Know the Details
The last thing you want is to show up for your final exam only to realize you missed it because you got the date, time, or location wrong. Check with your professor to be sure you know where and when the exam will take place. You should also find out what materials are needed to bring to the exam. Do you need pens or pencils? Can you use a calculator? Are you allowed notes or your textbook? Being prepared when you walk into the exam allows you to focus on the test material.
Prepare Your Mind and Body
When’s the last time you successfully completed anything the day after you pulled an all-nighter? To mentally and physically prepare yourself for your exams, you need to stay on a consistent sleep schedule so you can be well rested. When your brain and body are fatigued, you won’t be able to recall the material you spent so long studying. This also includes eating well, staying hydrated, and exercising. And don’t forget to eat before your final – taking a test hungry is a recipe for disaster.
Avoid Social Media
During finals week, you should keep your brain focused on the task at hand and avoid filling it with social media distractions. Study sessions can easily become derailed when your phone is constantly calling for your attention, and your brain can only focus on so many things at one time. This can also be said of video games and other fun diversions. Instead of getting carried away with them, try using these in short snippets for positive reinforcement after you’ve spent time studying.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress can creep up from a lot of places and can seriously hinder your finals week performance. Try to surround yourself with friends and family members who don’t add stress to your life. Plan your week out in advance so you’re not stressed over transportation or because you’ve overslept. You should also be careful not to stress yourself out over your exam scores. Your finals are an important part of your grade, but learning the material should be your primary goal, and at the end of the day, grades don’t define who we are.
Finally, don’t forget about confidence. You’ve made it this far and we’re all rooting for you! Best of luck!]]>
The Academic Advising department is composed of AU’s own full-time faculty members. These advisors assist students with registering for required coursework, considering a change or addition of a minor, tackling future career plans (such as applying to graduate school), deciding on the appropriate curricula for a desired career path, and enrolling in independent studies. Each student is assigned an advisor and is welcome to schedule an appointment through Kimberly Sanchez, the administrative contact.
Location: Suite 504
Phone: 305-593-1223, ext. 3282
Career Services Office
The Career Services Office assists students in developing and exploring their career options and empowers them with the necessary skills to successfully enter the job market in their chosen fields. Services include help with resumes, CVs, cover letters, job searches, employment applications, and interview skills. You don’t have to wait until your last semester before visiting the office! Set up a meeting with Dr. Dolinsky today to prepare for your future.
Location: Room 195-I
Phone: 305-593-1223, ext. 3135
Office of Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid guides you through the financial aid process during your time at AU. We understand that funding your education is a significant financial investment for you and your family. Financial aid comes in the form of scholarships, federal work-study, federal and private loans, and grants. We are committed to your success and to helping you on your educational journey.
Location: Suite 174
Phone: 305-593-1223, ext. 3271
Office of the Registrar
The Office of the Registrar assists you with everything related to your academic records. Their services include course registration, transcripts, certifications, graduation eligibility, degree verification, leaves of absence, withdrawals, and course add/drops. Stop by the office and make sure you’re on the right track for graduation.
Location: Suite 111
Phone: 305-593-1223, ext. 3274
Office of Student Affairs
The Office of Student Affairs is here to make your life on campus an enjoyable and memorable one. The office can provide information on campus life and events, student organizations, and student resources and referrals, while also assisting with student concerns and appeals, reasonable accommodations (ADA), and disability services. You are welcome to reach out to the office through Monica Estopinan, the administrative contact.
Location: Suite 165
Phone: 305-593-1223, ext. 3286
Title V Student Success Office
The Title V Student Success Office provides academic and personal guidance and support for undergraduate students and serves as the hub for the AU Peer Mentoring Program. The office cares about you as both a student and as a person and wants to see you succeed at both. The Activities Coordinator and e-Learning Specialist, Elena Zablah, oversees the redesign of undergraduate online and hybrid courses. The Student Success Specialist, Jeff Ellis, oversees the Peer Mentoring Program and the Starfish student retention platform.
Location: Room 132
Phone: 305-593-1223, ext. 3198 or 3294
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tutoring Center offers students the opportunity to obtain additional assistance with challenging course material that may hinder their satisfactory academic progress. Qualified and friendly peer tutors are available to work with students on an individual or group basis in areas such as writing (such as APA style, grammar, and lesson plan preparation), psychology (including theory, research methodology, test construction, and qualifying exam preparation), and mathematics (including statistics, algebra, and geometry). Both on-site and online tutoring services are available.
Location: LAB 406 or Room 195-I
Phone: 305-593-1223, ext. 3265
These resources are here for you – your success awaits!]]>
A few years ago, AU’s undergraduate department was awarded a multimillion-dollar grant to raise and sustain academic quality, improve student success, enhance outreach, implement emerging technologies, and enhance campus facilities. What does that equate to for you as a student? A lot of improvements to your institution and your education! You may have noticed some changes already, but here’s an update on everything that’s going on with Title V.
The Title V office has been working with faculty members to redesign traditional classroom-only courses into hybrid or online classes. The new courses are linked through Blackboard and offer students access to high-quality interactive instruction. Many AU students have restricted availability for classes, and the online and hybrid courses provide more options and flexibility, allowing students to learn the class material when it works for them. If you think this would help you better fit your studies into your life, be sure to ask your advisor about available online and hybrid course offerings for next semester.
Starfish EARLY ALERT™ Student Support Services
Starting in the Spring 2018 semester, undergraduate instructors will use a program called Starfish EARLY ALERT, which allows them to raise “flags” for students who could benefit from receiving additional assistance or information on campus resources. The instructors will also be able to send “kudos” to complement students on quality academic performances. The hope is that this program will provide an added layer of support to ensure students receive the help they need and are acknowledged for their hard work. Be on the lookout for emails about Starfish EARLY ALERT from AU’s Student Success Team next semester!
Peer Mentoring Program
Also beginning in the Spring 2018 semester is AU’s new Peer Mentoring Program. The program will hire five undergraduate students in good academic standing as Student Learning Assistants to provide peer mentoring services to their fellow students. All applications for the positions must come as referrals from AU faculty members, so if you are interested, please contact one of your professors and speak with him or her about this opportunity. For more information, contact the Title V Student Success Specialist, Jeff Ellis at email@example.com or at (305) 593-1223, ext. 3198.
Stop By and Say Hi!
If you’d like to know more about the Title V initiatives, feel free to stop by office 132 and speak with the Title V Activities Coordinator and e-Learning Specialist, Elena Zablah, and the Title V Student Success Specialist, Jeff Ellis, or to office 195C to speak with the Title V Project Director, Dr. Floralba Arbelo.
Whether this is your first or fifth online course, consider these tips to ensure your success as a distance learning student.
Stay in touch with your online professor.
Research suggests that professors can be an important role model for online students*. Don’t be afraid to email your professor to ask for help when you need it or for assistance resolving any conflicts with other students.
Check your email and Blackboard often.
Just as you will want to email your professor to obtain help, your professor will likely reach out via email and/or Blackboard to provide important information. Don’t forget to stay up-to-date on any new posted messages, announcements, or emails to ensure you remain on track in your course.
Build relationships with your online classmates.
Creating a network with your fellow classmates can greatly influence your engagement with, and success in, your online class. One way to do so is to read and respond to discussion boards more often than what is required by your professor. This gives you an opportunity to build a network of peers you can depend upon when you need help.
What are other helpful tips for succeeding in online courses at AU?
*Brown, M., Hughes, H., Keppell, M., Hard, N., and Smith, L. (2015). Stories from Students in Their First Semester of Distance Learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(4).]]>
As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Albizu University has demonstrated a commitment to diversity not only with respect to students but also to faculty members. AU’s faculty consists primarily of people of color who both teach and advise students.
Research has shown that academic performance for Black and Hispanic/Latino students is positively affected by contact with supportive faculty members, particularly those who are traditionally underrepresented in academia*. At AU, students are much more likely than students at many other institutions to have educators and mentors from similar backgrounds to them.
Take advantage of attending a uniquely diverse institution and get to know your professors and advisors. Whether you invite your professor out for coffee or set up a regular appointment with your advisor, make a special effort to establish positive relationships with faculty members. They can be your key to success!
How do you get to know your professors? Share your experiences in the comments!
*Baker, C.N. (2013). Social Support and Success in Higher Education: The Influence of On-Campus Support on African American and Latino College Students. The Urban Review, 45(5), 632-650.]]>
Research suggests that many Hispanic and Latino students possess knowledge gaps regarding the application process for graduate programs*. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, AU provides many opportunities for students of all backgrounds to pursue graduate study. When you’re ready to explore your options, consider the following tips for successfully preparing to apply for graduate school.
Discuss your future plans with your trusted mentor and/or faculty advisor.
Seek guidance from individuals who know your academic history and are knowledgeable about the graduate school application process. They may be able to help you narrow your interests and will likely write you a letter of recommendation for your application.
Attend information sessions and workshops hosted by academic departments and the Admissions and Recruitment Office at least two semesters before graduation.
These sessions provide information about AU’s academic offerings, which can help you make a timely decision about which graduate degree you’d like to pursue. Attending them well before graduation gives you enough time to consider your options and prepare your application materials before the deadline.
If your program requires a standardized test, prepare ahead of time.
Standardized tests can be “culturally skewed,” meaning underrepresented students can enter the testing environment at a disadvantage due to a lack of cultural knowledge*. Begin preparing as soon as possible by seeking out free preparation resources online or enrolling in a test prep course. Leave enough time before your application deadline to take the test multiple times if needed to improve your score.
Are you currently in graduate school? What advice can you share with AU undergraduate students to make the graduate application process seamless?
*Ramirez, E. (2011). “No One Taught Me the Steps”: Latinos’ Experiences Applying to Graduate School. Journal of Latinos and Education, 10(3), 204-222.]]>
Research suggests that online courses help bolster learning. Online courses provide a flexible and accessible option for learning that is perfect for students who want to engage but have multiple extracurricular responsibilities that can limit their time. And unlike traditional classes, online courses can encourage more student idea exchange via participation in discussion boards, which helps students build better community (Guldberg, 2008).
If you are having a hard time balancing your commute to campus with other responsibilities or are just interested in increasing your network, consider enrolling in one of AU’s online courses. These courses provide a unique opportunity to connect with other students from multiple regions with differing perspectives. Reach out to your academic department for a full list of online course offerings in your program!
Are you enrolled in online courses at AU? How do they help you balance your time more wisely?
Guldberg, K. (2008). Adult learners and professional development: peer‐to‐peer learning in a networked community. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 27(1), 35-49.
Adult students have different needs than “traditional” 18-year-old college students. At AU, adult students make up the majority of the population, and AU is committed to your success! In order to maximize your success as an adult student at AU, consider the following tips:
Do not shy away from class discussions. Increasing your engagement with both your professors and your fellow students can help bolster your success.
Get involved with extracurricular activities and attend events when they fit into your schedule. Because AU wants to serve its students, many events and meetings occur at times that cater to the adult student. Take advantage of all of the resources AU has to offer!
Check your Sunmail account and the event calendar on the Student Success Blog often. AU offers easy on-the-go access to information and resources for busy professionals, parents, caretakers, or any of the other many hats our students wear. Log in often to stay abreast of all that is occurring in the AU community!
Are you an adult student at AU? What has helped contribute most to your success?
*Wyatt, L. G. (2011). Nontraditional Student Engagement: Increasing Adult Student Success and Retention. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 59(1), 10-20.
Meet Dr. Sharrie R. Dean, AU’s new assistant professor in education. Learn more about her below.
Where are you from?
I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and raised here in Miami and in Nassau (Bahamas).
What are some of your hobbies?
I provide service for those who have challenges helping themselves and/or are underprivileged. As such, I work closely with my husband’s ministry; have founded a reading club for teenaged and unwed mothers; work as a member of Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow; and, in the last year, spoke to over 5,000 students about bullying, hazing, and negative peer pressure with my son, founder and CEO of Ben McNamee, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to ending this behavior. I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and of Phi Delta Kappa. I was just inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) International Honor Society at AU and am looking to revitalize AU’s chapter. I also love singing and shopping!
Where did you go to school?
I received a B.A. in Professional Studies at Barry University, an M.S. from Nova Southeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Union Institute & University.
What brought you to AU?
While working at Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) as the Title I Administration Director, I had ongoing conversations with Mr. Ramon Sanchez (an AU adjunct), who was my staff member at the time. I thought AU was a well-kept secret! I believed that AU would be a sterling alignment for so many at M-DCPS and scheduled meetings with Dr. Ralph Martinez regarding AU recruitment and the education program. I appreciated what Dr. Martinez represented and loved his dedication to his vision for student success. My work at M-DCPS allowed me to serve as a conduit for AU’s recruitment efforts, enabling departments, staff, and parents in the school district to become acquainted with AU’s academic offerings and grant potential. I am so very thankful that Ramon introduced me to this phenomenal university!
Eventually, in 2011, I began working as an adjunct faculty member in education at AU. In 2013, I began working closely with the Ph.D. in Human Services program under Dr. Evangelina Alonso and became an adjunct in that program (now with Dr. Irene Bravo). And now I have come full circle, having been hired a few months ago as an assistant professor in the education, criminal justice, and undergraduate psychology programs.
What makes AU special?
From my first visit to AU, I noticed that people from the academic faculty to the maintenance professionals to the clerical staff were all pleasant and friendly. Everyone spoke and smiled with sincerity…no matter the language. I have since coined the phrase: At AU, you are more than a number. Everyone is more than a number. You are recognized for who you are, and that recognition speaks mounds for the university.
What advice do you have for students to maximize their success at AU?
Students should realize that AU’s professors and staff are approachable. We are here for you. When you succeed, it is wonderful! We welcome conversations that assist us in better meeting students’ needs. Through detail-oriented conversations, we can create a strengthened and successful relationship and design the best academic track for you, thus yielding a great education and beyond-great marketability in the work force…and for life!
Student Success Bonus Tip: If you are an education student looking to find professional development resources and build a lasting network of colleagues, consider joining Kappa Delta Pi. Reach out to Dr. Dean for more information at ext. 3105.]]>