Adrienne

Not only is the seminar system a valuable feature here at Brock University, but we are proud to be one of few schools that are still able to offer this engaging learning component to our students. Seminars are an effective way to complement lecture material and certainly uphold Brock’s mission to educate both sides of the brain.

Example of a seminar setting

While seminars are a great way for students to put theory into practice, they may seem a little daunting for those who have never experienced this kind of unique hands-on classroom learning before. So how can you make the most out of seminar? Well, take a few minutes to read the following suggestions and you might just find that seminars aren’t so scary after all…

Be prepared: Naturally, university learning is more comprehensive and requires a higher level of student preparation than high school. As a result, your professors and teaching assistants, or TAs, will also expect more of you as a student. This means coming to seminar having completed the readings mentioned in the class syllabus. Each professor will organize their course differently: some seminars might follow the same reading/activity schedule as lectures while some seminars might make use of additional readings that build upon lecture content. Either way, it is always a better idea to be over-prepared than underprepared. Have your readings done ahead of time, make meaningful comments that seek to understand what it is that you’re learning, and be sure to compile a list of any areas of confusion that may have come up while you were reading. Since seminar often comprises a large portion of your course grade, being prepared is essential for achieving full marks.

Participate: In order to achieve these full marks in seminar, participation is crucial. How can you prove to your TA or professor that you have thoughtfully engaged with the material if you don’t speak up? If you are shy and feel uncomfortable chiming in, talk to your seminar leader about the possibility of handing in your prepared written notes or finding another alternative way to get recognition for your work.

Ask questions: This is where you should seek to clarify those grey areas that popped up while you were reading. Asking questions is a legitimate way to gain participation marks, as it still communicates to your seminar leader that you have in fact made an effort to work through the material at hand. Posing questions is also a productive way to generate class discussion. Remember that no question is a silly question, and you may even have some of the same questions as your peers.

Challenge the idea, not the person: This goes hand-in-hand with being respectful in seminar. Debates can be beneficial in most seminars but it is important to remain objective and courteous. Even if you may disagree with another student’s comment, be sure to address this in a way that won’t put anyone down or embarrass him/her.

Get to know your seminar leader: Although seminars are helpful, they might not clear up all of your questions or concerns. So don’t be afraid to speak to your TA or professor after class or to take advantage of their office hours. More often than not seminar leaders are glad to help and are usually willing to look over your assignments or discuss a potential topic for a paper. In many cases, it is your TA who will mark your assignments so bringing your questions to their attention is a smart move. If their office hours don’t match up with your schedule, they will even work with you to make alternative arrangements.

In summary, being prepared, open-minded, and willing to participate will improve your chances of succeeding in seminar. Not all students learn in the same way so find what works best for you! Good luck!

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Jenn

Well hello there,

For many years I’ve been stressing to my peers the importance of “getting to know” your professors and teaching assistants. There have been so many times, literally countless, where I was so thankful that my professor either knew me by first name or at the least could recognize my face.

So why should you? Easy. They are not only potential references but they can also save your butt if something goes wrong during your academic years. Professors hold a lot of weight so having a professor that can vouch for you is a huge leg up in the professional world. Both professors and teacher assistants can be a reference on your resume to get a job, volunteer opportunity, co-op or internships but they can also hook you up with one!

So how do you do this? Easy. GO TO OFFICE HOURS! Many professors and teacher assistants host weekly office hours for students to come in and have questions answers but also they are willing to work one-on-one with you over assignments. You can also take this opportunity to ask for clarification over content and beyond. HERE IS A TIP: from my experience I have literally just gone to office hours to chat with professors- sometimes about course related content and sometime it is not. Now, this is not to say professors are not busy people on their own BUT during office hours many professors aren’t particular busy, usually not during midterm and final season- THEREFORE GO AND TALK TO THEM!

Just to reinforce things professors are the ones who decides if you can get an extension, do a make-up assignment and much much more! Life happens and Brock, in my experience, has been extremely accommodating and if you have a professor and/or a teaching assistant on your side it makes it easier to skyrocket into success!

Thanks for reading! : )

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Vanessa

Now that the first couple weeks of classes are over with, many students begin to feel a little overwhelmed. They’re not too sure how they are going to handle all these readings, assignments, and exams they are seeing on their course syllabus. I’m here to tell you that you can do it! You’ve been accepted to Brock University for that exact reason. You were the student selected over thousands of others that applied. You’ve already won!

Here at Brock we try to do everything possible to help you make the high-school to university transfer run as smoothly as possible. Brock offers a program known as Mentorship Plus that pairs first year students with an upper year student in the same program. During your first three years at Brock, students have the opportunity to partner with a senior mentor, participate in leadership and skills training, and even act as a mentor themselves. These mentors will help you get a feel for the campus, your program, and present you with opportunities you can get involved in within the Brock community. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to meet and work with peers that have been in their shoes and know exactly what they are going through.

Mentorship Plus is all about supporting students though their major transition periods. After your first year Mentorship Plus helps with your journey from Brock to your chosen career path. Students often find themselves asking themselves “What am I going to do with my degree?” When you enter third and fourth year Mentorship Plus can help you answer those questions.

Mentorship Plus is available to students in all areas of study. They provide mentors for first year students, senior students, varsity athletes, co-op and international students.

For more information click the link below:

http://www.brocku.ca/career-services/students-alumni/mentorship-plus

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Hana

If you’re anything like eager ol’ me, you are probably starting to contemplate your next big step in life: What University will I go to? What will my major be? Do I want to live away from home or will I commute?

I know, overwhelming. So let’s take it one step at a time.

First of all, take a deep breath. Have faith in the famous saying, “Everything will be ok. And if it’s not, then it’s not the end.” It’s famous for a reason!

Educate yourself!! I cannot stress this enough. Listen and ask questions when University representatives visit your high school. Take the initiative to go to events like Fall Preview Day (Brock’s is November 2, 2014!). Talk to friends who are already in University to get their perspective. Book campus tours to determine whether the school in question is the right fit for you. Read blogs (like this one!) to hear from the student perspective…

Keeping an open dialogue is what will help you reach the decisions that you seek. As long as you are doing that, you will see that the rest comes easily. So keep calm and carry on, my friends!

Hana

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Emma

You’ve come to Smart Start, you’re registered for courses, you’re excited to begin a new chapter of your life, but you’re just not sure what to expect.

Like the first week of high school, the first week of university can be daunting for some. You’re in a new environment, perhaps without any of your old friends, and you want to make sure you’re on top of what’s going on. This September I’ll be going into my sixth “back to school” week at Brock University. You could say I’ve kind of become a pro at this. Below I’ve listed my top tips and tricks for ensuring a smooth and successful first week at Brock.

1. Avoid heavy line-ups. The Campus Store, the U-Pass transit booth, and the student card office are just a few places on campus that see heavy line-ups the first week of school. Avoid peak times (from mid-morning to late afternoon) to save yourself some time buying books, getting your bus pass sticker, or obtaining your student card.

2. Check-in with your Don. If you’re living in residence you will have a Don assigned to your floor or court. This person is an upper-year student who will act as a big brother or sister figure throughout the school year. He or she will plan fun activities for your floor, resolve conflicts, enforce residence guidelines and help you out with any issues you might come across. The first few days of school, Dons also provide their students with walking tours of the campus to get to know the school in a little more detail, and to find the students’ individual classrooms.

3. Leave early. Brock is a mid-sized university with a very compact, self-contained campus, but it can still be difficult to navigate for first timers. Leave early to give yourself lots of time to find your lectures, seminars, and labs. You don’t want to be late on your first day!

4. Introduce yourself. Remember: everyone is in the same boat. Most first year students don’t know many people (if anyone) on campus, and are looking to make new friends. So why not introduce yourself? You’ll be shocked at how many new friends you’ll make by the end of the week.

5. Savour every moment. Orientation week is a blast. However after O-Week, classes start to kick-in, homework and readings will begin to pile up, and your time for socializing will become more limited. So make the most of it! Although university can be a little overwhelming at first, challenge yourself to relax and enjoy each day of Orientation week because it only comes around once a year.

Those are my tips and tricks for a smooth and successful first year. So, enjoy your last days of summer, future Badgers, because school is right around the corner!

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Emma

So you’re in high school, going into your final senior year. Maybe you’ve dreamed about your future career since you were young, or maybe you’re still not quite sure what you want to study in university. September is quickly approaching and you want to make sure you’re taking all the courses you’ll need to meet the requirements of your university programs of choice. Where do you start?

Our new site, Discover Brock University, makes it easy for prospective students to ensure that they are taking all the appropriate prerequisite courses to apply to any given program here at Brock. Whether you’re in grade 12, a college transfer student, or a mature applicant, Discover Brock can help you quickly and easily determine whether or not you meet the requirements of your program of choice. Simply click on the faculty you are interested in, select your program, and view the entry requirements. Do this early so that you have time to change your grade 12 schedule if need be before school starts in September! You’ll want to leave as many doors open for yourself as possible through these prerequisite courses. On Discover Brock, you can also view cut-off averages for all of our programs so that you have a goal to work towards, and beyond, throughout the upcoming school year.

As always, if you have any questions about our entry requirements, feel free to shoot us an email any time at moreinfo@brocku.ca, and remember that your guidance councilor is always an excellent resource!

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Mallory

Hey future Badgers!

First of all, I hope you are loving this warm(ish) spring day! Mallory the weather woman says to hold tight, as the beautiful  and warmer spring like weather is just around the corner!

I thought I would take the time to fill you in on a couple important dates to mark on your calendars! Keep an eye on this link as the date for registration will be posted shortly. On this website you can also click the link to register for SMART START ! By now, I hope that you’ve heard of what Smart Start has to offer first year students! If not, here’s the a quick list of everything that you’ll accomplish when you come to Brock for Smart Start:

  • Register for your courses
    This is when students can finalize their class timetable with Academic Advisors and one-on-one assistance!
  • Meet other first-year students
    Students can build a Brock support system before September! You get to meet other students who will be in your program, along with various professors and advisors!
  • Receive information about financing your education
    If you’re at all worried about finances, there are various financial aid advisors available to help students prepare for University!
  • Tour our beautiful campus
    Visit numerous campus hotspots, including our award-winning residences! This will be very enlightening for our future badgers because they would have already applied to residence by JUNE 2nd.
  • Learn about academic success options
    Participate in seminars outlining ways to succeed in post-secondary education. I remember being so nervous because I didn’t know how to write a proper paper in University or what my learning style was. Now, this comes with practice, but these seminars will be a great fist step for students!
  • Familiarize yourself with the Brock community
    Learn tips and tricks from current Brock students about making a smooth transition to university life.  The more you come, the more you’ll love it! Even if you’ve already checked out the campus, seeing it one more time is always a good idea! We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your time here at Brock! So come check it out and ask any questions along the way!
  • Take your photo for your Brock Card….. I hope it’s a good hair day!!


In my opinion, Smart Start is an amazing opportunity to actually experience what a full day is like at Brock. It’s a great way to meet new friends, faculty and to enjoy our beautiful campus! You don’t want to miss it!! Smart Start is taking place June 23, 2014 — August 8, 2014… so be sure to register!

Some more key dates include:
– June 2nd - which is the Residence Application Deadline! I always encourage students to fill out the application thoroughly as this will influence your room placement, roommate and/or bathroom accommodations. So be sure to pay close attention to the details, and be honest!

– Sunday August 31st  – Residence Move-In Day – Student, August 31st is the day that you begin your next chapter with us here at Brock! We are so excited to have you here with us! So get your packing tape ready and happy packing!

Mark up your calenders!!Until next time future Badgers!

Mallory

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Hana

What is the difference between Flex dollars and Meal Plan dollars?

As stated previously, students living in traditional residences are required to purchase a meal plan. Students living in non-traditional residences, however, are not required to purchase a meal plan since they have their own kitchen. But if they wish, students living in non-traditional residences have the option to purchase half of the meal plan for those lazy days, or if they are not yet comfortable cooking for themselves.

Regardless of which style of residence a student lives in, every student is required to purchase $250 of Flex Dollars (also known as Declining Cash Balance). Residence students use it to pay for laundry, as well as anything on campus! It’s like a fast and convenient ‘swipe and go’ debit card. Flex dollars are accepted in residence dining halls, franchised eateries on campus (including Tim Hortons), and even select restaurants in the St. Catharines area (including Dominos and Boston Pizza). It is also accepted at SkyBar Lounge (our fully liscenced on-campus restaurant), General Brock (our one-stop shop…like a on-campus convenience store), and Shoppers. Another great thing about Flex dollars is that it carries over from year to year, and can be re-loaded online. How handy-dandy!

Meal plan money is accepted in residence dining halls (DeCew, Lowenburger, and Guernsy Market). For students living in traditional residences who are required to purchase both meal plan money and Flex dollars, the meal plan money will be exhausted (when purchasing dining hall foods) before Flex dollars are used.

Both meal plan money and Flex dollars are attached on your student card. Your student card is also your bus pass, gym membership, and access into your residences (in cases of non-traditional residences), so keep a good eye on it!!

I hope I was able to cover some of the major residence FAQs. If you have any more questions, please leave me a comment below. Otherwise, you can contact our office by giving us a call at 905-688-5550, ext. 4293.

Stay tuned for my personal story of living in Vallee residence!

Hana

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Hana


Just when you thought residence could not get any better, it does! A Living Learning Community (LLC) brings students who share similar interests into a residence community. LLCs are continuing to expand and for the 2014-2015 year in particular, eight LLCs will be offered. They are split into LLCs for academic subjects and LLCs for non-academic areas of interest. Click here to watch a video of some of our students talking about LLCs.

Academic LLCs include:
- Accounting
- Business
- Concurrent Education
- Sports Management

Interest-based LLCs include:
- Arts
- Fitness
- Volunteerism and Leadership
- Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Action

While there is no additional cost to living in an LLC, they do, however, require a separate application from the online residence application that is also due June 2, 2014. By applying to be considered for a spot in an LLC, it will be considered the main residence preference. By visiting the hyperlinks above, you can see whether the LLC will be in a traditional residence or a nontraditional residence.

Tomorrow will be another… You guessed it: Residence FAQ! See ya then.

Hana

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Hana

What are Dons?

Residence Dons
are one of the many points of reference for students living in residence. Making the transition to living away from home and studying in university can seem intimidating at first, which is why Dons are available to help make this transition as smooth as possible. Dons are upper-year Brock students that live amongst the students in residence. In traditional residences, there will be a “House” or “Floor” Don. In Village, a “Court” Don and in Quarry View, a “Block” Don.

The Don of Activities are dedicated to facilitating fun, social programs and events in residence to build a sense of community among the students. Some examples of these events include:

  • Using the firepit on campus to make s’mores
  • Visits to our swimming pool on campus where students can swim, lounge in the whirpool, or sit in the sauna

But hey, as much as we would like university to be all fun and games, academics is a very important aspect of post-secondary education! As such, we have Dons of Academics. These Dons support students in becoming the best student they can be. This includes connecting students with the academic resources and services available to students on-campus (such as academic workshops about exam study tips, how to write a scholarly paper, how to find scholarly articles) or providing referrals to students in need of academic assistance. My Don of Academics identified which students in our residence building were in the same program or were enrolled in the same classes. By doing so, we were connected with like-minded peers, and were able to organize group study sessions, have someone to walk to class and sit with, or even share a textbook with!

Head Residents monitor residence life in their residence building. They assist in the administrative decisions and disciplinary matters concerning residence.

I, of all people, know that living away from home can be intimidating at first. But I am here to reassure you (and your parents) that our extensive residence life staff work together to ensure that students’ residence experience is a positive one. As well, they ensure that they are developing “both sides of their brain” ;)
I loved my experience in residence and I would not change it for the world. I will be sharing my personal story in another blog to come so keep your eyes peeled!

I’ll be hitting you with another residence FAQ on Monday. Until then, TGIF and have a lovely weekend!

Hana

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