December 2012 Edition
Happy Holidays from the Office of New Student and Parent Programs! The holiday break is quickly approaching and I know your student is looking forward to an extended period of time where he or she can unwind from the pressures of school and reconnect with family and friends.
In this edition of Eagle Family Connection, we are highlighting preparation for final exams and some suggestions for families as their students return home for the holiday break. For many families, this will be the first extended time you will have with your student since they began classes in August at Winthrop. This can often be an exciting and challenging time for you and your student as you reconnect. Make sure to clearly communicate and set expectations for both of you to enjoy and make the most of your time together.
Please note that all Winthrop offices will be closed from Monday, December 24 through Wednesday, January 2 for the holiday break.
As always, please feel free to contact our office if we can be of any assistance at 803/323-2387 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!
Carrie Brunt Whiteside
Program Director, New Student and Parent Programs
Every December, college students all over the nation will begin finals week. Studying, stressing, and ultimately succeeding on their exams is the typical routine your student will encounter. Though it will be a demanding time for your child, it will be surpassable. Fortunately, there are some small, yet significant actions you can take to help to support him or her during this crunch time.
What you can physically do for your student:
Care-Packages: Nothing extravagant by any means! Maybe some cookies and crackers, a few odd and end school supplies or possibly even a $5 gift card to Starbucks. Anything and all things purchasable at your closest grocery store show your student that you’re thinking of them.
Check-In: Give your student a short, meaningful call every few days (but not every day). Offer a few nice words of encouragement and praise for the effort and time they are putting forth to prepare for their upcoming exams. Send an e-card or card.
Encourage your student to P.A.C.E. themselves during exam time:
Plan out your exam week: Set up a game plan of when your exams are scheduled, when you are studying, when you can meet with your professors, when there are planned study groups and when you can take time to relieve stress. Using an agenda during this time would be more valuable than ever! Having everything planned out and organized will help relieve stress because you won’t have to worry about missed opportunities or appointments.
Alternate study spots: Don’t hibernate in your room, change locations once in a while. If your room is noisy, distracting or has bad lighting, it is easier to procrastinate or forget what you’ve already studied. Changing your scenery can help you gain a new perspective, focus or even be inspired, plus it helps you retain information as well.
Chunk your studying: It’s easy to put off studying and cramming the night before, but you are more likely to forget the majority of what you’ve studied if you approach it this way. Instead of procrastinating, try to study in set time intervals, i.e. read for 50 minutes, and then post, tweet and text for 5 or 10 minutes. This is a much more efficient use of your time!
Exam drop-in tutoring through the Academic Success Center: Use drop-in tutoring to your advantage. It’s free help from fellow students who have already taken and passed the same subject you’re worried about. It has no strings attached, just come in during certain times when your subject is offered, ask your questions, and leave! It’s as simple as that!
If you have any future questions regarding study tips or the Academic Success Center, please contact the Center at 803/323-3929. Happy holidays!
Fall 2012 Final Examination Tutoring Schedule (PDF)
Exams are scheduled Wednesday, December 5, at 8:00 a.m. through Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m. according to the first day of the week the class meets. For example, a 12:30 TR class first meets on Tuesday; therefore, the exam time can be found by looking in the “Tuesday” column below. Examinations for 12:30 p.m. Tuesday classes are given at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7.
This is the official examination schedule for the fall semester. Examinations may not exceed 2 ½ hours in length. Legitimate conflicts are defined as follows: more than one scheduled exam per period; more than two scheduled exams per day; and more than three scheduled exams in any four consecutive periods. A student with a legitimate conflict should work directly with his/her instructor to resolve the conflict. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the resolution of any conflicts. Personal conflicts such as travel plans and work schedules do not warrant a change in examination times.
Fall 2012 Final Examination Schedule (PDF)
End of semester exams will begin shortly and students will anxiously wait for their grades to appear.
Once grades are entered by the faculty, several processes have to occur before students see “official” grades. While they may be able to view grades at some point during the week of exams, non-graduating student grades are not considered official until Tuesday, December 18. (Students who are graduating in December will be able to see official grades on Friday, December 14.)
Students can check their grades through Wingspan, the online student portal. When they click on the “Student” tab, then on “Records Menu”, they will see a link to “Final Grades”. Choose the Fall 2012 term from the drop-down box and the grades for the semester will display along with the student’s semester and cumulative GPA.
If a student has a hold on their record, they can see their grades in DegreeWorks, the online Degree Progress system. To access DegreeWorks, students will go to Wingspan, click on the “Student” tab, then on “DegreeWorks”. Students will have to enter their username and password a second time.
If a student thinks there has been a mistake with a grade, he or she should contact his or her instructor. Any other questions about grades may be referred to the Office of Records and Registration (126 Tillman Hall, 803/323-2194, RecandReg@winthrop.edu).
Residence halls will close for winter break promptly at 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 12 for all students not graduating in December or involved with graduation. Halls will close for graduating seniors and those involved with the ceremony Saturday, December 15 promptly at 6 p.m. Students will not be able to get into their Residence Hall room after the 9 a.m. Wednesday closing. If a student must stay for graduation, special permission may be granted by the Residential Learning Coordinator of your student’s Residence Hall.
After students depart, Residence Hall staff will check every room for general health and safety. These inspections are plain view searches. Staff will check for prohibited items, such as fire hazards (extension cords, candles, etc) and will also check the general cleanliness of the room. Residence Hall Contracts state that health and safety inspections can occasionally occur. Students are expected to keep up general cleanliness in their rooms and suite bathrooms. Failure to do so may result in judicial action.
All students will receive a break notice with more information. Students can also call their Residential Learning Coordinator (RLC) or Residence Life at 803/323-2223 with further questions.
The holiday break will be the first time your student will be home for an extended period. Remember your student has been living on "college time" and the old high school curfew of midnight is unrealistic. Here are some tips for you and your student to help ease the transition home.
• Discuss expectations before your student's first night out during the holiday break.
• Encourage your student to text or call to keep you informed of their plans.
• Do not plan every minute of your student’s vacation. For important events, we recommend a family calendar and schedule dates/events on the calendar. This makes your student aware of the family schedule ahead of time.
• Realize students want to relax. We’ve found that our students want some time to relax at home during the holidays. This is a great time to visit with your college student.
Happy Holidays from Dining Services! It’s hard to believe the year is half way over. We have enjoyed your student dining with us and hope to continue the services over the spring semester. There are only a few days left in the semester and students are starting to get low on Café Cash. It is very easy to add more from home! You can log on to our website and follow the steps to purchase Café Cash to get your student though exams. Remember, Café Cash DOES roll over to spring semester, so if they have some left over it will be waiting on their account for spring. All Café Cash expires on June 30, 2013.
It’s that time again to purchase Commuter Meal Plans! It’s easy, simple and saves money while dining on campus. We have six plans commuters may choose from – two being created specifically for commuters. To purchase, your student can log onto their Wingspan account and choose the Meal Plan of their choice – this will be charged to their student account. For more information please check our website and click on “Meal Plans” – if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Dining Services at 803/323-2119.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday!
Winthrop University’s December 2012 Undergraduate Commencement exercises is scheduled for Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum. All August 2012 and December 2012 graduates are invited to participate! The procession will begin promptly at 10:50 a.m.
Degree candidates should report to the check-in area, located just inside the north entrance of the coliseum, in academic cap and gown by no later than 9:30 a.m. Please note that all students must be in proper graduation attire: black robes, black caps with garnet and gold tassel. (Ladies do not have to wear the white collar which may come with the gown.) Caps may not be decorated and only Winthrop-issued honor cords may be worn. Sorority/fraternity stoles may not be worn over the gown during the ceremony. You may purchase your cap, gown and tassel at the Winthrop Bookstore.
Family and guests of the degree candidates are invited to enter the Coliseum through the upper concourse level and be seated by 10:40 a.m. Parking for the ceremony is available on university property only. Those who park off of university property may be towed. Guests are asked not to bring balloons into the coliseum. Balloons obstruct views and make it difficult to see the graduates.
The commencement ceremony will be video streamed on the web. There will be a link on the Winthrop University homepage on the day of Commencement with the link to the stream and instructions for optimal viewing.
For more information regarding the December 2012 Commencement Ceremony please visit our website. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Records and Registration (126 Tillman Hall, 803/323-2194, RecandReg@winthrop.edu).
• Last Class: December 3
• Study Day: December 4
• Final Examinations: December 5-11
• Residence Halls Close (non graduating students): December 12 @ 9 a.m.
• Graduate Commencement: December 13 @ 7 p.m.
• Undergraduate Commencement: December 15 @ 11 a.m.
• Residence Halls Close (graduating students): December 15 @ 6 p.m.
• Holiday Break: December 12- January 6
• Offices Closed: December 24- January 1