UMaine CLAS Advising Center

Helping UMaine students achieve success. It's what we do.

Month: December, 2013

Winter Break Hiatus

Starting today, blogs will be on hold until after the new year, and will resume beginning the first week of classes in January. Enjoy your winter break!

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Calendar for the Week of 12/16/2013 to 12/22/2013

Monday, December 16 – Friday, December 20
Finals are being conducted this week, so there are no academic activities. Be sure to check out Stress Free Finals going on all week in the Union. Good luck and study hard!

Friday, December 20
Finals end today. Have a great winter break! See you in January!

Using Google Calendar

One thing I’ve heard repeatedly from numerous students is that they have a hard time keeping track of assignments and appointments. I average probably 4-5 missed advising appointments per week, with the student later telling me that they completely forgot about it. The reality is that I used to miss appointments and would lose track of when assignments were due. And then a friend introduced me to Google Calendar. It changed my life. And it can change yours, too.

All students (and employees, too!) at the University of Maine are provided a Google account. That’s actually what the @maine.edu account is. So there’s no legitimate excuse for any and all students to not use Google Calendar to help them organize their life.

First and foremost, Google Calendar can help you visually keep track of meetings and assignment due dates. You have three different viewing options for the calendar, either the daily view, the weekly view, or the monthly view. And you can easily switch between the views for whichever is most convenient at that time. You can use the daily view to keep track of appointments and meetings for that specific day. The weekly view lets you know what’s coming up throughout that week. And the monthly view puts all your assignments in perspective so that you can plan your time accordingly.

Another benefit is that you can create multiple calendars. For instance, you could create a new calendar for each course you are taking. You have the ability to have them all showing at the same time, however, and use different colours for each. Thus you could visually see the amount of work and due dates for each class.

Once you have your assignments and meetings in Google Calendar, you can set up reminders for each and every entry. These reminders can be either pop-ups (it shows up on your screen), text messages, or emails, and you can set them to be sent out a certain number of minutes, hours, days, or weeks in advance, or even a combination of those. For instance, if you have a paper due on a certain date, you could set up a reminder email or text to be sent to you a month in advance, two weeks in advance, one week in advance, three days in advance, one day in advance, and then 12 hours in advance. Then you’d have no excuse to forget about it or not get it done in time.

In addition to sending reminders, you can also receive daily agendas via your email. Once you set it up, Google Calendar will send you an email with your schedule for that day. And it can include any and all of your calendars. Once set, you will receive an email at about 5:30am that will include everything on your agenda for that day.

For the more advanced user, Google Calendar also gives you the option to share your calendars with other Google Calendar users. You can give them ability to simply read your calendar or give them progressively more rights, up through the ability to edit your calendar appointments and settings. This can be very useful in a group learning setting, so that everyone has access to the same due dates and the same reminders.

And for those students who use a smartphone or a tablet, you can sync the calendars directly with iCal on your Apple products or link to it directly on your Android phone, so you can access it any time you’d like.

So set up a Google Calendar for yourself and give it a try. Used correctly and consistently, you’ll find that you get assignments done in a more timely manner and you will not miss appointments. It will help you on your path to academic and career success.

Thursday Tip of the Day

Today is the second to last day of classes; finals start on Monday. Be sure to start studying early!

How to Find Your Final Exam Schedule

This video will demonstrate how to find your final exam schedule either by using the full list of final exams on the Student Records website or using MaineStreet to get your specific schedule.

Why it is Important to Meet With Your Advisor if You are on Academic Probation

As a graduate student and academic advisor who has worked with students on academic probation for the last two years, I see a common pattern. Students on probation often miss their advising meetings or never even schedule an appointment to begin with. I believe there are a couple of reasons for this: first, some students may feel stigmatized and singled out, or they may be ashamed of their academic performance; or secondly, they don’t realize the value of meeting with an academic advisor.

Students may say to themselves, I know what to do, I don’t need someone else to tell me. Too often, these students are not aware of the ways in which we are able to guide them as they navigate through the new semester. As an advisor, it is hard to see students come in at the very end of a semester feeling completely overwhelmed with their classes and doing poorly. At that point there’s relatively little I can do for them. All I can say is that I wish they had come in to the Advising Center early on in the semester so that we could’ve been proactive about the situation. The most valuable action a student can make is coming to the Advising Center as soon as they are aware of their situation.

In fact, most probation students are pleasantly surprised at the help they receive. They often comment that the meeting was more helpful than they ever imagined and their only regret is that they didn’t come in sooner. The fact, is we are here for a reason, and that reason is to provide a resource for students in order to help them realize academic success. There are many things that hinder student success. One of the main things I have noticed is an unrealistic sense of independence, a “go it alone” attitude. This often leads the student down a path of repeating the same behaviours that hindered them in the past. Students tend to remain uninformed about the myriad resources available on campus. They may also prefer to rely on advice from their friends (which is often incorrect!) or simply try to search out the answers on our website for themselves. We do our best to have the best, most up-to-date information on our website, but it is no substitute for an actual in-person meeting with an advisor.

One thing I always say to my advisees who are required to come to the Advising Center is that it is an opportunity, not a punishment. It is a great opportunity to do better and learn successful strategies. All too often a lack of information can hold a student back, information that we can readily provide. The best action a student can take is to make that first appointment.

The end of the semester is fast approaching and I urge all students, especially those on academic probation to schedule an advising appointment as early on in the Spring semester as possible. The sooner we can sit down and talk, the sooner a student can prepare and adjust his or her schedule according to their need. I recommend meeting once at the beginning, and again about four weeks into the semester, and then a final meeting around registration time for the following semester. Of course a student can always stop by to talk any time. Our doors are always open and we look forward to helping our students. To schedule an appointment with any of our qualified advisors follow this link. We look forward to starting the new year off on a positive note and working with all students to help them achieve their goals!

How to Find Your Final Exams Schedule

The time for final exams is almost upon us and with final exams comes a change in both your class schedule and Fogler Library’s hours. During Finals Week, your final exam will not be at the normal class time. Instead, you will have to check online as to when your exam will be held. Similarly, Fogler Library’s hours will be extended.

Starting the Wednesday before Finals Week and going until the Thursday of Finals Week, Fogler Library is open every night until 2:30am. And then on the Friday of Finals Week, the last official day of the semester, the library closes at 5pm. During these extended hours, while there will not be a reference librarian available, circulation will still be open, as will the IT Support desk.

During Finals Week, your schedule will be different, so you need to check to see when your final exam will take place. Student Records has provided information about the Final Exam period at this useful website. They also have a PDF that provides all of the Final Exam information for every class offered this semester. It includes the date and time of the exam, the room location, and the professor’s name.

However, if you’d like to easily find out the information for your specific schedule, you can do that via MaineStreet. First, log in to MaineStreet and go to your Student Center. For more information on how to do that, you can read a quick How-To Guide or watch an instructional video.

Once at your Student Center, when you look to the left side of the screen, under Academics, you’ll see a drop-down option labelled “other academic…”. Click that and you’ll see something like:

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Choose “Exam Schedule”. And then choose the appropriate semester. That’ll open up your exam schedule, which will look something like this:

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Now all that’s left is to study for your final and take the exam.

Good luck!

Calendar for the Week of 12/9/2013 to 12/15/2013

Just a reminder that there is only one week of classes remaining until finals. You can find information on finals, as well as times and locations, by going to the Final Exams page on the Student Records website.

Monday, December 9
The Tutor Program is offering Drop-in Tutoring, located in the Tutor Program classroom on the first floor of the library (between the Research Consultation Area and the Writing Center classroom). Check out their website for more information and the full schedule.

Drop-in Tutoring for Monday:
8am-9am – CHY 121
9am-11am – FSN 101
11am-12pm – AST 109
12pm-1pm – POS 100
1pm-2pm – BUA 201/202
3pm-5pm – BMB 207
5pm-7pm – BIO 100
7:30pm-9pm – BUA 201/202

Every Monday during the semester the Department of Modern Languages and Classics offers the opportunity to practice conversations in other languages. It located in Little Hall, Room 207 and is open to anyone who wants to have conversations in the specific language.

12pm-1pm – French Table – Feel free to bring your lunch
1pm-2pm – Japanese Table – Feel free to bring your lunch
4pm-5pm – Chinese Table

Tuesday, December 10
Drop-in Tutoring for Tuesday:
8am-10am – Tutor Program – Study Skills Help Sessions
11am-1pm – COS 140
1pm-2pm – BUA 201/202
2pm-3pm – PSY 241/245
3pm-5pm – BIO 100
6pm-7:30pm – PSY 100

ML&C:
12pm-1pm – Russian Table – Bring your lunch and join in the conversations

Wednesday, December 11
Starting today, Fogler library has extended hours until the end of finals week. It will be open until 2:30am, so get studying!

Drop-in Tutoring for Wednesday:
10am-11am – SOC 101
11am-12pm – AST 109
12-pm-1pm – MAT 115
1pm-2pm – BUA 201/202
7:30pm-9pm – BUA 201/202

ML&C
12pm-1pm – German Table – Feel free to bring your lunch and join in the conversations

Thursday, December 12
Fogler library: extended hours until 2:30am

Drop-in Tutoring for Thursday:
8am-9am – CHY 121
9am-10am – MAT 126/127
10am-11am – SOC 101
1pm-2pm – BUA 201/202
2pm-3pm – MAT 115
3pm-5pm – BIO 100

Friday, December 13
Today is the last day of classes!
Fogler library: extended hours until 2:30am

Drop-in Tutoring for Friday:
9am-10am – PSY 100
10am-12pm – FSN 101
12pm-2pm – PHY 121/122

Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15
Fogler library: extended hours until 2:30am

If other events turn up, we will be sure to update the calendar. Have a great week!

Thursday Tip of the Day

Finals are less than a week and a half away. Don’t put off studying, start today!

On a related note, check the Final Exams page on the Student records site to find when your finals take place.

How to Schedule an Advising Appointment

Don’t have time to come in and schedule an appointment? You can schedule it yourself, anywhere and anytime of the day or night. What this video to learn how!