Letter from the Office of New Student and Parent Programs
Happy New Year from the Office of New Student and Parent Programs! We hope that you and your student have enjoyed your break and your time together.
We are looking forward to another great semester with many exciting events and activities. Encourage your student to take advantage of all the opportunities Winthrop has to offer and to bookmark the University Events Calendar. This is a great way to keep up with University events and it includes approved Cultural Events as well.
As always, the Office of New Student and Parent Programs is available if you have any questions or concerns. Feel free to contact us at 803/323-2387 or via email.
Carrie Brunt Whiteside
Director, New Student and Parent Programs
As published in Collegeparentcentral.com
You and your college student have survived the transitional first semester of college. For some students, the transition goes smoothly. Other students may struggle, either academically, socially, or emotionally. Whatever happened, you've made it to the second semester. This may be more of a milestone than you and your student realize. The second semester is a wonderful opportunity for your student to make a fresh start - or take the college experience to the next level.
The beginning of the second semester of college is a more thoughtful return to college. Your student has a better idea of what to expect, and that may make the semester ahead seem especially long and hard. Your student may return with some mixed feelings. The novelty has worn off and there is less build up this semester. Everyone assumes that your student is now settled in. Several friends from first semester may not be returning for the second semester. A feeling of let-down or "second semester blues" is normal.
Your student may have spent a relatively long winter break at home with friends. Your student and her friends may have shared many of their college stories, and chances are other students shared their best experiences and not necessarily their worst. Your student may return to college with a bit of a "grass is greener" mentality. Returning from a long, sometimes relaxing or unstructured break may also be more difficult than your student anticipated.
Second semester of college brings some new stresses for your college student. There may be interest - or some pressure - to participate in a Spring Break trip with friends. This may or may not be something that you are comfortable with. You and your student will need to talk about options, realities and expectations. Second semester also brings the stress of moving toward a decision about a major or change of major. Your student may begin to be anxious about housing for next year and also wonder about summer plans. Be prepared for some new concerns this semester and begin talking about and acting on these issues early.
But second semester isn't all concerns and stress. There are some wonderful benefits of the second semester. Your student will return to college with a wealth of "college knowledge." He may not realize how much he learned last semester about how to survive and thrive at school. Even if the first semester was less than successful, those mistakes made were important learning opportunities and bring their own wisdom. The second semester is a new beginning, a fresh start, with new classes, new professors, and sometimes new friends.
Your student should start the semester by taking stock of what was learned last semester and how he can build upon successes. This is an opportunity to be more in control of his experiences. He may want to consider more balance, more involvement, stepping up to leadership opportunities.
As a college parent, you may also begin to feel like a college veteran. Help your student process her growth while you consider your own changes. Recognizing that the second semester of college has a character all its own will help both you and your student make the most of it. Congratulations on this milestone!
The spring semester often brings about reflection on the previous semester's performance, and your student may be wondering how to improve his/her study skills to meet a goal GPA. The Winthrop University Academic Success Center (ASC) is here to help! Here is our advice to share with your student to help him/her have a successful spring semester.
- Find your spot: A powerful phenomenon in psychology is the context effect, which is how our environments impact how we take in information. If you consistently study in a particular place, it trains your brain to get to work more quickly because that spot will be associated with studying. Try out a few to see what you like best, and make sure that your spot has appropriate lighting and noise levels. It is important to find places other than your residence hall room or bedroom.
- Study intentionally: It's important to think about your thinking (engage in metacognition). You must study your course materials intentionally instead of just reading your notes over and over again and memorizing. Don't just think, "This is the information I have to remember" but instead say to yourself, "How will I make sure I remember this information?"
- Use mnemonic devices: These techniques increase your ability to recall lists of information by turning them into something you can remember. You've been using these for years - ROY G. BIV for the colors of the visible light spectrum, King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk for the metric system. Your professors rarely hand them to you, so it's up to you to create them. When you study your notes, think about different mnemonics you can apply to the material to remember it for tests.
- Use multiple senses: Studies have shown that the more senses you use to take in information, the easier it is to recall. Instead of just reading your notes to yourself, try reading them aloud so you can see and hear them. Can you turn that chapter into a song? That diagram into a tasty kitchen adventure? That huge paragraph of text into a picture? Get creative!
- Get help early and often: Don't wait until you get your first test back before deciding that you need some kind of academic assistance. An undesirable test grade can stress you out and put serious pressure on you for future tests. After the first week of class, determine what kinds of academic support services you might need: tutoring at the Academic Success Center or the Business Resource Room, utilizing the Math Tutorial Center or the Writing Center, getting assistance with textbook reading or note-taking at the ASC, or simply spending time with professors during office hours. Use these resources early and often!
The ASC is an office dedicated to student success at Winthrop through "helping underprepared students prepare, prepared students advance, and advanced students excel" (NADE). Our office offers a wide variety of services, including academic coaching sessions for improved study skills, and we would be delighted to be a part of your student's success journey. Please visit our website for more information.
Happy New Year! We hope you had a refreshing winter break and that you are energized for the spring semester! We have an exciting year coming up and we are looking forward to having you dine with us more in 2014 with some great new offerings!
It's a new semester and time for students to choose their Meal Plans! Residents, if you want to make any changes to your meal plan, you need to go to the Residence Life Office in DiGiorgio Campus Center room 237. Students will have until January 17 to make any changes to their plans.
For commuter students, you can now purchase your meal plan with an incentive! Purchase any traditional meal plan (ultimate, gold, silver or eagle) and receive an additional $100 of free café cash. Purchase a commuter 50 plan and receive an additional $50 of free café cash. We have a total of 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. If your student qualifies for financial aid, the cost of their meal plan can be covered by their awarded financial aid. If you would like to pay it immediately, you can go to the Cashiers Office and pay - otherwise it will be placed on your next bill from the university.
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 office at 803/323-2119.
Have a great 2014!
Spring 2014 Course Offering- with travel to Europe (May 14-25, 2014)
Post-Soviet Democratization: Eastern Europe
PLSC 390/390H & Cross-listed as INAS 425 (Course meets once a week during the spring semester)
3 credit hours (meets Global Perspectives requirement and carries 9 Cultural Events credits)
Study the fascinating 20th century history of former Soviet-controlled nations and their evolution into the modern era and travel to the beautiful and vibrant medieval cities of Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna, Austria; Olomouc, Czech Republic; and Krakow, Poland. Get five passport stamps in one amazing adventure!
The 12 day program abroad (May 14-25, 2014) will include:
- A Segway and walking tour of Budapest
- Visit nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- A visit to Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna
- A boat ride on the Danube River
- Parliament visits in Budapest and Bratislava
- A tour of Krakow in an old Trabant car
- Castle tours in Vienna, Bratislava, and Krakow
- Price includes airfare, all entrance fees, all-inclusive travel insurance, all accommodations, all breakfasts and 10 dinners
- Nine Cultural Event credits (pending approval)
For more information, please contact Michelle Wolf in the Academic Success Center in 106 Dinkins or Dr. Scott Huffmon. Program fee is $3,650 and financial aid may be available to help.
- Classes Begin 1/13
- Add/Drop 1/13-17
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday (Offices Closed) 1/20