By: David Garcia
Autumn greetings extended GU family members! Your student has now been at Gonzaga University for fifty days and is now a full-fledged ZAG. During these past fifty days you may have noticed a change in character, dress, responsibility level, maturity, and vocabulary. Don’t be alarmed (and no, this is not a dream), it is actually happening. Now in early October, the action is heating up with midterm exams, papers and speeches; all while the weather begins to reach cooler temperatures. Your student has probably recently experienced midterm exams or papers for the first time, so what does this mean and how does it compare to experiences you may have had with midterms.
- Midterms vary from course to course and typically are not representative of half a semester’s work.
- A better idea of how or if a professor has incorporated a midterm exam paper can be found in your student’s course syllabus.
- Midterm grade reports are intended to provide students with feedback concerning their progress, and are not absolute predictors of final grade performance or GPA. Midterm grades are sent to the student’s advisor and are available for pickup, however; midterm grades are not permanent grades and will never be listed on a transcript.
In a few days, your student will see his or her first midterm grade reports and will experience advising meetings to methodically select coursework for the spring semester. A sense of peace will be restored when their spring semester schedules are completed. Regrettably, this peace will not last long, as they will shift their focus to preparation for finals. An easy way to help your student through the semester ups and downs is to simply understand what they may be experiencing at any given moment. Keeping an eye on the academic calendar will assist you and your student. Please encourage good study habits, particularly as midterms and finals approach, as these may be times when your student is most apprehensive. We have some tips and tools on our website – please refer your student there or have them meet with one of our advisors in person at College Hall 104. We hope to see you soon for Fall Family Weekend, October 21-23! Find us in the Special Events section of your schedule packet when you check-in – we hope to see you in our Academic Planning session.
Getting Serious About Academic Planning
Autumn greetings! By now, you are well-versed on the ins and outs of a semester and are probably aware your student recently completed midterm exams. Very soon, they’ll be collecting midterm grade reports from their advisors and (fingers crossed) engaging in a rich conversation with their advisor about their current standing in courses, what they can do now to improve their grades, as well as guidance on their spring courses. Many students will have a major by sophomore year, and may have visions of studying abroad in Florence, Ireland, Australia, China, Japan, or perhaps in other magnificent destinations. Some students may have multiple majors, minors or even concentrations they hope to complete by the end of their 4th year. We realize college is a significant investment for families and want to make sure your student is fulfilling their dreams, alongside their requirements to earn a Gonzaga degree, in a timely manner. The Office of Academic Advising and Assistance is available to help students with their academic planning needs. We’ve created a quick 3-step guide on creating plans to graduation. We’re also hosting Academic Planning 101 Sessions for parents and family during Fall Family Weekend, October 21-23. We hope to see you here, there, and anywhere in between!
- Be a Coach & Mentor
- Be Guide, don’t tell
- If they ask you to tell them what to do: Resist
- Answer with questions
- But avoid interrogating “have you done this?” and “why don’t you try that?”
- Assignments, Grades, Deadlines – this is ESSENTIAL to the learning process.
- Remind students that they earn their grades; teachers do not give them grades.
Help them see that grades are the result of their performance in a given time/class/assignment, NOT a measure of their intelligence, potential, or their value as a person
Get involved in helpful, non-intrusive ways:
- Gonzaga parent newsletter online
- Zagweb – have student share grades at midterm and finals
- Fall Family Weekend – October 21-23.
- Parent gatherings around the country – watch e-mail
Please look for the Academic Advising session at Fall Family Weekend!