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Parent and Family E-News: December 2011

Crunch Time

From now until the end of the semester is best described as Crunch Time!  The pressure is turned up.  Your student will be buried in books, papers, and projects.

Home for the Holidays

It's natural to want the holidays to be "family perfect," especially when your student has been away.  But, they rarely ever are.  Here are some realistic expectations for preparing to enjoy the holidays with your student.
When College Kids Come Home for the Holidays

Reading Day
(December 12, 2011 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Reading Day is set aside to allow students the maximum opportunity to prepare for final exams.  No classes are in session.  Students shouldfocus their time and effort on increasing their
chances of achieving academic success by spending the final weekend of the semester and Reading Day reviewing course materials and studying. As needed, students are encouraged
to use available services at Manderino Library, computer labs, tutoring services, learning labs and wellness services at the Counseling Center and the Health Center.

Preparing for Finals
(December 12-16, 2011)

Final exam week begins at 6 p.m. on December 12, ending on December 16.  Research indicates that tehre are ways to optimize successful test taking.
Wall Street Journal "Toughest Exam Question: What is the Best Way to Study?"

Final Exam Schedule

Final exams are not held on the same days or times as the regular class meeting times throughout the semester.  Students should carefully review the Final Exam Schedule to ensure the know the day and times of their final exams.

Textbook Rentals and Buybacks

Students should return all books that were rented by the due date printed on the receipt.  A sticker is also attached to all rented books and students are sent reminder emails at the end of the term to help them remember to return textbook rentals.
Book Rental Information

Students who have purchased textbooks have the option to sell them back to the campus bookstore.
Bookstore Buy Back

Final Grades

Final grades for the Fall 2011 semester will be available to students in VIP (Vulcan Information Portal) beginning December 21.  Note: If a grade is not posted, your student should contact the professor for the class.
VIP Login

Residence Hall Closing and Reopening

Students must be checked out of residence halls within 24 hours of their last final exam.  All students must be out of the residence halls no later than 9:00 p.m. on December 16 unless they are involved in commencement exercises (band, choir) during the weekend.  Residence halls will reopen to returning students at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 22, 2012.  Spring meal plans also begin that day.
On-Campus Closing Memo

Recognizing Student Academic Success

Fall 2011 Dean's List

The Dean's List is an official recognition of the hard work and academic excellence of students.  To qualify, your student must have earned a grade-point average of 3.25 or higher this semester. 

  • Highest Honors: 3.75 to 4.0
  • High Honors: 3.5 to 3.74
  • Honors: 3.25 to 3.49

Students who have earned Fall 2011 Dean's List status will receive a congratulatory letter (mailed to student's permanent address) early in the Spring 2012 semester.

Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society

Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) is a national honor society recognizing the academic excellence of first-year college students.  memers must have earned a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher during their first semester.  Students who qualify receive an email and a letter of invitation from the Cal U of PA Alpha Lambda Delta chapter in January.
National ALD


Getting Ready for Spring Semester

Purchase the Textbooks

Students can begin buying textbooks from the Cal U Bookstore on January 2, 2012.  If your student is using financial aid for textbook purchases, a Financial Aid Agreement Form must be submitted and completed each semester that financial aid is utilized for books purchased from the bookstore.  The Financial Aid Agreement Form is located on the bookstore main page.

Get Financial Matters in Order

Tuition for Spring 2012 must be paid in full no later than January 20, unless other payment plan arrangements have been made with the Bursar's Office.
Tuition Payment Information


Declaring or Changing a Major

Did you know that nationally as many as 50% of college students change majors at least once during college?  A student who wishes to change majors or declare a major for the first time, must complete and submit a change of major form.  The respective forms can be obtained in the Dean's Offices for the following colleges:

  • College of Education and Human Services: Keystone Hall, Room 200
  • College of LIberal Arts: Duda Hall, Room 115
  • Eberly College of Science and Technology: Eberly Hall, Room 330

Cal U's Academic Programs


A Message from Parent & Alumni Relations: Are You a Legacy?

The University has a rich history of generations of families who have shared the Cal U experience.  Legacy families are those who have a parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt who have graduated from Cal U.  Are you a part of Cal U history?  Are you a legacy?  If so, be recognized for your Cal U family tradition.

Important Upcoming Dates

Classes End December 9
Reading Day (No Classes 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) December 12
Exam Week (Starting at 6:00 p.m. on December 12) December 12-16
Fall 2011 Semester Ends December 17
Undergraduate Commencement (10:00 a.m.) December 17
Registration for 2012 Summer College January 16
Spring 2012 Classes Begin January 23
Add/Drop Period January 23-27
Last Day to Apply for May 2012 Graduation March 2
Spring Break March 12-16
Last Day to Withdraw from a Course or the University April 6
Exam Week May 7-11
Spring 20122 Semester Ends May 12
Undergraduate Commencement May 12