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Bobcat Quarterly: A bulletin for MSU Parents and Families



Friday, April 6, 2012




Parent/Family Association Update

Greetings Bobcat Families!

It has been a busy spring for students, faculty, and staff members! We recorded our first webinar, made it through Spring Break, and conquered midterms. As the semester winds down, many of you will be thinking about either next semester's courses or graduation! We have addressed these important issues below so that you can best support your student in the closing weeks of the spring semester.

We would like to personally encourage you to consider joining our Parent & Family Association (PFA) Advisory Board. The University relies heavily on the feedback and ideas of our families. This board is vital in guiding university programming, communications, and student support. Whether you were the president of the parent/teacher board or have never participated in any other organization, we rely on parents and families from all backgrounds. You may join the board or run for one of four one-year appointments: President, Vice President, Communications, or Secretary.

As mentioned below, PFA Advisory Board members need not live in Bozeman, although members are expected to participate in meetings each semester in person or via conference call. This board is also a significant part of planning and executing our annual Parent & Family Weekend. Please click here to find out more about the PFA Board and sign up online to find out more about the PFA Advisory Board. Consider joining us in maintaining our welcoming campus community for students and families.

Reminder: Parent & Family Weekend dates have been announced: October 12 - 14, 2012! More information to follow.

As always, contact us if we can help in any way.

Go Cats!

Erika Swanson & Lee Starck
Parent & Family Association



Volunteer for the PFA Advisory Board!

PFA Board

Join or run for one-year offices of President, Vice President, Communications, or Secretary

Join the PFA Advisory Board Today!

The Parent & Family Association (PFA) Advisory Board is looking for new volunteers! Members do not need to live in Bozeman to participate, but the role of the PFA Board is tremendously important to the University. The board is the most direct way that you, as Bobcat parents and families, can have an impact on MSU and your student's time here.

Becoming actively involved through participation on the PFA Advisory Board is a rewarding way to share your son or daughter's college years. The PFA Board’s main role is to offer resources and support to MSU families and our students, provide a network for parents and families to interact with one another, and to share input with the university about various issues.

Call or email Erika, the PFA Coordinator, with any questions at 406-994-7359.

Click here to learn more about the PFA Advisory Board.

Meet our current PFA Advisory Board Members.

Watch Our Student Services Webinar Online
Our first webinar took place on March 19th and was a great success due to the high level of interest and participation from parents and families of current and prospective MSU students. We have received very valuable feedback from those who registered for the webinar and we are actively examining ways to expand upon what families appreciated while improving upon aspects of the webinar which could have gone more smoothly. Keep an eye out for upcoming webinars in future newsletters on pertinent topics suggested by the PFA community.

If you were not able to participate in the Student Resources Webinar, a recorded version is available here. Please forgive the few seconds of conversation at the beginning of the recording.

The following offices participated in our panel discussion:
Dean of Students Office
Office for Community Involvement
Office for Student Success
Career Services
Financial Aid
Disability, Re-Entry & Veteran Services
Residence Life
Counseling and Psychological Services
University Studies Academic Advising Center


Commencement 2012

Spring commencement exercises for undergraduates and graduates will be held Saturday, May 5th in two ceremonies. These ceremonies are separated by awarding academic college.

Check here for more commencement information. Congratulations graduates! Live streaming will also be available for the events through the above website.

Graduation regalia and MSU gifts for your graduate are available at the MSU Bookstore.

Also encourage your graduating student to stay in touch with MSU through the MSU Alumni Foundation. New grads are eligible for recent graduate discounts on annual and lifetime memberships.

Advising & Registration for Summer & Fall

All continuing students should meet with an academic advisor as well as begin registering for summer and fall courses. We have addressed a few of the most common questions below so that you can best assist your student during this important process of selecting and registering for classes!

If your student is not aware of who his or her academic advisor is, he or she may click here to find a first point of contact for each department.

If your student is considering changing a major or adding a minor, our University Studies Academic Center is one of the best resources on campus.

What is the importance of an academic advisor?
An academic advisor is an individual which the department has assigned to work with a student who is receiving a major or minor in that field. This individual may be a faculty member who teaches and does research, or this individual may be a professional advisor who is hired solely to advise students. Some colleges choose to utilize group advising sessions. While some academic colleges do not require students to meet with their academic advisor each semester, we strongly encourage students to meet with their advisors each semester. If a student puts time and energy into this relationship, he or she may save time to a degree, identify opportunities to enhance his or her degree, find scholarship opportunities, or discover an individual who will be able to provide future references.

How can my student prepare for academic advising?
One of the most important things you talk with your student about is that the academic advisor should not be the only one who prepares for or speaks in this meeting. The more a student can consider his or her academic, professional, and personal direction, the more helpful an academic advising session will be. Students should be willing to talk with his or her advisor about some or all of the following:

  • Academic and Personal Successes
  • Academic and Personal Frustrations
  • Motivations for Remaining in the Major/Minor
  • Scholarship, Grants, or other Departmental Funding
  • Courses Which the Student Wishes To Take The Next Semester
  • Questions about Courses, Instructors, Resources
  • Internships, Externships, and Shadowing Experiences
  • Advice on What He or She May Not Have Yet Considered

What is an "advisor code" and how does my student find it?
An advisor code is a number which changes each semester. A student must visit with either his or her advisor or academic department to pick up a new code each semester. This code allows students to enter the online registration system.

When does my student register?
Although actual registration dates change each semester, dates are assigned based on student standing and the number of completed credits. Click here for a list of registration dates. Please note that this is the first date which a student can register; a student's advisor code can be used to access the online registration area beginning on their registration date and will remain open throughout the summer.

What if a course that my student wants to take is full?
For some courses, there may be a limited number of student spots available each semester. Students should register as early as possible to get the courses and times desired. If a section is full, students may contact the instructor or the instructor's department to inquire about a waiting list. Students may also attend the first day of courses in hopes that an instructor may add the student.

What if changes need to be made to the schedule?
Adds, drops, and other changes can be made over the summer as needed. Be aware that student orientations begin in June and may limit availability of some courses. Courses may be added until the 10th class day of the semester and may be dropped until the 15th class day. Be advised that timelines are different for summer sessions.

4th Annual BobcatFest 2012
BobcatFest 2012

We are pleased to announce that on Friday, April 27th from 5-8pm we will be hosting MSU students, faculty and the Bozeman community in Downtown Bozeman for BobcatFest 2012.  We’ll be closing down Main Street to invite everyone to enjoy food, music and fun!  There will be free Redneck Sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers, and Pepsi products as well as other free items for students and faculty with appropriate identification as well as for the general community such as “Senior Send-Off” cups and drink tickets, Bobcat Spirit t-shirts, koozies, raffles and more!  Also, watch the 2nd Annual Pizza Eating Contest!

Encourage your students and graduates to join the community in celebrating the important role that MSU and its students play in Bozeman!





Important Dates

March 26 - April 11, 2012

Registration for Summer and Fall For Continuing Students
Please Click Here for Registration Dates


April 6, 2012

University Day, No Classes, Offices Open


April 13, 2012

Last Day To Drop A Course with a "W"


April 30 - May 4

Finals Week


May 5, 2012



Term Calendar


Parent/Family Association
Montana State University
SUB 174
Bozeman, MT 59717

Parent/Family Association

Erika Swanson

Parent/Family Association Website


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