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Cal U Parent & Family E-News: September-October 2011

Dear Families,
By now, the newness of college has likely begun to wear off, and reality is beginning to set in - college is fun, and it’s a whole lot of work, too. This issue of Parent E-news focuses on mid-term topics and provides links to resources to help you help your son or daughter to succeed. In addition to Parent E-news, please join us on Facebook to ask questions, get answers, and enjoy the benefits of the Cal U Parents and Families online community.

Cynthia Young
Parent/Family Portal Manager

PS. Look for our new e-newsletter with expanded features next month. It will include a blog, question and answer boards, and more!

Managing Midterms

Midterm exams can be a source of stress for many students, especially especially for first-time college students who may be experiencing the exams for the first time. Wondering what to expect, handling the volume of information, and organizing their time can seem daunting. Procrastination is the bane of college students. Reminders to use a daily planner, schedule work sessions, set realistic goals, and break down tasks into smaller pieces can help. Tips for helping your student with exam stress:

Other Resources:

Cal U Counseling Center: Students who become over-stressed due to academic or other demands may utilize up to eight counseling sessions per semester at no cost.

Cal U Office of Students With Disabilities: Provides support and accommodation for students with disabilities.

Assessing the Progress

Midterm grade reports for the Fall 2011 semester will be available to students in VIP (Vulcan Information Portal) beginning on October 28. Once the grades are posted, students and their faculty advisors can use the information to begin planning for the remainder of this term and for Early Registration for future semesters. Students are encouraged to use various academic resources to improve performance.

For students who have signed the Authorization to Disclose waiver (FERPA) from the Office of Student Retention and Success, parents may discuss the specifics regarding their student’s academic progress with a Student Success Facilitator.

Authorization to Disclose (FERPA) Form:

Plans For Improvement

If your student is doing well, then “Congratulations” on a solid start!  If your student’s performance could use a boost, consider these options. The University offers a variety of services to support your student.

Arrange for Tutoring Sessions
Scheduling regular tutoring sessions does not necessarily indicate academic weakness. A strong student recognizes when he/she may need extra help.

No-Cost Tutoring Options
Tutoring Center: Offers tutoring in a variety of subjects. View and download the Fall 2011 semester schedule:

Math Lab

Writing Center

Reading Clinic

Late Start Classes

Consider a Late Start class. There are several reasons why adding a late start class may be a good idea.  Students should consult with their advisor to verify that a Late Start class is a good idea. Late Start classes begin on October 24. The deadline to apply is October 19. For more information: 

Course Withdrawal  

Withdrawing from a course is the process of officially removing a course from a student’s schedule during weeks two through ten of the semester. Sometimes the best of efforts don’t produce the desired academic results, and withdrawing from a course may be the best option. If a student officially withdraws from a course before the deadline, a grade of “W” is assigned on the student’s academic transcript to designate the withdrawal. However, a “W” will NOT affect a student’s grade point average.  The deadline to withdraw from a course this semester is November 4, 2011. 

A Note of Caution: Students should consult with a faculty advisor and/or Student Success Facilitator to discuss all options before withdrawing from a course as academic progress and/or financial aid may be affected.

Scheduling Center: Office of Student Retention and Success Link:

Mission Day XIII 

October 26 (No classes 8:00 am - 4:00 pm)

A Cal U tradition since 1998, Mission Day allows all members of the University community to engage in dialogue, share ideas and voice recommendations as equals in order to advance the institution’s mission and goals. Daytime classes will be cancelled so that students, faculty, staff and alumni can participate in the program and discuss the topic.


Preparing for The Second Half 

Early Registration for Spring 2012 semester is tentatively scheduled for November 7-11. It is during this week that your student will register for next semester classes. Remind your student to make an appointment with his/her faculty advisor well in advance to discuss academic planning. Students register by class rank; Seniors on Monday, Juniors on Tuesday, Sophomores on Thursday, and Freshmen on Friday. Students should watch for campus announcements providing further details and instructions. Please note: Students who are not prepared to register early on their day risk not being able to register for preferred classes.  

Don’t Let Holds Hold Them Back                                                                 

Students should also check VIP (Vulcan Information Portal) to confirm that there are no “Holds” on their account. A hold prevents a student from registering until the hold is released. A hold may be placed on a student’s account for a variety of reasons, including past due payments, fees, fines, and advisement. The office that imposed the hold must release it before registration can occur. Students who are not ready to register for classes risk not being able to register for the classes they prefer.

VIP Student Log-In Instructions:

Are You a Legacy? A Message from Cal U Parent and Alumni Relations

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 graduated from Cal U. Are you a part of Cal U history? Are you a legacy? If so, please contact Randi Minerva, Coordinator of Parent and Alumni Relations via email at to share your story.

Important Upcoming Dates

Last Day to Withdraw From a Course or the University November 4
Registration for Spring 2012 November 14-18
Thanksgiving Break (No Classes) November 23-25
Classes End December 9
Reading Day (No classes 8 am - 4 pm) December 12
Final Exam Week (Starting 6 pm on December 12) December 12 - 16
Semester Ends December 17
Undergraduate Commencement (10:00 am) December 17
Registration for 2012 Summer College Begins January 16
Spring 2012 Semester Begins January 23