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   from the issue of September 23, 2004

First mid-semester program is Sept. 28-29

A first-ever program, "Mid-Semester: Checking It Out!" on Sept. 28-29, will give new UNL students a chance to consider their academic progress and learn tips from faculty and other students at an organized on-campus event.

Sessions from 7-8:30 p.m. both days will focus on time management, paper-writing, successes and strategies for students in large classes and those taking Keller Plan classes, math class strategies, using the libraries, steps to plan for second semester, options for faculty research and honor societies, and honing in on the right major.

Rita Kean, dean of Undergraduate Studies, said UNL is the only institution of its kind known to conduct this new mid-semester checkpoint. The idea was created from research on student success by the university's Transitions to University Task Force. Faculty are asked to encourage their first-year students to attend and learn from this unique opportunity.

"By this time, students have had a chance to adjust to life on campus, but we identified a need for them to stop and reflect on their academic progress thus far, to prepare for their academic success for the rest of the semester and their entire college career," Kean said. "They may be facing issues of their first mid-term. Where do they go for help? They may need some strategies for specific classes. We've discovered from talking with students that this type of checkpoint would be helpful."

The pilot program is being promoted through e-mails, fliers, through contact with faculty members and residence hall assistants, as well as the academic officers at UNL greek houses. Students will be assigned to attend either Sept. 28 or 29, and residence assistants will gather freshmen students from their floor and escort them to the Nebraska Union. They will see a skit on academic and life issues by the New Student Enrollment team after a greeting by ASUN president Katie Weichman. They'll attend two faculty-led workshops on topics to help them assess their success thus far.

Students will have access to organizational booths to learn about clubs, activities and events, and they will be eligible to win prizes. Free Subway food and Pepsi will be offered.

The event follows up on the Office of Undergraduate Studies new themes of "Engage, Connect, Balance," which highlight the three main points in a successful college experience. Campus sponsors are the Office of Undergraduate Studies, Office of Admissions and Student Involvement.

A special mid-semester checkpoint for new transfer students will be offered Oct. 5, Kean said.

Mid-semester checkpoint

First-year students are encouraged to attend this program to be sure their semesters are progressing successfully. Students will be assigned to attend sessions at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 or 29.



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