Survival Tips for First-Year Students
As first-year students in a new school and, for
many, a new town, the pressures of handling class and learning the ropes
can be daunting. The following comprise the top five tips first-year
students need to know to have a smooth transition.
- Know the Faculty
|Photo by Brooke Burger
Justin Anders, senior (back) and Mindy
Smith, sophomore (front) buy books from Judy Howard in the
Bookstore on the first day of classes.
This includes knowing your professors as well as your adviser. If
you are having trouble in a class, do not hesitate to contact your
professor. You can locate your professors’ contact information in
Faculty and Staff Directory.
You should get to know your adviser as well. Advisers help with
creating schedules and give advice for your higher education goals.
If you do not know who your adviser is, go to
Campus Connect, click on Student Information and select
Demographic Data. You can then use the directory to locate the
- Use Web Resources
The UAM Web site consists of many features that you will need to use
throughout your college career, including student e-mail, Campus
Connect and WebCT.
You should check your student e-mail regularly to receive
information on events, notices and your courses, as well as other
beneficial information. The student e-mail Web
page includes information on
how to log in to your account,
how to retrieve your pin number and
how to change your password.
Campus Connect provides you with all your personal school
information. You can view your schedule, grades and transcript, as
well as review your bill and your financial aid.
WebCT is an important part of many courses, especially online
classes. Within those courses, students can use WebCT to keep track
of assignments, hold discussions with classmates, review a course
calendar and keep track of grades.
All students will need to create new WebCT accounts this
semester. Follow this
link to create a new account. Once you create a new account, log
out and return to the WebCT login page. Click on “See
courses on this server.”
View “UAM Fall 2007” and scroll down to find your course. Once
you locate your course, click the pencil icon
to add it. To add
another course, you will need to log out and repeat the process. To
receive more help with WebCT, go to this
You can find many other helpful links
- Know the Services
UAM has several services around campus to help you with
everything from homework to health.
You can receive counseling and testing services on the second
floor of Harris Hall. These services include educational counseling,
personal counseling, testing services and outreach workshops. The
Counseling and Testing Center also provides free scantrons.
Tutoring Services are also available on the second floor of
Harris Hall. The tutoring services include drop-in tutoring, math
and science tutoring, Residence Hall tutoring, Gateway General
Education tutoring and intense math tutoring. Call 460-1454 for a
list of tutoring services currently available.
Student Health Services provide emergency first aid; health
education, counseling and evaluations; health screenings; and assessments,
treatment and medication for minor illnesses and injuries. The
service also provides a Self-Care Center and an Exercise Center.
Writing Center, located in the Memorial Classroom Building,
provides tutoring services for writing assignments, including
pre-writing, drafting, revising and editing. The center also
provides Internet access and free printing.
Fred J. Taylor Library and Technology Center also provides
access to the Internet and other helpful resources for successfully
completing the semester. The library provides an array of services
including, academic reserves, interlibrary loans, online resources
and reference librarian services. For a complete list of library
services, visit this
- Manage Your Course Work
Although the new-found freedoms of college can be alluring, going
to class is the best way to pass the class. Many professors do not
teach directly from the book; therefore, much of the tests may come
from classroom notes.
While all professors do not have a strict attendance
policy, most establish attendance requirements in the course
syllabus. You are responsible for any materials you miss in class.
If possible, you should inform your professor ahead of time if you
are going to miss class. It is also a good idea to get a
classmate to get the notes for you.
If you schedule your classes to fit your preferences, you may
have a better chance of attending class and doing well. It may be
difficult to get up for an 8 a.m. class if you work evenings or if
you like to hit the snooze button a lot. You can
search for classes by
academic units and
instructors. You can also find course descriptions in the UAM
Keeping an accurate day planner is also a helpful way to keep
track of assignments, tests and other important dates for your
courses, including drop dates. You can find a list of events on the
- Know the Departments
|Photo by Brooke Burger
Financial Aid -
(counter-clockwise) Krystal Haynes, junior; Terricka Harden,
junior; Shannon Fox, sophomore; and John Fox, first-year
student handle business on the first day of classes.
As a college student, you will deal with several departments on
campus on a regular basis to handle your bill, financial aid
and other information.
Every year, you will need to update your financial aid. The
Financial Aid Office aids in this task as well as providing help
with student loans, work-study jobs and other forms of financial
Registrar’s Office supervises registration for classes,
maintains academic records and issues transcripts. The office also
provides forms for changing your adviser, changing your major and
forms for adding or dropping a course.
Cashier’s Office distributes pay checks and refund checks and
handles student bills for each semester.
Public Safety not only provides safety for the campus but also
provides parking stickers, which must be purchased every year.
Public Safety officers also provide an escort service if you are
traveling across campus late at night.
Information and Technology provide students with technological
help as well as registering dorm room computers for the Internet.
The Information and Technology Web
site consists of tutorials and how to’s for UAM Web programs and
Web programs in general.
The college experience does not
consist of only academic studies, all facets of college life are
important to your success. However, establishing a balance between
your social life and your academic life will better prepare you for the
future that lies ahead. Knowing the ropes of your campus community
is an important step in establishing that balance.
Have a comment? Please e-mail us.
ŠThe Voice 2007