Saturday, May 12, 2012

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow...

When grades come out the week of May 21, you will officially have enough credits to be considered a sophomore student!  If you have been advised by the College of Arts and Sciences during your Freshman year, you should know that the end of this academic year signals our parting of ways. 

Parting Ways and Moving On

Here is what you can expect for your next academic year, depending on your situation!  If you will be:

  • A Sophomore with a major declared in the College of Arts Sciences your new advisor will be a faculty member who teaches in your major.  Your file will be forwarded to your new advisor in June and you will be emailed with his or her contact information.  If you are not sure where to go for help, you can always call the advising center and we can direct you!
  • A major declared in CAS with fewer than 27 credits you will remain in the CAS Advising Center until you have enough credits to earn sophomore standing.
  • Declaring a major in the Kania School of Management you will now be advised by the KSOM Advising Center.  They are located in Brennan 206 and can be reached at 570-941-6100.
  • Declaring a major in the Panuska School of Professional Studies you will be advised by the CPS Advising Center.  They are located in McGurrin 101 and can be reached at 570-941-6390.
  • Not ready to declare a major you will be placed in the Exploratory Program.  You will continue to be advised by the CAS Advising Center.  However, because it is more critical that we help you determine your passion and chose a major, we will be expecting more of you.  You will be assigned to work with a specific CAS advisor and will need to comply with the requirements of the program.  Watch your mail during the month of June for more information on these requirements.  You can also follow this link for more information!
  • A Sophomore with a low major GPA you will be placed into the Goal Attainment Program.  For most majors, you must maintain a 2.0 in the courses specifically designated major classes.  However, some majors have higher standards.  If you fail to meet these standards at the end of the Spring Semester, the Dean of CAS can remove you from your major and place you into Goal Attainment.  You will be assigned to work with a specific advisor in CAS Advising  and will have a lot of work to do.  Your advisor will work closely with you to determine if you are struggling in your major because it is not a match for your interests and abilities or because you need some help getting on track. You will be informed by mail in June if you are placed into the Goal Attainment Program.  You can also follow this link for more information. 

 Goodbye Doesn't Have to Be Forever

It is always bittersweet when the academic year ends.  The other advisors and I are pleased to see our students transitioning to the next stage in their academic careers and lives but we develop strong bonds with our students so it's never easy to say goodbye.  Please know that while we won't have your advising file and can't help you in most official capacities after June, we still want to hear from you.  Keep in touch and let us know if we can help you in any way!

Katie Robinson
CAS Academic Advisor

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Final Exam Prep

It’s crunch time!  Final exams for the Spring 2012 semester start Monday, May 14. If you haven’t begun preparing, it’s definitely time!  With all of the projects, presentations, quizzes and pre-final exams leading up to that week, this can be a pretty overwhelming time in the semester.  While the idea of studying for several massive exams can be daunting, it's very possible to soar through it!  I am going to provide you with some time tested tips to help you be as successful as possible on your final exams!

Plan and organize your time!
Success on finals has nothing to do with luck; it's mostly about being organized and properly managing your time.  You can break down your organization to make it more manageable:
  • Find out how many final exams you have.  Not every professor gives a final. 
  • Consult the Final Exam Schedule to determine when your finals will take place.  This can give you a starting point for determining what your week looks like.  Are all your finals at the beginning or the end of the week?  Are they spread out?  When will your most challenging finals take place?
  • Determine if you are missing any resources.  Do you have all lecture notes, texts and handouts?  Examine the syllabus or consult any study guides to ensure you have everything you need! Do you need a tutor, time with your professor or a study group to help you succeed?
  • Determine and make a list of what tasks you need to perform to prepare for each exam.  Do you need to:
    • Skim through chapters in your textbook?
    • Reread some chapters that are less clear to you?
    • Study your notes or your professors PowerPoint slides?
    • Memorize certain processes, vocabulary, dates, formulas, etc?  Develop an understanding of certain concepts?
  • Determine how many hours you need to spend devoted to preparation for each exam.  Not all exams are equal.  Some may have more weight in the calculation of your grade and some may be more challenging for you.  Consult your preparation list for each class and determine roughly how many hours you need for each task. 

  • Create a study schedule for the next two weeks:
You should plan to do at least a little work everyday.  It's better to be over prepared early on than to find out at the last minute that you are not ready for an exam!

Plan your study time in blocks and have a goal for each block of time. This will help you be more directed during your study.

Don't study harder; study smarter!
Success on finals isn't about staying up in your dorm room until 4am.   It's not about marathon cram sessions that leave your brain feeling like jelly.   It's about studying smartly.   
  • Take Breaks!  Even the most dedicated student can only truly concentrate for about an hour at a time.  Set a timer and step away from your books for ten minutes every hour or so.  You may feel the pressure to keep studying, but you will be much more effective at learning and remembering if you take frequent short breaks!
  •  Eliminate Distractions!  Not everyone can stand the silence of the library but it might be preferable to your distraction filled dorm room.  If you are trying to study while watching TV, looking at Facebook or texting, you probably will spend dozens of hours at your desk without reaping any benefits.  It's better to shelve these things during your studying time and save them for your break!
  • Study in groups!  There's strength in numbers!  Studying in groups is helpful because it allows you to try out difficult material or to ask questions.  If you find a study group that you can trust, consider dividing up the work and writing study guides for each other.  This can help everyone make the most of their study time.
Take care of yourself!
 Preparing for final exams can be an exhausting and overwhelming experience.   If you are kind to yourself, you will be capable of learning and retaining more!  If you allow yourself to become too stressed or do not consider your health, you may get sick.  Consider the following:
  • Get plenty of sleep!  You will lose effectiveness if you do not get enough rest.
  • Eat right!  Nutrition is even more important during stressful times!
  • Take breaks and don't overdo it!
  •  Do something fun and relaxing everyday!  This will help you destress which will enable you to be more focused!
Katherine Robinson
CAS Academic Advisor