Welcome to the Grade First Aid Program

Welcome to Grade First Aid.  Here you will find all the information needed to help you navigate the Grade First Aid program.  All the documentation you will need is under the “Grade First Aid Program” tab at the top of this page.  I hope you will also read through some of the other posts for some stories from other students in your situation, tips and tricks to get back on track, and for information about many of our partner offices on campus.

Please remember to make an appointment with an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Advising today.  Be sure to let them know you are wanting to make a Grade First Aid appointment.  You can call 541-346-3211 to make your appointment.



Get Organized and Plan Ahead

We are officially in the second week of spring term and by now your class schedule should be finalized! This is a great time in the term and go through each of your classes’ syllabus and make note of all assignments and tests listed. I like to use a term-at-a-glance schedule so all 11 weeks are on one piece of paper. I have posted one below that you can download and print.

Spring Term Schedule at a Glance

If you haven’t finalized your schedule, please pay careful attention to the upcoming deadlines. You can find a full list of dates and deadlines for every term on the Registrars Office homepage. Today (April 9th) is the last day to drop a class without a W. This Wednesday is the last day to add a class. You will also want to pay careful attention to tuition implications of both of those actions.

I hope your term is off to a great start!

How to Maximize this Resource

Some of you visiting this blog may be avid blog readers, since there are blogs out there on just about every topic known to human kind. But, I (Becca) would venture to say that there is a much larger number of readers who are much less familiar with the idea of a blog. So, I’ve decided to highlight some helpful parts of this blog that you can utilize to get your academics back on track or take them to a new level of awesome.

  • The “Campus Resources” tab at the top of the page leads you to a list of helpful campus resources, short descriptions of what each office can help you with, and a link to their webpage with contact information. Sometimes  the first step in the right direction is knowing who to ask for help…and then actually doing it!
Screen shot of Campus Resource Page
  • Click on a “Category” on the right side of the page to be taken to all of the posts that deal with that particular topic. There are all kinds of topics to choose from ranging from more detailed information about offices on campus that can help in your academic journey under “Campus Partners” to stories from U of O students who have struggled academically and overcome obstacles to get back on track to success under “In Your Words”. Here is one of my favorite campus partner posts and one of my favorite posts from a student:

Spotlight on the Teaching and Learning Center: Part 1


Jessica’s Story – Academic Disqualification & Reinstatement

  • Get to know some of the advisors in the Office of Academic Advising by reading the “About Us” section or by choosing the “Meet Your Advisor” category. If we all could share one thing with students it would be that we exist to help you be successful – SO COME SEE US! We got into academic advising to work with students and talk through all kinds of issues whether it be celebrating with you over a great accomplishment or walking you through how to have a tough conversation with your parents about your academics.  To schedule an appointment all you have to do is call 541.346.3211 and our front desk workers will get you taken care of.

Office of Academic Advising Staff Photo 2011

I guess what I’m trying to say is welcome to the blog and I hope you stick around and check out some of the posts! I’m glad you made it this far and I hope you will find some good information to help you on your path to success. Don’t hesitate to come see us for more information or even just to find out where to begin. Enjoy your break and we’ll see you in the winter!

Get Savvy with the Teaching and Learning Center!

Some of our favorite people on campus are hosting their annual Get Savvy Workshops this week and I think this is another great way to continue in the right direction this fall! The Teaching and Learning Center would like you to know:

Every fall, students can participate in Get Savvy, a series of workshops and other activities designed to help you gain skills for academic success. The workshops are free and open to all students — prizes, too! Test-Wise U, Presentation Skills, Money Matters, Smart Scheduling and more… full descriptions can be found on our website: http://tlc.uoregon.edu/learningservices/getsavvy.html

Workshops on the hour in the EMU Alsea Room:

Wed, Nov 2, 11am-8pm
Thur, Nov 3, 11am-5pm

I hope that you will make time to learn some great success strategies this week!

What Can You Do to Succeed This Fall?

It is that time of the year again! With the University of Oregon’s Fall Quarter getting underway tomorrow I asked the other advisors in the Office of Academic Advising for their best tip for students to get off on the right foot this fall, and this is what they had to say:

Tami's Tip

Tami Hill

Dr. Tami Hill says be an active participant in your education, and she would know since she is also a professor!

Shasta With her White Board Wisdom

Shasta McLester

Shasta had such a good idea we have included a Fall Schedule at a Glance here for you to download and use this term!

Megan's Tip

Megan Coble

If you don’t know when or where your professors’ office hours are you can find that information on their course syllabus or you can ask them in class!

Jenni's Tip

Jenni VanWyk

If you don’t understand a concept or an idea, make sure to ask for more information. If you do understand, ask questions that will take your analysis to the next level.

Arturo's Tip

Arturo Zavala

By visiting an academic advisor for help choosing your courses, you can be confident that the courses will make progress towards your degree completion and be in line with your skills and abilities.

Andrew's Tip

Andrew Wahlstrom

You should think about school like a full-time job, spending at least 40 hours a week reading, attending classes, studying and working on homework. If you feel like you need to learn some strategies for success in any of these areas, visit the Teaching and Learning Center on campus!

Where’s Jessica Now?

One of the best parts about being an advisor is getting to work with students through many milestones on their academic journey. Today we bring you an update from Jessica, who spoke with us last June about her disqualification and reinstatement. In case you missed the interview, take a minute to catch up here. Jessica speaks openly and honestly about dealing with the notice of disqualification, telling her parents, and working to get back on track. It wasn’t easy, but Jessica was committed to making positive and long-lasting changes. When asked that day about her upcoming summer classes at UO (her first time back in a year), Jessica said:

“I know I’m capable of getting better grades than I was before. I now feel like I’ve developed the tools to get those grades. I’m really pumped [about reinstatement]. I’m really excited.” – Jessica

Jessica came to UO and backed up that enthusiasm and excitement with lots of hard work. We are thrilled to report that not only was she reinstated, but she has now completed three terms at UO with nothing but A’s and B’s. Just as exciting, she’s found her way to a double-major that she finds personally and academically fulfilling.



Helpful Resources from Workshops

Hi everyone, Becca here. Recently, the Office of Academic Advising hosted a series of workshops for students who found themselves struggling academically after fall term. During the workshops an advisor and the students went through a series of activities designed to help students set SMART goals, manage their time, identify helpful resources on campus, and utilize some Top Advisor Tips. Well, the workshops went so well, we figured it would be good to make the activities and resource sheets available to everyone who visits the blog!

The first link is all about SMART Goal Setting . Use this worksheet to develop a goal for yourself and identify ways to achieve it. So what makes a goal SMART? Your goal should be – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Think of it this way – if your goal is to get a 3.5 term GPA, how do you measure your progress before final grades are posted?  While this goal is specific, how is measurable? Is it realistic and something you can attain? Do you even know what grades you would need to earn to get a 3.5? Instead try something like this – B in BI 130, C in MATH 111, and an A in WR 121. Next, think of three action steps you can work on to help meet your goal. On the second page think about what will motivate you towards meeting this goal and think about how to overcome challenges you may encounter. Lastly, SHARE YOUR GOAL – you need someone to “have your back” and hold you accountable and help you along the way.Make a commitment to yourself by signing this and posting it somewhere you see everyday!

SMART Goal Worksheet

Do you need help sorting out your day and keeping track of assignments and deadlines? Here are two calendars that can help with this. The “Quarter at a Glance” can be used to track major assignments, exams, quizzes and homework. It is designed to show you everything in one place. This way you don’t miss important dates.

Quarter at a Glance

Use the “Weekly Schedule” to map out your study plans, class schedule, and other time commitments. You can also use this schedule to evaluate how you are spending your time: are you following what you said you would do, or are you at the rec more than you allotted. Does it take two hours to study Spanish, or do you only need one, and what can the extra hour be used for – do you need more time to study for Math?

Weekly Schedule

Ever have a question and don’t know who to ask? Well, we made a list of all the offices on campus we think students might find most helpful to answer your questions. You’ll notice that the bottom three aren’t actually campus offices, but other websites with helpful information.

Academic Resources

Academic advisors are full of information and tips. So, we put together a list of our Top Tips we think students should know. Use these to refine your study skills and academic habits. See something missing? Leave a comment with your favorite tip!

Top Tips from your Advisor

Meet Your Advisor – Arturo Zavala

You hear a lot from us on this blog, and we wanted to give you the chance to meet other advisors in our office and across campus. So every once in a while we’ll spotlight someone new.

Today meet Arturo Zavala – the newest addition to the  Office of Academic Advising. Arturo works with all students and is fluent in Spanish.  We asked Arturo some questions and here’s what he had to say:

academic advisor Arturo Zavala

1. Why do you like working at the University of Oregon?

I love meeting and talking with students.  I like hearing their stories and how they see the world.   Every journey is unique. I see my job as helping students shape and discover new worlds and identities.  It reminds me that you are never too old to learn or to be passionate about a dream.

2. What was a memorable turning point in your own education?

Two points come to mind.  In fifth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Buck rewarded  me with a book when I helped in her the classroom. That totally changed the way I thought about books.  After high school, I got a fulltime job working at a cabinet shop because I enjoyed working with wood.  After only eight months I realized that just because you enjoying doing something, that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it as a career.  So, I went back to school.

3. What do you do when you are not advising?

I’m a professional mariachi musician on the weekends. I love to eat and cook, so I frequent the local restaurants and markets.  I enjoy hiking, especially with my two pugs, Indie and Ozzie.  On sunny days I love walking around campus or stretching out on the lawn and reading a book.  On rainy days I like to check out new exhibits at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Jessica’s Story – Academic Disqualification & Reinstatement

“I know I’m capable of getting better grades than I was before. I now feel like I’ve developed the tools to get those grades. I’m really pumped (about reinstatement). I’m really excited.” – Jessica

Katie here. Last June I took a phone call from a recently disqualified student. Jessica had finished her first year at UO, moved home for the summer, and – when trying to do a routine transaction on Duckweb – found out she’d been academically disqualified. She admits now that it shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise – she’d been on probation since the end of her first term – but it didn’t make hearing the news any easier.

Jessica petitioned right away for cancellation of the disqualification but was denied. Following the terms of her disqualification letter, she enrolled at Lane Community College for the 09-10 academic year and started checking in regularly with our office. Jessica’s come a long way in a year and (I’m happy to report) was just reinstated to the UO for Fall 2010. Congratulations Jessica!

I felt Jessica’s story would resonate for a lot of students and parents, so I invited her in for an interview. She speaks honestly about disqualification…the good, the bad, the embarrassing, and the unexpected. So whether you’re disqualified yourself, or supporting a son, daughter, or friend through this process, take a few minutes and listen as Jessica talks about breaking the news to her parents, finding support through her friends, enrolling at Lane, and finding a new major.

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Transcript for Jessica’s Story

Would you like to talk to an advisor about your academic record? Have you been disqualified and you’re not sure what to do next? Call our front desk and request an appointment: 541-346-3211.

Two New “How-To” Screencasts

Say that title 10 times fast!

Becca and Katie here. We’ve been working hard to bring you these two new screencasts. In the first, we walk through a sample degree audit and explain each section. Print out a copy of your own degree audit from DuckWeb and follow along with the video! If you have any follow-up questions, call our front desk at 541-346-3211 and schedule an appointment with one of us. If you’re not currently on campus (i.e. home for the summer) we can schedule a phone appointment.

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Transcript for How to Read Your Degree Audit

Planning on taking summer classes at your local community college or university? If so, you’ll want to watch our second screencast, where we demonstrate the UO’s Transfer Course Equivalencies website. This is an interactive tool that allows you to see how courses from other institutions transfer to the University of Oregon. Check it out!

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Transcript for How to use the Transfer Course Equivalency Tool