Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let Us Stay In Touch . . .

How will UMass contact you with important information? 

Official UMass 'business' will be conveyed via your UMail email address.  Make sure you check that account on a regular basis, read any messages completely, and respond promptly, if required.  Don't miss the deadline to apply for a special scholarship or appeal a suspension because you didn't read your UMail!

Make sure your personal information on SPIRE is up-to-date.  Does SPIRE have your cell phone number?  Correct address?  On SPIRE, go to your Student Center and click on Personal Information.  Review the information listed, and make sure it is both correct and complete.  It can be a bit embarrassing if someone from a UMass office calls to change the time of an appointment, and reaches your parent, not you!

Read the Undergraduate Advising Blog during the summer to make sure you don't miss important information.  While many posts will be directed to incoming (new) students, watch for information that might pertain to you, your schedule, or your academic program.  Be among the first to know when grades will hit SPIRE or which department is hosting an info session the first week of class!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grades & Academic Discipline

Grades are due today and will soon make their way to SPIRE -- grades should be posted by the end of the day on Monday, May 24th.

If you are facing academic discipline (suspension or dismissal), be sure to monitor your UMass Amherst email account.  An email will be sent from the Registrar's Office by the end of the day on Wednesday, May 26, 2010.

Be sure to completely read the email, carefully follow the instructions, and regularly monitor your UMass Amherst email account for new information or instructions on how to proceed.  You may also want to consult the Undergraduate Advising website for information on academic status.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's a Wrap . . .

CONGRATULATIONS - by now, you've finished with your finals and the academic year!

Enjoy your summer fully . . . and here are a couple of (small) reminders to carry you through August:

  • check SPIRE to make sure your contact information (home and cell phone numbers, etc) is correct and current (campus profiles>student contact information)
  • if you're hoping to gain access into specific courses, check SPIRE regularly, and if you're making changes, use SWAP, so you don't risk losing a seat in a class
  • read (and respond, if requested) to UMass email - remember, this is the University's official means of communication with you!  
  • follow the Blog over the summer - some posts will be directed to incoming students, but you can keep in touch with what's going on at UMass!
One more general reminder: as you work, study, and/or travel over the summer, remember to keep your radar tuned to pick up on any possible internships, jobs, or opportunities to do an informational interview about a career you may or may not have considered.  In short, NETWORK!  

Undergraduate Advising will remain open throughout the summer, although during New Student Orientation days, we will have very limited staff available.  Have a question or want to come in to talk with an advisor?  Call 5-2191 to set up a time.  You can also check out our website at

Friday, May 7, 2010

Stress Relief

Finals Taking a Toll on You?
Here are some Techniques for Relieving Some of that Stress!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thinking About Taking a Summer Course? Some Things to Keep in Mind

Whether it's to catch up or get ahead, summer courses are a good option. If you think you may want to take a course over the summer, keep these things in mind:
  •  Here at UMass-Amherst or at a nearby community college at home? Taking a course at another school will count credit-wise but not grade wise, meaning your UMass GPA will not be affected by that grade. Taking a class at UMass via Continuing Ed will grant the grade as well as the credits. You should check availability and cost, since your tuition at UMass only covers academic school year courses (Fall and Spring).
  • Repeating a course? If you plan on repeating a course that you got a C- or below in, then that course MUST be taken through UMass-Amherst. Continuing Ed courses are fine. You cannot repeat a course to replace the grade anywhere else but here. 
  • How can I be sure that the course I'm taking will count and transfer back to UMass? You can seek pre-approval from the Transfer Credit Evaluator in the Registrar's Office in Whitmore 213 and as always if you have questions about a course or what course you can take over the summer, come talk to an advisor. We'd be happy to help!
  • What about a 3 credit course at my local community college--will it count as a Gen Ed if the same course next semester is 4 credits? Yes. As long as you seek pre-approval, the credits will not matter.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Celebration Of Writing: Words Near and Far

Celebration Of Writing: Words Near and Far
May 5
Goodell 604

A showcase of writing done by undergraduate students in College Writing, Basic Writing, Jr. Year Writing courses, and the Writing Program's experimental writing workshop series. Awards given to winners of Writing Program's Best Text Contest and to students selected to appear in the Writing Program's The Sudent Writing Anthology 2010-2011. Keynote address to be given by Henk Rossouw*, former foreign correspondent and current MFA student. Light refreshments served. Hosted by the Writing Program.

*Henk is also an academic advisor in our office! He is well published and most recently was one of four Bright Lights, Big Verse winners, which included a public reading in New York's Time Square, pictured above.

Stop by!

Finals, Fast Approaching!

Tomorrow is the last day of classes, which means finals begin in just a few short days!  Now is the time to take hold of your academics and wrap up your semester on a positive note!  Try out some of these tips for a stress-free finals week:

  1. Make sure you know whether your exams are cumulative or not.  Cumulative exams will cover more material and including some material you probably haven't seen since the first half of the semester!  Try this 5 Day Study Plan to help manage your study workload.
  2. It's also important to know what types of questions will be asked of you.  Is the exam multiple choice?  True/False?  Fill-in-the-Blank or Short Answer? Essay?  You'll want to prepare differently for each type of exam, so knowing what to expect on test day is step one.
  3. Not sure where to begin?  Knowing what type of learner you are can help you tailor your study methods to those that work best for you!  Try our learning styles inventory and test out some of the study methods described for your style.
  4. Try forming a study group with classmates.  Study groups can help keep you motivated and discussing course concepts with others can actually increase your ability to commit such  information to long-term memory!
  5. Whatever you do, don't let the Ten Traps of Studying get you!
  6. Finally, don't forget to utilize campus resources and academic support centers.  Many classes offer review sessions and most courses have TAs available to help clarify material.  The Learning Resource Center in the library offers FREE peer-to-peer tutoring (by appointment only during finals week) and the Writing Center.
Good luck!!

REMINDER!!!!! R1 Exemption Test TONIGHT!!!

Basic Math (R1) Skills Exemption Test

7:30PM MARCUS 131

you will need:
#2 Pencil(s)
UMass ID
and a calculator
Click here for details!