Dear Parents and Families,
You may hear from your student that spring semester passes very quickly – and I would have to agree! We are already three weeks into the semester and with so much to do on campus this time of year, it’s amazing how quickly time flies.
Thus far, February has not disappointed, we started off the month with a “flurry” of activity – really it was more than a “flurry”, campus was blanketed with big snow that brought a very rare snow day, much to the excitement and enjoyment of our students!
In addition to activities and events (see Destiny’s feature below) on campus, this time of year is also a time for important conversations. Engage in discussions with your student about this semester’s academic goals, adjusting to new courses and new professors’ expectations, deciding on housing options for the fall, and quickly approaching deadlines - Spring 2016 e-billing payments are due Feb. 10th, 2016-17 FAFSA Priority date is March 1st, CSU Scholarship Application is due March 1st, etc. Our newsletter this month features articles that provide additional information about these topics and much more!
Thank you for all your support, we appreciate you!
P.S. we hope you enjoy the new newsletter format!! :)
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Important Upcoming February Dates
The month of February comes with many events and activities for students and the community! After a fun, restful snow day campus is active with events, workshops, and activities!
The CSU Health Network is continuing Mindfully Managing Stress Workshops throughout the month to assist students in dealing with stress and increasing their well-being as the semester continues! Contact the CSU Health Network for more info at (970) 491-6053.
Basketball season also continues through the month! Multiple games will be hosted in Moby Arena so throw on some CSU colors and cheer on the Rams as they remain strong throughout the rest of the season!
- Women’s Basketball: Feb. 17th at 7pm vs. Utah State, Feb. 27th at 2pm vs. Nevada
- Men’s Basketball: Feb. 10th at 7pm vs. Boise State, Feb. 20th at 2pm vs. Wyoming
February also kicks off Black History Month! Join us for several events around campus as we celebrate Black History Month: The Journey, Our Pursuit. Events range from open forum discussions, guest speakers, hair shows, to going back in time and having some fun celebrating the Soul Train Era!
- Real Talks Every Tuesday at 4pm in LSC 335 discussing the Black Lives Matter Movement, Modern Day Slavery, and Black Leaders.
- Black Hair Show Feb. 14th at 3pm in the LSC Theatre: Behold: Black Beauty through the decades.
- Movie: Crash Feb. 17th in the LSC Theatre: Connected stories about race, class, family and gender in Los Angeles in the aftermath of 9/11.
- Black Women’s Summit Feb. 20th from 10-5pm in the LSC: African American Women in higher education.
- Soul Train Line Feb. 20th at 6:30pm in the LSC Ballroom: Food, drinks, desserts, and dancing!
For a full list of events visit: http://www.baacc.colostate.edu/
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Reminders and Important Information from Student Financial Services
By Eleni Beaty | Student Financial Services
With spring being just around the corner, we know students and families are thinking about financial aid for the next academic year.
Please find a list of important next steps and dates:
Is your student considering living off campus? Students often ask how financial aid and scholarships work if they live off-campus. For example, students can use financial aid to pay toward rent, food, and utilities. Financial aid will pay your semester University expenses first and the excess will be sent to the student in a refund to help pay rent, food, etc. It is important that this refund cover expenses until mid-January, including January rent, when spring financial aid refunds are sent. Please encourage the student to contact our office to address specific questions.
Believe it or not, we are already talking about the summer of 2016. Taking classes in the summer is a great way to earn credits and progress toward graduation. This website outlines the courses as well as provides information regarding tuition/fees and financial aid opportunities: http://summer.colostate.edu/ .
We encourage you and your student to contact Student Financial Services for future planning and support. Student Financial Services: 970-491-6321, email@example.com, or visit them in Centennial Hall.
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CSU Faculty Member Spotlight
By John Henderson | Director, Parent and Family Programs
Dr. Richard Knight
Professor of Wildlife Conservation
Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Warner College of Natural Resources
For the past 29 years, Dr. Richard Knight has taught CSU students, conducted research, and participated in a wide variety of other on and off campus endeavors. In his own words, "For wildlife conservation to work it has to work for both the land and for people. If actions benefit one at the expense of the other, it's not conservation." True conservation works to balance the needs of three key dimensions, the human, economic, and ecological. After spending 7 years serving in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and another five years with a state wildlife agency in Washington state, Dr. Knight began as an Assistant Professor at CSU and since that time, has been "all in" in terms of working with students, faculty, and community members (both in and outside the United States) to work to promote healthy human communities and healthy natural communities. Dr. Knight currently teaches the freshman only course on Environmental Conservation (to 150 students) and the senior capstone course on "Protected Areas, Working Lands, and Livelihoods." He has published 10 books while also spending a considerable amount of time throughout the American west and abroad--connecting his expertise with people and communities "in the field."
When first meeting with him, it's easy to see why CSU students really appreciate who he is as a person as well as his expertise in conservation. He's quick to smile, loves engaging in conversation, and as he noted, "I never take vacation but I have also never worked a day in my life." In other words, he absolutely loves what he does as a professor at CSU. Dr. Knight views teaching as a two-way co-evolutionary process, drawing from his knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to guide students while at the same time, learning from their creativity, curiosity, and passion. As for the Warner College of Natural Resources as a whole, he notes, "We know who we work for here--it's the students. The warmth in the college between students and faculty is genuine." Dr. Knight noted that of the 20 plus student organizations connected to Warner College, all of them have at least 1 (if not 2) faculty advisors. Additionally, Warner College offers an intense month long summer camp learning experience at the Colorado State University Mountain Campus, offering three sessions with 100 students and 5 faculty each.
When asked what he thinks about CSU, Dr. Knight notes, "It's loved across the American West. There's no institution that has a better reputation (maybe comparable, but not better) in the American West." While his interests used to be mountaineering and all things outdoors, he will now tell you, "“Every day is a holiday, every meal is a banquet, and every paycheck is a fortune. My life is all about conservation and I love it!"
For an additional article on Dr. Richard Knight, visit the Coloradoan at http://noconow.co/1HSlK92. Parent and Family Programs would like to thank Dr. Knight for taking the time to share with us just how much he enjoys working with students and the work he does in the community.
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Student Diversity Programs and Services Spotlight
By Guadalupe Salazar | El Centro
Does your student(s) need volunteer opportunities to get connected and be engaged? Well allow me to tell you about El Centro!
For over 38 years, El Centro has been the catalyst that initiates the majority of the educational and cultural enrichment programs that enhance and validate the Hispanic/Latina/o/Chicana/o culture at Colorado State University and in the Fort Collins community. El Centro's mission is to provide an inclusive learning environment that welcomes all CSU students. El Centro supports and strengthens the academic and cultural experiences of students by providing workshops, leadership opportunities and Latina/o cultural awareness programs that promote student success and retention. We have the resources to support personal, social, cultural, and academic needs to empower students and promote personal growth. We offer a place for discovering heritage, traditions, cultural awareness and a diverse educational experience. Students can visit El Centro to relax, socialize, laugh, have dialogue, and build life-long memories.
At its core El Centro values Leadership, Service, Community, and Culture. Each of our programs are tailored with our core values in mind in order to assist our students in their academic, social and cultural growth. El Centro serves the community and the University through the Student Diversity Programs and Services offices, providing: diversity training, teaching, consulting, presentations, high and middle school visit days, and student and professional staff panel discussions. Through collaboration with a number of departments and the Division of Student Affairs we were able to share resources that assist with the continuation of various programs and activities on campus and in the Fort Collins area.
The Somos Rams Leadership retreat aims at engaging students on and off campus; it is a two day/two night event that is comprised of leadership activities. It has become a program that students ask about throughout the year. The students in attendance were excited, energized, and motivated throughout the program and enthused with the connections they made with one another. This is a student-centered program in which all the activities were facilitated by our student staff. According to completed assessments, students have returned feeling motivated to become more involved and engaged with El Centro and other Student Diversity Programs and Services offices.
Triunfo/Triumph Tutoring Program (Triunfo) began in 1990, with a small group of Poudre School District (PSD) students and 20 CSU student volunteers. The major goal of the Triunfo Tutoring Program is to continue to raise student achievement and assist the school district with closing the achievement gap by continuing to provide opportunities for students to complete their homework and be mentored by CSU students. El Centro, along with the College of Natural Sciences Education and Outreach Center (CNSEOC), has collaborated for the past eight years to offer Triunfo to the local community. Concurrently, the program offers CSU students the opportunity to volunteer, serving as tutors and positive role models. The Triunfo/Triumph after school program helps foster positive relationships with our local community while providing students and their family’s with direct exposure to the CSU campus.
El Centro has organized the Math, Science, Technology (MST) Day program for the past 24 years. The purpose of this program is to expose 4th grade students to opportunities in math, science, and technology. This is another program for CSU students to participate in as volunteers by participating in experiential learning activities’ while serving as positive role models. The program aims to reach underrepresented 4th grade students by providing “hands on” educational workshops to over 300 students, teachers, counselors and parents, annually. The primary objective of the program is to encourage underrepresented students to enter the fields of math, science and technology; additionally, to impart direct exposure to the CSU campus via connecting with CSU students, faculty and staff. MST Day continues to have a positive impact in our community.
The L.E.A.D. Conference is co-hosted by El Centro and the Black/African American Cultural Center. Although this was only the third annual conference, the student surveys were excellent and encouraged our offices to continue this annual conference. L.E.A.D. allowed students from two different cultural backgrounds to create intercultural bonds, while gaining professional development. Colorado State University alumni facilitated the workshops provided during the conference; this allowed current students to create connections and networks with those who have had similar experiences. Although both Cultural Centers have experienced great success with the L.E.A.D. Conference we are striving to find funding and continue this crucial collaboration in hopes of continuing to make a difference in the lives of sophomores and alumni who volunteer their services to the conference.
La Conexión is a program aimed at fostering a strong sense of community, cultural pride, student engagement, and academic confidence for Latino students at CSU. The Family Leader (mentor) is a role model for La Conexión student participants so they may understand what it takes to be successful at CSU. La Conexión values community, academic excellence, cultural pride and student engagement. La Conexión assists first year students with establishing meaningful relationships with other Latino students and campus professionals. La Conexión resembles a family because of the openness, support, and authenticity practiced by student participants and program leaders. It creates an environment for learning by promoting academic success and empowers students to demonstrate cultural pride while also practicing inclusiveness of all identities. It also supports active engagement in the CSU community by creating service and leadership opportunities as well as encouraging participation in current programs offered by campus partners.
Las Comadres is one of El Centro’s most recent programs, created in the fall of 2013. The purpose of this program is to encourage, engage and support relationships among Colorado State University Latinas. Las Comadres is a community built on friendship, networking and academic success. It is our mission to inspire, empower and support Latina students at CSU through inclusive and enjoyable programs. Las Comadres will engage staff, faculty and community members with Latinas on campus. This program supports students by encouraging them to pursue their career goals and preparing them for a diverse society. Las Comadres continues to be a student centered program; student staff and volunteers take the lead with all activities (along with direction from professional staff). Come and be a part of this movement as we are strong and we are Latina women striving for excellence! Through our challenges and our success we will remain united, nothing will stop us from achieving our dreams!
National Latino Heritage Month (NLHM) Sept. 15 to Oct. 15: For over 30 years, El Centro has collaborated with the Fort Collins community to organize and celebrate National Latino Heritage Month. NLHM is celebrated with music, dance groups, slam poetry, videos/films, cultural enrichment educational programs and delicious food. The celebration continues to provide an excellent means of educating and sharing of cultural diversity among all CSU students and residents of our community. The Cesar Chavez Celebration is a week-long remembrance of a humble and legendary community leader and activist. The Cesar Chavez celebration reaches out to all students and the Fort Collins community. This event not only exemplifies diversity but it teaches culture, activism, history, and partnership.
These are only a few of the many programs/resources we provide for your student(s). At El Centro we like to think of ourselves as a family, a “home away from home,” a place that provides a sense of belonging. With dedication and motivation, we do all we can to assist students to be successful at Colorado State University. El Centro is proud to be celebrating 40 years of service in the upcoming academic year! We hope that you and your student(s) join us in this wonderful opportunity in becoming a part of our familia! GO RAMS!
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Career Communities – A New Way For Students To Explore Career Interest Areas
By: Summer Shaffer, Associate Director, The Career Center
The Colorado State University Career Center is excited to announce the launch of a brand new initiative called Career Communities. Career Communities is an exclusive opportunity for students, employers and alumni to connect both online and in-person about common job interests. Each of the fifteen interest area communities will reside online and offer a simple and convenient way to connect with other CSU students, alumni, faculty, and employers.
Career Communities offers students a flexible online space to connect without having to leave campus. Students are hungry for knowledge and the Career Center knows that alumni, employers, faculty and staff have a great deal of experience and expertise to share with them. Additionally, Career Communities offers users access to a broad range of community members so it is a great way to begin building personal networks while exploring topics of interest.
Career Communities hosted a student launch event on January 27 on the Plaza. “Students are excited to be able to connect with others about common interest areas. We anticipate Communities offering invaluable career exploration opportunities for the students who are engaged," commented Barb Richardson, Associate Director of Assessment and Strategic Initiatives at the Career Center. Richardson continued, “We encourage family members who are also alumni or an employer to join Career Communities to help give back to CSU and gain access to an extensive network of people with similar career interests."
- Click here to join.
- Create a profile or simply import your information from LinkedIn.
- Join the most relevant community(ies) for your work.
In addition to the launch of Career Communities the Career Center is also fast at work on final preparations for the Spring All Campus Career Fair on February 16 & 17 in the Lory Student Center Ballroom from 10:30am – 3:30pm each day. The Spring Career Fair is an excellent place for students to seek out career positions and internships. Encourage your student to attend the Career Fair regardless whether or not they are actively job or internship hunting. The Career Fair provides a wonderful opportunity for students to explore future career options and build their personal networks. For more information about the Career Fair, click here to visit the Fairs App online or to download the app.
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Off-Campus Living: The Beginning
By Emily Allen | Office Campus Life
With the spring semester well underway, you may have noticed that recent conversations with your student have gone from chatting about their excitement for the semester to worrying about where they will live next academic year. Your student is likely feeling the pressure to find housing because they are inundated by advertisements from the rental industry pressuring them not to miss out on a great deal by “signing up today!” All of us in the Off-Campus Life Office are here to help make your student’s transition to living in Fort Collins a smooth one. Please remind your student that they can visit us in the Lory Student Center (room 274) or on the web at www.ocl.colostate.edu. Your student (as well as you) can also follow us through our various social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Whether in person or online, they can find more information on:
- Off-Campus Life Student Handbook: In December, prior to your student leaving for break, those living in the residence halls received a handbook titled, “Off-Campus Life Student Handbook: Hiking Into Off-Campus Living.” Topics include: where to search for housing, budgeting, leases, roommates, utilities, safety, good neighboring tips, city codes and ordinances (noise, occupancy limit, nuisance gatherings, parking, snow shoveling, etc.), and much, much more! This handbook will prove to be a useful tool to help start and guide the discussion of off-campus living with your student. If your student is not living in a residence hall, fear not; they can pick up a free copy of this handbook in our Off-Campus Life Office (274 Lory Student Center)!
- RentalSearch (www.RentalSearch.colostate.edu): Off-Campus Life’s online RentalSearch is the premier rental housing site for CSU students. Using their CSU eid and password, students can log onto rentalsearch.colostate.edu to find vacant properties, rooms available in a property, or potential roommates.
- 31st Annual Housing Fair: On Wednesday, February 10th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom, Off-Campus Life will host its annual Housing Fair. This event, free and open to the public, gives CSU students the opportunity to come to one place and find loads of information about housing options in the Fort Collins community. Present at the Housing Fair will be local property management companies, apartment complexes, private landlords, realtors, and community resources such as Fort Collins Utilities, Transfort, internet providers, storage facilities, and more! Your student will not only walk away with a ton of knowledge but chances are high they will leave with some giveaways (grand prizes include a GoPro, TV and lots of gift cards).
- Getting to Year 2 @ CSU conference sessions: This yearly conference, happening on February 16 and 17, is designed to assist students with the transition to their second year at CSU. Off-Campus Life hosts two key presentations: Housing Options After the 1st Year and Party Smart: How to Host a Successful Party in Fort Collins. These specific sessions will help with selecting housing (on and off campus) and local ordinances and laws.
The resources above are all here to help your student be successful in making the transition into the Fort Collins community. And before they get started with finding a place, they are probably thinking about who they want to live with. While moving into a place in the Fort Collins community can be a very exciting time, there is an important first step to take before making the move.
Many students jump into signing leases with their friends before considering whether their friend will make for a good roommate for the 10 or 12 month lease they are legally locked into. In fact, the roommates who never pick up their shoes or who eat food they did not buy themselves may be the demise of that great friendship. Here are some things for your student to consider prior to committing to a legally binding lease with their “bestie”:
- Observation Period: Have your student take a few days to observe their potential roommate(s). How clean/messy do they keep their current room? Do they like to hit snooze 20 times in the morning before rolling out of bed? Do they neglect food in the fridge for far too long? Students can sometimes put blinders on when it comes to living with their best friends. By taking the time to observe current behaviors, they will get a better picture of how next year may look.
- Values Clarification: College is all about self-exploration. Have your student take advantage of what they are learning and have them continue the discussion with their potential roommates. Explore values and communication styles (text messaging, in person, etc.). Have them ask open-ended questions instead of simply getting yes/no answers.
- Roommate Contracts: Sure, your student may have thought their residence hall roommate contract days were far behind them. It turns out that the stuff they learned in the halls is invaluable! Students should sit down with their would-be roommate(s) and work through a roommate contract (conveniently located in the back of our Student Handbook!) prior to making a commitment to live with one another. By taking this important step they are insuring that they agree on sleeping habits, cleaning, bill paying, pets, smoking, overnight visitors, noise levels, partying, food, and many more important issues roommates often face.
- Honesty: Remind your student that open communication needs to be a two-way street. Your student should be open and up front about their values, personal habits, and financial expectations. By being honest up front, they are avoiding sticky situations in the future.
- Keep an Open Mind: College is the time and place for your student to be open to change. Perhaps living with someone who is from another country or state is just what your student needs. Sometimes complete strangers make for the best roommates.
- Finding a Roommate: If your student already knows they are looking to find roommates outside of their current group of friends, have them check out two great resources provided by our office. One is the Roommate Roundup events that our office hosts throughout the summer and academic year (http://ocl.colostate.edu/calendar) which works as a personal meet and greet for potential roommates. Another resource is our RentalSearch site. On the site, your student can not only look for available housing, but they are able to look for available roommates or post that they are an available roommate themselves.
Remember, Off-Campus Life is here to help your student successfully live in the great City of Fort Collins. Visit us in room 274 of the Lory Student Center, www.ocl.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-2248!
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National Survey of Student Engagement
By Heather Novak | Institutional Research
The National Survey of Student Engagement: Coming to Students’ Inboxes this month!
Colorado State University is committed to continuous improvement of the undergraduate experience and to helping undergraduates successfully complete their program of study. As part of that commitment, every three to four years we ask students to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). It is a brief and confidential online survey that helps us to better understand our campus environment and student behavior by asking students about their study habits, educational plans and experiences, how they spend their time, and their satisfaction with the campus, the faculty and the curriculum. While results serve as an important data source for various levels of accreditation and program review, they are most importantly used to improve the education experience. In the past results have influenced campus conversations about diversity, experiential learning, and the availability of academic resources/support outside of the classroom.
This February, first-year, second-year, and senior undergraduates will be asked to participate in the survey. An invitation containing the survey link will be sent to students’ official CSU email account on February 16th. Additionally, students can also access the survey link on their RAMweb. Students completing the survey are entered into a lottery drawing to win one of 5 iPad tablets. We encourage you to let your student know that the invitation will be arriving soon and that his/her participation is highly valued. This is your student’s safe and confidential opportunity to provide feedback to make CSU better for themselves and future students!
Thank you in advance for taking time to discuss the NSSE survey with your student!
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