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START orientation- what to bring, what to do  July 2nd, 2015

As you pack your bags and think ahead to your START session here are some things to remember to bring with you and to do during your time on campus.

Top things to pack

1.) Tablet, notebook, pen, paper, etc.- you’ll be given a lot of information at START and taking some notes is the best way to remember it and look back throughout the summer as you have questions.

2.) Comfortable shoes- START programs feature quite a bit of walking between sessions so be prepared with comfortable shoes

3.) Rain jacket/warm layers- this is Oregon and there is always a chance of a shower, even if the forecast indicates otherwise

4.) A copy of your START confirmation and START parking pass- which you can print from the same website where you registered for START.

5.) An alarm clock, watch, or cell phone- for students staying overnight in the halls, Day 2 starts bright and early and you’ll need a way to get up and moving

6.) Water bottle, light, airy clothes, hats, etc.- this summer has already been unseasonably hot, so be sure to bring gear to stay as cool as possible.

Top things to do

1.) Talk with other students at START- this will be your first opportunity to start making friends and developing a social network here at OSU. Take advantage of it!

2.) Talk with and start getting to know an academic advisor in your academic college (Engineering, Business, Liberal Arts, Agricultural Sciences, etc.). These individuals will be instrumental in helping you meet your graduation requirements and explore careers so getting to know them early is essential.

3.) If you are living on-campus, you will have a chance to tour your residence hall and see a sample room- this will be very helpful as you start deciding what to pack and what not to pack for your move-in day in September.

4.) Join a campus tour and spend some time walking around campus and orienting yourself. Finding places like the Student Health Center, Valley Library, Financial Aid and Registrar’s Offices (in Kerr Administration Building) will make your initial days back on campus in fall far easier.

5.) Ask questions and take notes- this is a completely new experience for most of you and we expect you to have lots of questions. Why not get them answered before classes start? It will make the rest of your summer far more enjoyable!

6.) For students attending our first-year sessions, attend Dixon Rec Night which is hosted at our recreation center on campus. This is a great chance to check out our gym, different sports clubs, organizations, and food vendors that work with campus. This is a night of fun where you can participate in games and activities and take some time to get to know your fellow START participants.

Academic Coaching! It’s FREE, why not?  November 1st, 2014

What is coaching?

Academic Coaching is an opportunity for a peer to peer conversation to focus on change, skill improvement, and growth of academic abilities. It is individualized, you can meet with a coach once or on an ongoing basis. It is a safe and confidential place to collaborate with a coach on an academic plan

How does this benefit students and why should students use it?

  • Good resource for transition from high school to college
  • Get on the right track/start college successfully
  • Get connected to resources
  • Building academic self-discipline
  • Peer Partnership/accountability
  • Tools for time management, testing strategies, textbook reading, note taking, etc.
  • Battle procrastination

Is it free?

YES! Appointments are free and are sponsored in part by Educational Activities.

What does an academic coaching appointment look like?

Coaching appointments are completely individualized. Students will be greeted by the staff when they check in and asked to provide some information about why she/he chose to come in. These reasons will be brought into the conversation with a coach and will be the core of the appointment. Students may plan out a term schedule of major assignments, fill out a weekly planner, or begin articulating short and long term goals of their education.

How do student set up appointments for academic coaching?

Appointments can be made in a variety of ways. We recommend coming into 102 Waldo Hall to set up an appointment and sit on our comfy couch.

  • Come visit us early in the term! Use your resources before you need them, not when you need them.
  • Take initiative of your own college experience and success, self-advocate
  • Don’t fall behind, look ahead
  • It is easier to develop good habits now, than break bad habits later. Work on developing your strategies for success early
  • Cramming doesn’t work.
  • Make an action plan for success! For example, your upcoming midterm.
  • Don’t give up. Be confident! One exam doesn’t define you.
  • Utilize your TAs and office hours.
  • Find the balance between your social life and academics!

Attend Office Hours!  October 15th, 2014

Attending office hours is a great way to get to know your professors, get help before or after a midterm, and show your professor that you are interested in getting the most out of your education. Many people hesitate to attend office hours because they seem intimidating. The conversation doesn’t have to last a long time but it is the perfect way to let your professor know who you are! If you don’t have specific questions about the class then ask him or her about the research they do, you never know when this connection could help you down the road!

Many professors also offer midterm review sessions that are extremely helpful. You are able to ask any question you have from the class and even get some one on one time to work with your professor! So stand out in the crowd and make yourself known and go to office hours!



Skills for doing well in a large Lecture Hall  October 13th, 2014

10:00am Monday morning was my first class at Oregon State University and I had it in Milam 026. At the time I figured Milam 026 would be like a regular high school classroom with maybe 30 desks placed in rows in front of a chalkboard with room for the professor to teach. Walking into the classroom I was greeted with the dull roar of 500 other students all awake at ten in the morning ready for biology 211. Like many students who first have a class in such a large space I didn’t know what to do. Unsure of what to do I stood in the front of the room looking at the sea of people who all seemed adjusted and ready to go. As if this auditorium was a normal classroom for them and they expected nothing else. Thankfully one of my floor mates saw me and yelled me over next to her and some other students I knew. They were sitting near the front and they had saved me a spot and from then on I knew that the front of the class was where I needed to be. Yet some students do not have the same luxuries I had and might not know where to sit or how to learn in such a large classroom. Below you will find some of my tips and tricks to maximize your learning in some of our larger classrooms on campus.

Sit near the front – Teachers remember and recognize the faces of the students who sit in the front row. Now if you decided to talk and be a distraction this will not help you, but if you are attentive the professor will remember that about you and having a professor who likes you opens up so many doors from references to potential research positions.

Avoid seats on balconies – High up in the balcony it is easy to tune out your professor, forget you are in a classroom and talk to your friends. Professors do not appreciate that plus it is not a good way to learn.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions even though it’s big – Again the professors remember and recognize faces and if you are asking relevant questions that will appreciate that. Also because you are in a large classroom the odds are that someone else will have the same question.

Find a way that works for you to take notes – Some professors put their lectures online for students to print out, some only post skeleton lectures, and some just talk to you and expect you to listen and learn. Weather you work best typing notes on your computer, writing notes on paper or on printed notes from your professor; learn which way works best for you.

Arrive to class 10 minutes early – Arriving early guarantees you a good seat in the classroom as opposed to the seats in the back corners where learning is more challenging.

Always sit in the same spot for classes and tests – Studies have shown that students who stay in the same spot do better than the students who sit in different spots for tests and lectures. When you move, your body has to get used to a variety of new things that could distract you, but sitting in the same spot sets up your body to learn a specific kind of material and perform better on tests.


Student Coordinator, New Student Programs & Family Outreach

Bike/Laptop Registration  October 9th, 2014

OSU Public Safety works hard to maintain a safe campus, but theft does happen both on-campus and in the Corvallis community.  There are several things you can do to protect your valuable possessions.

Bikes and various electronic devises (laptops, tablets, printers, etc.) can be register with the Department of Public Safety. Registering these items puts them in a law enforcement computer system and therefore recovered items can be identified and returned to their rightful owner. This means you’ll not only have a better change at recovering stolen items, but a thief will be less likely to target your items. You can fill out and turn in a Bike Registration form at Cascade Hall 200 free of charge. Stop tags for small electronics can be purchases through the Office of Public Safety for a fee of $12/tag. More information is available here. In addition to registering these items so simple tips can help decrease the change of theft even more. Consider buying a cheap bike that is less tempting for someone to steal; buy a U-lock and make sure to properly secure your front tire and frame to bike locks; and make an effort to check on your bike regularly (leaving it for weeks on end at the same location is often a recipe for disaster). If you are studying alone do not leave your electronics, or your text books at the table when you’re leaving for a couple of minutes. Please make sure someone is watching your valuables!

Another OSU program to assist you is Operation ID. The form provided on this page helps you document and protect valuable items such as computers, stereos, bicycles, calculators, and more. In order to protect your items fill out the form on the Operation ID homepage and save your serial numbers so if things do get stolen you have a better chance of recovering them. In addition to keeping the serial numbers you would want to have owner engraved identification on the equipment. By having an owner engraved identification on your equipment, if it does get stolen you can get your item entered in the state/national Law Enforcement computer system and can be identified anywhere in the US. This means you’ll have a larger chance of getting your item back. Engraving equipment can be checked out in residence halls and at the Public Safety office at Cascade Hall.


Finding a Study Space  October 7th, 2014

Now that you’re on campus, and classes have started, where are you going to study? In order to do well in classes you need to go to class, but outside of the class you need to find a study space that will work well for you. Ask yourself some of these questions to find a good study space. What type of environment do you prefer working in, quiet or louder? Do you study better around people or alone? Do you want to sit at a table, desk,  couch, etc.? Think about all of these options while you walk around campus and town keeping an eye out for the study space that will work the best for you.

There are a lot of coffee shops or dining centers on campus where you can study if you don’t get distracted with people being around you.  If you like it to be really quiet there are very quiet areas in the Valley library on the 4th, 5th, and 6th floor or take a quick walk to the downtown Corvallis library. Make sure to check out all the different floors because you might find an area on a specific floor that’s perfect for your needs.  The OSU library is also great for group projects or if you just likes to study with a group of friends. There are study rooms in the library that you can reserve online or at the front desk. Other areas you might want to consider on campus are the MU, or your residence hall or co-op study lounges, or even the small study areas in Dixon Rec Center.  Your study spaces might be closer to you than you think.  Try giving the different study areas a try throughout the first few weeks and find the space that works for you!


Staying safe on campus  September 30th, 2014

OSU is consistently ranked one of the safest campuses in the country with Corvallis also being highly ranked in terms safety among similarly sized cities. However, college students are often seen as easy targets for those looking to commit crimes. Being proactive and making smart, informed decisions like the 10 mentioned below can help you protect yourself from being a target.

1.) Don’t leave books, laptops, calculators, and other valuable items laying around the library, study lounges,open dorm rooms or classrooms. These things are easy for people to steal, can be sold quickly and are very hard to trace back to their rightful owners.

2.) Lock doors and windows to your residence hall, apartment, or house on a daily basis. Find a safe place or a friend to keep a spare key in case you lock yourself out.

3.) If you bring a car to campus, remove valuable items from it and leave nothing valuable in clear sight. Check your car every few days to make sure it is still in the condition you left it.

4.) Log off all public computers and consider logging off of your private computer in between uses as well. You don’t want to be paying for another person’s printing charges or having someone else sending messages from your account- so take the extra time to log on and off every time.

5.) If you have to walk alone around or near campus at night, consider using Safe Ride, a free service to all OSU students and staff

6.) Program OSU’s Public Safety number into your phone for easy and quick access: 541.737.3010

7.) Use the buddy system when going out to parties and other social events. Leave with the people you came with and never leave a friend behind.

8.) Know what you are consuming at parties and other social events. Never take a drink from someone you don’t know or leave your beverage unattended.

9.) Keep all documents with personal information (credit cards numbers, student identification numbers, social security numbers, immunization records) in a safe location. If you do decide to get rid of these things, shred them first.

10.) Sign up to receive text/email alerts for OSU’s Campus Alert System. These alerts include campus closures, electrical failures in buildings, suspicious activity and traffic accidents on campus.


Making the Most of Your First Week  September 28th, 2014

The first day of class has approached quickly and whether you are feeling over prepared, overwhelmed, or anywhere in between- that’s ok. Nerves are to be expected, this stuff is brand new and will take some time to get used to, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a few things you can do to better prepare yourself for the first week of classes and most likely make the rest of your term more successful.

  • It sounds simple but GO TO ALL OF YOUR CLASSES! The first week is when each of your professors will give out your syllabus (these are very important documents, always keep a copy either paper or electronic close by). Utilizing each of your syllabi will let you know when your assignments are due, when tests are scheduled, and help you plan the rest of your daily schedule.
  • Put your schedule in writing. Whether you use your phone, tablet, or hand written planner, having your schedule visible will allow you to find time slots that work best for studying in between classes, eating, working, and scheduling your time to socialize! If you create that schedule, you will be most time efficient and successful throughout the entirety of this term! Need help in efficiently planning your term, check out these Time Management steps or make an appointment with an academic coach to talk with a fellow, successful student about successful time management strategies:
  • If there are any changes you think are necessary to make in your schedule, do that this week! The sooner you change your schedule, the less class time you will lose and fall behind. To learn more about adding and dropping courses visit the Registrar’s Office website.
  • Find your favorite study space. Once you find a study space that is not distracting, and you become comfortable being there, you will most likely enjoy studying there more often and it will become habitual, then you can add that location into your planner!
  • Leave for class a little early, learn the easiest routes to your classrooms. Campus can be confusing at times, but soon enough you’ll know the fastest ways to each building, but giving yourself a little extra time in the beginning allows you to also see how beautiful campus can be in the fall!
  • Attend the Beaver Community Fair on Friday afternoon in the MU Quad. Here you will find tons of different clubs and organizations to get involved with this year. Being involved in a few outside of class activities will provide you with friends, entertainment, new skills and help you manage your time effectively.

There are numerous things you can do to make the most of your first week of classes, these are only a few. Just remember to enjoy this week, meet new friends, try some new food out on campus, and get yourself comfortable with campus. Get to know people in your classes, residence halls, clubs, organizations, or just say hello to someone while eating lunch! Enjoy your first week! For more helpful hints for Week 1 and beyond check out: Zero To Success

Exploring the Great Outdoors  September 27th, 2014

Want to get off-campus and enjoy some time in the sunshine hiking, biking, bird watching, BBQing or picnicking, well lucky for you there are several options, many within walking or biking distance from campus. Here are just a few of the options available to you!

Within a 10 to 15 minute walk/5 minute bike ride you will find:

Bald Hill– This park offers a 1.5 mile paved path along the base of the hill and several dirt and gravel foot trails that circle and climb to the summit of the hill. Biking in permitted on designated trails. To get there head west on Campus Way, which will turn into Midge Cramer Path once you cross 53rd street. Midge Cramer runs by the fairgrounds and then dead-ends into Bald Hill park.

Avery Park– Located south of campus, this park features a 1 mile jogging path along the river, rose garden, softball fields, several playgrounds, horse shoe pits, and BBQ shelters that can be reserved for private parties. To reach Avery Park head south of SW 15th which will hit Avery Park Drive shortly after crossing Philomath Blvd.

Riverfront Park– Running between 1st Street and the Willamette River, this small park offers paved and grassy areas, resting benches, (perfect for picnics), several sculptures (perfect for picture taking), and a 3/4 mile long running and biking trail. The Riverfront Park can be reached by going east on Monroe Ave. until you hit the trail. The trail goes north for a short distance or can be taken south to connect with several longer running/biking trails if you want to extend your time outside. Riverfront Park is also home to the Corvallis Farmers Market which is held from mid April to mid November every Saturday 9AM-1PM.

A little further away you will find:

Oak Creek Trail, Chip Ross Park, McDonald forest, Willamette Park, and Lewisburg Saddle offer many hiking and biking trails and are approximately a 15 minute bike ride or 5-10 minute car ride from campus. As you explore Corvallis more, be sure to check them out!

Looking for something more remote?

Check in with the Dixon Recreation Center’s Adventure Program located on the North end (facing Goss Stadium) of Dixon. They can offer advise for longer trips, whether it be rafting, backpacking, skiing, climbing, etc. They also offer trips throughout the year with guides to ensure your safety and enjoyment. In addition the office rents various outdoor gear including tents, snowshoes, rafts, climbing equipment and more!


CONNECT to the Technology  September 27th, 2014

CONNECT is not only about connecting in person, but also about getting connected online.  We encourage all new students to read through this Account and Technologies Guide for New Students early, so that you are prepared to start classes.  This guide takes about 20 minutes to read through and gives you a ton of great information about technology services on campus, including: how to hook your computer up to the OSU secure wireless network, how to sync your mobile device with OSU email, where you can print on campus and how to access free computer help.  This is a great way to get a quick overview and answers to some common questions.