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!

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

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

Spotlight on the Teaching & Learning Center – Part 5

Hello again! Today we return one last time to the Teaching & Learning Center to talk with Anthony Rimel, University of Oregon senior and TLC Writing Tutor in the Writing Lab. Anthony talks about what he does in the Writing Lab and how students can benefit from his services. The Writing Lab is open Week 2 through Wednesday of Finals Week from 9:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday, and is located in 72 PLC (Prince Lucien Campbell Hall).  For more information on the Writing Lab and the Math Lab visit the TLC’s Website.

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Transcript for Spotlight on the Teaching and Learning Center Part 5

Spotlight on the Teaching & Learning Center – Part 4

Good afternoon! Today we return again to the Teaching & Learning Center to talk with Elly Vandegrift, Instructor at the TLC. In this portion of the Spotlight, Elly explains what she does at the Teaching & Learning Center and the students that she usually works with. Elly also talks about more of the resources available at the TLC for all students.

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Transcript for Spotlight on the Teaching and Learning Center Part 4

Spotlight on the Teaching & Learning Center – Part 3

Good morning! Today we return again to the Teaching & Learning Center to talk for one last time with Amy Nuetzman, Assistant Director and Instructor. Amy gives us more details about the Teaching & Learning Center and the services they offer. She will talk about courses the TLC offers, how to find them, test preparation classes and all about their drop in services. We hope you’ll visit soon!

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Transcript for Spotlight on the Teaching and Learning Center Part 3

Spotlight on the Teaching & Learning Center – Part 1

Today we’re featuring the first in a new series of podcasts about the UO’s Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). A few weeks ago, Becca and I visited the TLC and spoke with some of the folks there about the many services they offer students. We learned a lot and are excited to share some of the conversations with you!

Click on the video below to hear from Amy Nuetzman, Assistant Director and Instructor. Check back in the coming weeks for parts 2-5 in this series!

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Transcript for Spotlight on the Teaching and Learning Center Part 1

“Major” Decisions

Choosing a major is a stressful experience for many college students. A variety of  factors can contribute to this stress (i.e. interest in several subjects, struggling in a pre-major class, parental pressure) but behind them all tends to float one BIG stress-inducing assumption:  I’m not just choosing a major…I’m choosing my career FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

I remember feeling this way in college. I majored in geography, which I loved. But I rarely got the opportunity to talk with people about my coursework, the field work I did last week, or ideas for my senior project. Instead, almost everybody I met – relatives, friends, the person who cut my hair – reduced the conversation to three questions…

Sound familiar? This exact exchange, played out a  hundred times over several years, reinforces the assumption that there are “right” and “wrong” majors when it comes to preparing for the job market. While it’s true that some careers require specific course preparation (to be a physical therapist you need courses in biology, anatomy, math, etc.), most majors can help prepare you for most jobs. In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Scott Keyes writes:

The belief that technical majors such as computer science are more likely to lead to a job than a major such as sociology or English is certainly understandable. It’s also questionable. “The problem, ” as my friend Jose explained to me, “is that even as a computer-science major, what I learned in the classroom was outdated by the time I hit the job market.” He thought instead that the main benefit of his education, rather than learning specific skills, was gaining a better way of thinking about the challenges he faced.

Your education will open doors, not close them. Employers are looking for smart, adaptable, critical thinkers – skills that are not specific to a particular major. One of my favorite quotes is from Carol Geary Schneider, President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, in her commencement address to the College of Wooster’s Class of 2006:

People are not hiring you for the knowledge you bring; rather, they are hiring you for the potential you demonstrate…What they really want to know is whether or not you are a good learner, whether you have the curiosity and drive to grow with the organization, and whether you have the intellectual agility to tackle new challenges as they emerge and to help turn those problems into opportunities.

As you think about your major, what factors are guiding your decision? Is there a subject that you are passionate about, but you’ve ruled out as a major? Why? Sometimes it can be inspiring to research the careers associated with your majors of interest. The list is almost always surprisingly long. I recommend starting at home with this website from the University of Utah called “What Can I Do with This Major?” Also, be sure to visit the Career Center on campus in Hendricks Hall. They have resources and career counselors to help you with your search.