Academic Survival Skills


Documents

Catalogue: 
Everything you always wanted to know about classes, majors, degree programs, off-campus programs, dropping and adding courses, requirements, and rules.

Compass (aka Student Handbook):
Everything you need to know about rules for living in the Cornell Community- College policies, College services, residence halls, student finances, student organizations, and your rights and responsibilities as a student.

Course Schedule: 
The schedule for this year's classes including what, when, where, and by whom AND the tentative schedule for next year.

Course Syllabus:
Your road map for the course, provided by the first day of class

Determinations: 
Changes to the curriculum since the publication of the current Catalogue.


People

Your Professor:
For 3.5 weeks this should be the most important person in your academic life.  Get to know each professor from whom you take a course.  Ask questions; seek guidance; immerse yourself in the class and take advantage of the opportunity to become acquainted with someone who has made a life's work of exploring the subject.  Don't let problems slide.  Cornell professors are accessible, friendly, smart and helpful.

Your Academic Advisor:
If your concerns are academic, your advisor probably knows as much as anyone about ways to assist and will put her/his knowledge to work with you.  If your problems are other than academic, your advisor can be a thoughtful listener.  When the advisor doesn't have the expertise to help, s/he will suggest others who can provide the assistance you need.  After your admission to Cornell College, you were assigned an advisor.  If you believe you would prefer another member of the faculty to serve as an advisor you can request a change of advisor.  This is a normal occurrence and there are no hard feelings.

Academic Honesty:
As a student, you are expected to comply with the professional ethics of academia.  Failure to do so almost always results in failing the assignment.  It may result in failing the course or even to being suspended from the college.  The "Academic Policies" portion of the Compass  includes a section on "Honesty in Academic Work" covering cheating and plagiarism. The central ethical principle is that one must never represent as one's own, intellectual or academic work that was in fact done by someone else.  This principle can be easy or difficult to apply depending on the circumstances.  Handing in a paper written by another student is easily understood to be unethical.  Knowing exactly when you must cite sources for a paper you are writing can feel more complex. Resolve ambiguity by asking your professor and/or using the resources in the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Center for Teaching and Learning:
This is a resource center for all students who are interested in improving their academic success.  Wise students use it.  The center includes our writing studio, quantitative reasoning studio, academic media studio, peer consultants, and other academic services. The consulting librarians in Cole Library are always ready to help you organize your research efforts and to help you evaluate the validity of the information you discover.

Claiming and Planning your Academic Career:
From the very first term, you can be exploring opportunities for summer research, off-campus and international study, internships, independent study and talking about the associated procedures with your advisor. These special opportunities require advance planning.  Take time to explore multiple interests. You will declare your major in February of you sophomore year.  In some science majors and in education, you will need to begin your major course work in the first year in order to complete a degree within four years.