A brand-new semester starts next week. You may be feeling a bit nervous and/or excited about your first day of class. But there’s no need to worry. You belong here. And FRCC is ready to help.
Want to start the year off strong? Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’ll be ultra-prepared and get things off on the right foot…
Tips to Start the Semester Off Right
Double Check Your Registration Details
That includes confirming that your degree declaration is right and that you are registered for classes correctly. Make sure you didn’t accidentally choose an on-campus course when you meant to choose online—and that all of your in-person classes are at the right location. (FRCC has three campuses.)
If you receive financial aid, you need to ensure your courses are part of a financial aid-eligible program of study per the US Department of Education. Questions on that? Contact an academic advisor, who can help with all of this.
Know Where Your Classes Are
Stop by the campus you’ll be attending and do a walk-through before the first day of the semester so you know where you’re going. Or, if you don’t have a chance to do that, look online at the campus maps and building maps.
Here’s another way to save yourself some stress: Give yourself an extra 10-20 minutes on the first few days of classes too, just in case the parking lot is busy or you accidentally go to the wrong classroom.
Buy Textbooks and Materials Ahead of Time
The FRCC Campus Stores have everything you need: textbooks, notebooks, binders, folders and more. You can find customized lists of course materials for each course on their website, so that you show up to the first day of classes with everything needed (or at least—everything on order).
In some cases, you can even rent textbooks. Visit the website or stop by your Campus Store this week.
Get Your Wolf Card
While you’re buying books, you might as well get your student ID (Wolf Card) too, which you’ll need for testing, advising appointments, financial aid, checking out library materials, using the fitness center at Westminster Campus and more.
All you need to bring is:
- proof that you’re registered for a course (or courses) at FRCC
- a valid state-issued photo ID
- $5 (or $10 if you’re replacing a lost one)
Get Your Technology in Order
Don’t wait until your first homework assignment to crack open your laptop. Check that your computer and other devices are in working order and ready to go for the semester. If you need a mobile charger, new mouse, ear phones or anything else, pick those up this week.
And in case you ever have a tech problem, remember that each campus has a Computer Commons you can use. They all have networked computers available for students to use that have internet access. You can also access the Microsoft Office Suite. Check the Computer Commons webpage for hours and locations.
Get Familiar With MyCourses
If you’re a new student and you’re taking any online courses, you’ll be using FRCC’s learning management system—MyCourses (the artist formerly known as D2L). Before your courses start next week, it’s time well spent to get familiar with MyCourses and the Online Student Union. This page has several short tutorials that will get you up to speed.
Print All of Your Course Syllabi
If professors provide the syllabus ahead of time, print it out and look it over. You could go the extra step now to put all test and quiz dates into your planner/planner app or smartphone calendar.
If the syllabus isn’t available before your first class—or you don’t have a chance to go through it in advance—plan to bring your laptop or a notebook and pen or pencil with you to take notes as you go over the syllabus in class.
Make Sure Your Student Finances Are All Set
Pay attention to payment deadlines. If you have questions or want to confirm there’s nothing outstanding regarding financial aid, reach out to the financial aid office before classes start.
Explore the College’s Resources
Whether this is your first semester at FRCC or your fourth, it’s good to know where you can turn for help when you need to. Each campus offers many types of academic assistance—from tutoring services to math and writing centers, from computer labs to supplemental instruction.
If you’re eligible for disability support services (or think you might be), be sure to stop by that office too. Check these helpful resources out now—and ask your advisor what resources you should keep in mind for the future.
Advice From FRCC Advisors
Ask for Help Early and Often
Krista Boddy, enrollment advisor at the Larimer Campus, works with newly admitted FRCC students. She says students shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help the first week of classes—or any time throughout the semester.
“Many new students are nervous and shy about asking for help, but they really shouldn’t be,” she says. “The welcome center at each campus has maps and information and people to answer questions.”
“For students who have just decided they want to enroll this semester, there is drop-in advising the first week of the semester, so they can still get registered. We even offer late-start classes, because we are excited to welcome students to campus.”
Pay Extra Attention the First Week
As an FRCC alumna, Boulder County Campus bilingual online pathways advisor Susana Gallegos reminds students that the first week of classes is important—and especially the first day.
“The syllabus is a student’s best friend,” she says. “It’s smart to pay attention in the first class as professors go over everything, including what the class will cover, grading policies and test dates. Students can always make adjustments in the first couple of days of the semester without causing too many disruptions to their schedules.”
When students go to campus on the first day of class (or before), Susana suggests they pay attention to the message boards around campus. “Those are full of information about everything from clubs to jobs, from used books for sale to tutoring,” she says.
Self-Advocate and Commit
Emily Musumecci, online learning pathways advisor, tells students that advocating for themselves and committing to the work required will help them succeed. “I always remind online students to be diligent about logging into classes that don’t have specific meeting times from the start of the semester,” she says.
“Students who hold themselves accountable do better in college. And all advisors would tell students that they should always reach out to an advisor or an instructor if they have questions.”
All of us here at FRCC wish you a great semester! Remember: be prepared, plan for success and ask for help throughout the semester. Everyone at FRCC is here to support you.
We’re so glad you’re here. Have a fantastic first week of classes!