September 2013-2014 Newsletter
The Academic Advising Center, located in Stokes Hall S140, is a comprehensive resource for first-year students in Arts and Sciences. The Center coordinates academic advising for A&S freshmen and for the several hundred sophomores who have yet to choose a major. Staff in the Center is available to meet individually with students to talk about academic plans and related issues. The Center serves as the Freshman Dean’s Office, working with students who need to discuss exceptions to College policies, who need letters of recommendation, or who require a “dean’s signature” on a letter or a form, or who seek help to resolve academic problems or concerns. The Center also sponsors several informal programs each semester to bring together students and faculty for good conversation and good food: watch for announcements of “Professors and Pastries” and other programs sponsored by the Center.
The Center’s staff includes:
Akua Sarr (Director and Associate Dean)
Rory A. W. Browne (Associate Director and Interim Associate Dean for Seniors)
Elizabeth Chadwick (Associate Director)
Stella Primpas (Assistant Director for Operations)
Rebecca Schmitz (Assistant Director for Advising)
Kimberly Fralic (Advising Intern)
Ingrid Calder (Administrative Assistant)
The Center is open M-F from 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. The main phone line is 617-552-9259.
Appointments should be made at least one day in advance by phone or by coming to the Academic Advising Center.
Each first-year student in A&S has an academic advisor who is either a faculty member or a senior administrator who works under the aegis of the Academic Advising Center. When possible, students and advisors are matched according to intellectual and personal interests. If you are enrolled in a Cornerstone Topic Seminar, Courage to Know, or in a specially designated section of Perspectives or the First Year Writing Seminar, the course instructor will also be your advisor.
Many of you have already met your advisor at the Pre-Major Advising Lunch held during Welcome Week. Your advisor will expect to keep in touch with you throughout your first undergraduate year. Your advisor will help you to think strategically about your long-range academic plans, encouraging you to keep open options important to you so that you are prepared to take best advantage of opportunities like study abroad or research grants or internships in the coming months and years.
You and your advisor should touch base frequently, especially early in the fall semester as you get a sense of your interests and of how your fall courses are going. Your advisor can best support you if he or she hears from you about any developing interests you hope to pursue, or about any concerns you have as you submit your first papers or experience your first university-level midterm exams.
In mid-fall, your advisor will receive your “Degree Audit” and the registration access code which you will need in order to register for spring classes. You must schedule a specific meeting with your advisor during the advising and registration period, to talk about your plans for spring and to receive your access code. It’s your responsibility to arrange a registration advising meeting with your assigned advisor: be sure to do so!
Professors expect attendance at every class whether or not they state that expectation on the syllabus. In addition, assignments are structured to demand two to three hours of outside preparation, for each class hour. Class participation is also very important, both because in many courses the amount and quality of your participation factors into your grade, and because engaging in class discussion allows you to test your ideas and your understanding of concepts presented in class or in readings. Use hours in between classes for study; don't leave all study for evening hours. Get an early start on papers. These are major keys to academic success.
Important: If you are in the Infirmary or hospital, please alert the Center so that we may notify your professors. Serious illness (documented by an Infirmary note or doctor's note) and serious emergency situations (death in the family, etc.) are the ONLY absences for which we will issue a note to professors. All other absences from classes are a matter for the student to work out with the professor/s involved.
Your @bc.edu EMAIL
The college and your individual instructors will address important communications to you at your @bc.edu email account, and so that communications from you can readily be identified, you are expected to communicate with faculty and staff members and with administrative offices using your Boston College username and your @bc.edu email account. You are responsible for checking your @bc.edu account regularly.
Staff members in the Office of First Year Experience join in welcoming you to Boston College. We hope your first few days at Boston College have met or exceeded your expectations. Our office is a resource for you and we encourage you to drop by if we can be of assistance. The first year of college life is full of challenges and questions and no one expects you to face everything on your own. We hope you will choose to participate fully in the life of the campus and if you need any help along the way we are located with the Academic Advising Center in Stokes Hall S 140.
Extracurricular Activities/Volunteer Programs
An important component of your Boston College educational experience is involvement in extracurricular activities and volunteer programs. Since Jesuit education is "Education for Others," Boston College provides many programs for service. The Pulse Program, the Faith, Peace and Justice Program, the Appalachian Spring Break Volunteer Trip, and Amnesty International, are among the many opportunities you may choose for service. Investigate these and other programs as you make your decision to get the most out of your education--spiritually, intellectually, and socially. May the thought of being a "person for others" inspire you in these three dimensions of your Boston College education.
Professors and Pastries
Throughout the coming academic year the Academic Advising Center will co-host with the academic departments and other advising resources at BC a series of events open to all students and intended to give them the opportunity to meet and talk informally with faculty drawn from a range of academic disciplines. The topics listed below for each date are subject to change and new dates may be added, so please check the Academic Advising Center’s website to verify the topic for a specific date.
All events will be in Stokes Hall S139 - outside of the Advising Center
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 2
Life Sciences & the Health Professions
Wednesday, October 9
How to Succeed in Business with a Liberal Arts Degree
Wednesday, October 16
Study of the Humanities and Preparing for the Law
Wednesday, October 23
Studying, Working and Living Abroad
Wednesday, October 30
Living Ethically and Contributing Socially
Holiday Edition: The Fine and Performing Arts