Provost's Letter To New Students
May 7, 2012
Dear New Student,
On behalf of the faculty of Birmingham-Southern College, I would like to welcome you as a member of our learning community. We are eagerly preparing for your first year at BSC. The purpose of this letter is to describe information we need from you to ensure you get the best start possible.
Summer Orientation will provide you and your parents with important information for your transition to college. On that day, while you are with a small group of new students and upper-class group leaders, your parents will be participating in sessions specifically designed for them. You will also have the opportunity to see rooms in the residence halls, meet faculty and staff, and get to know some of your new classmates. If you have not yet made plans to attend Summer Orientation, please do so by registering online through the Orientation page on the BSC website. Look for the orange box at the bottom of our home page: www.BSC.edu.
Fall Term Courses
Choosing courses during your first year of college is different from choosing courses in high school. You now have a much larger set of courses to choose from and the BSC graduation requirements allow for much greater flexibility. Once you arrive at BSC, you will work with a faculty advisor to select courses. Ultimately, the choice of which courses to take is yours. We will, however, help you make choices that fit your interests and goals, and satisfy the graduation requirements. You will soon learn that your faculty advisor is one of several important sources of academic information and guidance.
Your fall term schedule will be created by faculty based on your application and interests, your high school coursework, and your course preferences. To indicate your course preferences, please go the Orientation web site, learn about the courses offered fall term, and rate your choices from 1 to 10 with 1 being your most preferred course. You will receive your fall term schedule at Summer Orientation. Our goal is to match you with three courses that both fit your interests and the BSC degree requirements. Should you wish to change your schedule or to add a fourth course, you will be able to do so at Fall Orientation.
In short, the basic requirements for a Bachelor’s degree include completing a minimum of 32 units, two of which must be Exploration term units; satisfy the Explorations Curriculum general education requirements; and complete the requirements of a major. In order to facilitate a successful transition to college-level academic work, you will be scheduled for three courses during your first term. Given that 30 fall/spring term units are required for graduation, but there is room for 32 units over the eight terms, completing three courses during your first term keeps you on track to graduate in four years. It is expected that you will typically complete four units each fall and spring term after your first term. The complete requirements for graduation can be found in the college catalog.
During your first year, you are encouraged to choose courses that:
- Broaden your knowledge by taking courses in disciplines you have not studied.
- Build your writing and critical thinking skills by taking EH 102 Seminar in Critical Thinking and Writing. Roughly half of the first-year students will take EH 102 in fall term, the other half will take EH 102 in spring term. Some of you will be placed in EH 208 Intermediate Writing based on test scores and your admission essay. EH 102 or EH 208 satisfies the writing skills requirement in the Explorations Curriculum and guides you in basic writing and reasoning skills that are essential to doing well in other courses.
- Prepare you for college level work by taking an Exploration in Scholarship (ES) course. The Explorations in Scholarship courses are specifically designed for and limited to first-year students. You are required to take one Explorations in Scholarship course during your first year, either in the fall or spring term. Be sure to include a few ES courses when indicating your course preferences .
- Explore possible majors by taking introductory courses in several different disciplines.
The orientation web site includes a timeline for the summer and links to the forms you need to complete. Please be sure you review and, if appropriate, complete each of the following:
- Check BSC email regularly
- Submit Housing Deposit and complete the BSC Housing Form.
- Register for Summer Orientation now
- Indicate Fall Course Preferences by May 22, 2012
- If appropriate, complete Placement Exams for Chemistry, French & Spanish by June 1, 2012
- Connect to RoomSync to meet potential roommates
- If appropriate, complete an Academic Accommodations Request
- If interested, set up an installment payment plan.
- Get a physical and complete the Student Health Services Form
- Complete AlcoholEdu
Fall Orientation: August 25 - 28
You will find information about move-in and the start of the fall term on the Orientation website and through additional communication from us. Move-in day is August 25, and the fall term begins on Wednesday, August 29. To get a preview of Orientation activities and discover other information we believe you will find helpful as you begin your experience at BSC, visit the Orientation website.
We look forward to your arrival on the Hilltop. Be sure to call if you have any questions--we're here to help.
Dr. Mark S. Schantz
Provost and Professor of History