AMY GODERT: My name is Amy Godert. I am Executive Director of Academic Student Success Programs here at Cornell. I work very closely with our Learning Strategy Center. I am actually an alumna of Cornell University. I was in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, which is in the College of Arts and Sciences.
And something that I am looking forward to this semester, especially as we progress past January and February, will be warmer runs outside and going to some Cornell hockey games. I especially like going to the women's hockey games.
So I'm going to encourage you. I know we are going to be able to do breakout rooms today. But I'm asking you to put in some information about yourself in the chat so that way as you're going through, what you can do is-- I'm going through my presentation and just sharing a little bit about Cornell and transitioning to Cornell and the academic experience. I'm going to encourage you to take a look at what's in the chat.
Maybe find someone in your major or someone who's looking forward to the same thing as you. Try and connect up with them. You can look up people's information in the CU Look-Up. So go ahead and do that. It's a great way to meet up and connect with people. And that's something that I know VP Lombardi mentioned. So like VP Lombardi and like Jenny, I want to offer you my welcome and congratulations. And I'm looking forward to having you join our Cornell community.
This is a really big step, joining Cornell. I know everyone who is here in this room has worked really hard to be here. You're all really motivated, bright, talented, young adults and adults and students here. Many of you may have college experience somewhere else. And for some of you, this may be your first time coming to a college campus.
But regardless, I think one of the things that's a hallmark of the Cornell education is that it's going to challenge you. It's going to push you. And it's going to present you with new pathways, some of which-- and new opportunities-- some of which you may have never even thought of or known existed before. I know as a Cornell student here, there are times when I was like, I had no idea that major or that field existed and it sounds really cool. So take some time to do some exploration while you're here. And I'm to talk a little bit more about that in a minute.
I also want to quickly mention that if you do have questions, please try and put them in the Q&A. I'm not sure if we're going to have time. I am not going to be able to monitor what's coming in through the chat. So I just wanted to give you a heads up that I'm not going to be able to do that. But please do put your questions in the Q&A. And if there's time at the end, I can take some questions.
And so, though college is an immensely transformative experience-- it's something that I'm sure you've heard before and maybe you've experienced yourself-- when you're joining a new institution or going to someplace new, there's often some challenges that you may be facing and some things that you're both excited and nervous about. So I have the privilege of working with an amazing group of students in a summer program.
And every year I ask them, what's something that you're nervous about, and what's something that you're excited about. And what's interesting to me is the things that they say are usually the same. They're both excited and nervous about those same things. So I'm going to share some of what those things are. And maybe they'll resonate with you.
So a lot of people are excited and nervous about the changes that they're going to face, about being in a different environment, joining a new community, meeting new people and making new friends, adjusting to a new way of managing time. And I'm guessing that some of those things are things that you might be thinking or feeling as well.
But before and as you're embarking on this Cornell journey, it's important to remember what got you here. So now we're going to try yet another technology thing and see how it goes. So what I want you to think about, if you're a student, I want you to think about what it is that got you here. We've all been through the pandemic-- we're still in the pandemic, actually.
But we've been going through the pandemic. You've had a lot of experiences that you've gone through in order to get here. You've had to adapt to learn to grow and persevere, as you've navigated everything around your lives so far. And I want you to take a minute and think about your journey that you've had, and just share maybe two or three things-- skills, qualities, characteristics-- that you think are the things that you would say got you here.
So I'm going to ask you to do this poll. So there are a couple of ways that you can do this. What you can do is you can take your phone and you can use your camera to scan the QR code that I have on the screen. Or you can go to menti.com and enter in the code that you see on the screen. And we're going to see what the results are. So take a minute. Go to the poll and enter in the poll the skills, the qualities, the values, that you would say got you to where you are now.
I am going to end this for a second. Stop share. So take a minute and please enter that in. I see them coming in. I'm going to display my screen in a moment. Please keep putting them in there. Great. I see there are 15 people, 16 people that have responded. I see a lot of great words.
What I'm going to remind you all of as you're putting these in, and I'm going to display them in a moment for you to see. But I'm going to remind you of is that these things that got you here are the things that are going to be important as you continue here at Cornell, and even beyond Cornell into wherever your next steps are. So it's important to take stock of those values, the skills, those things that have helped you be successful to this point as you're embarking on any new experience that you have.
So I'm going to go ahead and share this screen. There we go. So I just wanted to show you some of the words that you put up there, I know now that there are 36 people. Perseverance, dedication, persistence, those are some of the big words. Passion-- I'm going to close the voting now. Curiosity, stress management, asking for help, taking a chance. And I'm going to go through some of these things. These are going to be part of what I'm going to be sharing in the presentation, as well.
So thank you for sharing your thoughts on that. I am going to stop sharing this now and go into my PowerPoint. All right let me share my screen again. There we go. All right, Kenny, can you see the screen? Do people see the PowerPoint?
KENNY: No, not yet.
AMY GODERT: Oh. There's some weirdness going on.
KENNY: Yeah, it looks like it-- looks like it froze while it was trying to go full screen.
AMY GODERT: Yeah, well, let's try again. Oh, technology. Anyone who's a student knows that this is going to be happening in your classes, too. Let's try this again. Share. How about that.
KENNY: There we go.
AMY GODERT: Oh, good. The third time is the charm, or maybe the fifth. All right, so now what I want to talk about, now that you've shared some of those things, I want to talk about some of the challenges that you might face here. And some of these challenges that I'm going to be talking about are also opportunities. So it's important to look at that through that lens.
So the first thing that I wanted to mention is the challenge of time. So it seems like there's always so many things to do and not always enough time to do them. There are a lot of new things here at Cornell that are going to be presented to you as opportunities of things to explore, things to try, clubs to join, classes to take. There's a lot of those.
It's important to explore but to not over commit to some of those things. Doing 50 things is not necessarily as impactful as picking two or three and doing them really well. So explore, think about the things that are going to bring you joy and fulfillment. But then make sure that you're very thoughtful about those things that you do join and end up doing.
It's also important to have a focus in on the academics. You're going to be taking courses here. You're going to be in a major. Make sure that you have time. Going to class is really important, of course. But make sure that you dedicate time in your schedule for things like studying, for reviewing materials. And that time should really be focused time. Don't spend time looking at Netflix and YouTube or whatever the other little apps on phones. Make sure you have dedicated and focused study time for the classes that you're going to be in.
Now, just because you're focused in on academics that doesn't mean that you have to do it at the exclusion of everything else. As a matter of fact, it's really important that you maintain balance. And so think about all those different things that you enjoy doing and make sure you have some time for those things, as well.
This includes socializing, finding new people, building community, taking breaks, eating, of course, sleep. There's a lot of research that shows that if you don't get enough sleep, it's very difficult to learn and perform really well. So I would encourage you to make sure that you get sleep. And if you find you're not getting sleep, go talk to someone and get some help, so that you can make time in your schedule for getting enough sleep.
I know I don't function as well when I don't get a good night's sleep. So make sure you're building in that balance into your time. So now I want to talk about what are some of the Cornell resources that are available for you to reach out to, in terms of the time that you have. So advisors are a great resource for students to talk to in order to ask for advice on courses, maybe where to go get help for things, maybe some of the decisions that you might be making.
So some of you may have already been in touch with your advisors. Others may still be waiting to reach out to them. Make sure you go talk to your advisors. I know in this first couple of weeks they have open drop-in hours in many of the student services offices. So go in and meet them and just say hi and talk to them. They're a great resource for asking questions and getting some answers.
Some of you will also have faculty advisors that you should reach out to, as well. They're really great for helping you think about both the courses that you're taking and also career trajectories that you might want to be thinking about, and other opportunities like maybe internships or research and labs if you're interested in that.
Some majors or disciplines are also going to have peer advisors, some of them you've probably already talked to and had really good experiences. Every major in college is a little bit different. So make sure you reach out to the people that have already reached out to you. Or look on your college's web page for who you should be talking to.
In terms of time, I talked to one of our study skills specialists and I asked, what is one thing that you would want me to share. And they said talk about calendars. There are a lot of different ways you can track your time and plan things out but. I think tomorrow is when the Canvas pages are going to be opening for students for the courses that you're in. So if your faculty have published them, they should be available, I believe starting tomorrow.
I would encourage you all to log into your Canvas sites for your courses and see what's there. If you see the site-- if you see the courses there, download the syllabus. Look at the syllabus. Write down on a semester calendar what all of those important dates are. When are all of your prelims?
And if you've not been a Cornell student before, you may have never heard the word prelim. Prelim is Cornell's lingo for an exam or a test. So don't think, oh, it's just a prelim. Prelims are tests. So you do want to be prepared for them.
So look at your syllabi that you have for your courses. What are your major project due dates? When are those prelims or tests? Or when are the midterms? When are the big papers due? Download the semester calendar on the LSC web page and you can fill in those dates.
What that's going to help you do is identify is there a week where you're going to have a lot of different things due? If there is, you're really going to want to plan your time appropriately so that way you're not rushed at the end. So when you go-- if you're looking for your Canvas courses, what you should do is go to canvas.cornell.edu. All of your Canvas courses will be listed there.
They're not going to be there yet. I do not believe that they're going to be open until tomorrow. But I would encourage you to do that. So map out your semester using a semester calendar. We have them on our Learning Strategies Center web page.
There's also weekly and daily calendars. And those can be really important for mapping out your time. A lot of times in your schedule, you're going to have a pocket of time. Use that time effectively. Maybe get some homework done. Maybe start working on the next problem that you have or reviewing or reading or pre-reading some stuff. Make sure you're doing that in the time that you have available to you.
Also think about some new study strategies that you might want to have. Sometimes reading something for the fifth time isn't going to be the most effective study strategy. But if you're taking good notes on it and reviewing and previewing, there are some strategies that you can use for effective reading. So take a look at what we have on our Learning Strategy Center web page, and you can get some ideas about study tips.
I am going to share one of my favorite study tips that I had when I was in college. And that is that I would have, when I was studying for a big test that I would have the next day, I would give myself an end time, so a time that I would be done studying. And then when I got to that time, I would close my book and my binder. I would put it underneath my pillow. And then I would put my head on top of my pillow. And then I would sleep. And what would happen is that all the stuff would come up through the pillow and into my head.
And, of course, if you were in person you'd probably be laughing and rolling your eyes. And you're probably doing that right now on your screens. In reality, of course, osmosis from the book through the pillow into the head doesn't happen. But what I did do is I had an end time. And I forced myself to go to sleep, which is really important for doing well on the prelims or on the test that you have, and also for helping you remember the material, not just on that prelim you have that next day, but on the next prelim, which is probably going to build on that material.
So challenge is so much to do and so little time to do it. Planning is really, really critical for this. So another thing, and you heard VP Lombardi talk a little bit about this too, is making mistakes. We all make them. We are here. And we're here to learn. This is an education that you're getting.
And part of college and part of learning is to make mistakes. Those are really, really expected as part of your educational journey that you have here. The key is what you do when you make a mistake, or when something doesn't go the way you want. So learning from your mistakes is critical both here at Cornell and beyond.
I know I make mistakes and I have to figure out what to do with that information and how to get feedback in order to do better the next time. So what you have to have is something we like to call a growth mindset, which is that maybe you can't do something, but you can't do it yet. With practice, with hard work, with persistence, some of those words that you shared in that Menti poll, with those things, you can get better at it and make progress towards achieving those goals or mastering those skills or whatever it is.
I'm guessing that everyone here has made a mistake at one point, or at some point in their life. And so if that's you, think about what did you do to overcome that thing, to actually master that thing, whether it be a new sport, a concept, learning a new maybe musical instrument, something like that. So think about what you had to do. It probably included time, effort, persistence, a willingness to get and use critical feedback from people, and to ask questions and get help.
And so that's going to happen here when you're at Cornell. You're going to run into things that you don't know how to solve that's part of learning, pushing yourself, learning new things, going beyond the current boundaries that you have. If you're in that situation, reach out for help. You may be a little bit intimidated sometimes to go ask for help, but that's what we are here for.
People in offices like mine people, in the Student Services offices, and importantly, your faculty, the people that are teaching you the material in the courses that you're in, they are there to help you learn. As you heard VP Lombardi say, go out. Introduce yourself to them. Talk to them. Oftentimes they have office hours starting in the beginning of the semester. And they're not well attended.
It's a great time to go out and meet the faculty who are there. If you're wondering what to do in office hours, many of you have experience, maybe you haven't gone before. But if you're wondering what to do, there are some materials about how to use office hours effectively on our LSC web page. So I'd encourage you to go take a look at that.
So remember that mistakes are a part of learning. The course resources are there to help you with some of those challenging things that you're going to face. Like I mentioned, your faculty who are teaching the courses, but also TAs. These are teaching assistants. Many times they're graduate students who are there working with the instructor of the course to help you learn the material. They're going to have office hours, as well. I'm going to encourage you to go to those office hours early and often, even before you have any questions. It's a great way to get to know the people who are teaching you and working with you in the material in the courses.
Another great place to get some help and support are your peers. They're all in the same court. There's other people in the courses that you're in. They're probably confused about some of the material that you are. Or maybe they're not and they know it and they can help explain it to you.
So I would recommend, in your first day of class, maybe virtually if there's an opportunity, definitely in person, meet someone. Exchange your contact information. Because inevitably, you might have to miss class for something. You might walk out of class feeling confused like, gosh, I don't know what happened. Exchange contact information with the other people in your class. So that way you can reach out if something comes up.
I'm also going to mention that we have a study partner matching program that we have. So I have the QR code here. If you scan that, what you should be able to do is go to the LSC web page and it'll take you to our study partner page. What this is, is an opportunity for you to sign up to be matched with someone else in the classes that you're in. So that way you can form a study group.
Means that you can meet with them. You meet a new person. You can also work through some of the challenging course material that you're going to be encountering. So I highly recommend that you take a look at that and sign up for some of those things. It's a great way to meet the people that are in your class without actually having to turn to them physically and say, what's your contact information. So I'd encourage you to take a look at that.
Some departments, colleges, will offer tutoring. I know the Learning Strategy Center we also have some tutoring that's available and some introductory level courses. Economics has an economics tutoring center. Engineering has an engineering learning initiatives. There's a math support center that exists also for questions about math.
So look at some of the resources that are available for tutoring and also other centers that might offer some tutoring support for you. And I'm going to mention, once again, advisors. Because they really are an important resource for directing you to get help, or where you might want to go get help and support if you have questions and you're not sure where to go.
So there are a lot of resources that are available here at Cornell. The important thing is that you reach out and you use them. Because those resources are only helpful if you take advantage of them and you're using them. So I would encourage you to do that. And again, reach out early. Because you're going to get to know the people that are offering that support.
If you're at all intimidated about going to office hours, I know sometimes it can be, I highly recommend that you find a buddy in your class and you go to office hours with them. So if you're nervous about going, find someone else in that class and say, hey, would you like to go to office hours with me, I have questions about this thing. It's a great way, again meeting people, but also of lowering that barrier. And the faculty really are there to help you learn the material. Be prepared for them to ask you questions when you go. But know that they are there to help you learn the material.
So I want to just mention a couple of things here. And I think this is kind of clear in what I was saying in the last slide. It's really important to take time to connect with people. If you're living on campus make sure you get to know the residential staff that are there for you. Meet your peers on your floor. Meet your peers in your classes. Go to look at the clubs that are available. There's so many different clubs here at Cornell. Take a look at those.
Make sure you get to know the faculty that are working with you. Get to know some of the teaching assistants that are there. The staff in various offices, they're there to help you. So make sure you reach out and take advantage of that.
So a couple of quick things that I want to mention, too. First day of classes is going to be virtual. We're starting our semester virtually. It is virtually impossible to find a virtual classroom if you don't have the link. So before the first day of classes make sure you go onto those Canvas pages for your courses and look at where the Zoom link is to get you to your virtual classroom. Otherwise, you won't be able to make it. Because you can't just stumble into one of those rooms.
And before we go back to the in-person classes, the campus is kind of big. It can be confusing, especially inside of buildings can be confusing. Some people still get lost in buildings that they've been in before. So I would encourage you, before that first day of classes, of in-person classes, map out where you need to go, find those classrooms. So that way when you're walking around, you have a sense of where you're going and you're not looking for where that classroom is going to be.
Some buildings are more confusing than others. But I would encourage you to do that. So that way you know where it is that you're going.
The last thing that I did want to mention is that it's easier to keep up than to catch up. Make sure that you're keeping up with the courses and the homework and the problem sets and the projects that you have. Set timelines and deadlines for yourself. Because if you find yourself falling behind, it's often very difficult to catch back up. So I would encourage you just to do that.
So I want to just pull us back to where we started, which is those things that you wrote down. And even if you didn't get to put them into the Menti, that's totally fine. You know them for yourself. Just keep going back to those key qualities, those skills and those values that you said got you to where you are now. Because that is what's going to get you beyond Cornell.
All right, so this is the Learning Strategy Center contact information. You can email us if you have questions. Our page is here. The QR code will take you to our web page. There are two more sessions coming up after this, one at 3:30, I believe, to 4:00, Health and Well Being with Cornell Health, the Dean of Students, and Student Health Benefits. And then from 4:15 to 4:45, our amazing colleagues in Career Services are going to be talking with you.
Now I'm going to stop my sharing. And I have about five minutes for questions. Are there any questions?
APRIL OVERSTREET: There was only one in the chat, Amy, and you answered it.
AMY GODERT: Oh, well good. Oh, I see one. Oh, yes. So there is a question about the supplemental courses. And so that's a great question. So the Learning Strategy Center, there's really two things-- there's two big areas that we have.
One is study skills and things like time management and study strategies, all of that. And then we have core support that we offer. So the LSC, in some large introductory courses, we have what we called supplemental courses. So if you're taking CHEM 2070, 2080, CHEM 3570, 3580, some of the large ECON courses, biology, physics, those type-- math, is the other one, calculus.
We have what we call supplemental courses. So those are one credit courses that you can enroll in. They go along with the big lecture course that exists, what we call the parent course. And it provides you with additional opportunities to one, meet other people, to get a little bit more explanation about some of the concepts from the class, and also work through some challenging problem sets so that way you can be more familiar with the material.
So those are optional for students. They're a great way to get additional practice, guided practice, with some of the concepts that you're covering in the big lecture course. So you can enroll in those. But you can also just drop in.
So you can go to the LSC web page, look at the supplemental courses. You do not have to enroll to participate. You can just drop in if that's what works better for you. Great question. So you can enroll in them through Student Center.
KENNY: There's another question in chat.
AMY GODERT: Oh, sorry. I'm going to open it. Other than study partner matching-- that's right. Well, you can't. And actually, one of the things that-- it depends on the course. I don't know what the faculty-- every faculty is going to be a little bit different. I've had the opportunity to work with faculty in almost every department here at Cornell. And there's some pretty amazing people out there.
Faculty are likely, in the classes, at some point going to be putting you in small breakout rooms. And then you can exchange information there. The study partner is really another way of just getting to know someone else in the class. And if you haven't had an opportunity to introduce yourself to someone else by the time the classes are back to in person, definitely take advantage of tapping the person on the shoulder when we're in person.
Every class is set up a little bit differently. So I don't have an exact answer to that. But if you're in a breakout room, one of the things that you might do in those classes is just say, hey, can we just exchange contact information? Because that's probably going to be the case in some of your classes.
Yes, so let me put it in the chat. Oh, is there a detailed map for the campus? I think that there is. Let me put in the study partner chat. Oh, I don't want to just send it to April. Let's put it there.
So there is a study partner link. So there is a study partner link in there and then also the LSC web page link. And so, oh sorry, yes. The question about-- the question about getting to know other people was asked if you're in a virtual class, how can you get to know other people, because it's really hard to just tap on someone's shoulder in a virtual environment.
And my thought is either the study partners or to just in your breakout room, if you're in a breakout room in one of the classes, just exchange contact information there. There might also be something on the course Canvas pages, where faculty are facilitating some meeting of other people in the class, too.
All right, looking to see. Oh, you're welcome. Any other questions? I know my time is up. But I'm happy to take additional questions if you want to just email me. My net ID is AMA36. And, of course, you can also just email the Learning Strategy Center. Sorry for all the tech snafus. I did practice.
All right, if there's nothing else, than I just want to again say congratulations to you all. Welcome to the Cornell community. It is actually sunny out right now. I know when VP Lombardi was talking it was snowing. Now it is sunny and it looks quite nice out, as I look at McGraw tower from my office window. If you're not here, I wish you safe travels here.
If you are here, bundle up and stay warm. It's going to be cold really soon. But BB Lake waterfalls is absolutely amazing in the winter when it freezes over. So definitely find it on the map and go take a look at it, because it's worth a walk. All right, take care, everybody.
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Amy Godert describes student success for new students in this live recording.