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What classes should I take?

During Summer Orientation, you were registered for your first semester courses. Don’t change the schedule – you are required to complete all of these courses. Dropping any courses now means you will have an extra load in a future semester, or may need to take a summer or intersession class. If you are concerned about particular classes, please call or stop by the Advising Center in the Administration Building. Don’t make changes without getting advice.

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What if I don’t get the classes I want, or I’m unhappy with a class I’m in?

Your Academic Advisor tries to ensure that you are assigned to classes that you are required to take and that meet your degree requirements. First year students often express concerns about the requirements of a class, or the Curriculum in general. If you are a deciding student, please contact your Academic Advisor in the Advising Center to discuss these concerns before the drop/add period ends. If you are declared in a major, please see your Faculty Advisor immediately, or the Dean of your school or college.

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What kind of relationship can I expect to have with my professors?

You can expect to find professors who want to get to know you, who want to help you and who want to share their passion for their subject. However, you can’t just stand back and wait! What makes Roger Williams different from larger schools is that you will have access to faculty members. They will teach you, take time to answer your questions and be available to you during posted office hours. They spend hours planning for the classes they teach, evaluating your assignments and staying current in their areas of expertise. There are of course differences among the faculty and their teaching styles. Some are funnier than others. Some are more patient and express more compassion than others. Some may ask you to call them by their first name, while others will prefer you call them “Dr.” or “Professor”. However, you can count on all faculty members caring about your future and helping you succeed.

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How hard will my classes be?

The college classroom is different than the high school classroom. The University expects you to apply yourself and stretch yourself – intellectually and socially. Your professors will give you assignments that will push you to further develop your reading, research, analytical and communication skills. They will ask you to think about new issues, to consider alternatives. You will be asked to think about class work and homework differently than you did in high school. In many cases, your professors will require you to submit assignments electronically. If you are not familiar with on-line class instruction or tools, stop by the Advising Center and one of our Peer Advisor Leaders will help you navigate these on-line systems. If you are lost or confused in class, talk to your professor. He or she will be glad to support you in your learning. But remember, if you don’t let your professor know you are struggling, he or she can’t help you. Also, for help in all classes in the required Core Curriculum, peer tutors are available in the Tutoring Center in the Center for Academic Development.

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When should I declare a major?

Students are expected to declare a major by the end of the third semester. A second major and/or a minor may also be selected. Additionally, all students must declare a CoreCconcentration. Please discuss University academic requirements at your first Advising Center appointment, or with your Faculty Advisor if you are in a declared major. Your advisor is there to guide you; however, you are responsible for knowing what the requirements are and fulfilling them in a timely manner. Whenever you make any change to your program (major, minor, second major, core concentration) you must complete a Curriculum Declaration Form and submit it to the Registrar. We encourage you not to make any changes to your program without first discussing it with an Academic Advisor, or your Faculty Advisor.

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When can I start taking an active role on campus?

The Involvement Fair in September offers students the opportunity to talk with representatives from every club and organization on campus. This event offers you a “one stop shop” to find out about all the different ways you can get involved. Getting involved on campus is one of the best ways to make this place feel like home. Not only do you meet new people and forge new relationships outside of classes and your residence hall, you also develop skills and experiences that will support your job search process and your first full time professional job when you graduate. Research demonstrates that students who are involved in campus activities also do better academically.

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Is it o.k. to use my cell phone or my laptop in class?

During class, cell phones should be turned off. You won’t be as attentive and engaged with the activity of the classroom if you are text messaging or receiving phone calls during class. It is also disrespectful and rude to use your cell phone during class. Your professor spends a great deal of time preparing for each class – respect that effort by being present for each class. Depending on the professor, laptops are often permissible in class, but only for note taking. Be respectful – don’t surf the Web during class.

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What is RWU Portal?

The University’s main portal link to the web for everyone on campus is called RWU Portal (portal.rwu.edu). This is where you register for classes, get the name of your faculty advisor, and receive notification about important academic and social events on campus. It is your official electronic communication site with the University – use it every day. Your initial password is set to the first initial of your first name, first initial of your last name, and the last four digits of your social security number. For example, Sharon Jones would be sj4320.

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