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Academic Adjustment

Below are helpful ideas and places of support on campus for students.

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  • Freshmen often believe that class attendance is optional. It is, if you don’t want to be successful. Many faculty members have attendance policies. They don’t reprimand students for missing class. They just lower the grade. Nothing is more related to success than attendance. Encourage your student to attend class regularly.

  • It’s the course contract. Students must read it. It has the test and assignment due date schedule, attendance policy, and other expectations of students. Some faculty members give the syllabus out and never mention due dates again, until it is the due date. Students are expected to know the syllabus.

  • Students often didn’t use their textbooks in high school. It’s not the same in college. Students are expected to read assignments and be prepared to be tested even on material not mentioned in class. Many faculty members get their tests from the textbook publishers.

  • College faculty members expect that assignments are completed on time. Professors may not accept late assignments or may give a lower grade.

  • A huge problem for freshmen. Usually the semester starts slow and freshmen think they have a lot of time so they don’t keep up with reading and assignments. Then it’s October and they are behind and stressed. Encourage your students to establish a study schedule and stick to it.

  • Many students are reluctant to seek help with academic work. There are many resources available such as the Writing Lab and SLAC (Student Learning Assistance Center). If your student is struggling in a class, encourage him or her to seek help.

  • There was plenty of it in high school. The days of bringing cookies to class for extra credit are over. While some classes will have limited opportunities, students should not rely on extra credit to pass a class.

  • Some classes may have only two or three tests or assignment grades as opposed to the many during a high school six weeks period. Therefore, each test and assignment requires the student’s very best preparation and effort.

  • Students are often afraid to communicate with their professors, but it is important that they ask questions in class when appropriate and talk to professors when having difficulty. Professors appreciate students who ask thoughtful questions and are serious about their class work. It’s best to talk individually with professors during their posted office hours (Check the Syllabus!).

  • College courses often require a leap from factual descriptive thinking to abstract conceptual thinking. It happens most in classes like History and Philosophy. This is often a difficult adjustment for freshmen who are more used to memorizing than understanding. Tutoring can often be a big help here.

For guided support to adjust to these differences "The P.A.C.E Mentoring and Academic Coaching (MAC) Program"connects first-year students to faculty, staff, peer mentors, and graduate students who are here to help during their academic and social transition to the campus community.

For help beyond the freshman year consider these offices that provide academic support:

Student Learning Assistance Center 512-245-2515
Student Support Services

TRIO Programs

Writing Center 512-245-3018
Family Association 512-245-4326


DoIT (Department of Information Technology)

For a comprehensive listing of services for students including location of computer labs around campus visit this page.