Sweet Briar College { First Year }

Archive for the Academics Category

Exam Stress Relief

Last night I had a wonderful time at the Holiday Party sponsored by the First Year and SophoMORE class officers. Students that attended had a blast making graham cracker houses, making ornaments, decorating stockings and holiday cookies. The event brought together students from across campus and encouraged students to take time to relax and socialize with friends. This is the first of many exam stress relieving events that the college hosts leading up to and during exams. It’s hard to believe, but classes end next Friday followed by a reading day on Saturday and then exams begin on Sunday. Exams occur between Sunday, December 15-20th. Historically speaking this can be an extremely stressful time for first years as this is the first time they have taken finals in college and they are often unsure of what to expect. I would encourage first years to spend time studying and to contact their professors if they have any questions. They can also take advantage of the tutoring sessions, study groups, and the Academic Resource Center (ARC).


Reading Days–October 3 &4

First years and their families are often unsure what happens during reading days (October 3 & 4 this year). These days are built into the college calendar to allow students to “read” or catch up on academic work. The college remains open as do the residence halls, but there are no classes on these two days. Some students use this time to travel home if they live close enough. If not, some of them will take advantage of the time to relax, catch up on work, or to participate in some of the fun programs that are planned by various offices on campus. For example, the Outdoor Program hosts a White Water Rafting trip during reading days. Below you will find more information about this opportunity.

Join the Outdoor Program for a White Water Rafting trip on the New River Gorge

Looking for something fun to do over reading days? The Outdoor Program will be heading to West Virginia for a white water rafting on the New River Gorge. We’ll leave campus Friday afternoon, campout and on Saturday we’ll spend the day on the river and wrap up the night listening to music. Get ready for some serious white water and boatloads of fun. We will return to campus on Sunday with plenty of time to get settled before classes resume. It’s the perfect way to catch a break in the middle of the semester. This trip is a favorite among Outdoor Program Instructors. Don’t take our word for it – Come see for yourself! The Mandatory Informational Meeting for this trip is Monday September 23, 2013 at 5 PM in the Outdoor Program’s Office.

First Day of College Excitement!

Today is an exciting day for the Class of 2017! Today our new students will begin their academic experience at Sweet Briar. I know it is an exciting time, but it can also cause a lot of students to feel nervous. I encourage students to keep in mind that they have the whole semester to accomplish the items on the syllabus. My door is always open if they need to chat!

eportfolio Project is Due Tomorrow!

As a new student, you’ll participate in Sweet Briar’s ePortfolio project. Your ePortfolio will be a digital representation of your academic experience at Sweet Briar.

It’s a place where you will upload papers, multimedia and various assignments. The best thing about your ePortfolio is that you can look at it over the course of your Sweet Briar years: You’ll see everything you’ve accomplished, make connections between things you’ve learned in different classes, and figure out what you might want to learn next. You can even access your ePortfolio after you graduate.

Make the most of your ePortfolio and explore everything Sweet Briar has to offer!

Use your SBC email address to:
• Watch the training video at sbc.edu/eportfolio
Set up your ePortfolio and create your personal introduction by Aug. 1. More information can be found at my.sbc.edu under “Orientation,” then “New Student Forms.”
If you have questions after viewing the video, contact the ePortfolio help line at eportfolio@sbc.edu or (434) 381-6205.

Students can get additional assistance at the eportfolio session on Friday, August 30th at 2:30pm. See the orientation schedule for additional information about this help session.

Student Re-Enrollment for the Fall

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year! Students must pay a re-enrollment fee which will allow students to participate in room selection and registration. Both of these events are coming up soon so it’s pertinent that students turn in their $200 immediately, if they have not already done soon.
The deadline for the re-enrollment was due on Friday, March 15. Did you’ll miss the deadline? If so, your daughter can pay in cash or check today in the Business Office (third floor Prothro). Parents and students can also pay online with debit or credit cards by clicking here.

Unsure if your daughter needs to pay the re-enrollment fee? Students can access their financial account online at any time under:

“mysbc.edu” Go to MY ACADEMICS and View STUDENT ACCOUNTS

Students will see their balance and activity as well as HOLDS on accounts. Financial aid information is available under the FINANCIAL AID heading as well.

Important dates by which student accounts must be current in order to participate:

March 15
Room deposits or Re-Enrollment fees are due. This $200 deposit is non refundable and must be paid before a student can participate in the Room Selection Process.

March 19-22
Room Number Draw (Students randomly select a number which determines the order in which they will select their room for next year)

April 2
Room Selection (The process by which a student and her roommate(s) sign up for their specific room for next year.)

April 10
Registration begins for Fall Term classes begin.

A student may not participate in Room Selection nor Fall Term registration unless all student account balances are paid. Should there be questions contact the following offices located on the 3rd floor Student Commons:

Business Office – Rita Cash, Accounts Receivable Coordinator, 381-6200, rcash@sbc.edu

Financial Aid – Wanda Spradley, Associate Director Financial Aid, 381 -6156, spradley@sbc.edu

Guidance for Declaring Majors and Financial Fitness

The Office of First Year and SophoMORE Programs has partnered with several other offices on campus to provide two important programs this week. Tuesday at noon in Johnson dining room, we will offer a session that aims to help students start narrowing down a major. This session will provide practical advice on helping student explore majors/career fields and narrow down to a specific area of interest.
On Wednesday night at 6pm (also in Johnson dining room), we will be hosting a Financial Fitness session. This program will help students develop skills for balancing a checkbook and managing a bank account. Students will also learn basics about budgeting and student loan management.
We hope students of all ages will attend; especially the first years.

College Success Series Begins TONIGHT!

We are pleased to offer the College Success Series for this spring semester! The series will begin tonight at 6:30pm in Reid Pit as we help prepare students by discussing “Strategies for Greater Academic Success” and our very own Professor Casteen will help students understand expectations in the classroom here at Sweet Briar. Students are also encouraged to attend the Student Government Association meeting immediately following the College Success Series. We believe it’s important for students to find a way to get involved outside the classroom as well. Check out the flier for more information. The series will continue next week as well as we help students explore ways to stay motivated.

Welcome Back!

We are excited to welcome back students after Thanksgiving break; it’s great to see the campus come alive again with excited students! Most of the first year students that I’ve spoken to can’t believe how quickly their semester has flown by so far. This time of the semester is often very busy for students in regards to preparation for final papers and studying for upcoming exams. I want to take a minute to share this USA Today College article that might be helpful for students during this busy time. It outlines some great resources that students should access during this potentially stressful time.


Academic Resource Center Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) has launched two new ARC services: the Individualized Tutoring Plan (ITP) and the Study Mentor Program (SMP). These services can assist students with academic success, tutoring, balancing academi

cs with co-curricular interests, and more.

Individualized Tutoring Plans (ITPs): This plan is essentially a well-organized and coordinated combination of three services that the ARC is already offering: Time Management, Tutoring Sessions (ARC and Subject), and Study Hall.
The Process: Students interested in the Individualized Tutoring Plan come in for a meeting with Dr. Seth Clabough to discuss the goal and structure of the plan.
The student will then use her syllabi and assignment schedules to fill out a calendar with the ARC Coordinator, which notes upcoming assignments over the next two to three weeks. Working backward from those due dates, and with the input of the student, the ARC Coordinator will help set up one on one tutoring sessions well in advance of assignments with the aim being to help the student complete and refine her works in advance of the due dates.
Students will also designate regular times to do a study hall in the ARC. ARC tutors will be available to assist the student as needed during study hall visits and will also use this time to make sure assignments and due dates on the student’s calendar are up to date. If the end of the planned two or three week period is close, a new meeting will be set up to create a study plan for the following two or three weeks.
ITPs are fluid and the input of the student is essential to the success or failure of the plan. Students are encouraged to let the ARC Director, Coordinator, and/or staff, know when assignment dates change and/or aspects of the plan do not suit the daily plans of the student. Adjustments to the plan can be easily made.

Study Mentor Program (SMPs): The ARC initiated the new Study Mentor Program in recognition of, in part, the co-curricular elements involved in a student’s academic performance. Unlike our study hall service—where a student works on her own in the ARC and asks for assistance as needed—SMPs focus on personalities when matching a specific tutor to a particular student. The student will continue to meet with the same tutor each visit and they will make use of a private room. Unlike a study hall, an SMP tutor sits with the student for the duration of the study hall (either working with the student or modeling study habits by doing her own work). Part of the goal is for the tutor is to form a bond with the student, model study habits, help with assignments and time management, and generally make the student feel a little more connected to another student at the college.

Both of these options are open to all students and first years could greatly benefit from these programs. Please encourage your daughter to take advantage of this opportunity.

Exploring Majors and Career Paths

It’s never to early for new students to start thinking about their major or career path. Our Career Services office has developed a comprehensive 4 year plan which can serve as a guide to students as they explore their major, minor, and develop care

er plans. I’m encouraging all new students to join us for this lunch time event tomorrow.