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Inside November 2014 Edition

Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy

Students Participate in National Make a Difference Day

Pirates Give Back to the Greenville Community

Understanding Title IX in Higher Education

YES 21st Century Community Learning Center

Preparation for Flu Season

Eight Dimensions of Wellness

Cashier’s Office: Student SSN/ITIN Verification

Multimedia newsroom enhances learning for ECU broadcast students

ECU Campus Dining Helps Manage Food Allergies on Campus

Season Tickets Available for Pirate Basketball!

ECU Recognized for Leadership in Diversity, Inclusion

What to consider when deciding where your student will live next year

Fall Off- Campus Housing Fair

Joyner Library Offers Quiet Study Space for Students

Registrar’s Office Moving to Uptown

ECU updates travel procedures in response to Ebola concerns

Professional Etiquette Dinner

Set Sail to Graduate School

The Importance of the First Year

Sophomore Soundings

Study Abroad Fair

What’s On Deck at Dowdy Student Stores

Upcoming Events

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Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy provides premier opportunity for students

The Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy is a dialogue based program designed to challenge students to think differently about how leadership can be demonstrated in a variety of settings.  Each week, a different facilitator from ECU or the Greenville community joins the group to lead a discussion about the connection of leadership in their respective fields.  Example topics this semester have included Leadership in Community Based Organizations, Mindfulness and Leadership, Leading as a Follower and Leading through a Cultural Lens to name a few.  Throughout the conversations within this cohort, a common thread emerged: Courage and Leadership.

The CSLA Scholars were given an assignment to identify a picture they felt personified the idea of courage and submit their reasoning.  A few of the responses can be found below:

cour1
“Courage to me is not about being fearless, but instead it’s about putting fear behind you in order to help and service others. In this picture a man in a military uniform is jumping out of what looks like a plane into the ocean. I don’t know what his motives are, but he is doing something most people would be horrified of so he can help the greater good. His dog is also demonstrating courage by sticking by the side of his partner without any hesitation. A leader is courageous, but the followers that would jump alongside with their leader, are courageous too.”
cour2
“Courage to me is being able to keep moving forward even in times where the path may seem unclear or unknown.  I am a very organized and planned out person, so the thought of not knowing what my next move may be evokes a sense of fear.  I’ve come to realize in some circumstances that some things cannot be mapped out, and it takes courage and strength to stand up and face those unknowns, and possibly be the one that shows others the way to go.”

These are just a few examples of the amazing work the Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy Scholars are doing to understand how leadership is truly about making a positive social change.  CSLA is sponsored by the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement.  The Center plans and facilitates leadership development programs for all ECU Students ranging from our emerging leader program Leadership Odyssey, to the Parent’s Council Scholarship, to the Elite Pirates, ECU’s Leadership Ambassadors.  In an effort to fulfill the University vision of becoming the “Leadership University,” the Center strives to create innovative, dynamic, curriculum driven programs that serve as a leading model for other institutions.  For more information about our programs and services, please visit our website at www.ecu.edu/studentleadership or call the office at (252) 737-2091!

Students Participate in National Make a Difference Day
studentPartc

On Saturday, October 25, 2014, ECU’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center brought back Make a Difference Day, a national day of service, after a four-year hiatus.  Over 100 students participated in giving back to the Greenville community, with a total of over 400 hours served on this one day!  In collaboration with Operation InAsMuch, a network of 10 local churches also participating in a day of service, students had a choice of volunteering with 15 different organizations, including the Greenville Community Shelter, Making Pitt Fit Community Garden, Golden Living Center, Stop Hunger Now, and more!  This was an opportunity for students, particularly first-years, to get to know our community partners and community members better by working alongside them.  Partner organizations were asked to give a brief overview of their organization to the student volunteers.  This gave students a chance to learn about community needs, how the organization is addressing those needs, and how they can get involved in the long-run.  The day ended with an on-site reflection, facilitated by ECU’s student-leaders.  Students also had an opportunity to build on their experience by attending a reflection ceremony, where they shared about their experience as a larger group with cake and cookies.

Pirates Give Back to the Greenville Community
give back

Inspired by this year’s Freshman Read: The Other Wes Moore, 42 ECU students from the Pirate Tutoring Center’s Freshman Immersion Program and MATEE Learning Communities volunteered in the Greenville NC CROP Hunger Walk. The annual event raises money to fight hunger nationally, with 25% of funds raised supporting Greenville’s Third Street Community Center.  Students volunteered in many aspects of the walk and were under the direction of PTC staff members Aisha Powell and Victoria Martin and were joined by their academic mentors. Over $10,000 was raised this year’s event. PTC staff members work to support students participating in the 2014-2015 FIP and MATEE learning communities designed to promote freshman year academic success.

Understanding Title IX in Higher Education

Title IX, formally known as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, mandates that no person shall be excluded from participation in or discriminated against on the basis of sex in programs or activities at educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Acts of sexual violence, harassment and/or misconduct are forms of sex discrimination.

In June 2014 Chancellor Ballard established The Sexual Misconduct Task Force with the charge to complete a review of ECU’s current practices, policies and procedures around issues of sexual misconduct.

The task force reviewed the full scope of existing services and programs – including educational programming for students, training for faculty and staff, required and optional activities, printed materials - to determine the gaps that are present, to identify existing services and programming that need strengthening or revising, to update our list of available resources both on and off campus, and to develop initiatives to educate our target audiences.

Several educational programs and workshops either currently existed or were developed to educated to students and the campus community regarding sexual misconduct.  They are as follows: 

  • True Life – During these sessions, first year students are presented various scenarios with specific developmentally appropriate topics and actions, e.g. making good decisions around sex, drugs, alcohol, dating, etc. There is also a discussion about consent and sexual misconduct.
  • Online Education Modules – These modules are geared towards educating students, mostly freshmen, about general safety measures/initiatives, alcohol decision making and responsibility, title IX issues, etc. The general purpose
    • AlcoholEDU for College*- Encourages students to reflect on and consider changing drinking behaviors…based on evidence-based information
    • Pirate Safety Module* - Homegrown module on safety and well being
    • HAVEN – Understanding Sexual Assault*- Addresses the critical issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking
  • COAD 1000 (Freshmen Seminar) – This course covers healthy relationships, safety, alcohol, and making good decisions.
  • Health 1000 – This 2-hour personal health course focusing on improving the health, safety and well-being of our students, including sexual assault, alcohol education.
*required of all freshmen

Other services have been implemented.

  • Clearly identified the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator for the University
  • Published our notice of nondiscrimination
  • Revised Title IX Policies and publicized them
  • Provided guidance on grievance procedures for sex discrimination
  • Offering training on Title IX for students, faculty and staff
  • Created a one-stop information website for Title IX

The Office of Equity and Diversity and the Dean of Students office at ECU have implemented methods in which students can report matters of concern or gain more information about what is taking place on campus.  For more information, you may contact us by calling 252-328-6804 or 252-328-9297.

YES 21st Century Community Learning Center
yes 21st

The YES 21st Century Community Learning Center continues to provide after-school enrichment opportunities for youth in grades 2nd-7th on Monday-Thursday from 2:30-6:30pm. During this time the youth are also being engaged in Health, Physical Ed, Arts, and Technology. They are being introduced to presenters that discuss Drug and Violence Prevention, fire and bike safety and health. The program is free of charge and supports a component of parental involvement and community outreach. We are located at 1100 ward street, Greenville NC 27834. Contact us at (252)328-5800.

Preparation for Flu Season

By Student Health Services

Positive flu cases are starting to pop up now in our area, including on campus.  Your student can help themselves stay healthy by getting vaccinated, washing their hands often or using hand sanitizer, and staying away from sick persons if possible.

Does your student need a flu shot?  We are giving them every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on a walk in basis from 8am-10am at the Student Health Center.  If that does not work for their schedule, they can call us at 328-6841 to set up an appointment.  We will also be out on campus doing flu shots; check our website for dates www.ecu.edu/studenthealth or follow us on Twitter (@ECU_SHS) for the latest info.  Flu shots are $15; students with the Student Health Insurance Plan (Student Blue) receive the vaccine free of charge.

Is your student feeling sick?  Symptoms occur suddenly with flu and can include fever, body aches, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and possibly nausea or vomiting.  Flu hits fast, and usually feels much much worse than a regular cold.  Most people do not need medical attention, as flu is viral and will run its course within a few days to a week. Over the counter medications (tylenol, ibuprofen, etc) and home remedies like warm soup, rest, and salt water gargles help symptoms.  However, if your student has underlying health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart problems, pregnancy, or immune compromising issues such as cancer or HIV, they should contact their health care provider for further advice.  Symptoms such as shortness of breath, inability to hold down fluids, or chest pain should be evaluated urgently by calling 911 or visiting the ER or local urgent care center.

If your student is sick, encourage him or her to stay away from others until fever free for 24 hours without taking fever reducing medicine.  Students should communicate early on with professors about illness–SHS cannot give class excuses for missed days or assignments.

 

Does your student need help or have flu related questions?  Have them call us at 328-6841, or email us at GotQuestions@ecu.edu.  If our office is closed, they always have access to our 24hr nurseline for medical advice.

Stay healthy, Pirates!!!!

8 Dimensions of Wellness
8dimen

Campus Recreation and Wellness has unveiled the 8 Dimensions of Wellness and has made quite a splash in the Student Recreation Center and across campus. We began promoting these eight interrelated dimensions of wellness to encourage the campus community to take responsibility for their own health. The dimensions include physical, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, occupational and financial. Each dimension of wellness contributes to student success at ECU in various ways. All programming is now identified as incorporating one or more of the dimensions of wellness. There are many ways you can help your student achieve success in each of the 8 dimensions. Over the next several newsletters, we will give you tips on each of these dimension. Please share with your student an encourage them to maintain their overall wellbeing.

This month’s dimensions: Physical and Spiritual
physical

Physical Wellness is the maintenance of a healthy body through good nutrition, regular exercise and avoidance of harmful habits. How can your student maintain his/her physical health? Follow these easy steps:

1. Engage in regular physical activity – hit the gym, go for a bike ride, walk around our beautiful campus.

2. Watch what you eat – fruits and veggies along with lean proteins are your best bet. Limit sugar, alcohol and fatty foods.

3. Get some sleep! Try for at least 7-8 hours…more if you need it. Schedule a nap during the day to ensure you are getting the most rest.

4. Prevent injuries. Watch your step, don’t drive while intoxicated, wear a helmet when you ride your bike, practice safety measures when you skateboard.

5. Prevent disease. Wash your hands, get a flu shot, practice abstinence, wear a condom if you choose to have sex, get tested!

spiritual

Spiritual Wellness is the meaning and purpose of human existence. It includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe. Want to know how to help your student maintain spiritual wellness? Encourage discussion about the following:

1. A belief system. Hopefully your student has developed a strong belief system. College is the time to challenge that system and develop a deeper meaning of self.

2. Sense of purpose and belonging. Encourage your student to find his/her passion and develop it. It’s not about making the most money after college, it’s about doing work that you believe in and that will bring you the most joy.

3. Volunteer! There are thousands of volunteer opportunities on and off campus…get involved! Go to the Volunteer and Service Learning Center to be matched up with the perfect place…you never know, you might find that sense of purpose and belonging that you’re looking for!!!

Important Information form the Cashier’s Office: Student SSN/ITIN Verification

Within the next few weeks, ECU will be asking students to securely verify their Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) through ECU’s OneStop.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires the university to verify SSN/ITIN’s annually for accurate tax reporting on 1098-T forms. Having an accurate SSN/ITIN on tax forms supports the tax deduction that a student or family may claim for qualified educational expenses on both federal and state income tax returns.  Failure to provide ECU with a SSN/ITIN may result in the student being fined by the IRS in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 6723.

The verification process will ask students to enter their SSN/ITIN and if there is a match, no further action is required.  If the SSN/ITIN provided does not match the number ECU has on file, the student will be prompted to take a copy of his/her SSN/ITIN card to the Registrar’s office so the SSN/ITIN can be updated.  If a student does not complete the verification process, ECU will email and/or mail the student instructions to verify or update their SSN/ITIN.

Additional information is available on the Cashier’s Office webpage here: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/financial_serv/customcf/SSN_FAQs.pdf.

East Carolina University fully complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the “Buckley Amendment” and therefore does not release educational records or personal identifying information unless authorized by the student or required by state or federal laws and regulations.

Multimedia newsroom enhances learning for ECU broadcast students
newsroom

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

The multimedia newsroom in Joyner East includes new computers, three studio cameras, a TriCaster, an audio board, an anchor desk and a green screen. The newsroom’s virtual sets enable the plain green backdrop of the anchoring desk to be transformed into a city skyline and a dozen other scenes.

How close does it come to a real newsroom experience?

“It’s pretty close,” said Dr. Mary Tucker-McLaughlin, a communication professor who regularly teaches in the newsroom. “(The students are) using all the technology, they’re writing their own shows and producing their own shows.”

ECU Campus Dining Helps Manage Food Allergies on Campus

Does your student have a food allergy and need assistance finding foods on campus that are safe to eat? Todd Dining Hall has a new Food Allergen Awareness Station that features foods prepared without several of the most common food allergens. There is also a grab and go area available for students to pick up snacks or meals when they are not able to make it to the dining hall during regular meal times. If you have questions or would like more information on how to take advantage of this service, please contact ECU Campus Dining's Nutrition Director, Janie Eubanks-Owens, RD, LDN at eubanksj@ecu.edu or 252-328-2333.

undaunted

ECU Recognized for Leadership in Diversity, Inclusion

By Jamitress Bowden

East Carolina University has been recognized with the HEED award for the third consecutive year for its efforts in diversity and inclusion.

The Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award is given by Insight into Diversity magazine. The magazine annually recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“ECU continues to be among the leaders of diversity and inclusion efforts and initiatives within higher education and we’re being recognized for our efforts,” said LaKesha Alston, associate provost for equity and diversity.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight into Diversity, said, “We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture.”

This recognition also aligns with the university’s new strategic plan, Beyond Tomorrow, which includes continuing the commitment to diversity and inclusion and increasing opportunity as two of the seven guiding principles.

“The Office for Equity and Diversity will be collaborating with partners across campus to develop the institution’s diversity plan for the next five years in alignment with the university’s strategic plan,” said Alston.

Working to provide students with a globally diverse and inclusive environment and curriculum is important for success, Alston said. Providing employees with a diverse and inclusive workplace is equally important and both remain a priority in groups at the university, such as the Chancellor’s Diversity Leadership Cabinet.

“Making sure that we preserve our mission as an access university, regardless of individual or cultural difference, is very important to me,” said Alston.

What to consider when deciding where your student will live next year

By Aaron Lucier, Campus Living

Fall is really in the air in Eastern North Carolina, which marks many things- we’re coming close to the end of the fall semester, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the time to think about next fall is getting close.  The fall 2015 semester seems far off, but for many students and families November – January is the time they start the discussion on housing for the next year.

The decision to live on-campus or off-campus is often a discussion the student and their family have together.  There is a lot of items to consider such as the type of housing, location, budget, and how these all fit into the student’s academic and personal goals.

When reviewing the student’s budget for housing and food costs, don’t forget most off campus housing contracts are 11 month, namely the cost of summer rent will need be factored in… even if the student does not plan to attend summer classes.  Also, students often underestimate the cost of food living off campus, so have a good discussion about the cost of cooking and eating out, along with consider a the choice of a commuter meal plan for eating on-campus.

ECU Campus Living will have their process available for on-campus housing in February, and students will be emailed more information about this process in January.  Returning students need to commit to living on campus this upcoming February to be guaranteed space for fall 2015.  To reapply for housing they will need to pay the $100 advanced room fee (credited to their spring 2016 housing fees)- they don’t need to pay an application fee since they covered that before.

If they sign a contract during this time period, students can cancel and get their 100 advanced room fee refunded until May.

For students and families wanting to learn more about off campus options- ECU’s Off Campus Student Services (OCSS) is a valuable resource.  OCSS hosts a fall (November 19- Mendenhall Great Rooms 10 am – 2 PM) and a spring Off Campus Housing Fair to help educate students and families on the range of housing in the Greenville area.

Please use these ECU Resources to assist your discussion:

ECU Off Campus Student Service – www.ecu.edu/ocss

ECU Campus Living- www.ecu.edu/campusliving

ECU Campus Dining www.ecu.edu/dining

Fall Off- Campus Housing Fair
off campus housing fair

Is your student thinking about moving off-campus next year?  If so, you want to make sure they’re aware of the first ever Fall Off-Campus Housing Fair!! Our office will host the first ever Fall 2014 Off-Campus Housing Fair on November 19th from 10am -2pm in the Mendenhall Great Rooms. Countless apartment complexes will be on campus to answer questions students might have about guarantors, leases, costs, etc. Even if your student is not sure if they plan to live on or off campus, they should still come to learn about possible off-campus options.  The event will include food, prizes, and invaluable information.  As a parent you’re also welcome to attend if you have the time and availability

Joyner Library Offers Quiet Study Space for Students

Parents:  Has your student griped about not having a quiet place to study or asked you for help with a research paper?  If so, here are the answers you need:

During the semesters, Joyner Library is open 24/5 from Sunday at 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Friday. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Room 1019 is an absolute quiet room. Third floor is also a designated quiet area. Joyner Library is a great quiet, safe space to study. Your student can reserve a group study room to work with classmates on projects or have a group study session.

Studies show that students call home for guidance when tasked with their first major research paper.  When you get that call, remember that Joyner Library can help. At the library, your student can:

  • Schedule a meeting with a librarian for individual assistance on research projects and papers    ScheduleAConsultation
  • Walk in, telephone, email, send a text, or instant message for immediate help AskALibrarian
  • Learn how to use the library resources and services  Services
  • Check out a laptop, ereader, and other technology equipment Borrow Materials
  • View online tutorials to learn about the research process  Tutorials

Studies have shown that students who use library services have higher GPAs and higher retention rates.  Encourage your student to visit the library early and often in his or her academic career.

Registrar’s Office Moving to Uptown

The Office of the Registrar will be moving to a new location in January!  We will relocate to one of the buildings in Greenville’s uptown area known by locals as the Super Block at the corner of East Fifth and Cotanche streets. Our new home will be located at 207 East Fifth Street, just across the street from the Catalog Connection. Although our address will be changing, our phone number and email address will remain the same. Should you have questions about the relocation or about our services, please call or email us, and we will be happy to answer your questions (252-328-6524 or regis@ecu.edu).  You can also visit the Office of the Registrar website. There you will find many online tools and resources that were designed to improve efficiencies and improve access for our students and alumni. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you, and serving you, at the new location!

moving

ECU updates travel procedures in response to Ebola concerns

East Carolina University is closely monitoring Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  Currently, the CDC and other health experts state that this outbreak does not pose a significant threat in the United States.  The ECU Communicable Disease Outbreak Planning Committee has been meeting since early August and has been preparing for any impact to our campus and community.  An Ebola fact sheet and additional information can be found at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-ecu/alert/University-Response-to-Concerns-of-Ebola-Outbreak.cfm.

It is important that the University maintains contact with all ECU students, faculty, and staff who may have traveled or plan to travel to West Africa for work, research, or leisure.  We are encouraging those individuals to self-identify and contact the personnel below so we can help you develop a plan to keep yourself, your family and our community safe.

Students considering travel to these countries over the holidays are encouraged to contact Campus Living at 328-4663 to review options for remaining in Greenville.  The University will work to assist you.  If you must travel, such as for humanitarian aid work in response to the outbreak, protect yourself by following CDC’s advice for avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are ill with Ebola.

The Communicable Disease Outbreak Committee that is updating protocols and developing a mechanism for tracking travel for future outbreaks and overseas safety issues.  The Committee is gearing up by stocking supplies, arranging for training, and maintaining contact with Pitt County Public Health and Vidant Medical Center.  This group consists of many departments on campus, to name a few: International Affairs, Environmental Health & Campus Safety, ECU Physicians, Student Health Services, Prospective Health, News Services, Human Resources, and many others.  We have been meeting since early August and will continue to convene to discuss issues and preparedness efforts while the Ebola outbreak is ongoing and uncontrolled in West Africa.

If you have questions, please contact Lauren Gunter, Environmental Health and Safety  at guntera@ecu.edu or (252) 328-6166.

Professional Etiquette Dinner

 Professional Etiquette dinner Wednesday, Nov. 12. Mix and Mingle 5:15pm. Dinner 6:00pm. Harvey hall Murphy Center. Register at ecu.edu/career. Registration deadline November 5th.

Set Sail to Graducate School!

Learn about ECU’s graduate programs, admissions processes/timelines and financial aid options.

You are invited to join us for SET SAIL to ECU Graduate School (an undergraduate to graduate workshop) Saturday, November 15, 9am –noon at the Bate Building on ECU main campus. This FREE workshop is for individuals who wish to learn about ECU’s graduate programs, admissions processes/timelines and financial aid options.  Registration is capped at 400 participants so please register early!

set sail to ecu

To register for this event please choose the appropriate link below:

If you are an ECU student, please register on this link: http://bit.ly/setsailecu

If you are NOT an ECU student, please register on this link:  http://bit.ly/setsailgreenville

The Importance of the First Year
From the Office of Student Transitions
www.ecu.edu/studenttransitions

Wrapping Up the First Semester

Your student’s first semester is almost over!  Almost as soon as they return from Thanksgiving break, students will be taking final exams.  As they move towards this time, they may be experiencing the stress of finals and the first official grades at ECU. Congratulations as your student has taken his or her first step toward obtaining a college degree!

Know what to expect

Students are most likely excited about coming home for the holidays but may be feeling some anxiety concerning returning home. While students may have visited throughout the semester, this is the first time a student will be home for an extended period—about 4 weeks overall.  Although your life may have remained relatively unchanged since your student left, your student has changed a lot in the 12 weeks since you left him or her at ECU.

The schedules that students are accustomed to on campus vary from typical home schedules.  Will you expect your student to adjust back to the family schedule?  Will he or she be expected to complete chores while at home?  Who will be doing all the laundry brought home from college?  Will your student be expected to adhere to a curfew?  Will you expect that he or she attend family meals?  To avoid conflict, it may be best to discuss these items before the student arrives home with expectations as to what home life will be like.

Reminder: registration for spring 2015 began in October
Class registration for spring 2015 began on October 27.  By now your student should have developed a class schedule for the spring. However, he or she can make any necessary changes up until the start of classes on January 12, 2015.  If your student has not developed a class schedule at this point, he or she should be strongly encouraged to contact his or her academic advisor.  Also, please note that to graduate in a timely fashion (4 years), students should be encouraged to sign up for at least 15 hours of courses per semester.

Top 10 Questions to ask your student about his or her first semester of college:

1) Are you going to class? (Not attending class is the #1 reason why students fail)

2) Are you studying at least 25 hours per week?  (College is a full-time job)

3) Are you reviewing your material for each class?  (Weekly preparation versus cramming is the key)

4) Are you scheduling your free time? (Even a social life can be goal directed)

5) Do you know when is the last day to drop and withdraw?  (Go see an advisor for answers)

6) Do you start your assignments early?  (Last minute events can affect grades dramatically)

7) Have you seen your advisor for more than course registration?  (He or she can get you connected to campus resources in a hurry)

8) Have you gone to your professors during office hours?  (Students that meet with their professors tend to have higher GPAs)

9) Are you going to tutoring?  (Tutors are available for most first-year courses and the Pirate Tutoring Center is available to teach study skills and provide tutoring)

10) Have you formed or participated in a study group?  (Studying complex material is more efficient/effective in groups)

Transitions: Surviving the Fall Semester

This time of year brings additional challenges for first-year students. While they are often relieved to get a break from school in November, students often find themselves with additional concerns about final exams, money, and being back at home. This month we continue our focus on adjustment issues for first-year students.

November Adjustments
Academic Pressure - Final exams are coming, and many projects and papers are due. Even if a student has known about these tasks all semester and has prepared in advance for them, the combination of major assignments from several classes can be overwhelming.

Money - Many students have concerns about the cost of gift giving and travel for the holiday season. Also, they may be concerned about tuition and book costs for the spring semester.

Health Issues - Students may develop minor health issues due to pressure, stress, bad eating habits, lack of sleep, and bad weather.

Roommates - Because of the extra stress in the lives of students and the need for a break, students may notice increased tension with roommates and other residents on their floors.

Visiting Home - While your student will be excited to see you, returning home for long breaks can be stressful. Students will be home for Thanksgiving for almost a full week, and the winter break is a full four weeks. Will they be expected to resume any chores that were previously their responsibility? Will parents enforce a curfew? How much time will they be expected to spend at home with family? Have honest conversations with your student about expectations and provide support as he or she attempts to reconcile old and new lifestyles.

Pirate Read 2014
the other wes moore

Each year, incoming new students are asked to read a common book as part of the Pirate Read program. This helps them become part of ECU’s academic community, prepares them for college-level work, and allows them to have a common academic experience with other students. This year’s Pirate Read selection is The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. On October 21, Mr. Moore visited campus to share his experiences and discuss the book. During the day, he held a small group discussion with students, followed by a presentation to campus that evening in Wright Auditorium. Pictured is Wes speaking with a group of students about the book. Find more information about the Pirate Read by visiting www.ecu.edu/pirateread, and read about Wes Moore’s story at www.theotherwesmoore.com.

Sophomore Soundings

From the Office of Student Transitions
www.ecu.edu/studenttransitions

Student Issues in the Sophomore Year

In a 2005 article, “Wandering and Wondering: Traversing the Uneven Terrain of the Second College Year,” Molly Shaller addresses the four developmental stages of students traversing the sophomore year. She encourages institutions to consider these stages while planning student programs, environments, and student learning. We believe this information is pertinent to family members as well as to the sophomore student who “wanders and wonders” through his or her sophomore year.

Shaller intended her questions to sophomores to focus on spirituality, campus involvement, and home life; however, she found what students wanted to share pertained to three issues: how they viewed themselves, their relationships, and their academic experiences and decisions. The students exist in or move through the four stages with a focus on these issues. The four stages and a brief description of each follows.

Random Exploration:
Most students find themselves in this stage during the first year of college. This stage is filled with exuberance, lack of self-reflection, and an acute awareness of choices needing to be made regarding majors and careers but delayed action in decision making. Most students transition from this stage to the next at the end of the freshmen year or over the summer between first and second years.

Focused Exploration:
Students in this stage find themselves frustrated with current relationships, with themselves, and/or with their academic experiences. Additionally, these students are beginning to feel pressure to select a major as well as have a sense of a future career and life direction. During this stage, students may lose enthusiasm for classes because they cannot connect classroom topics to future goals. One student in the study described this year by saying, “I think it’s almost like a turning point in a way....It’s like you are standing on a fence.” The image of the fence is appropriate—sophomores look back at the freshman year and their childhood, and look forward to the rest of college and their careers. It can be overwhelming at times.

Shaller does suggest that students who embrace focused exploration more thoroughly move through the stage with a more comprehensive reflection. Others may rush to find answers about themselves, relationships, and academics that “fit well enough.” We should all be supportive of students who delve deeply into the focused exploration stage.

Tentative Choices:
Students in the sophomore year begin to make choices that will impact the remainder of their college experience. According to the author, students in this stage are beginning to develop a sense of responsibility for examining their future more closely. It is the process of decision making that is most important during this stage, i.e. that the student engages in thorough focused exploration and makes decisions based on internal connections to the exploration period.

Commitment:
At this stage, students are able to plan for their future, have a real understanding about what they want and a true sense of responsibility for their future. Shaller states that students in this stage are “either resolute in their choices or they felt such relief in making a choice that they ignored their other options.”

Understanding these stages is crucial for institutions focusing on student learning, living environments, and programming. The author suggests that we encourage students to make the sophomore year the year they take responsibility for their learning. ECU also suggests that sophomores make this “the year that makes more of them.”

Careers 201—For Parents of Second Year Students
(Original article by Sally Kearsley)

Generally, during the second year of college, a student begins to explore majors and career options more seriously. Many colleges and universities require that new students take a broad range of subjects to promote this exploration. What’s your role in this step of development?

  • Don’t insist upon a decision about a major or possible career choice immediately. If you sense that your student’s indecision is a barrier to positive progress, urge that he or she look for assistance in the career center. Students often have difficulty making a “final” choice because they fear they may close off options and make a wrong choice.
  • Suggest that your child talk with faculty, academic advisors, and career counselors about potential choices.
  • Don’t assume that if your child chooses to major in English, history, philosophy, or some other “impractical” major that he/she will never get a job. Liberal arts studies sharpen skills which are critical to the “package” employers are seeking: strong written and oral communication skills, problem-solving skills, the ability to synthesize information, and excellent research skills.
  • Suggest learning a foreign language and developing computer skills. Both of these skills can be helpful in today’s market, no matter what career field he or she chooses!
  • Direct your child to family, friends, or colleagues who are in fields in which your student has an interest. “Informational interviewing” with people can be extremely helpful at this stage!
  • Steer your child toward a source of information. Check out ECU’s career advisors or mentoring network of alumni in various career fields who are willing to share information about their careers. These resources are invaluable both in this exploratory stage and later as students seek internships and jobs!
Study Abroad Fair 2014

 study abroad fair 2014 November 18th 1:00pm to 4:00pm Joyner Library second floor gallery

What's on the Docket at Dowdy Student Stores

 Visit www.studentstores.ecu.edu for what's on the docket at dowdy student stores