Adapting to college can be a challenge for many students: the pace is quicker, expectations are higher, responsibilities increase and, this semester, students must adjust to remote learning. Here is where parents of Marianopolis students can better understand what to expect at the college level so they can help students plan and focus on their learning and personal growth.
More work than in high school
Compared to the high school curriculum, college courses present a larger volume of more challenging material that requires deeper and more critical engagement. Students must devote more time to learning material and completing evaluations than they did in high school. Students who struggle in their first semester cite as the number one reason for their difficulties their mistaken belief that they could maintain the same work habits as they had in high school and still succeed. This is especially true this semester because students’ high school studies ended abruptly and they deviated from their regular study habits.
More time devoted to studying
Each course appears on a student’s schedule for a given number of hours per week. As a general rule, students must devote approximately twice that number of hours to each course per week; these hours include time spent completing synchronous and asynchronous activities. For example, for a course that appears on the schedule as three hours per week, students should spend approximately six hours each week participating in synchronous activities, listening to pre-recorded lectures, completing readings and assignments, reviewing notes, writing papers, solving practice problems, studying for tests, etc. Students who consistently devote time to their studies can avoid much of the stress that comes with having multiple evaluations scheduled during a short time period.
Faster paced than high school
Each course lasts one semester, which means that midterm and final evaluations arrive quickly, typically in mid-October and mid-December. Teachers distribute a course outline on the first day of class, which includes all due dates and deadlines relevant to the course. To avoid falling behind, students should use these dates as a guide to develop a study plan with daily and weekly goals.
Students must manage their own time
Students are expected to attend synchronous classes, participate in class activities and submit work on time without reminders from their teachers. Students have a different schedule each day, with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities, and must manage their study time responsibly. To increase the likelihood that they stay motivated and complete their courses successfully, students should complete assigned work in preparation for each synchronous activity and meeting with their teacher.
The Fall 2020 Student Guide section on academic skills provides guidelines on developing good time-management skills and creating a study schedule. There is also a section to help students engage with their teachers.
Deadlines and due dates may overlap
Students will likely have several tests, projects, essays or assignments due the same week or even the same day. This will require them to develop the discipline to work consistently throughout the semester, even when nothing is imminently due.
There are no re-writes
Students cannot submit extra work, re-write tests or re-submit assignments to improve their grade. If they are unable to complete the work for a course, they may drop the course before the course-drop deadline early in the semester. Those who are considering dropping a course must meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss their concerns and how to best proceed. Information regarding the course-drop deadline is posted in the Omnivox portal at the beginning of each semester.
Regular and punctual attendance in synchronous class activities is expected. Students who will miss class for religious reasons must inform their teacher at the beginning of the semester. Students who are absent for medical reasons must provide advance notice when possible and may be required to submit medical documentation. In case of a missed evaluation, medical documentation is required. Students who absent for three or more consecutive days should send a message in Omnivox (MIO) to Maria Elena Abraham in the Office of the Associate Dean, Student Success.
Failed courses appear on a transcript permanently. If students re-take and pass a course, the passing grade appears as a separate entry. Students who have failed or are at risk of failing a course should consult an Academic Advisor to create a plan for progressing through the rest of their program of studies.
Academic integrity is taken seriously
Marianopolis is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity. This means that honesty in all academic matters is crucial and that plagiarism and cheating are treated as serious offenses that can result in failure and other significant penalties, including expulsion.
The Institutional Policy on the Evaluation of Student Achievement (IPESA) contains the regulations and principles concerning evaluations and provisions pertaining to students’ and teachers’ academic rights and responsibilities, student absences and academic standing, among other topics. The Code of Student Conduct governs non-academic conduct and outlines sanctions for misconduct. Students are responsible for understanding and respecting these and all other College policies. For more information, consult the Fall 2020 Student Guide.