Within weeks, the Fall 2012 term will commence for new and returning college students. The first priority will be finalizing course registrations and addressing all issues mentioned at the Orientation for new students. Convenience is important for students who study and work simultaneously. Nonetheless, students may check with the student government, as well as with current Juniors and Seniors, in order to discuss experiences with individual courses and teachers prior to finalizing registration.
In technical subjects like math or science, students should acquire the recommended textbooks early in order to peruse the first couple of chapters. If the material looks too unfamiliar, students should consider seeking the help of a tutor early in the semester.
Textbooks are sold traditionally at the college bookstore. Cheaper used copies may be available at Amazon or Alibris. Both of these sites have extensive selections of new and used textbooks available from sellers throughout the country.
When purchasing a used textbook, always check the copyright year and ISBN number. If there are specific technical questions, contact the university librarian, instructor, or the publisher. Amazon has electronic copies as well for use on a Kindle.
Next, students should ascertain that they have adequate computer resources to manage the workload. Some courses such as visual arts may require special software that should be purchased, downloaded, and tested early in the course.
Courses such as Statistics may require special software and/or a scientific calculator that performs computations like correlations and regressions. Online courses may require a specific software capability like Windows 7.
In addition, students should consider getting a security package like Avast or Norton. A malware package like SpyDoctor is another big help to forestall potential problems with unavailability of the internet due to malware infections.
Investment in software security could be very important if a considerable academic work product is accumulated over the course of the semester. The implications of not having adequate protection could be very serious.
Another option is to purchase Carbonite which charges $59 per year for unlimited offsite data storage. If your computer hardware gets tied up in malware, there is still recourse to the work product you developed over the semester. The same is true if your netbook is stolen. Netbook computer insurance may be something to consider as well.
Student transportation is a consideration on college campuses. Some colleges have an internal transport system which may operate on an hourly or periodic basis. Zipcar is an excellent product for transportation to visit home or to travel into local neighborhoods or major cities for recreation. Some colleges have bike ports available for students who choose to cycle for pleasure or campus transportation or trips home. Lowfares has a car rental service starting at $7 per day.
Most college teachers distribute a course outline early in the semester. The course outline spells out issues like required texts, weekly readings and homework, class attendance/participation, testing, term projects, awarding the final grade, and the professor’s available hours for consultation.
Students taking complex foreign languages like Chinese, Russian, or Arabic may find products like Pimsleur useful to acclimate to the language more expeditously. The Pimsleur approach strives to achieve a core competence in the language within 10 days. There are other foreign language products like Berlitz Virtual Classroom and RosettaStone.
Juniors and Seniors should ascertain that they will have enough credits to graduate their program of choice. Generally, 15 to 18 credits is the maximum workload that a student should attempt.
Now is the time to begin finalizing preparations for the 2012 fall term. Students should consider all of the above issues as part of their formal preparation for the first week of college. New students should satisfy all of the requirements referenced during Orientation.