Making the First Day Count

Students who start the semester on time are more likely to be successful in their classes. Sounds simple, right? But there are stumbling blocks that can get in the way. To avoid those obstacles there are steps that both students and faculty can take to make sure we all start off on the right foot.

Five Things Students Need for a Great First Day of Class

 

1.      Finalize your schedule

Log in to eWOLF to double check that your schedule is correct and complete before Aug. 20. After that date, you can still drop a course—but you won’t be able to add or change a class.

2.      Buy/rent your books

Visit your campus store online so you have all your books and other materials ready for the first day of class.

3.      Know where your classes are

This one sounds simple—but it’s not always easy. FRCC has three campuses—in Longmont, Fort Collins and Westminster—plus a center in Brighton. So it’s important to make sure you get to the right place for your class. Check your schedule to be certain which campus you should head to on the first day.

Once you get to the right campus, you need to find the correct building. That’s why we’ve got maps! (So. Many. Maps.) Check out the maps for your campus:

Then make sure you can find the location of your classroom ahead of time. If you’re able, it’s really helpful to visit campus the week before classes start to find your rooms. We’d love to see you wandering the halls!

If you’re taking classes online, we’ve got good news—this step should be fairly easy. Just log in to eWOLF!

4.      Make sure your tuition is paid

Easier said than done, right? We know money doesn’t grow on trees—but there is help available. Follow these steps to make sure you’re all set before the Aug. 29 payment deadline.

Your tuition bill is available to view and pay in eWOLF. You’ve got options. You can set up a payment plan, accept financial aid, or pay your bill online.

  • Find your account balance and how much financial aid you have.
  • Apply for the College Opportunity Fund (COF)! If you’re a Colorado resident, make sure you’ve applied for the COF stipend to help reduce your costs.
  • Accept financial aid: Log in to eWOLF and accept enough financial aid to cover your balance. Watch this GIF to see how. If you have questions, contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@frontrange.edu or (303) 404-5250.
  • Set up an interest-free payment plan to spread your costs over a semester of monthly payments. (Log in to eWOLF, and from the Payments & Financial Aid drop-down menu, click on “Payments & Payment Plans.” Under Monthly Deferred Payment Plan click on the “Set-up payment plan” link.)
  • Or you can pay in full through eWOLF or at the Cashier’s Office on campus.
5.      Double check your childcare and transportation arrangements/schedule

Just a friendly reminder to make sure that your childcare is scheduled (if needed), and that you have a dependable way to get to campus. Double check that these items don’t cause any conflicts with your class schedule.

How is the College Getting Ready?

FRCC is committed to making the first day count by helping students get ready to learn—and faculty and instructors prepared to teach—on the first day of class.

As part of our student success efforts, one of the commitments we’ve made is to develop a culture where the first day of class truly matters. To ensure students are learning, they need to be in class, ready to engage, and be prepared for learning on day one. We also want faculty and instructors to be able to spend their time in the classroom teaching—instead of signing forms and trying to determine what their real class roster will eventually look like (several days later).

New Options

To make the first day count, FRCC is committed to ensuring that:

  • Students experience a strong start to the term with impactful first-day class sessions.
  • FRCC offers a robust selection of Start 2 and Start 3 classes, so that students don’t have to wait until the next semester to take a course they want or need.
  • Students who do not register by midnight the day before their classes start need to choose Start 2 and Start 3 classes. This allows students to still be ready on day one, but doesn’t require them to wait an entire semester before beginning at FRCC.
  • We acknowledge the progress of current students who have hit credit milestones by offering them priority (early) registration, ensuring that our continuing students have the best access to classes they need to complete their program of study.
Students, Faculty, and Advisors Working Together

We know that legitimate schedule changes sometimes need to be made for well-prepared students. Students who register on time may request changes by working directly with their Pathways Advisor. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and should be rare.

Faculty and Instructors should not have to negotiate with students about adding their class. In most cases, students who need to change a class, or add a new one, will be directed to Start 2 or Start 3.

Impacts of Start 2 and Start 3

We asked a teacher for her view on offering three start dates for the semester’s classes. Philosophy faculty member Alyson Huff from FRCC’s Larimer Campus highlights the positive impacts.

How Students Benefit

The Start 2 and 3 choices—in conjunction with on-time registration—are beneficial to student success. These options:

  • Prevent students from missing that vital first day of class.
  • Give students equitable options with some breathing room (i.e. They don’t have to panic if they miss the first start date or if they change their mind on a class, etc.).
  • Give students a chance to switch from a class that won’t work for them (they often find this out after the first day) into a class that might work better (without falling behind, jumping in late, having to argue for a late-add, feeling stuck, etc.).
How Teachers Benefit

This new process takes the pressure off teachers and saves us time. We can actually teach on the first day without worrying that we’ll have to repeat everything at the next class meeting for all of those who missed.

Offering a robust Start 2 and 3 schedule allows teachers to redirect students to a class that starts later (without guilt) and without inhibiting their chance for success.

Let’s Do This

Teachers and students all want to start the semester off right. We can’t wait to see you on campus next week!

Related Posts