Today is the last day campus is technically open before the break. The whole university is on holiday from Monday 12/23 through Friday 12/27. And I have to say, campus is Q-U-I-E-T today – unless you are in the Z Smith Reynolds Library, where they are putting in a new floor in the lobby, as well as digging a trench for more power outlets. It was strange to see the ZSR Starbucks so empty when normally it is one of the most bustling places on campus.
I have a few final thoughts to share before break , and they are on the subject of Finals. Final grades appear to have been posted in WIN, our online records system for students; at least I could see all of my individual advisees’ grades. For students who have signed a FERPA (Family Educational Right to Privacy Act) form, grades should also be coming home via US Mail. For information about FERPA and grade reporting, please see the Parents’ Page FAQ and look under the Academics section.
To add a bit of perspective to grades for families of freshmen, my personal experience and the trend I have seen with all my years of advising students is that typically the first semester is the worst semester gradewise. This is the first time your Deacs have been through a set of midterms and finals and the first time they have been tasked with college level work. It is a big adjustment. And if you were used to seeing all As or As and the occasional B in high school, you might well be seeing more Bs and Cs and fewer As.
Don’t panic. And please don’t stress your students out about the grades – they are often *highly* stressed about discussing grades with you. My anecdotal conversations with a lot of students over the years suggests to me that they are keenly aware of thinking they might be disappointing you (even if they are imagining that).
When you talk to your students about grades, I would urge you to think about asking some reflection questions – things like “what did you do well in your classes? what might you have done differently? if you knew then what you know now, how would you change how you studied or prepared for classwork and exams?” Sometimes by focusing on process (not outcomes) you can help them think about improving their study or work habits, which ought to lead to better outcomes.
Just to keep you apprised of the schedule for the Daily Deac, since the University is closed all of next week and our crack staff has some PTO as well, we’re going to feature some Pictures of the Day between now and New Years. But we’ll be back in January and will bring you all the news that’s fit to print, as the saying goes.
Until then, we wish you a wonderful holiday with your students. And thanks as always for reading the Daily Deac!
Categories: campus life