how to pass division I (in a nutshell)

Written by former program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

Around this time three years ago, I remember stressing over my Division I portfolio. I had met all of my requirements, so I was (technically) ready to pass, but I felt overwhelmed and mentally unprepared. The urgent e-mails that flooded my inbox sometimes added to the pressure instead of motivating me, and with finals just around the corner, the process felt so daunting that I ended up waiting until the beginning of my second year to do it.

Looking back, I realize I probably would have saved myself the extra pressure to pass if I had just done it when I was first ready. What I needed was to see the process from a different and simpler perspective.

Let’s break it down into individual steps:

1. First, courses! Take one course in four of these five distribution areas (totaling four courses):

  • Arts, Design, and Media (ADM)
  • Culture, Humanities, and Languages (CHL)
  • Mind, Brain, and Information (MBI)
  • Physical and Biological Sciences (PBS)
  • Power, Community, and Social Justice (PCSJ)

Take three elective courses (these are courses that don’t necessarily hit a distribution area, and are totally determined by YOU).

So, a grand total of SEVEN courses will comprise your Division I portfolio. And along the way, make sure you’ve progressed in these cumulative skills:

  • Progress/proficiency in analytical writing and informed research practice
  • Progress/proficiency in quantitative skills
  • Engagement with multiple cultural perspectives
  • Progress/proficiency in the ability to successfully undertake independent work

2. Complete at least one CEL-1 (Campus Engaged Learning) activity, totaling 40 hours. Your retrospective essay will include reflection on your CEL-1 activities, so be thinking about how they fit into your overall Division I experience.

3. Write a retrospective essay on your academic experience thus far (more on this in a future blog post).

4. Create a portfolio of your best work over the course of the year (more on this soon too!).

5.  Set up a final meeting with your advisor, and submit your Division I portfolio.

By this time, you’ll be wrapping up your courses and CEL-1 activity for the year, so the actual portfolio (including the retrospective) is the only thing that stands in your way of passing and becoming a Div II! Theoretically speaking, you could pass next semester—but who wants to dwell on officially passing their Division I over the summer? Save yourself the pressure, and get it done now if you can!

Feeling like you might be ready to pass Division I? Here’s a suggested timeline:

  • April: Make an appointment with your advisor for Progress Review Week. You’ll be expected to give your advisor your Division I portfolio, including your retrospective essay (more on these items in an upcoming blog post!). By now, you should be completing your CEL-1 activities. Remember that you need to complete the online passing process in addition to meeting with your advisor!
  • May: If you’ve completed all of your Division I requirements, you will be expected to submit your portfolio to pass Division I. Complete the online passing process: you will be asked to select your Division I courses and post your Division I retrospective essay (which includes your CEL-1 reflection, check for guiding questions on TheHub). Make an appointment to review your portfolio and have a passing meeting with your advisor during progress review week (May 5-9). You can’t officially pass Division I until all of your evaluations are in, so your advisor will probably check the box on TheHub to indicate that you’ve passed sometime between the end of June and early September. If you have not completed all of the requirements for Division I, you must still meet with your advisor and agree upon a plan for the completion of Division I.
  • September: Happy School Year! Passed Division I? You can begin to draft your Division II contract on TheHub now.

I hope this helps put things into perspective, but if you find yourself still feeling lost or overwhelmed, stay tuned for a future blog post where I’ll break down the steps of creating your Division I portfolio, including writing your retrospective! Also, mark your calendars for this year’s Division I Portfolio Making Party, which will be held on Tuesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. in the FPH Faculty Lounge. Laura Melbin from CASA will be in attendance, and we’ll provide lots of snacks and portfolio-making supplies!

Good luck, and don’t hesitate to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions or concerns!

everything you wanted to know about division II but were afraid to ask

Written by program assistant Nina Gunther-Segal 13F

Everything You Wanted to KnowThe end of the semester is fast approaching, so first years are beginning to start thinking about passing Div I and moving on to Div II. To help us gain an understanding of this process, on Monday, March 31st in the FPH Faculty Lounge, Ernie Alleva from the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) held a workshop about Division II for a group of Division I students.

Passing Div I
The first step in figuring out Div II is passing Div I. The bottom line for finishing Div I is talking to your advisor, so try to set up a meeting as soon as possible — it can only help! When you finish with your academic requirements for Div I, you’ll assemble a portfolio; talk to your advisor about this, because many ask for slightly different things, and they can tell you what specifically they’re asking for. The portfolio generally includes a retrospective essay, course evaluations, representative samples of your work, etc. Once you’ve assembled your portfolio, schedule a final, roughly half-hour meeting with your advisor to discuss the year: what’s gone well, your strengths and weaknesses, what you’re looking forward to, and so forth.

What’s the timeline for this? It depends. People will be finishing Div I from early May to early-mid February 2015. It’s possible to finish in May, but some will and some won’t — it depends on what requirements you’ve completed, and what you still need to do. Some people will have additional work in the fall semester. However, you won’t be able to officially pass Div I until June 15th, the deadline for faculty spring semester evaluations. Although you can’t officially be filed for Div II until you’ve passed Div I, you can get going on Div II pretty much anytime. You might even have done work the first year or before you pass Div I that can count towards your Div II.

What’s a Div II?
Div II is organized differently than Div I — for one thing, it has no distribution requirements, there’s no official number of courses required, and it’s not on any kind of course credit system. That said, you’ll hear faculty members throwing around numbers regarding what you need for your Div II — some faculty members will say “If you want me on your committee, you have to take X number of courses,” but it depends. The reason that there’s no specific number of courses required is because your Div II can vary significantly — it can include internships, independent research, research assistantships and teaching assistantships, among other valuable learning experiences. Division II portfolios upon completion will have at least 14-15 academic courses in addition to learning activities, internships, etc.

Now, other information about the content of your Div II — It’s all about your planning the trajectory of your studies yourself — it’s self-designed, in conjunction with faculty members. The goal of Div II is not to focus narrowly, but to give you a general set of skills in areas that interest you. This lack of a template makes Div II possibly more challenging, but it can also be a lot more interesting: for instance, it leaves open the possibility for interdisciplinary work. Div II is roughly equivalent to a major, minor or concentration, but there aren’t traditional departments; instead, you assemble a faculty committee.

Filing Div II
You need to come up with a proposal for Div II, which will eventually become your Div II contract. The first task is putting something down on paper–come up with a description, including things like ideas, problems, questions, materials, and techniques you want to work with. Make it so someone who doesn’t have a clue about you can understand; get something down as a basis for conversation with faculty about your goals. Ultimately, your contract will be an agreement between you and your committee regarding what you’ll do. In addition to stating the possible content of your Div II, talk about how you’d like to go about pursuing that; this can include what kinds of courses might be relevant (actual or hypothetical), as well as pursuits like  internships, study abroad/exchange programs, and research assistantships. Be prepared to tweak things as a result of conversations with faculty members; you will do one revision of your contract before you complete Div II so that what you actually did is reflected in its content.

Your next step is to contact prospective faculty members who might be good for your committee. The committee typically has two people (or sometimes three), an advisor/chair and a committee member. The distinction between members and chairs isn’t a very important distinction (officially, it has to do with who checks you off for things on the Hub) — the exact roles played by each depends on faculty availability and what you prefer. In addition to having one or two people who are knowledgeable about what you’re working on, the most important thing has having people that you want to work with. Take some time to talk to students and faculty members about who might be good for your committee. And it’s not unusual for people to have faculty on their committee with whom they haven’t yet worked, so that shouldn’t be an impediment to your reaching out to people. As for when to do this? Sooner is better because as students ask them, faculty will fill up their quota — definitely start talking to faculty by the fall, and don’t wait until February. There’s no cost to waiting till next spring for Div II as long as you already have a committee, but the final deadline is mid-February — if you don’t do it by then, Zena Clift and Ernie Alleva from CASA will start hounding you, and you might eventually have to spend another semester in Div I.

In addition to filing your Div II contract (having the final version on the Hub and signed off there by your committee), for students in high-demand programs at Hampshire, there’s a separate application process. These programs include creative writing, theatre, studio art, film/photo/video, and game design. If you want someone to be on your committee in connection with those programs, you have to file a separate application, the aim of which is primarily to provide fairness in the distribution of faculty on committees.

More about the specifics of Div II
Although the prospect of narrowing down your interests might be an intimidating one, note that not everything you do in Div II has to be a part of your focus. There might be things in there that are unrelated — for instance, if you’re focusing on painting, you might take a physics course. You just need a core of work that explores and develops your focus. You can also modify your Div II and committee if you change your mind–the contract is not set in stone, and sometimes people radically revise it.

Div II has different requirements than Div I. Instead of CEL-1, it has CEL-2, which stands for “Community Engaged Learning”. This can’t usually be satisfied by OPRA; instead, you work with organizations, work with other students on projects, etc. The bottom line is that it’s decided by the committee what can count towards CEL-2; you need to have someone (your supervisor, a co-worker) write you an evaluation, and typically, it should add up to at least 40 hours of work. In addition, there’s also the multicultural perspectives requirement, which you have to document in your final portfolio; sometimes your committee will also ask you to write a self-reflection; and again, the bottom line is that your committee decides what you need and what can qualify for this.

Toward the end of Div II, in addition to revising the contract, you’ll put together a portfolio–much larger than the Div I portfolio, but with a similar overall structure: a retrospective essay of about 8-20 pages, representative samples of your work, evaluations/self-evaluations, and related activities (talk to your committee about what to include). You’ll also schedule a final meeting towards the end of or after your sixth semester, to spend an hour talking about your progress, what else you want to do and the process of moving on to Div III.

Need more info?
Contact the folks at CASA — Ernie Alleva (ealleva@hampshire.edu) or Zena Clift (zclift@hampshire.edu). You can also make an appointment with one of them by calling 413-559-5498.

Still have questions? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

get to know summer@hampshire!

Written by program assistant Nina Gunther-Segal 13F

summerprograms-mainWondering how you’re going to spend the summer? Looking for a way to immerse and educate yourself in a particular area of interest? Lamenting the fact that in only a few months the school year will end, and you’ll have to leave campus? Then Hampshire’s Summer Academic Programs are for you!

I had a conversation with Abby Ferguson, an expert on the Summer Academic Programs, who told me what first-year students might want to know about them. They’re a series of programs designed to reflect Hampshire’s strengths during the academic year, and a time when Hampshire opens up course offerings to students from all over the country. They’re primarily undergraduate programs (although there is one pilot high school program this year) and because the programs are rooted in academics, they provide transfer credit. Abby made a point of letting me know that they’d really love first-year students to look into the programs — it’s an incredible opportunity to participate in a variety of hands-on, uniquely Hampshire activities (experientially-focused, interdisciplinary) that you won’t get at other schools.

Here’s some more specific info about the individual programs:

Food, Farm and Sustainability: This is Hampshire’s flagship summer program, now in its third year. It’s six weeks long, from June 2 to July 11. Participating students will have the opportunity to work on the farm and with Natural Sciences faculty to look at sustainable agriculture from a variety of perspectives. It’ll include lots of hands-on learning activities: communal meal preparation, working at a variety of local farms, and enjoying the beauty of the Pioneer Valley in the summer while integrating work and education. Partnerships with local farms are deeply rooted in the curriculum, and the immersive program really gets at the root of sustainable agriculture.

TESOL Teacher Training Course: This program, during the month of June, allows students to delve into the coursework of teaching English to speakers of other languages, gaining a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certificate in the process. It’s strongly connected to the Fulbright Program — many students go on to get Fulbright scholarships after taking this course; it also opens up incredible opportunities, globally.

Creative Media Institute: This is Hampshire’s summer film studies program, for four weeks at the end of the summer. Every year it has a different focus–this year’s is non-fiction media, and will be an opportunity to get inside documentary filmmaking in an immersive way. Not only is it open to students, but also to practitioners and filmmakers, who can come and take the course alongside students. This is particularly cool because it allows different learning communities to communicate, learning side-by-side and from one another. Students are encouraged to bring their works in progress to the program. The program involves lots of screening and responding to films. It will have several guest faculty and artist visitors, among them two Hampshire alums: esteemed filmmakers Ken Burns and Brett Morgen.

Institute for Curatorial Practice: This one’s brand new, and the summer programs organizers are very excited about it. It’s a five-week program that examines the practice of curation from all sorts of disciplines. The education provided is cutting edge, attempting to take museum studies into the 21st century. This is a program that takes full advantage of the Five College Consortium, firmly rooting its education in the collections, archives and exhibitions of the area. There will be many field trips and museum visits, and as part of the course, students will get to use what they learn to create digital exhibitions in groups.

Designing Social Impact: Hampshire students can’t take this one, because it’s a high school program, but if you know of any high schoolers (age 16+) who might be interested in experiencing the unique things Hampshire does, let them know! This is a design-focused program that takes advantage of the fact that Hampshire is one of the first liberal arts colleges with a fully-functional fabrication shop. Students will get to work in the Center for Design with faculty to innovate and develop their own projects.

Interested? Apply online — go to summer.hampshire.edu and click on the program that interests you to find an application. It’s a relatively simple process, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The priority deadline is April 14, meaning students are encouraged to get their application materials in by then — this is the last date by which spots can be guaranteed in the programs. As students apply, faculty will meet to review applications and make admissions decisions. Hampshire students are eligible for federal aid for the programs’ cost (if so, indicate your interest on the application form). Students can also take more than one program, because they’re staggered throughout the summer.

This is an amazing opportunity to see the college from all sorts of areas! You can talk to your advisor or a faculty member about how to apply it to your coursework and the overall trajectory of your Hampshire education.

If you have any more questions, email Abby Ferguson (afPR@hampshire.edu) or summer@hampshire.edu. And for more information about all the programs, check out the official Summer Academic Programs page.

preparing for winter break!

Campus Residences close for winter break Tuesday, December 17th at 9 p.m. What do you need to know and do for shut down? Read on (and click on the checklist below) for more details!

December closing FLIERONLY FOLKS OFFICIALLY APPROVED TO STAY LATE CAN BE HERE AFTER DECEMBER 17!
You should have already filled out your late stay form online. Anyone on campus without approval will be asked to leave immediately, and will be charged $100 per night.

DON’T FORGET TO TAKE IMPORTANT STUFF… KEYS, PASSPORT, ID, TRAVEL TICKETS, MEDICATION, ETC!
Staff can’t access your room after shut down. Remember to bring room keys and ID back to campus with you when you return. If you’re worried about losing your ID over break, you can leave it in your mailbox and it will be waiting for you when you get back to campus. Questions? Ask at the post office for more information.

ROOMS WILL BE INSPECTED
Staff make sure your room and common area are safe and secure. Violations will be noted and illegal stuff confiscated.

Don’t forget to shut and lock windows, close shades and curtains, remove trash, unplug alarm clocks and other electronics, and lock doors.

RETURNING FOR JAN TERM?
Houses reopen on January 5th at NOON. Early arrival is not possible, so please plan ahead!

Questions? Watch The Low Down on Shut Down, and feel free to get in touch with the Housing Operations Office (HOO) at housing@hampshire.edu. Enjoy your break!

final projects and self-evals and course portfolios, oh my!

Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de JanonOh My

Your first college semester is almost over (can you believe it?), and for Hampshire students, this means three things: final projects, self-evaluations, and course portfolios. Wondering how to get it all done? We’ve compiled some advice and helpful suggestions for you to consider as the semester-crunch kicks in.

Final projects: the tougher sibling of final exams

Think final exams are harder than final projects? Well, any Hampshire student can immediately tell you that that’s mostly false. Final projects are tough, but they are not impossible. As long as you are working on them continuously, not allowing yourself to leave everything until hours before the deadline, you will be fine. Before you know it, you’ll have everything handed in, ready to rest and relax during Winter Break. Of course, writing a college-level 8+ page paper can be intimidating and stressful, so here are some tips that might be helpful:

  • Dedicate the timeThe quality of an academic project is directly related the amount of time dedicated for it. Trust me, professors can tell the difference between an all-nighter and a thoroughly edited essay. Try to put some work into your finals right now. Your future self will be pretty thankful!
  • Faculty are there for youYour professor will be the one evaluating your final, and so their expectations and requirements matter a lot. If you need guidance or just plain encouragement, reach out to them. Our faculty tend to also be very willing to give you feedback on drafts of your finals. If you feel uncertain of how your project is looking, send an e-mail to your professor. Comments from them can make the difference between a great and an outstanding final.
  • Breathe in, breathe out, and relax – Don’t overwork yourself. During finals season, there are a lot things going on at Hampshire to help you with research and writing — including a library workshop called Ask the Experts THIS WEDNESDAY from 7-9 p.m. on the first floor of the library. There’s also plenty of programming put up to help you de-stress, like Library Study Breaks and Wellness Center relaxation events.

Looking back and reflecting: self-evaluations

A big part of a Hampshire education involves reflecting on your own academic work, progress and growth. You’ll probably hear a lot about self-evaluations in the upcoming days. The good news is that you already wrote a short self-eval during your mid-semester evaluation, so you should have an idea of what a self-eval looks like. These are not critiques of the class or its professor, but a personal analysis of your performance in the class. Some faculty have specifics that they want to see in your self-eval, while others allow you to engage with them independently. Self-evals will be read by your professors when they’re writing your final evaluations, so make sure to include things that you’d like to remind or point out to your professor about your engagement with the class.

Honestly, I didn’t enjoy writing self-evals during my first semester. I struggled with them and felt that I was re-writing repetitive information for all of them. However, now I see their usefulness and importance. These are great opportunities for you to write down your evolution of academic interests and passions. What interested you in the class? What do you want to explore more? Would you take a similar class again? For more self-eval advice, specifics and recommendations, check out this previous post on our blog, written by former program assistant Cat Guzman 10F.

 “Where did I put that paper?!”: course portfolios

Another unique aspect of Hampshire classes is the demand of course portfolios. These packets (generally submitted in a large manila envelope) contain your classwork throughout the semester and help your professors in providing a fair assessment of your academic performance. There is no formula for a course portfolio, as each professor will want to see different things in them. Overall, though, you should be prepared to provide a compilation of your semester’s work, a self-eval and the class’s final project.

Ideally, the assignments in your portfolio should be the original versions, with faculty comments included. In other words, this is a good time to organize your room, folders, and files to dig up your papers of the semester. That being said, some professors will be flexible in accepting re-printed versions in your portfolio, but try your best to find the originals. If you got the paper back, it’s bound to be somewhere in your life. Spontaneous black holes in your room are, sadly, not a thing yet.

I hope this post will be useful to you. Spread it around to your friends! And as always, please contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any comments, questions, or concerns. We’re always happy to help. Best of luck in the next couple of weeks!

cel-what?

CEL-What FlierOn Thursday, November 14 from 3:30-4:30PM in FPH 101, Ivana Staiti, assistant director of community partnerships for social change and community engagement, set out to answer this question for new students. Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Still have questions? Read on for some great information about how to get going.

What Happened:
Attendees came with questions, and had the opportunity to learn more about the requirement and how to sign up for activities. Ivana also shared this helpful handout that broke down the steps for CEL-1 registration and sponsorship. Did you see the CEL-What? bulletin boards in Dakin and Merrill Houses? Check them out if you haven’t already — they’re chock full of information about FAQs, what counts, and other great tips. Most of this information is also available on the CEL-1 website.

What We Learned:

  • There are lots of different ways to complete the requirement, and there’s no need to choose just one activity to satisfy all 40 hours. By engaging in a multitude of activities, you’ll gain experience in different areas of campus life, meet more people, and have more opportunities to connect the CEL-1 to your academic interests.
  • New activities are posted almost every day, and each has a different timeline. Check back regularly to learn more about short and long term opportunities. Some last only a day, while others span entire semesters. You never know what you’ll find.
  • Participation in student groups, OPRA, EPEC, and Lemelson co-curricular courses counts towards this requirement, so you may have already started without even knowing it. Talk to your advisor and take a look at the website for more information on how to register the things that you’ve already started, and to ensure that these hours count towards your completion.
  • Although there are countless posted activities, it is possible to create your own. Staff, faculty, Division II, and Division III students can sponsor activities. If there’s something you’d really like to work on, talk to your advisor about how your idea will fit into the requirement and how to find someone to sponsor your work.

Use These Resources:

Did we miss anything? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information!

life management 101

Life ManagementOn Monday, November 4 from 3:30-4:30PM in the FPH Faculty Lounge, Joel Dansky, disabilities services coordinator and academic support skills specialist, presented a special time management workshop for an audience of new and returning students. Did you miss it? Need more information? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for details on what happened, how to find support, and further time management resources.

What Happened:
While participants enjoyed some delicious snacks, Joel presented a brief Powerpoint which addressed the many challenges that students face with regard to time management, and offered strategies to help students to plan ahead, make the most of the unstructured time between classes, and work more efficiently. Joel then introduced a three part system for organization,The Big Picture,” “The Weekly Grind,” and “The Daily Plan,” which led to an interactive portion of the presentation. Through the use of a variety of different handouts related to these models, participants had the opportunity to create a color-coded, visual representation of their weekly and monthly schedules, and identify pockets of valuable time that they didn’t realize they had!

What We Learned:

  • Procrastination, distraction, and perfectionism are the three enemies of effective time management. Think you do best under pressure? The work you produce isn’t likely your best work, just the best you can do with the limited time you’ve allotted. Planning ahead can help to alleviate stress, no matter your reasons for waiting until the last minute. By creating small, manageable goals and structuring your time more effectively, you’ll accomplish more and yield better results!
  • The “Big Picture” is a useful tool for mapping an entire semester, and is available in hard copy in the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) each semester. Participants received an 11″x17″ academic calendar for this activity, but you can do it yourself with a planner or a regular calendar. At the start of the semester, gather your syllabi and mark down all of the important dates and deadlines for each course on your calendar. Once you have a full picture of what you’ll need to complete and when, you can identify key steps and work backwards to create small goals for yourself. This will help you to start things ahead of time, and avoid the confluence of too many deadlines all at once.
  • The Weekly Grind” allows you to create a visual representation of what a typical week looks like for you. Participants mapped out their regular schedule on a weekly calendar in an effort to identify blocks of time between fixed appointments, classes, and other obligations. What did they notice? They have more time than they think they do, and you might too! Take these chunks of time and specify what you’d like to accomplish in each, and give some structure to the larger periods of free time (long weekends, etc.), making sure to vary the types of work you do each day. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish!
  • Find a daily planning system that works for you. One calendar that you look at every day is better than several that you don’t, so find something that is portable, visual, and spacious enough for a to-do list, and keep it with you throughout the day. Don’t overload yourself, but do keep your planner as up to date as possible with class, work, and meeting times, as well as appointments, deadlines, and fun things.
  • Do you write best in the morning? Can’t get any work done in your room? Consider what times of day and where you do your best work, and plan accordingly!
  • The best system is the system that works for you, so feel free to try a few things as you work to get yourself organized. No system works 100% of the time — keep yourself open to new ideas and ways of planning. Don’t hesitate to reward yourself for accomplishing particular tasks. There are lots of different ways to get motivated!

Use These Resources:

  • Want hard copies of the workshop handouts? Interested in some personalized time management support? Get in touch with the workshop facilitator, Joel Dansky, at jdansky@hampshire.edu. He’s happy to help!

Questions? Let us know! E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information.

preregistering for spring 2014 classes!

Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de Janon 12F

photoFall is truly here! The campus is even more beautiful than normal, and the change of seasons reminds us of the passing of time. As time goes by, so does your first semester at Hampshire. Remember those forms you had to fill online during the summer regarding course registration for your fall 2013 semester? Well, it’s now time to choose courses once again: November 11 marks the beginning of spring 2014 preregistration.

What is this preregistration thing all about? During a period at the end of each semester, you have the opportunity to preregister for up to 4 academic courses, including a maximum of 2 Five College courses, for the next semester. This allows you to have an idea of the classes you will be taking your next semester, as well as accelerating the registration process for everyone. It also permits you to ensure classes that you are certain about; by preregistering, you secure a spot in a class; if a course is full, you can add yourself to the waitlist. Remember that preregistering does not mean committing yourself to any class, as you can still freely add and drop courses during the regular Add/Drop Period. Preregistration for spring semester for Hampshire courses will take place between November 11 and December 6; the Five College request period ends on November 22.

In my experience, preregistration is a very exciting time of the year. Hampshire’s academic structure and affiliation with the Five College Consortium allows you to pick from literally hundreds of absolutely fascinating classes. It’s also fantastic because it lets you plan your next semester ahead. Figuring out your schedule for the semester is super hard, and having a head-start in having an idea what courses you’ll be taking is really helpful. That being said, I would advise you to be thinking about your Div I requirements before picking any class for your next semester. Try to have fun while doing so!

Now, how do you go about preregistering? First of all, your advisor needs to authorize you to do so. Before preregistration begins, Advising Week takes place. You should absolutely plan to meet with your advisor either on Advising Day (Wednesday, November 6) or anytime during the week. You might want to have some idea of what courses you’re interested in taking before you meet with your advisor. They will want to know this before giving you authorization to preregister, and they can provide you with great insight into what classes better fit your needs. Courses are now up on TheHub, click on ‘Search for Courses’ to check what will be available for the spring 2014 semester during this time.

Once you receive authorization, head to TheHub, log in, and click on ‘Approvals and Holds.’ Here, you will be able to see if your advisor has authorized you yet (if they said they would but haven’t, you should e-mail them!) and your preregistration time. Each student at Hampshire receives a time to begin preregistering. For example, you will see something like this: “You may register for spring term on 11/11/2013 at 4:00PM.” This would mean that you can begin registering for courses for the spring 2014 semester at 4:00PM on November 11. Different students get different times. Don’t freak out if you get a later time in the day, though — preregistration doesn’t even begin until mid-afternoon. If you’re pretty sure of what courses you’re interested in, you will more than likely be able to get a spot in them when your time to preregister begins. Also remember that being in a course waitlist is not the end of the world. At Hampshire, professors will often let you in if they realize that your passion, interest and/or commitment to the class is real.

So, once your preregistration time arrives, start registering for courses! Central Records has extremely helpful step-by-step registration instructions. When Hampshire preregistration begins, so does the Five College Request Period. Thus, you can also go ahead and submit requests for Five College courses at this time. Here are Central Records’ instructions on how to do this: http://www.hampshire.edu/shared_files/5Cscreenshots.pdf .

If you have any questions regarding the preregistration process, you should contact Central Records by calling 413.559.5421, e-mailing centralrecords@hampshire.edu, or stop by their office in Lemelson. Like all Hampshire staff, they are always happy to help!

Still have questions? Let us know! Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu.

eight great reasons to visit the prescott tavern!

Haven’t been to the Prescott Tavern? Wondering what’s there? The Prescott Tavern offers a combination late-night study and recreational space with activities such as foosball, pool, and board games all week long. Bring your own mug and buy a cup of organic coffee, tea, or cocoa for only 50¢. Assorted snacks are also available for purchase to satisfy your sweet or salty craving at midnight. The tavern is also home to the TavernArt gallery, a fabulous student gallery on campus. If you’re interested in exhibiting your work, email the coordinators at tavernart@hampshire.edu.

Still not convinced? Check out these eight great reasons to visit the Prescott Tavern!
(click on the image below for a better view)

Eight Great Reasons

Still have questions? Need more information? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

writing mid-semester self evaluations

CalendarFall semester is nearly half over. Can you believe it? In the world of new students, that means a few things. One — October Break is almost upon us! And two — it’s almost time to write your mid-semester self evaluations.

Mid-semester self evals are due on TheHub on Thursday, October 10. For your first two semesters at Hampshire (yes, even if you’re a transfer student!), you’ll need to complete one for every course that you are taking. Wondering what to include? The parameters of your self evaluations will depend on each of your professors, so if you haven’t already, you should connect with all of your professors to find out the specifics of what they want you to include. Generally speaking, a mid-semester self evaluation is a paragraph that talks about where you were when you started, where you are now, and what is working (and not working) for you in the class. Again, you should plan to be in touch with your faculty for more information about what they expect, but we’ve included an example of a (slightly long) one below:

At the beginning of the course, I found that the articles were dense, hard to parse, and that it was taking me a really long time to get my brain into the mode necessary to read and understand the theory. It was refreshing to know that when I came to class, the ideas we had read about would not only be discussed, but also graphically demonstrated. As far as my academic performance in the class… I have a tendency to talk too much, and some days I am better than others at reigning it in. I don’t want to talk at the expense of the other students’ contributions, but I think that happens occasionally, and I am trying to pay better attention (again, with varying success).  That being said, I am really enjoying the learning! The class is vibrant and most of the students are engaged and articulate, with multiple perspectives that I find very interesting. I am less than confident about the originality of my ideas and the clarity of my writing. I feel a certain self-awareness about the lack of polish, and again, vocabulary in my academic writing.  I had a really easy time coming up with topics for the first two blog posts but a harder time with the third. I am looking forward to my research topic, but am anxious about the quality of what I see as being my pretty unsophisticated academic writing (especially when I read some of the other blog posts!). I see room for improvement, and am excited about the work.

Still have questions after speaking with your professors? Feel free to contact the friendly folks in CASA at 413.559.5498 and ask to speak with Laura Melbin (for first-years) or Anne Downes (for transfers). Laura and Anne can also be reached via email at lmelbin@hampshire.edu or adownes@hampshire.edu, respectively.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions, concerns, really great ideas, or good stories. We’d love to hear from you!