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Parents with their student hold a sign that says THANK YOU Mom and Dad! They are standing in front of shiny blue and gold streamers

Hello, Bobcat parent and family members of first-year students,

We're getting to that point in the semester where fatigue often settles in as the papers and projects due before Thanksgiving quickly approach. There are no classes tomorrow, and campus offices are closed in observation of Veteran's Day. In Jabs, we celebrated the occasion early with guest speaker Sarah Pearson, a U.S. Navy veteran and commercial executive at Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). She shared best practices and lessons learned through her career navigating both public and private sectors. It was pretty powerful; you might ask your student if they were able to attend.

I'm writing this message with semester's end in sight. One more full week before Fall Break (11/22-11/26), and then after that it'll be a quick slide into finals week. I'd like to share some important dates and words of wisdom as your student prepares for the end of their first semester of college:

  • The last day to withdraw from a course for Fall 2021 is November 17.
  • Students should expect to be on campus through Thursday, December 16, for final exams.
  • As the semester winds down, stress tends to spike. Encourage your student to
    • Take advantage of resources to support their success (e.g., it's not too late to get a tutor).
    • Talk with their instructors if they are worried about their grades or exams.
    • Take care of themselves. "All-nighters" are rarely a good idea, and cramming doesn't work. Exercise, sleep, and a structured study schedule are the best ways to prepare for final exams.
  • After final exams, it's critical that your student check their final grades and academic standing in MyInfo around 12/29. If they didn't pass a class with a C- or better grade, they should reach out to their advisor because we may need to adjust their spring classes.
  • They should also check their Spring 2022 class schedule by day and time (also in MyInfo) to ensure they are registered, and confirm with student accounts about tuition payment deadlines.

What if the first semester didn't go so well? That happens -- college is a big adjustment. Please encourage your student to use resources available through Jabs and the Academic Advising Center. Connect with me or my colleagues in the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success for support and strategies for future improvement. Remind them that they get to start fresh in the spring.

And speaking of spring, I'm delighted to share that your students can and should be enrolling in BGEN 215-Career Readiness that is all about resumés cover letters, professional and personal development, and preparing for their future careers. It's a refreshing way to start the new year. They'll likely also be enrolling in more math, possibly economics, and some university core (general education) courses. Many first-year students are registering for their spring classes this week.

Both Thanksgiving and winter breaks are great times for reflection. What's going well and not so well? Is business the right major? As your student starts to answer these questions, please remember a whole team is here at MSU to support them.

I'm going to step away from this email series for the holidays. In January, I'll be back with more information about MSU support services, teaching professionalism and career readiness to first year college students, and more.



Brenda Truman
Assistant Dean of Student Services & Retention


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