FSEM Week 15: Almost There

We are almost there—just one week of classes and then a week of finals. At this point, your students are hopefully well 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 one more Finals Prep Workshop coming up this week (Monday 12/3 from 10 to 11 am in HCC 210 – see this flyer)—please encourage your students to attend. Please remind students to complete both the student course evaluations (email from Debra) and the survey on the First-Year Experience (email from me last Sunday, reminder from … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 14: 3 More Weeks

ADVISING NOTES: A policy that comes up at the end of every term is the one on Incomplete Grades. Since this policy was updated two years ago, it might be a good idea for all of us to review it: 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, … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 13: Time to Give Thanks

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 instructor and advisor. Thank you for all that you do! CO-CURRICULAR ANNOUNCEMENTS: Please encourage your students to attend guest speaker Kevin Hines’ talk on Monday, Nov. 19th (6 to 7 pm) in Dodd Auditorium titled “Living Mentally Well.” Hines, who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge at the age of 19, will tell his story of survival and will discuss wellness and suicide prevention. He is widely acclaimed, and has a message our students need to hear. The event is free and open to the public. You can find more information here: https://www.umw.edu/news/2018/11/15/suicide-survivor-brings-message-of-hope-to-umw/. Academic Services will be offering a series of Finals Prep Workshops on Monday, 11/26 (4 to 5 pm in HCC 111), Wednesday, 11/28 (6 to 7 pm in HCC 111), and Monday, … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 12: Finals Are Coming

ADVISING NOTES: Ask your students 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 2018), 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 2018 schedule here), it would be good to review the policy on final exams. You can follow the link to read the full policy, but here are 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 … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 11: Assessment

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! Please share this announcement with your FSEM students: Interested in a Career in health care or the law?  The Career Center encourages all first-year students to attend the Health and Law Professions Graduate School Fair that will take place on November 6th from 12:00pm to 2:30 pm in the Chandler Ballroom of the University Center. A range of programs from both the health and law professions will be represented giving students the opportunity to explore post-graduate options. This a great opportunity to explore different types of programs and to gain knowledge on admissions standards across the fields. CO-CURRICULAR ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Writing Center's “MLA Citation” workshop will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 7th (5 to 6 pm) and “APA Citation” workshop will be … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 10

FSEM/QEP ASSESSMENT: Don’t forget to fill out this short survey to let me know when we can record class discussions and student presentations in your FSEMs: https://goo.gl/forms/Cf7mEXe5EChQfluA3. We need to assess a full set of presentations and discussions for the QEP report—thanks for your help with this! ADVISING NOTES: Registration has started! Seniors start registering on 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 should they find that their ideal courses are closed. The College of Business is holding an information session for students interested in the business program on Wednesday, Oct. 31st, from 3-4pm in Woodard 202. If you have any advisees or students interested in pursuing a degree in business, please encourage them to attend this session. "Making the Grade” is an article that appeared in Newsweek back in 1996 that we have shared the last couple of … [Read more...]

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/L5qQN9gAa8GWgviR2. … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 9: Advising

ADVISING NOTES: Last year at this time I shared some observations that Keith collected about first-year advising in the fall: Students aren’t sure they remember how to use Banner to register for classes. Students don’t understand why their GPA is a 0.00 (assuming this is their first term at the University). Students don’t know how to find their registration appointment time. Students 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: Students 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 might … [Read more...]

FSEM Advising Notes Reminder

A reminder that we are all expected to keep advising notes for our first-year students. A detailed advising note in an essential piece of the mid-semester advising process, particularly for our undeclared students as they more than likely will move to another advisor in the future.  Notes provide a record of academic progress, major declaration plans, and the intended courses for the upcoming semester.  Notes not only serve as a guide for future advising, but they also provide documentation should a student or parent question advising recommendations in the future. Advising notes can be short and to the point.  Below is an example of a brief note entered into EAB Campus following a routine advising meeting. Sam and I met for Spring 2019 advising on 10/24/18.  Sam plans to declare as a Psychology major in May, but is also considering Sociology.  We discussed the following courses for the spring semester:  PSYC-100 CHEM-105 HIST-131 STAT-180 THEA-111 **If … [Read more...]

FSEM Week 8: 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 2019, please make sure that the students enroll in a HN designated course for the spring semester. Each honors student is required to complete two honors program course requirements each academic year until the requirements are fulfilled. If a student is interested in … [Read more...]