Update re: Revised Academic Calendar and Course Registration Process

I am writing you now with important information about the revised academic calendar and course registration processes.  Due to the shift in the opening of our semester, some important dates have changed.  In addition, the first two days of classes will be held remotely.

Remote drop/add attendance:

January 27 and 28 classes will be held online.  During those two days, faculty have the option of allowing non-registered students to attend remotely. You can see which courses have made available the “Remote Course Access” in your WesPortal in the courses bucket or in the alert box. You will have access to link in WesPortal until 11:59 p.m. Friday, January 28.

Beginning on January 31, classes will meet in-person. Students should not attend in-person classes for which they are not registered, unless they have retained explicit permission from faculty. This is due to strict requirements for Covid classroom capacity compliance.

Grading Mode:

Only courses offered for “student option” grading mode allow students to choose between taking the course for A-F or CR/U.  Please be sure to confirm your grading option in your courses by 5 p.m. on February 23.  

Below are other important dates to be aware of for the spring semester:

1/20-2/9: Drop/Add Period

1/20-2/9: On-campus enrollment period for undergraduates and graduates

1/27: Classes begin

2/23: For courses in which students have an option of grading mode, the final choice must be made by 5 p.m.

3/4: Last day to withdraw from 3rd quarter classes

3/11: 3rd quarter classes end

3/12-3/20: Spring break (one-week only)

3/21: 4th quarter classes begin. 4th quarter classes may be added or dropped during the five working days following the first class meeting

4/27: Last day to withdraw from full semester & 4th quarter classes

5/4: Classes end

5/5-5/9: Reading period

5/10-5/13: Final examinations

Second Half of Fall Semester

Hello, Class of 2025

I hope you had a chance to rest and reboot during fall break. As we enter the second half of the fall semester, continue to utilize resources on campus that can support your success. This includes but is not limited to speaking directly with faculty, meeting with teaching and course assistants and utilizing student academic resources. If you haven’t used any of these resources yet and want assistance figuring out where to begin, schedule an appointment with me to chat or stop by my office hours in North College 202 (listed below).

Monday 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Tuesday 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Wednesday 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 – 11:00 am
Friday 9:00 – 10:00 am

You are also likely aware that spring course registration has started. Be sure to meet with your faculty advisor to discuss what courses you hope to take in the spring. Your faculty advisor, as well as our Academic Peer Advisors (APAs), can help you map out your course schedule.

Additionally, our APAs will host drop-in hours to assist with course registration on Thursday 11/11 from 4 – 6pm at the Exley tables in front of the fishbowl. If these drop-in hours do not work with your schedule, email the APAs directly at peeradvisors@wesleyan.edu.

Flyer outlining drop-in APA hours (information on flyer listed above image).

Preparing to Meet Your Faculty Advisor

The objective of the pre-major advising program is to help first-year students and sophomores think seriously about their educational objectives in the context of the liberal arts education offered at Wesleyan. Together with your faculty advisor, you should develop a challenging and coherent educational plan for the first two years, one that achieves curricular breadth while preparing for the depth that the major will bring in the last two years.

Here are some things to think about as you plan for your first meeting with your faculty advisor:

  • Breaking the ice. A good way to introduce yourself to your advisor is to tell them about your high school experience. A good way to get to know your advisor is to ask them how they became a college professor.
  • Know the curriculum. Familiarize yourself with WesMaps and with the websites of departments in which you plan to pursue coursework. What was the logic behind your course pre-registration strategy?  Be receptive to questions and suggestions.
  • Have goals in mind. What are your academic strengths?  What are your academic weaknesses and how do you plan to address them?  How do you plan to pursue breadth? How do you plan to pursue depth? Share concerns that may affect your success in the upcoming semester.  Be sure to make arrangements to schedule your next meeting.

For more information, please see the Faculty and Student Advising Handbook.

Enrolling in the University and Resolving Action Items

Starting on Monday, August 30, at 8:30 a.m. EDT you will be required to enroll in the University. To enroll, login to WesPortal, click through the yellow alert banner at the top of the page, then click on the “Enroll Me” button.  Please be aware that you will not be able to participate in drop/add until you have enrolled in the University.  You must enroll in the University by Friday, September 17, at 11:59 p.m.

In addition to enrolling, you must resolve any holds in your list of Action Items.  To access your list, go to:

Portal > Enrollment Checklist & Addresses > Hold/Enroll

Instructions on how to resolve each action item are provided on the page.  Many action items can be resolved with a simple click of the mouse!

All action items must be resolved by Friday, September 10, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.  Please be aware that you will still be able to participate in drop/add even if you have unresolved action items (as long as you have already enrolled in the University using the “Enroll Me” button).

Additional Information about English Coursework and Medical School Requirements

Any course that fits the classification shown below (taken from the AMCAS Guide) and entails writing at least 3 or more short papers or critiques will be considered an ENGL course for medical schools and other health professions programs. As I mentioned during the overview, you will find these courses under other course prefixes as well. For example, the First Year Seminar—August Wilson (ENGL 176), which is cross-listed with Theater and African American Studies, includes assignments such as “Short Papers, Writing Assignments, and a Final Research Essay.” Another example is the “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible” which is listed as a Religious Studies (201) and as a Medieval Studies Course, requires weekly written responses and three papers and is described as:

“the Hebrew Bible within its historical context while considering its literary, philosophical, and artistic legacy. Students will be exposed to the main historical strands of biblical criticism, while also engaging with the challenges of interpreting the Bible as modern readers: How and when did the Hebrew Bible come to be, and what relevance might it hold for us today? By beginning at the beginning and proceeding systematically through the Hebrew Bible, students will hone their skills as readers and interpreters of the Bible as a canon. Students will consider questions of the texts’ function, universality, and authority, and will be encouraged to explore the wide range of biblical interpretations in literature, music, and the fine arts from antiquity to the present day.”

Another example is ENGL 216: Techniques of Poetry, which is a creative writing course and requires writing throughout the semester. Just find something that you will enjoy and that fulfills the AMCAS ENGL classification.

Image of English Language and Literature (ENGL) Categories: Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, and Literature

Questions? Please contact Dr. Mildred Rodríguez (mrodriguez01@wesleyan.edu) for pre-health professions advising.

Missed the Health Professions Coursework Overview Session? You May Access the Recording and Preliminary Transcript Below!


Link to Recording and Preliminary Transcript for Health Professions Coursework Overview – July 27, 2021
https://wesleyan.zoom.us/rec/share/O_5meoefIrHqn0mQYUhAdamxW8goITi31UWmdT6Sv7IUfg208qkb-ag5nBHGLkUT.3fRxP6nnNdvqqMPX 

Passcode: sRD4+saR

Questions? Please contact Dr. Mildred Rodríguez (mrodriguez01@wesleyan.edu) for pre-health professions advising.

Missed the “All You Need to Know about Pre-Reg with the APAs and Dean Leathers” Session? Access Recording Info and Slides Below!

Topic: All You Need to Know about Pre-Reg with the Academic Peer Advisors (APAs) and Dean Leathers
Date: Jul 28, 2021 5:00PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting Recording and Transcript:
https://wesleyan.zoom.us/rec/share/ydUcgolsQ_Pg8fcoAdkk8ViYBvor9v6HCSl3K_DnwAoFTQ8NPY1o7KRlSjjnEuAX.Zsqc4exFmmBDiU5n

Access Passcode: 2025RSTD&R

Note: You will need to sign in with your Wesleyan credentials to access the recording and transcript of the webinar.

Tips for Student Athletes

Class of 2025 student athletes, it is unfathomable the hardships you have faced with your last high school season getting cut short and now your fall season being cancelled. While there is nothing that can be said to make up for those lost moments, there are ways to use what you have learned as an athlete to prepare you for the academic rigor of Wesleyan.

Even as a student first, “athlete” remains a crucial part of your identity. The two go hand-in-hand in many ways. Below are some tips on how to best prepare for this upcoming semester with or without an official season impeding on your classes.

To start, time management is a big one. From the classroom to lifting back to the library then to practice and then a review session, your days can become very busy. Thus, it is essential that you find a way to best manage your time. Organization is a key factor of time management. It is so important that you implement some form of planner system or google calendar to ensure that your classes do not overlap with practices or games.

From that last point, one of the go to answers when asked by any coach of how to improve in a game is communication. This applies on and off the field. It is imperative that you establish a relationship with your professors early on so that it is easier to communicate for the very minimal times that athletes may interfere with academics. With that, communication with coaches is also part of your academic success and ensuring the prioritization of academics over athletics in special circumstances. Use your coach as a vehicle towards achieving academic as well as athletic success. In succession with the team as a resource, the use of older teammates in helping navigate the cohesion with your sport and classes is a key point of advice. They have experience with the structure of NESCAC athletics and the rigor of the Wesleyan education.

Lastly, success in any aspect of life is contingent upon proper preparation, which includes sufficient fuel and care of the body and mind. The life of a student-athlete is often go go go, which leaves little room for self reflection. It is ok to take a break and give yourself the downtime that you deserve. Ultimately, while you are labeled as a student-athlete on campus, these tips will help you to distinguish between or separate athletics and academics while also establishing a balance with both.

Checklist:

  • Time management
  • Organization (planner)
  • Communication (on and off the field)
  • Relationships with professors
  • Plan ahead
  • Use teammates as resources
  • Coaches as resources
  • Separate/find balance with athletics and academics
  • Take care of body and mind (fuel)
  • Give yourself a break and down time

6 Tips for Course Selection

Hey guys!

As we dive deeper into July, now’s a great time to start thinking about courses that you’d like to take. WesMaps has hundreds of incredible options, so let’s break it down to get a sense of which classes work best for your academic interests.

1. Start thinking about requirements for possible intended majors.

If you’re like many Wes students, the open curriculum is one of the main drivers for attending this university. While it is totally fine (and common!) if you have no idea what you’d like to major in—there is no pressure for you to decide this early on in your college careers, it is not a bad idea to start thinking about certain courses that need to be fulfilled to satisfy specific majors. For example, certain majors require students to fulfill General Education Expectations (Gen Eds), so starting to fulfill those requirements as early as possible could save a lot of stress in the future. There are two stages within Gen Eds:

Stage 1:
One NSM (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), One HA (Humanities), and One
SBS (Social and Behavioral Sciences) credits before the end of your sophomore year

Stage 2:
Two NSM (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), Two HA (Humanities), and Two
SBS
(Social and Behavioral Sciences) credits before graduation

2. Vary your courses by class size.

A part of the college academic experience is to take a bunch of different courses: not only by subject but also by class size! Towards the beginning of college, it can be beneficial to take classes of various sizes, ranging from a 50+ person lecture class to a smaller, 12-person seminar that dives deeper into the material. Taking courses with varied class sizes towards the beginning of your academic career can help you get a sense of which class size best responds to your learning style.

3. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone!

Part of the excitement of a liberal arts experience is to take really interesting classes that you might not normally take at another type of school. Even if you are on the engineering or pre-med track, don’t scare yourself away from taking that really cool Toni Morrison class you were looking at. If you’re a psych major, you might surprise yourself by enrolling in an Intro to Dance course! It is sometimes the most obscure course that we either remember or love the most.

4. Consider the graded assignments and examinations

When looking for courses to take, also consider your academic strengths. If you’re more test-taking-oriented, maybe you wouldn’t want to take a class with weekly writing assignments. On the flip side, if you’re more humanities-focused, you might not benefit from a course with 4 exams. Aside from a course’s rigor, it is important to feel like your level of understanding can be represented through the modes of examination a given class offers, therefore looking at the types of assignments classes have can be crucial to your course selection process. On the flip side, however, taking courses with varied types of graded assignments can also be a great strategy to create a more challenging course schedule (if that’s what you’d like to do!) 

5. On Ranking Courses

Ranking can be one of the trickiest parts of course selection, but once you have a plan of action, it’s not too bad! The first tip on ranking courses concerns seat distribution by class year. Towards the bottom of WesMaps, check and see how many seats a given course usually reserves for class year. For example, if you are deciding between two courses that you’d really like to take and rank for your top spot, it might be more helpful for you to rank the course that has fewer seats as your top pick and the other class with more seats ranked second since you’d have a better chance of getting into it. That way, you might get lucky and be able to take both classes that semester! Or, in contrast, maybe you choose the class with more seats as your first choice and wait until next year to rank the other class first if there is a better chance of getting a seat as an upperclassman. Course ranking can be a gamble and while there is no perfect recipe for deciding which courses to rank in a particular order, we hope this tip provides more clarity into ranking courses.

Quick reminder: an X means a given class year is refrained from taking that course; a 0 means that while that class year doesn’t usually have seats offered in that course, there is a possibility that you can take it if someone drops it or if you email the professor!

6. No need to panic!

Course selection may seem crazy, stressful, and all over the place, but you’re not the only one who feels this way. There are many stages of picking classes, so do not fear if you feel like you chose a class you no longer want to take; you have plenty of chances to change around your schedule and drop and add different courses! Additionally, no need to feel like this process must be done independently; there are so many resources, like RAs, class deans, pre-major advisors (and APAs of course!) to help you along the way/make it as easy a process as possible.

Best of luck with course selection!

Sincerely,
The Academic Peer Advisors (APAs)
peeradvisors@wesleyan.edu