Friday, September 27, 2013

Weekly Preview: September 30 - October 4

Curious about Public Health?  Come to a Public Health Information Session:  Monday, September 30 at 5:30pm or Tuesday, October 8 at 6:00pm in the Campus Center Room 905.  If you are interested in applying to Public Health, the Priority Application Deadline is Tuesday, October 15.  Get your questions answered, learn about classes and club events, meet the Public Health Peer Advisors, and learn about internship and study abroad opportunities.  Can’t make it? That’s OK! Meet with a Public Health Peer Advisor during drop-in hours at Arnold House 330.  Click for the schedule.

Interested in applying to the Computer Science major or minor?  Tuesday, October 1 is the Fall 2013 deadline to complete the application!  Questions? Visit the CS Undergraduate Advising Center (ACE) in 144 CS BldgCheck the CS website for the latest schedule of hours when the Advising Center is open. Late submissions are not accepted!  Don't miss the deadline!  The application to the CS major can be found by clicking here and the application to the CS minor intent can be found by clicking here.

Do you speak Spanish, or want to?  Want to travel?  Check out your options!  Come to the SPANISH OPEN HOUSE & STUDY ABROAD MINI-FAIR (with free pizza) Wednesday, Oct. 2 @ 5:30 PM in 301 Herter Hall.

The Center for Multicultural Advancement & Student Success (CMASS) invites you to attend our Undergraduate/Graduate Mixer for Fall 2013.  This is a great opportunity to meet current UMass Graduate Students and find out what Graduate School is all about.  The event will be held on Wednesday, October 2nd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm in 201 Wilder Hall.

Isenberg Career Day 2013 will be on Thursday, October 3, from 11:00am - 4:00pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  The Isenberg School of Management Career Day is the kick-off event for the fall recruiting season. Held annually in late September/early October, approximately 100 companies and 1700 undergraduates attend.  Students may view a list of registered companies here.  Business casual attire is required.  Read our earlier post about how to prepare for a Career Fair and be sure to bring copies of your resume with you.  Don't have a resume yet?  Make an appointment with Career Services!  

OPEN HOUSE at CMASS!  The Center for Multicultural Advancement & Student Success (CMASS) invites you to attend an Open House on Thursday, October 3rd, from 4-6pm.  Come to Wilder Hall (between Morrill and the new science building) to learn more about what CMASS does, meet some people, and enjoy some refreshments.  EVERYONE is welcome!

Don't forget that Thursday, October 17 is the last day to drop courses with a “W” or change a course to Pass/Fail.  A “W” is nearly always preferable to an “F.”  Taking a class Pass/Fail will not fulfill a GenEd, major, minor, GlobalEd, School/College or certificate requirement.  If you're not sure how this will affect your timeline for graduation or want advice on options, make an appointment to meet with an advisor.  In making your decision, bear in mind that you need to carry 12 credits to be considered full-time for financial aid and health insurance purposes.  

We still have a few planners left!  If you have friends who have yet to pick one up and need to get organized, send them to 613 Goodell.  They are also available at the Academic Advising Link, so stop by to talk to our Peer Advisors.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Paul's Tip of the Week: Time Management Skills

So you come to UMass as a freshman and you are amazed at the flexibility and free time your schedule allows.  You are in class way less than you were in high school and you don't always have several homework assignments due the very next day. It's a change. However,  with this change comes new responsibilities and a need to adapt to your new circumstances. Here're some tips on how to manage your schedule at UMass to keep ahead and succeed:

Do the Amount of Work your Professor Expects: The way college classes differ from high school is that you are generally in class less time but are expected to do several hours of work outside of the classroom. Many students don't realize the extent to which they should be doing work outside the classroom. It's important to do all of the readings for all your classes even if you do not have a test or essay immediately on the information.

Plan Ahead: A huge problem I faced my freshman year is that one week I would have a really relaxed week with little homework then the very next week, I would have essays and tests going on in almost every class. I went from calm and cool to frantically stressed out. This is because of my failure to plan ahead. Just because you don't have anything due immediately, does not mean it is time to take a vacation. Try to get homework assignments done ahead of time and stay on top of your work. Having an academic planner makes all of this a whole lot easier.  (If you don't have one, check with the Academic Advising Link, Sun-Thurs, 4-8:00pm in the Learning Commons of the DuBois Library  - they might have one for you!) 

Take Constructive Breaks/Stay Healthy: While a lot of what I have been writing has been focused on work, work, work, it's important to take care of yourself and not to get stressed out. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a constructive break. A great example of this would be going to the gym, taking a walk, or meditation.

These outlets provide a great opportunity to help clear your mind, focus better, and relieve some of that pent up stress. Reward yourself with getting a paper done with taking a break and eating with friends at a Dining Common or getting some late-night dessert somewhere. Basically, practice self-care and prioritize both getting all your work done along with your personal health. 

Stop Checking Your Facebook: Here's probably one of my most important tips I could possibly give to all students managing their time (especially when you are studying): get off of social media. A "constructive break" does not including refreshing your Facebook newsfeed every 5 minutes, tweeting, updating your Tumblr, snapchatting your friends, or taking a "selfie" of you "studying" and putting it on Instagram. Social media is great and there definitely is a time and place to use it but whatever you do: avoid using it as a procrastination tool. I personally love social media but I try not to let it take over my life nor all my time. 

So remember take care of yourself, your work, and your time. Learning healthy and successful time management skills is one of the most important skills you can get while at college. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

SCORE BIG with assistance from the LRC or Writing Center!

Want to recover a FUMBLE in a class,
and advance toward a TOUCHDOWN? 
Want to INTERCEPT the info you'll need
to SCORE BIG on your final grade?

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) is OPEN, and offers FREE tutoring and supplemental instruction services to all registered UMass students.  They're on the 10th floor of the W.E.B. DuBois Library, and are open Sunday through Thursday, from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Tutorial support is available on a walk-in basis for many first and second year courses. Students may be tutored individually or in small groups. Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides informal, peer-facilitated review seminars for a particular course and section; SI sessions meet regularly. During SI sessions, students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and predict test items. 

Also in the library, downstairs in the Learning Commons, you will find the Writing Center.  There, in a 45-minute consultation with a knowledgeable tutor, you can get help with any part of the writing process.  Go online to schedule an appointment, and schedule ahead, for the busy periods of the semester!   

Whether it's to pull you out of near failure in a class, or to boost your grade from a B+ to an A-, making use of LRC and Writing Center services can really help!  Make sure you seek help EARLY - don't wait until you get far behind before you seek out assistance.  Also, remember to bring your student ID card when you use LRC services.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Weekly Preview: September 24 - 27

Career Fairs have begun!  Did you read our post about why you should attend and how you should prepare?  Be sure to take some time to get ready before talking to potential employers.  Check out the Career Advice Videos on the right side of the Career Services page and get ready to impress!

The Engineering, Sciences and Technology 2013 Career Fair is on Wednesday, September 25 from 10:00am - 3:00pm in the Lower Level of the Campus Center.  Engineering, sciences, computer science/ IT, math, physics, business or liberal arts majors seeking to work in technical fields can speak with employers about full-time opportunities, co-ops and/or internships. It is open to all level students, undergraduates, graduate students and PhD candidates. Professional dress is requiredClick for the Career Services page to learn more and to get the auditorium layout, concourse layout, and a brochure of employers and what majors they are looking for.

The School of Public Health Career Development and Internship Fair is on Friday, September 27, from 10:00am - 1:00pm in the Student Union Ballroom.  SPHHS is holding its annual Career Development and Internship Fair for undergraduates and graduate students in all departments. Students of all levels of professional experience are invited to attend.  Click for the Career Services page to learn more.

Did you know that Career Services holds Internship Info Sessions every Monday at 12:30 pm and Wednesday at 4:00 pm in 508 Goodell?  Stop by to learn about internships and co-ops that are available to you.  It's not too early to start planning and preparing.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Introducing Your Peer Bloggers!

The Undergraduate Advising Blog is happy to have four undergraduates writing for us. These four students are extremely talented, intelligent, and open-minded, so be sure to read their posts and to go see them at The Academic Advising Link for advice!

Jennie Rogers; '14

CLASS, MAJOR: Junior; Psychology and Sociology

LIKES BEST:  I enjoy helping students find what they love to study and providing them with some of the tools they need to succeed.

ADVICE:  Always pursue your interests and strive for success. Try everything and anything that catches your eye because college is the time to take risks and find what you love.

Paul Gels; '14
CLASS, MAJOR: Junior; Majoring in Marketing, double minoring in English and Women's Studies. 

LIKES BEST: Being able to see how my advising has directly impacted students and to really help them explore what they want to get out of their college education and how to go about doing it.

ADVICE: Try everything! There are so many great resources and opportunities on this campus. Not taking advantage of these opportunities is not taking full advantage of your college experience.

Gabriella Carmichael; '14

CLASS/MAJOR: Junior, Dance and Anthropology double major

LIKES BEST:  Getting to know the individual student and what they are nervous, hopeful, and excited for at UMass. 

ADVICE:  Go into everything with an open and curious mind. 

Liz Possee; '14

CLASS, MAJOR: Junior; Environmental Design, Minoring in Studio Art, and Art History

LIKES BEST: Watching new students realize all of the opportunites UMass has to offer, and helping them take advantage of them.

ADVICE: Take some classes out of your comfort zone. College is an opportunity to try new things, and in trying these things, you might realize something about yourself that you didn't know before. Also, join an RSO! They are filled with interesting people from different majors, and it's great to meet people who share a common interest, but have a different background.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Career Fairs Coming Up

As the Career Services website tells you, many employers use career fairs to promote their job opportunities and to pre-screen applicants. Most of these fairs consist of booths and tables staffed by recruiters and other representatives from each organization. For students, a career fair can be an excellent place to gather information about potential employers, make contacts that could lead to a job, learn more about an employer’s application process, and discover new options.

The UMass Amherst Career Services Office sponsors a number of career fairs throughout the year - and several will be happening in the coming weeks (check out their on-going calendar of events). Career services will be offering Career Fair Prep Workshops tonight, so check out the calendar for details.

Not sure how to proceed? Stop by Career Services (5th floor, Goodell; drop-in hours from 12-4 M-F) and take a look at their website.  See the planning timeline recommended for each year, and/or download their handouts on "Make Your First Professional Contacts at the Career Fair" and "Sell Yourself at the Career Fair" for tips on making the most of these events.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Last Call For Add/Drop!

Add/Drop Ends TODAY!

After today, you will no longer be able to make any changes to your schedule in SPIRE.  Look at your Enrollment Appointment to see when your access ends.

Read our earlier post about Add/Drop and check to make sure that your schedule is correct!  If you need to make any changes after today, you must complete paperwork at the Registrar's Office, with your instructor, and/or your Academic Dean.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Add/Drop Deadline!

Don't let this happen to you!!!

Add/Drop ends on Monday.  Right now you can log into SPIRE and make changes to your schedule, but when Add/Drop ends, you will no longer be able to do so and will have to use a paper process to make requests and get permission.  Look at your Enrollment Appointment to see when you will no longer have access to make changes.

Right now you should log on to SPIRE and look at your schedule.  Are you really in the classes you think you're in?  Are all of your discussions and labs correct?  Did you add a class that's not there or drop something that still is there?  Even if you haven't made any changes to your schedule, you should still check to make sure everything is correct.  If you do need to make adjustments, use the swap and edit functions whenever possible.

Not attending a class doesn't mean you've dropped it! And remember, should you decide to add a class at this point, you will be responsible for any work that has been assigned and you should contact the instructor immediately.

As always, if you have any questions about your schedule, you should see an advisor. Undeclared students can set up an appointment by calling (413) 545-2191 or coming to 613 Goodell.  You can also stop by the Academic Advising Link to talk to a Peer Advisor about your classes.  The Link is open Sunday through Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm while classes are in session and is located downstairs in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library.

A note about Pass/Fail: You have until the Mid-Semester W date (Thursday, October 17) to change a class to Pass/Fail.  After Add/Drop ends, you'll need to go to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore to fill out the Course Change Request form.  You do get credit for Pass/Fail classes if you pass but they do not fulfill requirements (GenEds, major, minor, certificates, GlobalEds, etc.), so make an appointment to meet with an advisor if you're not sure how this will affect you.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekly Preview: September 16 - 20

Add/Drop Ends on Monday, September 16!  You will no longer be able to make any changes to your schedule on SPIRE once your Enrollment Appointment ends.  Look at your schedule right now and double check to be sure it's 100% correct.  Even if you didn't make any changes, look at it!

Are you interested in declaring Sociology?  The Fall 2013 declaration period starts on Tuesday, September 17 and ends on Friday, October 25.  For more information, contact the Sociology Undergraduate Office in 712 Thompson or the Sociology Peer Advisors Office in 722 Thompson.  Did you know Sociology has their own blog?  Click here to read their latest post!

Career Fairs are coming!  Are you prepared?  Attend a Career Fair Prep Workshop on Tuesday, September 17 at 5:00pm in Goodell 508.  Come to this workshop to learn how you should dress, what you should bring, and how to converse with the recruiters.  This event is presented by Career Services.

CMASS (the Center for Multicultural Advancement & Student Success) is hosting the 4th Annual Leadership Symposium: Bridging Personal & Professional Identities on Saturday, October 5th, 2013 from 12:00-6:00 PM with Guest Speaker Amnat Chittapong, Dean of Holyoke Community College.  Exemplary leaders display skills and abilities wherever they are. Through this symposium, speakers and facilitators will challenge you to think critically about your leadership identity as it relates to daily and future engagements.  To register, just click this link: the new window will lead you to Campus Pulse - use your Net ID and Password issued by the University and look for the Registration Form.  The registration deadline is September 23, 2013.

Looking for a planner?  We still have some in Undergraduate Advising.  Stop by 613 Goodell to pick one up and let us know you read the blog!  You can also pick one up at the Academic Advising Link this week.  Stop by with a question, leave with a planner!  The Link is open Sunday - Thursday nights from 4:00pm - 8:00pm.  Peers are waiting in the Learning Commons of the DuBois library to help!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What I Would Have Done Differently: Tips from a Senior

As a senior at UMass Amherst, I often reflect on my past experiences and memories here. When I think about my freshmen year, I think about what a great year I had. Honestly though, if I had to do it all over again there would definitely be more than a couple of things I would have changed about it...

So here's some advice on what I would have changed and what you should probably be doing:
1.) Get Out of Your Dorm
My freshmen year, I spent countless hours in my residence hall hanging out and socializing with my friends..There is so much to experience at this school and in the surrounding communities that instead of hanging out with your friends in your dorm every night, bring your friends out to an event. Whether it's going to sports games, cultural events, lectures, conferences, movies, plays, eating out in Amherst, shopping in Northampton, checking out the other four colleges in our consortium, explore UMass!

2.) Join a Club...AND Stick With It
Like most freshmen do, I signed up for at least ten different clubs at the Student Activities Expo. But then I never went to any of the meetings.. I didn't really get involved with any clubs until the end of my sophomore year and now I am proudly co-president of an RSO on campus. My advice to you is to join as many clubs as you want, figure out which ones you actually want to continue going to, and then stick with at least one or two. It's a great way to meet new people, especially ones with similar interests and passions.
Want to start searching for clubs on campus? Log-in to campus pulse and see what organizations you might be interested in:  Campus Pulse.

3.) Don't Go Home Too Much
Let's face it, you are already planning your visit back home because you miss your family, your dog, your BFF from high school, etc. I know, I get it, I've been there too. But try to stick around! I met some of my best friends from staying around UMass on weekends when a lot of students go home.

4.) Get the Help You Need
Sometimes, it's hard to ask for help. Whether it's an academic problem or a problem outside of your studies, there are people here to support you. When I wasn't doing too well in a class freshmen year, I was hesitant about asking for help but once I started getting tutoring and going to review sessions, finding derivatives in my calculus course became a whole lot easier.
If you have a problem,don't be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your professor, your TA, your advisor, your RA, your residence hall director, or even just a friend.

5.) Start Thinking About Your Future...Just a Little Bit
Yes, it is your first semester at UMass and yes, you might not know what you want to do for the rest of your life let alone the rest of your college career, and that's okay. However, start thinking about it! You do have four years here but trust me they will go by in a flash. Don't stress out about your future but start exploring different majors, try out various internships and jobs, and relax....

You'll figure it all out.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

RESOURCE ECONOMICS Info Sessions fast approaching!

If you're thinking about applying to Resource Economics, be sure to attend an Information Session TOMORROW at 12:20pm or Thursday, September 12 at 4:00pm.  Both sessions are in Stockbridge 303.

Students must attend an Information Session and complete the Online Statement of Interest before being invited to schedule an advising appointment to complete the change of major.  Your Statement of Interest is due online by November 27 at noon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Use Your Syllabi & Track Your Grades

The syllabus you receive in each course is essentially a contract between you and your instructor - you can use it to manage your time, set your priorities and track your grades throughout the semester.

Right now, at the start of the semester, you should:
  • Carefully read each syllabus for information about assignments, papers and tests, and make a note of each in your planner/time management system.
  • Compare all of your classes!  Will you have many major assignments, papers and projects due on the same day?  Will you be studying for several tests at the same time?  Are you thinking you might need to drop one of your courses so you won't be overwhelmed?  Make an appointment to talk to an Advisor now!  Don't wait until the end of Add/Drop.
  • Make sure you understand how your grade will be calculated, and which pieces of evaluation (papers, tests, etc) will have the greatest impact on your final grade.
  • Check for specific requirements that could affect your final grade (e.g. how class absences count, whether you can hand in papers or assignments late with no penalty, whether there are 'rewrite' policies that allow you to revise a paper or assignment and resubmit it for a higher grade).
For more information about how to be a savvy student and make use of your syllabi, click here and take note of strategy #4.  While you're there, take a look at the Grade Tracker forms.

Still have questions?  Stop by the Academic Advising Link and one of our Peer Advisors will help!

Computer Science info sessions

Interested in majoring in Computer Science? Monday, September 9th at 4:00pm is the orientation for students interested in applying to the major. You might also want to check out their flier for a new program in Informatics.

If you are interested in the major at all, make sure you attend!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Preview: September 9 - 13

Your first full week of classes starts on Monday.  You're looking at your syllabi and planning your semester, right?  Did you get your planner?  Stop by our office in 613 Goodell and ask for one if you didn't.  Get organized and have a great semester!

Are you interested in Computer Science?  Want to learn more about the major?  There will be a Computer Science Information Session on Monday, September 9 at 4:00pm in 150/151 Computer Science Building.  Students interested in applying to CS are strongly encouraged to attend.  Can't make it?  Visit the CS Undergraduate Advising Center in room 144 of the CS building.  Check the website for hoursApplications for the major or minor are due by October 1.

Boltwood Project recruitment nights will be held on Monday, September 9, Wednesday, September 11, and Thursday, September 12 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  You can earn 1-2 credits while helping children and adults with special needs.   You MUST attend ONE of these meetings to sign up (even if you were in before!)  No exceptions! Spaces fill up fast!  Sessions start promptly at 6.  Do not be late.  Click here to learn more about Boltwood and how you can engage with the local community while earning credit.

Isenberg School of Management Information Sessions for Sport Management, the BBA program, and Hospitality & Tourism Management will be held on Monday, September 9 and Tuesday, September 10 at 5:30pm in Isenberg 206.  Attending an Information Session is required before applying to the Sport Management or HTM majors and highly recommended before applying to the BBA program.  We will post detailed information on how to prepare for these sessions over the weekend, so be sure to check back.

Thinking about applying to Resource EconomicsInformation Sessions will be held on Wednesday, September 11 at 12:20pm and Thursday, September 12 at 4:00pm.  Both sessions are in Stockbridge 303.  Students must attend and Information Session and complete the Online Statement of Interest before being invited to schedule an advising appointment to complete the change of major.  Your Statement of Interest is due online by November 27 at noon.

Add/Drop ends next Monday, September 16.  Do you still have questions about your schedule?  Do not wait to talk to an advisor!  Make an appointment or stop by the Academic Advising Link soon.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Engineering Information Session!

Are you thinking about choosing an Engineering major?  Do you have questions about your classes and want to know what you need to do to apply?

Come to 604 Goodell on Thursday, September 5 at 5:30pm and meet with Engineering Advisors.  Find out if you need to make changes to your schedule before Add/Drop ends.  Ask questions and get information.

See you there!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's not too late to register for classes through Five College Interchange!

Taking a class at Amherst, Hampshire, Smith or Mt. Holyoke this semester is a great way to expand your academic options! And, it's not too late to register for a class through Five College Interchange. Registration paperwork is being accepted in 613 Goodell until the last day of UMass Add/Drop: Monday, September 16th. 

The registration procedure for Five College Interchange classes is different from your regular UMass enrollment process. Once you find the course(s) you want, read the detailed instructions on our website very carefully. The Five College Enrollment form is available on SPIRE, but you cannot submit your registration through SPIRE. You must follow the UMass paperwork procedure and deadlines and turn in your forms to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.

Important information:
  • You must be in good academic standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • You must be registered for at least one 3-credit UMass course.
  • You must have the instructor's signature in order to be added to the class.
  • You can only register by handing in two copies of the UMass paperwork to the UMass Five College Interchange office located in 613 Goodell.  There must be original signatures from the instructor on both forms - photocopies cannot be accepted.
Questions? Visit our website, come see us in 613 Goodell, call us at 413-545-5352 or send an email to

The Academic Advising Link is Open!

The semester has started. You're going to classes. You're looking at your syllabi. You have questions.  You might want to speak with an advisor, but you want to talk things through first.   
Are you trying to change a class to Pass/Fail? Edit a discussion? Swap into a different class?  Read your ARR? Search for GenEds?  Are you trying to do this on your own but having problems with SPIRE?
Perhaps you're just not sure where to start?

Come to the Academic Advising Link!

Our experienced Peer Advisors are here for you! They're trained to talk to you about using SPIRE, getting into classes, major requirements, GenEds, grading options and more. You don't need to make an appointment - just stop by!  We're here for ALL students in ALL majors.

The Link is open Sunday through Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm while classes are in session. We are located downstairs in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library.
Don't wait until the day before Add/Drop ends! Meet with a Peer Advisor now!

Monday, September 2, 2013

OASIS seminars

The 1-credit OASIS seminar is designed for undeclared students, typically in their first or second semester at UMass Amherst.  In addition to learning about opportunities and resources at UMass Amherst, students are given the tools and tips to be most successful, they forge a relationship with an advisor (who is their instructor), and they explore majors and other academic options available to them at UMass.
  • UNIV 125 is for freshmen (some sections are part of the FOCUS RAP programs; others are free-standing); 
  • UNIV 125T for transfers, and 
  • UNIV 192G a slight variation of the seminar for students in academic difficulty.

Most sections of OASIS for Fall 2013 have a final capacity of 20 students. If you are unable to enroll in a section, but it looks as if there might still be room available, email with your name, 8-digit ID number, and the section of OASIS you'd like to join. NOTE: make sure you get to the first class meeting!  If you did not attend the first class meeting, you will need to meet with the instructor/advisor before you can join the class. Know, also, that the course is also offered in the Spring semester.

For students who ARE already enrolled, you can purchase your textbook at Collective Copies, in downtown Amherst, and we look forward to seeing you SOON!