Start the semester off strong


Hunter Lyle – General Assignment Reporter

With a new semester starting, students at Southern Connecticut State University said they are already putting themselves on the path to success.

Director of Academic and Career Advising Frank LaDore said he is focused on helping to motivate students and giving them a kick-start at the beginning of the semester.

LaDore said beginning a semester strong is particularly important.

“The first few weeks are crucial,” said LaDore. “It shows that you are into it; professors see that you are attending classes.”

According to LaDore, these few weeks are often when a student starts strong, or falls behind.

“Once you get behind,” said LaDore, “it’s really hard to catch up.”

For some students, falling behind, even in the slightest, is not an option. Rebecca Gersz said her program, as a nursing major, is highly competitive, and getting a strong start could be the difference between getting selected or not.

Considering the competitiveness of the nursing program, Gersz said she has made herself work harder to become an all-around more efficient student.

“I’ve printed out all my class [syllabi] that have already been posted on Blackboard,” said Gersz, “and I’ve gone over the power points to prepare me for the first lecture”

Graduate student Regina Kulacz said among the many ways students get prepared for a new semester, organization works best for her.

Remaining organized, and staying in close contact with professors, Kulazc said, has been very helpful to her at the beginning of a school year.

Kulazc said an important aspect is “having a clear line of communication with them as to your goals and their expectations.”

Another reason to kick off the semester strong, according to political science professor Kevin Buterbaugh, is to make sure you leave a good first impression.

“So, if I think you’re a bad student from the start, you’re going to have more difficulty changing my mind over time,” said Buterbaugh.

When students signal that they are engaged and attentive from the very first day, Butterbaugh said, they will elicit a dramatically different response from him versus a student who does not.

Southern also offers a number of tools and facilities that students can use to help better their education. The Academic Success Center, located on the third floor of Buley Library, can be a great resource for students to get some extra help, according to Brianna Savage, junior environmental studies major.

Savage is a success navigator with the Academic Success Center, who said the center is a place that not only offers academic support, but has over 20 subjects they cover in terms of tutoring. In addition, she said the center offers peer coaching.

“We have a lot of other programs that we use all towards academic goals, that really advance students and empower them to do better in their classes and approach their classes in a different mindset,” said Savage. “We are very friendly, we embrace students fully.”

Photo Credit: Hunter Lyle

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