Fall Check-up

As we make the turn into October, you may find yourself just beginning to settle into student life at Brock. Whether you are a returning student who is familiar with the routines and expectations of professors, parents, roommates, and yourself, or if you are new to the university, September is typically a time for adjustment and transition.

Part of the transition to university is adjusting to the fact that in many courses students are not given weekly assignments or feedback on how they are progressing. You may find it difficult to get a strong sense of how you are doing in a course(s) until after your first major test or assignment is returned.
To better assess how you are progressing academically, take the time to ask yourself the following questions:

- Do I understand the course syllabus?
- Am I staying on top of my required readings?
- Do I understand the readings?
- Am I taking notes that are clear and accurate?
- Am I able to relate lecture material to seminar work and discussions?
- Do I understand instructions for completing assignments?
- Am I participating in seminar activities and discussions?
- Do I submit my assignments on time?
- How have I done on assignments and tests I have received back?

After considering the above key points, you will be able to recognize what is working for you and what improvements need to be made. If you feel that you are struggling in a course speak to your Instructor. Inquire about additional support that the department may be able to offer in the form of extended office hours or tutoring. The Student Development Centre brocku.ca/sdc is a great resource for Brock students. Located on the fourth floor of the Schmon Tower, the Centre offers free study skills workshops and a tutor registry to assist students.

If you are considering removing yourself from a course, you should first discuss the implications of this decision with the academic adviser specific to your program. For a list of departmental advisers please visit brocku.ca/registrar/advising. If you are an undeclared student or are pursing a General Studies degree contact an academic adviser in the Office of the Registrarbrocku.ca/registrar/advising/. Making changes to your timetable may also affect such things as student loans, scholarships, varsity sports or residence eligibility. Students are expected to be responsible for knowing the dates and penalties, both academically and financially for withdrawing from a course. You can view these dates by referring to http://www.brocku.ca/finance/students/undergraduate/withdrawals-and-refunds.
Best of luck with your studies! We hope you have a successful year!

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Summer is Here@

Summer has arrived! Though it seems that for returning students, final exams just ended, it is now time to think about the upcoming 2012/13 Fall/Winter year. New year one students have already began to register and registration for continuing students will begin early July. We are excited to welcome back our returning students and to welcome all of the students that are attending Brock for the first time!

For new year one students and new students transferring from another university on a full-time basis, the SMART Start orientation program is a great start to be introduced to Brock University. It is a one day orientation program to assists students with the transition to university life. It is an opportunity to learn more about the services Brock University has to offer, have questions answered, obtain assistance with registration, tour the campus and receive your student identification card. For more information regarding SMART Start, please visit their website at brocku.ca/smartstart.

For mature, part-time or part-time transfer students, Academic Advising Services will be holding an orientation sessions that will aid students by answering questions and assisting them with the transition into the Brock Community. For further information regarding the Summer orientation session specific to these students please visit brocku.ca/registrar/advising.

Each year Academic Advising Services stresses the importance of Academic Advising. It is vital to understand the rules and regulations that govern your studies as well as having a strong grasp on individual degree requirements.

Students that are pursuing a General Studies degree, are currently undeclared or are considering changing their major should contact an Academic Adviser from the Office of the Registrar. They will assist with General Studies program requirements, clarify rules and regulations, inform you of important dates and deadlines and encourage and refer you to valuable resources on campus. To visit the Academic Advising website please visit brocku.ca/registrar/advising.

Students that are in a declared program and require explanation or clarification of their specific degree requirements must be in contact with the Academic Adviser specific to their program. Contact information can be found at brocku.ca/registrar/advising/departmental-adviser-contact.

To determine the dates continuing students are eligible to register, they may visit the online registration guide for returning students at http://www.brocku.ca/registrar/guides/.
Registration is on a graduated scale based on the number of credits a student has accumulated as of June 30th, 2011.

Students, whether new or returning, should familiarize or re-acquaint themselves with the services at Brock University. The Student Development Centre, located on the 4th Floor of the Schmon tower is a service that should be utilized. They offer study skills workshops that help students in the development of helpful study tips and strategies. These free workshops will assist students in such areas as time management, exam preparation and essay writing. To view the Student Development Centre website please visit http://www.brocku.ca/sdc/. This is just one of many services that Brock has to offer. For a complete listing of services please visit http://www.brocku.ca/services/services-a-to-z .

Becoming familiar and comfortable with campus life and taking advantage of the resources available to students will be very useful and beneficial throughout a university career.

The Academic Advising team would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best and a most successful 2012/2013 Fall/Winter year!

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Spring has Sprung

Final exams are officially over. It is now time to get excited about the nice weather that is near and look forward to the summer plans ahead. Whether students intend on taking Spring/Summer courses, returning home or traveling, planning for the upcoming school year is vital. There are key points students should keep in mind when thinking of the Fall/Winter academic session.

For new, year one students, Smart Start is a great way to begin your University experience at Brock. It is a one day orientation program that begins the transition to University life. During the Smart Start program students will be able to tour the university, receive assistance in registering for courses, have an opportunity to learn and understand the services Brock has to provide, get their student card, and hear about University life from current Brock students. To register for this program please visit brocku.ca/smartstart.

For students that are returning to studies, the 2012/13 Fall/Winter timetable for registering for courses will be available in June. New, year one students will be the first group of students eligible to register and the remaining students will register in accordance to the number of credits accumulated as of June 2012. It is based on a graduated scale and it is crucial to determine when one is eligible to register for courses so that they can begin registering specifically on that day.

It is important for students to familiarize themselves with the Academic rules, regulations and policies that govern their studies along with important dates, program information and requirements. This can be reviewed in the Brock Undergraduate Calendar available online at brocku.ca/webcal. Equally important is meeting with the specific program adviser to ensure students are on the right path to satisfying degree requirements. If a student is in a declared program, the student would meet with the specific program adviser. If a student is in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science General Studies program, or may be thinking of changing their program, the student would meet with an Adviser in the Office of the Registrar. For further advising information please visit brocku.ca/registrar/advising.
If students need to obtain a school letter proving their enrollment or eligibility to return to studies over the summer break, they may do so through the Office of the Registrar. Students may order a letter in person, by mail, or by faxing in a General Request Form. Different letters vary in prices and processing time. Letters can be picked up, mailed or faxed if indicated on the request form.

Following some helpful tips and helpful suggestions, students can begin preparing themselves for the 2012/13 Fall/Winter Academic year. Academic Advising Services would like to wish students a safe and enjoyable summer and all the best in the year ahead!

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Don’t forget to double check your exam schedule

I can remember the sense of panic when I showed up to my exam and suddenly realized that I had the time written down wrong!  Thankfully, I had written my 7pm exam down as 9 am and I had the rest of the day to review my notes and was still able to write my exam. You do not want to make the same mistake I made and potentially miss an exam or add any additional stress to an already demanding period of time. Be sure to check and double check your exam times and locations by visiting: http://brocku.ca/registrar/guides/returning/timetable/exams.php

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Developing Good Study Habits!

Now that you have settled into your classes it is important to stay on top of your readings and assignments.

Did you know that a typical student should be spending a minimum of 8 hours a day either in class or in THE LIBRARY studying.

Going home in between classes most often leads to procrastination, while heading to the library in between classes often leads to success!

If you aren’t getting the results you want in your classes it is time that you met with your Academic Adviser to review your current study habits and map out a plan for success.

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Happy New Year!

As a new year is upon us, it is often a time for reflection. Students may reflect on the past year and begin looking ahead to the upcoming year. This is an excellent time for students to assess their year and analyze the areas they did well on and the areas that may need improvement. It is important to recognize trends or patterns so you can continue doing what it is that is making you successful or implement a new course of action that will assist you in becoming a successful university student.

If you feel that a change is necessary or need an alternative way of approaching your course workload then you may consider enrolling in a learning skills workshop through the Student Development Centre, located both on the 4th Floor of the Schmon Tower as well as in the Matheson Learning Commons. Workshops that include Time Management, Setting Your Goals or Avoiding Procrastination can be most beneficial and get you on the right track throughout your university career.

Students that may find some academic challenges regarding course material during the school year should note that there are many options available to them for assistance in a particular course. Taking advantage of the office hours of the instructor is a way of gaining a better understanding of the topics covered and an opportunity to ask questions or voice your concern about certain issues involving the course. Seeking help from the Teaching Assistants if your course has a secondary component such as a seminar, tutorial or lab is another alternative. Asking fellow peers is an additional method to share and discuss ideas regarding material relevant to the course. It is important to seek help the moment you feel the need for it, do not delay or procrastinate. If you obtain answers immediately or develop an improved understanding of the course content, this will benefit you when you begin studying for your mid-term or final exams.

Whether you are a new, continuing first year, or upper year student it is important to introduce or reacquaint yourself to the services that Brock University has to provide.

- Academic Advising Services in the Office of the Registrar is a supportive and informative service that provides Brock students with assistance and guidance throughout their university career. Program specific advisers can help students that require an explanation or clarification on their degree requirements specific to their program. Information regarding Academic Advising can be found at www.brocku.ca/registrar/advising.
- Career Services, located in the Matheson Learning Commons is valuable resource for students seeking information regarding employment after graduating with their particular degree. Career Services can also aid with the development of job search skills including resume and cover letter writing, portfolio and interview skill development.
- The aforementioned Student Development Centre is another vital resource that students can utilize by participating in the free learning skills workshops. For more information on the Student Development Centre please visit www.brocku.ca/sdc.
These are just a few examples of the services that are available to you. For a complete listing of student services please visit www.brocku.ca/registrar. Using resources and services that are accessible to you is a step in the right direction to being a successful university student. If you are unfamiliar of a location or have questions if a specific service is offered do not hesitate to ask a Brock University staff member. Remember that it is always important to be well informed. Best of luck in the New Year!

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January Advising Update

There will be limited services available between January 9 to January 20 due to our extended walk-in advising.
Extended walk-in advising will be available:

Week of January 9th
Monday to Thursday
9:30am-11:30am & 1:30pm-3:30pm

Week of January 16
Monday to Thursday
1:30pm-3:30pm

Regular walk-in advising hours resume the week of January 23.
Web Chat will be cancelled until the week of January 23.
Welcome back and best of luck with your studies during the Winter term!

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December is here!

As December arrives, students, whether first year or upper year, are faced with a challenging time ahead. Exams can bring about emotions that students will have to manage to be successful in their university career. Preparation is a vital component to doing well on exams. There are also many strategies that one can implement to ensure success on exams. Following some helpful suggestions will hopefully lead to an enjoyable and well deserved Winter break.

Sound time management, applying a note taking system, being organized and developing study sheets far in advance of the exam are examples of proper preparation. Although exams may seem a long time away when classes begin in September, in a twelve week semester they arrive in no time, especially when mid-terms, essays, assignments, projects, and presentations are the focus in between. Since there is much to think about during the semester, time must be set aside to plan for exams.

Recognizing such things as what the instructor has stressed in the final few classes and determining what will be covered and what format will be used is very crucial. It is important to know if the exam will cover material from the whole term, since the mid term or only certain sections and equally important to know if the exam will consist of essay type questions, short answer, multiple-choice, true-false or any combination of the four. Reviewing copies of previous exams, if available in the library, and recognizing a consistent theme may be helpful. Studying with fellow peers may be wise as discussions among classmates can create new ideas and new ways of communicating potential answers. This strategy can also bring about a better understanding of the topics covered.

With all this being said, remember to take a break! Watch your favourite television program, go out for a quick coffee, tea or hot chocolate and enjoy some fresh air or workout for thirty minutes. Taking breaks is important to stay sharp and to ensure you do not become too overwhelmed with information.

A valuable resource available for students is the free learning skills workshops presented by Brock University’s Student Development Centre. Workshops offered focus on such things as: Preparing for your Exams, Handling Exam Anxiety, How to Write Multiple Choice Exams and Last Minute Exam Preparation. For more information regarding the learning skills workshops please visit www.brocku.ca/sdc/learning/.

Since not every study tip or strategy works for every student, it may take time to find which strategy works best for you. Explore and educate yourself on as many as possible. You will be able to evaluate for yourself which ones are most suitable to your style and potentially to the type of exam you will be studying for.

Best of luck on your exams and best wishes this holiday season!

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