Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Dec. 9, 2013 - This is the last week of classes and next week will be filled with final exams.  ASUU has partnered with the Marriott Library, Union Programming Council, Peak, USA Today, and The New York Times to create the GEEK Week.  This event includes extended hours at the Marriott Library, food, yoga workshops, food, and other activities to assist you in excelling at the U of U.  Check it out!

Good luck with all your final course activities!!!  Reward yourself after a productive semester that is moving you closer to your academic goal.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Have You Seen Your Tutor Today?

At the University of Utah, we are beginning the 4th week of the semester.  Lots of activities are happening (such as the Major EXPO on September 25 from 10 to 2 PM in the Olpin Union).  In addition to participating in campus activities, this is a great time to secure a tutor for your rigorous courses.  Students often ask me how other students earn good grades in all their courses.  From my conversations with these types of students, tutoring is one key element for success.

Let's use the rest of this post to connect to tutoring.  Here are some easy steps:
  1. Review the courses that you are taking this term.  Which one or ones do you find the most rigorous for you? 
  2. Now start to look for resources that offer tutoring in these areas.
  3. If you have a private tutor, make appointments and keep them.
  4. If you are in a group tutoring situation, be a productive member by showing up and contributing to the information.
The University of Utah offers many excellent resources for tutoring.  Here are just a few of the many options available to you:
  • Math:  the Mathematics Department offers free tutoring in the Math Tutoring Center in the lower level of the Cowles Building.  http://www.math.utah.edu/ugrad/tutoring.html
  • Academic Support:  This agency coordinates the ASUU Tutoring Center and Supplemental Instruction for a variety of courses and disciplines.  They have a variety of rates.  http://tutoringcenter.utah.edu/
  • The Writing Center:  Have a Writing course or a course that requires a written paper?  Then check-out the services available here.  Writing is a process and everyone continues to grow through feedback.  http://writingcenter.utah.edu/
  • College, Department, Agency:  There are many places to connect to tutoring at the University of Utah.  Ask advisors, faculty, and student peers.  The answers will give you lots of options for finding the best resource for you.
Thanks for reading.  It is exciting to watch you achieve your goals at the U of U!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fall 2013 Has Arrived!

The campus buzz has been growing for the last week.  Students moving into residence halls, buying books, and securing ID cards.  On Saturday many students, parents, faculty, and staff attended the Campus Welcome hosted by the President and Dr. Pershing.  Now, the first day of class for fall 2013 is upon us.

Yes, I have a few tips to offer as you start this term.  Here they are:
  • Go to class, especially on the first day.  The first day of class is often the time you start learning about the class through the syllabus and about the faculty member who is teaching the class.  This information offers insight into what the next 15 weeks will hold for you.
  • At the end of the first week, gather all the syllabi you have collected for every class.  Use these documents to map out your semester on a calendar.  Every SMART Phone has a calendar app or you can purchase a paper calendar at the bookstore.  Regardless what mode you use to calendar, record all assignments, activities, and exams so you are on top of when things are happening.  Don't forget to include you final exams.
  • Look at the academic calendar for dates and deadlines.  Review the date for the last day to add a course, delete/drop a course, and withdraw from a class.  At the U of U, you start classes before you pay tuition & fees.  So make sure you know the deadline for paying tuition.
  • Finally, carry your U of U ID card with you at all times.  Many offices ask to see it to verify who you are.
The first week of classes can be exciting, fun, and stressful all in the same week.  Ask questions early to make your semester a success.

Good luck!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Countdown: Preparing For The First Day at the University of Utah

Yes, in exactly one week, the University of Utah begins the Fall 2013 term.  

Here are my suggestions for being ready on Monday, August 26 as well as some handy websites.

·         Log into the Campus Info System (CIS) and review your course schedule.  Look for the following:
o   Make sure you know the location for each class.  (http://www.map.utah.edu/)
o   Make sure there are no overlaps.  Missing parts of one class for another will not be a successful strategy.
o   Make any changes to your schedule now.  If a course you want to add is full, plan on attending the first meeting of the course to see if the professor will add you by giving you a “permission number” to add the course through CIS.
o   Print a copy of your schedule or save a copy to a device (e.g. phone, pad, tablet).

·         Know how you are going to arrive on campus for your classes.
o   Are you going to drive?  Do you have a parking permit and know where the lots are for the permit?  (http://www.parking.utah.edu/parking/index.html)
o   Are you going to take public transportation?   There are many options that might be right for you.  (http://www.parking.utah.edu/transportation/index.html)
o   If you live in the residence halls, will you use the Campus Shuttle?  If so, do you know which shuttle to catch? (http://www.parking.utah.edu/transportation/shuttles/index.html)

·         Review materials sent to you and provided at the U of U New Student Orientation.
o   The Undergraduate Bulletin is filled with information and resources that assist you in navigating the U of U for the entire year.  I encourage you to start this review by looking at the Academic Calendar on pg. 1, Resources starting on p. 34, and Quick Reference Guide on p. 47.  (http://advising.utah.edu/topics/Undergrad%20Bulletin%202013.pdf)
o   Check-out the new University of Utah homepage that provides campus updates and news.   (http://www.utah.edu/)

I encourage you to consider these suggestions as you prepare for your first day at the U of U.  The campus is excited to welcome you and your peers to our community of learners!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Creating Your College Success Network

It's July and you are counting the weeks or maybe days until the first day of fall term.  At this point you have met some members of your campus or have names of people you will meet.  This is a great time to organize the contact information of people you have met or will meet shortly.  Who might these people be?
  • Admissions counselor or college recruiter who worked with you during the admissions process.
  • At your campus orientation, you might have met an orientation leader, financial aid counselor, or academic advisor.
  • Also, at orientation, you met other new students.
  • If you are living on-campus or used a campus housing directory to find accommodations, you will have one or more roommates.
Creating a contact list is easy and offers quick access to people who might be able to assist you with questions as the first day nears.  You might have questions about your financial aid award that could be answered in a short e-mail to a financial aid counselor.  Maybe you want to change your major, which means talking to your academic advisor about selecting different courses.  As you think about traveling to campus, you might ask other students if they are using public transportation and where they found bus information.  These questions to your peers might alert them to preparation activities they had not thought about but they will greatly benefit from as day one arrives.

So grab the smartphone, computer, or a notebook for organizing names, contact information, and their role in your college success network.  Once you initiate this list, keep it up throughout your college career with periodic updates to keep information accurate and complete.  Networking is an important skill to learn for success in college and in life!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer - Great Time to Prepare For Fall Term

Summer is a time of year that offers many opportunities to relax and reconnect with friends and family.  It is also an excellent time to prepare for fall term at your college or university.  If this is a transition year for you, here are a few questions that are followed by tips.  Answering these now will make your arrival easier.

When is orientation and how do I participate?
Most colleges and universities offer a program called "orientation."  This program offers information for students who are entering campus for the first time and it assists with a smooth transition.  The information may include:
  • campus policies and procedures.
  • interaction with campus faculty and staff, such as academic advisors.
  • an opportunity to register for your courses for fall.
  • a tour of the campus to refresh your memory of key buildings such as the library, student union, and/or student life center.
Orientation is a great opportunity to meet your peers and learn more about the campus.  It is offered in many formats, such as in-person or online, during the summer or right before the term begins, and mandatory or optional.  If you have not attended orientation, contact your institution to find out how you can participate.  It is time well spent.

Orientation is a time to learn about the campus and meet classmates.

Have I registered for my courses for the fall term?
Every semester from initial enrollment to graduation, you will take courses.  You might say that it is your main focus.  So make sure you know how to register for courses on your campus and what courses you need to have a successful first semester.  Some tips to follow are:
  • Contact an academic advisor to assist you in understanding the components of a degree at your institution.  An academic advisor is your companion in navigating campus to achieve your degree goals!
  • Ask about courses, cohorts, or learning communities that are designed for students who are new to the campus.  These are excellent opportunities for success.
  • Think about your obligations for the fall as you organize your schedule.  Will you be working and how much?  Do you care for family members?
  • If you have scholarships and financial aid, know what the course requirements are to stay in good status.  For example, a scholarship might require that you enroll full-time or maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) for continuation. 
  • Register for courses as soon as you can to make sure you have a schedule that works best for you.
The class schedule is a foundational piece of your educational experience.  It leads to graduating with a degree and an experience that is unique to you!

Your Academic Advisor will assist you in understanding how to select courses for your schedule.

Where will I live and how will I get to class each day?
This question is very important since this location is your "central command center" for the term.  Some or all of "your stuff" will be here, you will sleep here, and you will be here.  So organize now.  Consider the following:
  • Will I live on or off-campus?  What are the amenities?
  • Have I secured a space in a campus residence hall, an apartment with a friend, or made arrangements with my family to live with them? 
  • When do I move in to the residence hall or apartment?
  • Have I paid the appropriate deposits and know when monthly bills for rent and utilities are due?
  • What is my address?  How close to the campus and classrooms is this space?  
  • Do I need transportation?  Will I purchase a car or use public transportation?
The organization of housing does require some thought to produce a situation that complements your educational experience.  Use resources provided by your college or universities as you make decisions that work for you.
Will I travel to campus via foot, car, train, bus, or ferry?

If you have answers to all these questions, you are well on your way to having a successful transition to the college environment.  But if some of these topics are new to you, you have time to act.  Start immediately so that your first term begins and ends on a positive note for you!