTS: As the semester winds down, I need to collect final writing samples to use for assessment of our QEP. I need to have 4 randomly … [Read more...]

FSEM Oral Communication Assessment

We need to record student presentations and class discussions as part of our ongoing assessment of students’ oral communication skills in the FSEM. Please complete this short Google form to let me know when/if you have any presentations and class discussions coming up. I will confirm with you whether or not your class will be recorded and will arrange to have someone there to record the presentations/discussions. Here is the link to the form: https://goo.gl/forms/xVJcyA6nD6aDLsH22. … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 10

ADVISING NOTES: Registration has started! Seniors start registering today (Monday), but anybody with priority registration should have registered last week. Classes are starting to fill. Remind students to have a few back-ups in place in case their ideal courses are closed. I’m attaching an article that appeared in Newsweek back in 1996. Keith shared this article last year, and I wanted to make sure that you had a copy. If you google the article, you will find that many professors use it in their classes, asking students to respond to it. CO-CURRICULAR ANNOUNCEMENTS: Help your students to get ready for their end-of-semester papers with the Writing Center’s workshops on “All YOUR Grammar and Punctuation Questions Answered,” on Wednesday, Nov. 1st (5-6pm) and Thursday, Nov. 2nd (5-6pm), both in HCC 427. You might also remind your students to take advantage of tutoring and the Peer Academic Consultants (PACs) available through Academic Services. Encourage the PACs as a resource … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 9: Academic Advising

ADVISING NOTES: Last year at this time Keith posted a few things that he had learned from his FSEM students as he started working through advising appointments: They aren’t sure they remember how to use Banner to register for classes. They don’t understand why their GPA is a 0.00 (assuming this is their first term at the University). They don’t know how to find their registration appointment time. They still aren’t entirely sure about the General Education requirements. As one of our colleagues shared with me, some still have the Gen Ed course list distributed during summer orientation and think that it is the exclusive General Education list. However, that list just contained available fall offerings valuable to first time students—which leads me to this final observation: They aren’t entirely sure what the “catalog” is. Most of these topics were covered this summer at orientation (except registration appointment times) but are still worth a refresher. Useful links you … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 8: Fall Break

Hope you are enjoying your fall break! ADVISING NOTES: Good luck with your advising appointments! Some additional items regarding advising… Early Registration – Be aware that there are a handful of students who earned so many credits while in high school that they will be able to register during the sophomore registration time or earlier. In addition, honors students, veterans, and others with accommodations may have earlier registration as well. Keep this in mind as you schedule your individual appointments and make certain that your students are seeing you prior to their registration appointment time. Honors Program – If you have any honors students in your classes or have any students who are interested in applying to the Honors Program in February 2018, please make sure that the students enroll in a HN designated course for the spring semester. Each honors student is required to complete 6 credits of HN designated coursework each academic year. If a student is interested … [Read more...]