Class

Five Tips for Efficient Class Registration

The semester feels like it just started yesterday, but it’s already time to start planning next semester’s classes. Most colleges start enrolling for classes several months in advanced and competition for the best teachers and time slots is fierce. Registration can be the difference between a great semester and a nightmare. Here are five tips to help make your class registration quick and efficient.

Create a Graduation Guide

One of the best ways to plan your registration is to create a graduation guide. A graduation guide is a semester-by-semester plan of the classes you need to take in order to graduate. This can be a very daunting task, especially early in your college career. However, this is one of the most beneficial things to have when planning to register for classes. Begin by setting aside an evening to sit down and make your graduation plan. Be sure to include classes for all your majors and minors and arrange them so all pre-requisites are met. College graduation may seem a lifetime away, but with a plan in hand you can know the exact semester of your graduation – and that is a great feeling!

Meet With Your Adviser

Its not always fun, but it is always necessary. Your adviser is the guide that will take you from confused freshman to confident graduate. Schedule an appointment with your adviser several weeks before registration so that you have your plan in place when it comes time to enroll. You can take your graduation guide to your adviser for feedback as well. They can double check that your plan is correct and will complete all the requirements for you to graduate.

Check and Clear Registration Holds

Some colleges will place a hold on your account that prevents you from registering for classes if you owe money. Check your hold status in advanced so that when you are able to enroll, you don’t find any surprises. The best way to prevent getting a hold on your account is to pay off fees as soon as they incur. Parking tickets, health center visits, and dorm room damages can all be a factor in your ability to register.

Select Classes and Backups in Advanced

Any college student can tell you that not all professors are equal when it comes to teaching and testing. To make sure you get the professors and class times you want, look through the course offerings in advanced and create the schedule that will work best for you in the upcoming semester. This does not guarantee you will get the classes you want, but having your preferences in advance will save you precious time when you are finally eligible to register. Speaking of time . . .

Register Immediately!

Most colleges use an elevated system of registration. Seniors are able to register earlier than juniors and so forth. This is a great system because it allows upperclassman to get the last classes they need before graduation. However, it can create a bit of a war when it comes time to register for underclassman. Classes have a limited number of seats and the best ones fill up fast. For the greatest chance of getting your preferred course schedule, you should register as soon as possible. If this means setting an alarm to wake up a 6 a.m. when you become eligible to register, then so be it! Get registered and get excited for another great semester!

Class registration is an exciting time every semester, and with a little planning it can be simple. Have any more tips to help register for classes? Leave them in the comments section below!

Best Ways to Reach Out to Your Professor

It can often be intimidating to try and talk to your professor. Maybe you’re nervous, maybe you aren’t quite sure what to say, or how to approach the situation, but don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Here are the best ways to reach out to your professors:

Get to Class Early or Stay Late: It’s nice to give your prof the heads up that you have a concern, or something you want to speak to them about. This doesn’t mean you have to spill your guts to them right there in front of your whole class, but it does set the stage for you to gather your thoughts, let them know you want to discuss a few things, and set up a time to meet.

Email or Call Them: On every syllabus I’ve received, my professors have listed both their email and phone numbers—the really brave ones even put their cell phone numbers with the bold statement to “shoot them a text”. Now, you don’t have to send them any emoticons or give the 411 via text, but if you aren’t comfortable speaking to them in front of others, send them an email asking about office hours, or when they would be available for a meeting. This is low risk, and doesn’t put your prof on the spot to tell you when they are free—in fact it gives you the chance to check your schedule too!

Stop by Their Office: So you don’t want to talk to them in class, and you don’t have a computer handy, instead why not try stopping by their office. You can be casual and see if they are free, or make an appointment to come back. Going in person lets them put a face with a name and a little time to prepare information for your meeting.

Here are some important tips to remember regardless of how you decided to approach them, in any situation it’s best to remember these rules—even if you “shoot them a text”!

  • Don’t blame your teacher or accuse them of anything. No matter how unfair you think that last test was, or how much you struggle with their teaching style try and remember to make “I” statements, not “You” statements. You can feel a certain way and express those opinions constructively. If you blame your professors for your frustrations you put them on the defensive and they are less likely to want to be accommodating.
  • Be calm. The reason why it’s so effective to set up a meeting and come back to the situation is that it gives you time to cool off and collect what you want to say. Especially if there’s a problem, you want to come to the table prepared and not overly emotional. By putting some space between the event and your meeting you can put your best foot forward, and also give your prof some time to do the same—and think over any questions you may have posed when you set up the time to talk.
  • Finally, don’t underestimate your teachers. However scary or “mean” they seem in class, you may not be getting an accurate depiction of who they really are. The “meanest” teachers I’ve ever had actually turned out to be completely reasonable and ended up having the biggest effect on me. I learned more from professors who were tougher in class than I ever did from professors who tried too hard to be your friend. Be open to going to talk to your professors and don’t be nervous that they won’t understand. They want to help, they want to make sure you understand—that’s why they are there in the first place. Be open, be confident and be willing to see the bigger picture. Professors can help or hurt your attitude about a class. It’s your job to help connect the dots and find out how the two of you and your classmates can start to gel and really understand each other.

-RingQueen

I’m reading The Hodges Harbrace Handbook

Education Startups

When I was first thinking about education start ups, the first thing that popped into my head were websites like Phoenix University, sites to prep for graduate school entrance exams, etc. It turns out there are a lot more resources out there for students to utilize. There are now places where students can interact with professors, learn from tools tailored to their specific learning styles,  and study confidently. Eventually, I hope no one will have to worry about what kind of parking pass they need, cry on the inside from overpriced books they are required to buy, and be able work from home. Here are some great startups that have helped students relieve some stress while studying.

Grockit
www.grockit.com

Grockit puts the fun into studying by using online social learning services.  This company has developed a series of effective prep games for the LSAT, GMAT, SAT and high school AP classes.  Recently it has started a service called Grockit Answers.  Grockit Answers is a site that creates a question and answer page for any video on YouTube, allowing students to develop a better understanding on virtually any topic.  The company name comes from the work grok, which means to understand something so well that it becomes a part of you.  Grockit believes that students learn better through peer-to-peer learning rather than teacher-to-student and they are building their company around this belief.  With almost $25 million in funding, Grockit is well on their way to helping a lot of students.

2tor
www.2tor.com

Founded in 2008, 2tor partners with colleges and universities to build, implement, and market their online degree programs.  They supply the colleges with tools, expertise, and capital needed to develop and implement state-of-the-art online learning platforms.  2tor is able to enhance offline learning curriculum by creating an innovative online environment for students to learn.  With $64.8 million dollars in funding so far, this company is going to continue to grow and we think become a great success.

To give you an idea of the impact 2tor can have on a school, USC’s Masters of Teaching program had about 80 students before partnering with 2tor, and all of them were on its California campus. Now it boasts almost 1,500 students enrolled in the program across 45 states and 28 countries. They all pay the same full tuition and get exactly the same degree. 2tor handles the website, supplying the students with webcams, creating online teaching materials in partnership with faculty, the logistics of finding local schools were the students themselves can practice teaching. The company shares in the tuition revenue. 2tor has most recently partnered with UNC’s Kenan Flagler business school to help them bring their MBA online.

Inigral
www.inigral.com

When Facebook was originally started it was only for college students.  This meant that you had the ability to see who was taking the same courses as you.  Once Facebook expanded beyond the scope of just college students this feature was discontinued.  Inigral is picking up where Facebook left off.  By developing an app called Schools, Inigral is able to show students not only which courses others are taking on but also other campus affiliations.  This means that a student is able to see which student organizations others are joining as well as other’s athletic involvement, majors chosen, and which residence halls they are living in.  What is unique about this app is that Inigral is selling it and making the colleges and universities pay for it instead of the students.  With only $7 million dollars in funding, Inigiral is certainly still in their infancy and they have a lot of room to grow.

19Pencils
www.19pencils.com

19Pencils is an education startup that is geared towards K-8 educators, but can also be helpful to college students.  This site helps teachers and students quickly and easily find specific web content based on a topic.  It also allows educators to keep track of how much time a student is spending on a given task letting them see which students may need extra attention understanding and exploring a topic.  In addition, 19Pencils has introduced Playground where students can chat online amongst themselves sharing ideas and thoughts on assigned content.  While this startup is still in the very early learning stages, we think they have a great potential to grow into the education market.

“We’re so excited to be bringing easy-to-use technology to classrooms around the world. The 19Pencils educational ecosystem is a conglomeration of social bookmarking, online assessments, internet monitoring, and social media engagement – all working together to simplify and improve the educational process for both teachers and students,” said Neill Kramer, Co-founder of 19Pencils.” – BusinessWire.com (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20111003005152/en/19Pencils-Introduces-Easiest-Share-Web-Based-Educational-Content)

Brainscape
www.brainscape.com

Brainscape is a simple and brilliant way to facilitate studying.  This site and mobile app let students use “smart studying”, where students study with interactive flash cards.  As the student completes each flash card they are asked to rank the difficulty of that question.  The more difficult the question is the more it shows up in the student’s deck of flashcards.  There are several sets of flash cards that are built into the program and students are also able to build their own set of flashcards allowing them to study anything at all.  They also offer online teachers and premium content, if you need that little extra help.  Out of all the startups written about in this post, this one is by far my favorite.  It is such a simple concept, but also such an important one.  Using flashcards is a way for students to study verbally and visually.  I think we are going to watch this company skyrocket in the coming years.

 

Willhelm

I’m reading Music: An Appreciation

Buy New & Used or Rent From eCampus.com!

eCampus.com is getting ready for the rush! School is back in session! We know you will be needing textbooks, so click over to eCampus.com to find all the books you need! We offer students the option of new textbooks, used textbooks, rent textbooks, and etextbooks! Get your books while they are in stock!!

Also be checking back for coupons and discounts!

Good luck this semester!

 

With love,
Kat VonD

I’m reading Fundamentals of Financial Management