Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Isenberg School of Management Application Deadline: Thursday, May 1

If you're planning on applying to the Isenberg School of Management, time is running out.
Applications are due by Thursday, May 1 at 5:00pm.

If you have questions about the process, make an appointment to meet with an advisor before Thursday. Read the instructions and information on the Isenberg site before coming in.

    BBA Track Application Information
    Sport Management Application Information

If you miss this deadline, you will have to wait until the end of the Fall 2014 semester to apply.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Weekly Preivew: April 28 - May 2

Congratulations!  You've made it to the end of the semester!  
The last day of classes is Wednesday, April 30 and finals start on Friday, May 2.

There will be an R1 Exemption Test at 7:00pm on Monday, April 28 in Marcus 131.  Passing the R1 exam (at least 12 out of 20 correct) will satisfy the R1 requirement for graduation but will not result in the awarding of any credits.  A student ID and a #2 pencil are required. A calculator is recommended. There is no limit on the number of times a student may take this test. The focus of this exam is to measure knowledge of basic math skills.

Celebrate Founder's Day! Join all of UMass on Goodell Lawn for a Campus Cookout on Tuesday, April 29 from 11:00 am-2:00 pm.  It was on April 29, 1863 that Governor John Andrews signed the charter to form Massachusetts Agricultural College, creating the first Board of Trustees for what would become Massachusetts State College in 1931 and the University of Massachusetts in 1947.  The Campus Cookout is free to all students, faculty, and staff. Rain or shine, we hope you will be able to join in on the fun as we honor the faculty, staff, and students who make UMass Amherst a great place to be.

Isenberg School of Management applications are due by 5:00pm on Thursday, May 1.  Late applications will not be accepted and students who miss the deadline will have to wait until the end of the Fall 2014 semester to apply for Spring 2015.  Applications are online:

The Academic Advising Link will be closing for the semester at 8:00pm on Wednesday, April 30.  Stop by before then to meet with our peers to review your schedule, check your ARR, get information about majors and so much more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paul's Tip of the Week: Working on your Perfect Fall 2014 Schedule

While the semester is wrapping up and many of us have enrolled in classes for the Fall, some of us might not have our ideal schedules. Maybe you didn't get into that gen. ed. course you really wanted to or you still aren't sure how you feel about your schedule. That's OK!

Here's some advice to continue crafting a perfect schedule that fits your interests and passions and keeps you on track towards declaring a major and completing your academic requirements:

1.) Keep Checking SPIRE
Still upset about that course you wanted to take but was full before your enrollment appointment began? Check back on it over the summer. For a lot of courses, chances are that someone will likely drop the course leaving an empty seat for you to join. Every once in a while, search for the course on SPIRE and see if a spot opens up.

2.) Email the Professor
Is that class you want to get into just not opening up on SPIRE? Send the professor of the class a polite email explaining who you are, your desire to get into the course, and the reasons why taking this specific class is so important to you. Professors love seeing passionate students.

If the professor never responds, don't be afraid to show up on the first day of the class and talk to the professor in person. Two years ago, a professor never responded to my email but when I showed up in class, he let me into the class immediately.

3.) Use the "Swap" feature on SPIRE
When switching out of one class into another, makes sure to use the "Swap" feature on your SPIRE. You can find this feature under "Main Menu" -> "Enrollment" -> "Swap Classes". From here, you select the class you want to drop and then select the class you want to enroll in.

It's a great idea to use the "Swap" feature because it allows you to customize your schedule without having to constantly "Drop" and "Add" classes based on how close you are to reaching the amount of credits you can take in one semester.

4.) Take a Five College Course
Get outside of your comfort zone and take a course at one of the other four colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith College. I've taken several courses at both Amherst College and Hampshire College and have loved ALL of them. Being able to immerse yourself at a different college really gives you an opportunity to take a class that may never be offered at UMass and to really explore the Five College Community.

Registration will take place during Add/Drop. The forms will be put up two weeks before Add/Drop begins and can be found on SPIRE under "Main Menu" -> "Enrollment -> "Five College Enrollment". Print out two copies of the form, get the professor of the course to sign both copies, and bring them to 613 Goodell before Add/Drop ends.

Got questions about the Five College Interchange Program? Stop by 613 Goodell and ask away!

5.) Talk to your Academic Advisor
You might change up your schedule quite significantly before the Fall Semester begins. Whether you do it before this semester ends or over the summer, it's always a good idea to check in with your Academic Advisor. They will be able to offer you invaluable advice on the courses you pick.

So relax, get through your finals, and start thinking about your future! And don't worry, we're always here to help. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekly Preview: April 21 - April 25

Monday, April 21 is Patriot's Day. No classes are held and most university offices are closed.
Wednesday, April 23 will follow a Monday class schedule.

There will be a Writing Placement & Exemption Test on Wednesday, April 23 from 6:00pm - 7:00pm in Bartlett 3.  Any student who has not previously taken this test must do so before being able to enroll in ENGL 112 College Writing.  Call the Writing Program at 413-545-0610 for more information. 

On Friday, April 25, join the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for the Senior Design Project presentations.  The Senior Design Project provides a capstone experience for undergraduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students work in teams of 3-4 students in this year long course sequence to design and prototype a system of their choice. Past projects have included a variety of topics ranging from home automation systems to ultra wide band wireless links, assistive robots, and wireless drumsticks. Each team is advised by a faculty member in the department and projects undergo several formal reviews. The learning goals for the senior design project include technical design, team work, presentation skills, an understanding of realistic constraints, economics, and ethics.  10:00am - 2:00pm, Gunness Student Center, Marcus Hall.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Study Tips

Flowers are blooming, the sun is coming out, and finally we are saying goodbye to winter. Campus is full of students outside all the time now-- whether playing frisbee, lounging on the grass, or eating lunch on the campus center steps. This warm weather just seems to make everyone a little happier! Unfortunately, the warm weather also signifies that the time left for this semester is dwindling down. This means that only one thing stands in the way of you and summer vacation...finals. But have no fear! With four years spent at UMass I have gathered some awesome study techniques to share to make sure that the rest of this semester breezes on by. 

Don't wait until the last minute
Studying is so much less stressful if you don't wait to get started. Instead of memorizing material a week before an exam, try to really understand the material weeks before. This means that instead of cramming in studying time, it may be more beneficial to review your notes after class, ask questions of your professors and TAs, and not wait to do homework and readings. Many classes offer tutoring in the LRC in the library, but don't wait to take advantage of this resource! When finals week does come around you will surely be better prepared to study for your exams if you already know most of the material. 

Organize your study schedule 
Organizing when you are going to study, and what you are going to study, can be helpful for time management and stress-free sessions. Figure out which class is your priority and try to give yourself more time to study for that. Organizing exactly what you are going to study will help keep you more organized, and will clarify what you do and don't know for your exams. This organization can also help with arranging times to study with peers and allow you to focus your mind at the material on hand. 

Take breaks!
Try out different studying techniques to help you figure out what is most helpful for you. Do you like flashcards? Do you need to make study guides? Where is the best place for you to study? Last week Liz posted some great tips on cool places to study, make sure to go back and read her post! Figuring this information out can really help you to get into the studying zone. With this said, remember to take breaks for yourself. Grab some bubble tea, go to the gym, or even take a nap. Taking breaks is just as important as hours and hours of studying- your brain and body will need it!

Enjoy the sunshine and happy studying!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thinking About Summer Courses?

Are you thinking of catching up, getting ahead, or retaking a class this summer?  Here's what you need to know:

You can earn CREDIT for courses taken at another institution--such as a community college near home--but these courses WILL NOT affect your UMass Amherst GPA.  Want to be sure the class you take will actually transfer to UMass before you spend your beach-time doing homework? Complete a Prior Approval Form before enrolling in the class.

You may also consider taking a class through UMass Amherst, either in-person or online.  Only courses taken through UMass Amherst will grant you a grade as well as credit.  You can check availability and cost and even register for such courses through UMass Continuing & Professional Education.  If you plan on repeating a course that you got a C- or below in over the summer, this is the way to do it!  Remember, you cannot repeat a course to replace a grade anywhere else but here.  Before going this route though, you may want to speak to an advisor.  The grade you get the second time is the one that counts toward your GPA, even if it's lower than your original grade, and summer courses can move at a very different pace than regular session courses, especially if they are taught online.  Check in with your advisor to assess which summer course options are best for you! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekly Preview: April 14 - April 18

Witness amazing feats of creativity and scholarship! A variety of original works by Humanities & Fine Arts undergraduates will be on display for the entire campus community to view, from poetry and prose to music performances, artwork, animation, and more. Show your support for these talented HFA students, enjoy some free snacks, and experience the world through the lenses of these talented scholars. Tuesday, April 15 from 3:00pm - 5:00pm in the Cape Cod Lounge in the Student Union.  

The last day to submit a Five College Interchange Pre-Registration Request is Friday, April 18 at 5:00pm in Goodell 613Read our earlier post to learn more about Five College Interchange and where to find the registration forms.  You will also be able to register during UMass Add/Drop in the Fall.

Ready to declare Resource Economics?  The deadline to submit your Online Statement of Interest is Friday, April 18 at noon!  Do not miss this deadline!

Did you check your finals schedule yet?  Do you have three more more exams scheduled on the same day?  Do you have two exams scheduled at the same time?  To resolve these problems, go to the Registrar's Office in 213 Whitmore.  Take care of any problems now so you don't have to panic later.  Click here to read more about the Final Exam Policy.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Liz's Tip of the Week: Where To Study for Finals

Over the next few weeks as the crunch of studying for finals begins to increase, you'll notice a drastic increase of students looking for places to study. Of course there are the classic locations, like the lowest floor of the library, where you can also come say hello to me or another peer advisor at the Advising Link Mondays through Thursdays from 4-8pm, but it may be a challenge to find a seat during peak hours of studying. This guide will give you some helpful hints of where to find some quiet places to do some studying.

The Library
Yes, you might have expected this answer, but the library is a classic place to study for a reason. For instance, did you know that there is a designated quiet study area on the second floor? Or how about that the best place to get a great view of the University is from the 23rd floor? Both of these places are a great place to get your books out and do some studying while enjoying the peace and quiet, or a beautiful view. But do you have a group project to work on, or do you like some background noise? The Learning Commons are the place for you. This non-quiet floor offers cubicles for groups to work in, and lots of comfy chairs lining the windows. Just make sure you stake out a spot, as it can get a little crowded.

The Studio Arts Atrium
    If you're a creative soul and need some inspiration to fuel your fire, head over to the Studio Arts building and check out the atrium. Enjoy the open windows and the beautiful installation that is lit up in different colors over your head. This quiet building is bustling with creative energy and people, and is a great place to go if you need a little visual stimulation to get to work. And once you're done, or need a little break, you're right next to Franklin Dining Commons, where you can pop over and refuel.

The Student Union
    Ever since "The Spot" has opened, the Student Union provides students with even more terrific places to get some work done. Once you walk in the door, you have couches to your right, the Spot right in front of you, and the Cape Cod Lounge all the way to your right. The Cape Cod Lounge provides a quiet area with some couches to get some work done in between classes. The Spot and the couches provides a little background noise, and interesting modern decor to motivate your studying. Need a coffee break or a snack? Make sure to check out People's Market down the hall. If you're hungry for lunch, give Earth Foods Cafe a try, or The Hatch just downstairs. And if you're an off campus student, make sure to take advantage of the Off-Campus student center! It provides tables, desks, and even a fridge to store your study-break snack.

Durfee Gardens Conservatory
     Despite the grey weather we've been experiencing every day as we look out our windows, spring is coming! And that means new opportunities for study spots! One of my favorite spots on campus is the Durfee Gardens Conservatory, located at the base of Orchard Hill. When the trees are in full bloom, it is a truly beautiful spot, and a perfect place to catch up on some reading. If outdoor studying is your thing, make sure you check out these gardens. There are plenty of benches to post-up on, and just enough trees to provide shade on a sunny day. And if you need a break, make sure to check out the greenhouse where you can experience some new tropical plant life!

All over campus you will be able to find a multitude of terrific spaces to get your study on. Figure out what works best for you, and look for that. Do you like some background noise or silence? Do you want to be near a window, or are walls best for you? Do you need a desk, or can a couch do? Once you can answer these questions you'll be able to find some fabulous spots around campus.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Undeclared and wanting help with your schedule?

Undergraduate Advising, in 613 Goodell, will hold three Walk-In Registration Assistance periods to enable undeclared students to speak with an advisor about their schedule for fall.

Walk-In does NOT take the place of a full appointment; it's first-come, first-served, and is intended to permit students to ask a few questions or tackle a thorny issue - NOT take them from no ideas to a full schedule.

Walk-In Registration Assistance will take place:

  • Monday, 4/7, from 1-3:00pm
  • Wednesday, 4/9, from 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Thursday, 4/10, from 1-3:00pm
Remember also the Academic Advising Link can answer many advising questions!  Learning Commons, W.E.B. DuBois Library, Sunday through Thursday evenings, 4-8:00pm.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Summer or Fall Jobs On-Campus

Looking for work, either for the summer, or in the fall?  

Check out these opportunities:

SUMMER:  The Dean of Students Office is looking for responsible, highly motivated undergraduate students to staff a telephone line (University Helpline) designed to provide help to current and incoming undergraduate students and their families. We are seeking students who are positive, energetic, have excellent communication skills, and enjoy working in a team environment. Staff will be trained in all aspects of Bursar, Financial Aid, Residential Life Student Services, and other University policies and procedures.  Click here for more information; priority deadline April 14th.

FALL:  StudentBridges is a student-run organization with a mission of supporting and advocating for underrepresented students (people of color, first generation college students, low income-working class students).  Their mission includes four components of programming: College Preparatory Academic Tutoring-Mentoring, Community Outreach and College Awareness, Policy Advocacy, and Retention of Underrepresented Students. Programming and administrative positions are open for fall, and the deadline for application is April 11th.  Click here for more information.

Weekly Preview: April 7 - 11

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences presents its Annual Research Day on Tuesday April 8 from 2:00pm - 5:00pm in the Student Union Ballroom.  This event highlights the outstanding education, research and practice being performed by students within the School. Students from all departments within the School will present posters of their work.  The SPHHS holds this event as an opportunity for the university, media and surrounding communities to learn more about the research, instruction and outreach efforts being conducted by their students.

Are you planning on declaring Resource Economics?  The final information session of the semester will be held Friday, April 11 at 12:20pm in Stockbridge 303.  In order to register for Fall 2014 courses as a Resource Economics major, students must attend an info session and complete an on-line Statement of Interest by Friday, April 18 at noon.

Are you ready to register for Fall classes?  Have you already begun but want to make sure you're making the right choices?  You have plenty of options for advising!
  • The Academic Advising Link is open on Sundays through Thursdays from 4:00pm - 8:00pm in the Learning Commons in the DuBois Library.  Peer Advisors are there to help you choose classes, review your requirements, look at GenEds, help you navigate SPIRE and much more.  No appointment necessary!  Students from all majors are welcome.
  • Undeclared students can come to Walk-In Registration.  You must be prepared with at least three courses picked out.  First come, first served!  Bring your completed Advising Checklist and check in at the front desk in 613 Goodell.
  • Monday, April 7 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Wednesday, April 9 from10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Thursday, April 10 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • If you haven't had an appointment with an advisor since coming back from spring break and you are Undeclared, call our office at 413-545-2191 and schedule a meeting.  Bring your completed Advising Checklist with you when you arrive for your appointment.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jennie's Tip of the Week: How to get ready for registration!

Registration for the Fall semester is right around the corner and it's time to figure out which courses you should be taking!  As a senior at UMass I have perfected the art of registration, so follow these simple tips and soon you'll be a wiz too.

1.  Look up when your enrollment appointment is on Spire.  The date and time simply indicate when Spire will allow you to begin enrolling in classes.  It is better to know ahead of time than to have it pass you by.

2.  Check to see if you have any holds on your account! Holds will prevent you from enrolling in classes.  The hold could be on your account for a number of reasons.  For example, some majors require students to meet with an advisor before allowing them to enroll in classes.  There could be a quick and easy fix, but if the hold is slightly more complex, it is better to deal with it sooner rather than later.

3.  Look at your Academic Requirements Report (ARR) on Spire and figure out which classes you need to take in order to efficiently work towards completing your major, general education requirements, and minor/global requirements if applicable.  You can also check your major's designated website in order to see all of the requirements if you find that easier.  

4. Put a number of classes if your shopping cart.  You may think you know what you need to take, but as we all learn in time, just because you want a class does not mean it will be open at the time of your enrollment appointment.  It is always good to have the classes you would like to take in your shopping cart as well as a few extras that also meet your requirements.  Always have a back up plan.  Of course there are ways to possibly get into classes that are closed at a later date, but that is a whole other subject.

5. Make an appointment with your advisor! Whether you have a major, are undeclared, or are thinking about switching majors or adding minors, make sure you talk to your advisor.  Even if you feel that you have everything under control, it doesn't hurt to have an extra set of eyes look everything over.  Advisors are there to help and any student would be wise to meet with one.