Dear Parents and Families,
We hope you are well! Spring has sprung here in Fort Collins and we’ve been treated to beautiful spring days and some rainy ones too – but along with the shift in seasons, comes the conclusion of the academic year. We often refer to these last few weeks of the spring semester as some of the busiest, because of the need for students to balance academic expectations along with goals for the summer – such as finding a job or internship. For graduating students, these next few weeks are often filled with a myriad of emotions as they complete their academic requirements, celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family, and finalize post-graduation plans. Encourage your student to keep their focus and seek resources to achieve their academic and career goals.
Before moving on to the remainder of the newsletter, we have a few important updates and reminders to share:
- Join us for the Senior Send-Off! Is your student graduating this semester? Parents and family members of graduating students are invited, along with their student, to join the CSU community – including President Frank, Dr. Blanche Hughes and others in celebrating their accomplishments. The Senior Send-Off will be May 11th, 2017 from 5pm-7:30pm on the Oval. In order to best prepare for this celebration we are asking for RSVP's - please let us know if you'll be attending! RSVP here: https://advancing.colostate.edu/SENIORSEND-OFF2017.
- Spring 2017 Commencement is Friday, May 12th through Sunday, May 14th – for details on specific commencement and commissioning ceremonies see the Commencement website.
- Spring 2017 Final exam schedule can be found here. Final exams begin on May 8th. Remind your student to seek out resources for academic support, such as those available at The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT).
- Homecoming & Family Weekend 2017 will be held October 12-14th. Be sure to make travel/hotel arrangements soon! Both prices and availability will be impacted as we get closer to October! Don’t forget to utilize our RamFam Preferred Business Partners list as you make your travel arrangements. A specific schedule of events will be released at a later date – see the www.familyweekend.colostate.edu website for up-to-date details! We hope you’ll consider visiting campus, connecting with your student, and cheering on the football team as they face Nevada – go Rams!
Finally, we want to announce an exciting new initiative from Parent and Family Programs that will go into effect in the Fall 2017 semester. Based on feedback from parents and family members, best practices in our field, and current research on supporting the college student transition, we have decided to pilot a new Family Newsletter format. We are moving away from monthly newsletters and instead we will send approximately 4-5 newsletter per academic year. The newsletters will be supplemented with direct email communication when timely messaging is appropriate. The new format is designed to meet the unique needs of your student – unique to where they are in their time at CSU. While all newsletters will include important academic and university announcements and dates, each newsletter will be designed to meet the needs of a specific student (and family) population. For example, as a family member of a first-year student, you would receive newsletters specifically addressing the first-year experience.
For family members of students in their 2nd year, our hope is to share messages that are appropriate for supporting your student during this time of transition. Further, we know that those students in their 3rd, 4th, or 5th year also likely have different needs – and through this new format we will provide information to family members that is pertinent to their student’s experience. We are excited to partner with offices across campus to create meaningful messages that will help you support your student throughout their time at CSU!
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- April 1
- April Fool’s Day
- Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Begins
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month Begins
- April 2
- April 3
- Web Registration Begins for Fall 2017
- April 5
- Just In Time Career Fair (4-7:30pm in the LSC Ballroom)
- April 7-8
- April 12
- International Careers Panel
- Cultural Food Festival
- April 15
- Textbook Orders Due to the Bookstore for Fall Semester
- April 22
- April 23
- April 26
- Administrative Professionals Day
- April 27
- APACC Award Ceremony (5-7pm)
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Black History Month Recap
By Yasmine Amon
Black History Month at Colorado State University was nothing short of exquisite thanks to the students and staff members of the Black/African American Cultural Center. We were all delighted with performances by CSU students, presentations by invited community members and speeches given by founding members. The historical month kicked off with an Opening Ceremony in the Lory Student Center, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. CSU. Students, faculty, staff and community members were graced with the presence of the founder of Project Go, Meredith Levert, and the first Director of the Black/African American Cultural Center, Vivian Kerr.
We, in the Black/African American community, partook in critical dialogue during Real Talk sessions that centered around what our blackness means to us as individuals, whether shown through love, identity, role models who paved the way and how we show up in various spaces. The dialogue continued into the Black and Series which focused on intersecting identities. As the award-winning singer India Arie sang, “I am not my hair, I am not my skin, I am the soul that lives within,” was perfectly emulated through the Black and Series which introduced discussion on being religious, identifying with two or several races, being a part of the LGBTQ community and even feminism. These sessions reminded us that we are all connected but different and our characteristics and values go deeper than our skin tone.
The Black/African American Cultural Center wanted to bring some outside perspectives by presenting an array of speakers such as our Keynote Speaker, Hill Harper, who is known mainly for his acting role in the series CSI:NY but is also an activist and author. Florida University professor and author, Ibram X. Kendi, shared his experience and research on the struggles of the Black community by highlighting the truths of racial segregation. Mr. Nate Jackson was able to bring some humor to campus during his comedy show and love was in the air on Valentine’s Day as two YouTube famous poets, Cyrus Speaks and Rudy Francisco, touched hearts with their compassionate and introspective words.
Intermixed with the overall fun of Black History Month, students and staff members had the chance to watch movies that brought about sad emotions such as the documentary ‘The 13th’ which highlights the issue of the prison system, ‘Birth of a Nation’ as well as the movie ‘Southside with You’. Divine Nine Sororities and Fraternities made quite an appearance during this month. Members of different organizations came to campus for Meet the Greeks, to spark student interest. The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. performed at the Black Student Alliance Step Show. Students also flaunted their fashion, style and beauty during the United Women of Color Hair Show.
I would define Black History Month on CSU’s campus as a time where new friendships were cultivated, bonds among community members were strengthened and those who wished to learn more were able to do so. The events that took place here would not have been made possible if it had not been for the Director of B/AACC Bridgette Johnson as well as Duan Ruff, Ivan Hubbard and the B/AACC Office staff members. Also a big thank you to the following organizations -- Africans United, Black Student Alliance, Colors, United Men of Color and United Women of Color. Let’s not forget the students, staff, faculty and community members who came out to participate and support. Thank you all!
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The Benefits of a “Summer On” rather than a “Summer Off”
By Anne Van Arsdall
Is your student considering Summer Session at CSU? It is an awesome time of year to be on campus or to take classes online when that is a better fit. Read below about the numerous educational, financial, and time-saving benefits to participating in Summer Session. Additionally, please encourage your student to apply the tips provided to be successful in a more condensed term. Finally, summer offers a variety of terms for flexibility, financial aid may be available, and there are some fun and free events coming up soon where your students can learn more about Summer Session.
- Improve GPA
- More than 60% of CSU students who took a summer class improved their grade point average
- Take a class that typically has a waiting list and therefore is harder to get into during the fall or spring semesters
- Explore a new interest
- Add to or change a program of study
- Add a minor or concentration
- Add or change a major
- Gain experience through internships, research, study abroad, and experiential/field courses
- One or two classes at a time allows for more focus on fewer subjects
- The condensed course formats mean a fast start and consistent pace, can contribute to deeper learning
- Smaller class size allows for:
- More individual attention from faculty
- Building a stronger learning community
- Enhanced in-class discussion
- Save money: Graduating late requires additional living and educational expenses
- Earn money sooner: By accelerating time to graduation, students enter the job market earlier
- According to U.S. News & World Report, an additional year at a four-year college would cost about $22,826 (tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation and other costs). Students also would lose out on about $45,327 in wages.
- Tuition: If tuition increases, it usually increases in the fall semester
- Tuition discount for non-residents in Summer Session
- Non-resident degree-seeking students receive a discount on the first 3 credits of online courses. These first 3 credits are at the in-state tuition rate.
- Lighten course load in other semesters
- College students are working more hours throughout the school year than ever, which may compromise credit progress towards degree and GPA
- Accelerate time to graduation
- At least half of CSU students who graduate in four years or less take at least one summer course
- Stay on track for graduating in four years
- Reach the next class level:
- Sophomore (completion of 30 credits by end of freshmen year)
- Junior (completion of 60 credits by end of sophomore year)
- Senior (completion of 90 credits by end of junior year)
- Completion of degree (120 credits or more depending on program of study)
What your student needs to know to be successful in Summer Session:
- Study daily as tests occur more often
- Build in more time to study to keep up with the faster pace of summer courses.
- If attending overlapping terms, students must compensate accordingly.
- Utilize the available campus resources: Most offices are open all summer long
- Condensed course formats are fast paced: As an example, fitting a 3-credit, 16-week course into a shorter time period can make:
- A 4-week term feel like 12 credits
- An 8-week term feel like 6 credits
- A 12-week term feel like 4 credits
- Labs are intense in an 8-week term
- Students may not be able to work while in Summer Session, depending on the number of credits taken
- The majority of online courses are NOT self-paced so students should participate from day one
- Students should explore what formats work best for their learning preferences and success when deciding upon on-campus and online courses
- Watch out for Deadlines
- Nonattendance is not a “drop”!
- Add/Drop/Withdrawal deadlines happen much sooner
CSU Summer Session is flexible offering a variety of courses at varying lengths, including online and weekends, to fit in with most summer plans:
Financial Aid May be Available:
Students who register for Summer Session will be contacted by the CSU Office of Financial Aid around mid-April with information about their specific eligibility for summer financial aid. Students can speak with a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid or visit their booth at the upcoming free waffle breakfast (details below).
Students currently on campus can learn more about summer school by stopping by these events:
April 5: Are you Waffling about Summer Session?
Information booths with representatives from the Office of Financial Aid, Summer Employment, Residence Life, Education Abroad, Campus Recreation, and select summer courses
- Free waffle breakfast
- Room 382 Lory Student Center, 10:00 a.m. – Noon
April 20: Pups on the Plaza
Visit our four-legged friends from Human Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC)
- Free ice cream and popsicles
- Lory Student Center Plaza, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Contact Director Anne Van Arsdall or Coordinator Ellen Audley at (970) 491-1590 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Options for Storage at the End of the Semester
By Michael Shelhamer, Owner of College Student Storage, a RamFam Preferred Business Partner
*Note: We've had a lot of questions about storage options for students, we wanted to share a perspective from our RamFam Preferred Business Partner in an effort to help guide conversations about decisions on storage for students over the summer.
At the end of the school year, students living on campus have to move out of the residence halls. Many parents and families help their student with the move out process. For out of state students, many parents and families fly or drive in to help. This can be very expensive and time consuming. Here are some of the costs out of state parents and families will incur
1. Flying or driving to Colorado, so airfare or gas money and/or car
2. Hotel cost and meals
3. Time off work or you have to use vacation days
4. Buying moving supplies
5. Renting a storage unit and buying a lock
6. Moving items out of residence halls and to a storage unit
7. Doing the whole process again in August when school starts back up
You can see how this process is expensive and exhausting for parents and families. Also, moving out of the residence halls is very stressful on your student during finals even if they have their own vehicle and are going to do it themselves.
Up until now there were 2 main storage options for out of state parents and families to choose from for your student when they move out of their residence hall at the end of the school year.
1. Renting a storage unit. This may be considered an affordable option, but it is important to consider other additional costs. Costs of supplies, moving items to and from the storage unit, etc. It is also important to consider the insurance options, or lack there of, for the storage facilities. It will be important to examine the insurance policies closely, to ensure your student's items are protected. Be aware of out door storage units! They often have loose doors and a lot of dirt and dust gets into the unit and all over your student's items (this happens often). Also, consider if the storage unit is climate controlled, sometimes in the summer temps can reach over 120 degrees daily in these units. Finally, students may rent a storage unit together to save money, again it's always important to consider the complications associated with numerous individuals sharing and using this space. I hear of horror stories all the time when students share a storage locker.
2. Hire a moving and storage company. This can be your easiest option for sure for both the student and for parents and families, particularly if living out of state. It may seem that this option is more expensive, but if you add everything up and the time and effort that goes into the moving process from move out in May to move back in August, you might be surprised. I encourage you to take into account all costs for comparison. Ultimately, there are many varieties of moving companies and you should research whom you choose. Many of them charge high rates for pick up and delivery with hourly minimum rates, no packing material given to the student ahead of time, and limits on what they will store and the services they off to parents and students.
3. Now there is a 3rd option! There are moving and storage businesses that cater directly to college students and their parents/families and offer numerous services! College Student Storage (CSS), which is locally owned and operated is one of them and has been around for 21 years in Colorado. We include packing materials (3 different sized boxes- 10 total, tape, poster tube, marker, and tags) delivered ahead of time to signed up students, storage packages to save money, flexibility in storing anything, like plastic containers, skis, furniture, beds, bikes, and even cars. Includes insurance and door-to -door pick up and delivery, whether you live on or off campus, all included for one rate. CSS also offers numerous other services like shipping, car storage, straight moving, freighting, Ikea services, repacking services and much more for students. We also own our own moving trucks and hire CSU college students as employees through out the summer and the rest of the year. We work with ALL CSU students who live on or off campus through out the summer and even for those who go abroad. Your student’s college career will last 4-5 years, there will be numerous times you or your student may need a service like CSS to help them out.
Beware! There are a few national companies claiming to do what CSS does. These companies are in and out for the quick buck, they are from outside Colorado, and sub contract all their business to local moving companies. They have zero employees in the state. You don’t know who actually has your items. They also charge very high fees if you want your items put in or taken out of storage early from the few select pick up and delivery dates they offer. Some limit on what they will take and store (like not taking furniture). These companies are not around throughout the summer or the rest of the year and offer very limited services. They are just after students moving out of the residence halls for summer break. You don’t know who actually is going to show up and pick up your items! More importantly, you have no idea where its being stored either.
To connect with CSS about options for your student please call: (970) 482-1777. Also you can check out the csstorage.com website and our Facebook page with videos and current blogs.
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First Generation Student Spotlight: Judy Baffico and Aurora Sisneros
By Jaelyn Coates
Meet the mother-daughter duo who took their college experience by force! Judy Baffico and Aurora Sisneros are both alumni of Colorado State University and both identify as First Generation College Students. Aurora is a student who found her way to CSU through the Upward Bound program, an opportunity that serves to help bridge the gap and guide low income and First Generation students into college. Seeing Aurora have such a great experience with Upward Bound, as well as be eligible for the First Generation Scholarship Award, is what inspired Judy, her mother, to also pursue a college degree.
“For me, the draw to CSU started when Aurora was approached by members of the [Upward Bound] program as a potential candidate for the scholarship. Her father and I were not high income people and we had not even thought about trying to send [Aurora] to college. Awhile later, when I found I that I [was eligible] for the same scholarship […] my personal draw to CSU began and I started looking at life quite differently.”
Because Aurora and Judy were able to access this scholarship, they were both able to attend CSU and pursue a degree at the College of Business. Judy reflects on the challenges of navigating the campus as a non-traditional student, citing that she focused tremendously on her grades to set her apart from the younger students in her class. Judy also fondly remembers sharing the student experience with her daughter on campus.
“I loved being on campus with my daughter. It was pretty special to see her smile at me in front of her friends. As time went on, we actually ended up having one class together. [This] class was the first experience I had presenting to a crowd of people, and I got to do it with my daughter!”
Aurora also remembers being really excited about going through her college journey alongside her mother.
“For me, I navigated the campus all through my high school years, as a member of Upward Bound. When my mom arrived, I felt like it was me that finally got to show her something new!”
Today, Judy enjoys a job in the coding field. Aurora is also coding, as well as managing her local business in Denver. Both Judy and Aurora are still very involved with the University, and enjoy returning to Fort Collins when they can. Their advice to other First Generation students, parents and families?
“[Your student] will be looking to you to keep steady. Know that your hugs and constant praise will help them find their way. Be proud of the commitment [your student] has made! And students, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Use your resources, and never doubt your ability to get through it. One class at a time.”
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Ram Recap: The Women's Conference
By Connor McFarland
Each year, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center at Colorado State University hosts the Women’s Conference—an educational and entertaining space to discuss topics related to gender, identity, and oppression. This one-day conference is designed to be engaging for both students and community members, providing opportunities for the community to engage in conversations surrounding gender and other social justice issues. Throughout the day, the conference typically hosts a keynote speaker and several breakout sessions. This year marked the 12th year that the Women’s Conference has been held at CSU.
When considering possible themes for this year’s conference, the Women’s Conference Committee wanted to mirror the social and political climate of marginalized students on campus. Many students felt silenced, erased, and ignored because of their identities. We wanted to create a space where marginalized people could have their voices heard; to define their own experiences and make themselves visible. The theme Speaking Out, Breaking Out, and Redefining was meant to not only capture this sentiment, but to give students and staff a chance to participate in these acts of empowerment.
The conference was kicked off by Tiffani Kelly, Assistant Director of the Native American Cultural Center. Her opening speech emphasized the importance of storytelling in indigenous communities by sharing a story of her own from her undergrad. Through this, Kelly touched on themes of race and gender, and how finding the intersection of identities can be challenging, especially at a predominantly white institution.
The heart of the conference was displayed through the three breakout sessions. These workshops and facilitations were given by students, staff, and community members and covered a number of topics such as: race, nationality, gender, sex positivity, sexual orientation, and interpersonal violence. Attendees had the opportunity to attend one of four breakouts during each of the three sessions.
The conference was concluded with a keynote speech from Jessica Chavez-Salazar, an attorney and CSU graduate. Chavez-Salazar spoke to the theme of Speaking Out, Breaking Out, and Redefining by drawing on her own experiences and giving practical advice to participants. Some of the key points of her speech included: the importance of women running for public office, ways in which to contact local representatives, and how to make change on an interpersonal level.
Overall, the conference was a success. One participant noted, “Overall, I was very pleased with the setup of this conference. Only recommendation would be to make it an all-day event! There were so many sessions I wanted to attend!” We’re already looking forward to planning next year’s conference!
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5 Ways to be Strategic with your Summer
By Career Center Staff
Summer is almost here and your student can hardly wait for time to relax by the pool with their best friend’s copy of Gone Girl because they wouldn’t crack open another text book for 3 months if someone paid them. Though that sounds like a pretty dreamy summer vacation, there’s still some work to be done if they want to stand out from their peers when it’s time to launch your job search. The summer is the best time to put everything they have been learning into practice and start getting experience. When they’re ready to graduate, they already have relevant experience to support the skills employers are seeking and they’ll be leading the pack of qualified and competitive new professionals. Here are five ways your student can be strategic with their summer:
Get an internship - Students who complete an internship while at CSU are 64% more likely to have their future plans secured at graduation, it has become increasingly more important than ever before to gain experience while pursuing a degree. Their degree program doesn’t have to require an internship for them to seek one out and students don’t always need to have junior status to apply. Additionally, internships are a great way to help students answer questions about what they eventually want to do for a career and what environments are best suited for their talents.
Get a job – Gaining exposure to a professional setting is crucial in so many more ways that just building technical skills. Students will learn how to conduct themselves professionally in a business setting. They’ll have the opportunity to practice communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. And they will strategically place themselves in an environment with access to professionals who’ll likely be influential to their future career.
Give back to your community – Employers hire candidates that can balance multiple commitments successfully. Showing that you’re passionate about causes outside their career will send a positive message to companies that they are well-rounded and philanthropic. Getting involved in the community, whether it’s with a non-profit organization or an assisted living facility, they’re building valuable relationships and personal character at the same time.
Gain leadership experience – If your student didn’t have time to join a student club or organization during the academic year, they can still gain leadership experience over the summer. Ask to be a seasonal member of a non-profit board of directors. Many organizations that serve the community are looking for cross-generational board representation in order to gain multiple perspectives on initiatives and campaigns. Encourage your student to look for any opportunity to lead others and practice your decision-making skills.
Be entrepreneurial - Summer is a great time to try out all those business ideas that your student may have thought about during the academic year but didn’t have time for. Perhaps they should open an Etsy account and take a stab at selling the amazing organic soaps a friend taught them to make. Take a workshop at the local Small Business Development Center to learn how to start a business, how to manage finances, how to be an expert at customer relations, etc.
If your student makes these things a priority and practices effective time management, they will still have time by the pool and likely get through Gone Girl because it’s quite the page turner!
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