Summer Online Tutoring Offered to Fall 2016 PHYS 170 Students

Each year a small number of sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who enroll in PHYS 170, struggle significantly with some of the basic high-school level mathematics that we use in the class.  In a number of cases, these students’ lack of mathematics skills prevents them from keeping up with the pace of the class, so that they fall behind early in the semester and even the additional resources, that we have in place, such as peer tutoring, are not sufficient for them to be fully successful.
To provide help to these students, this summer, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Mathematics and Physics departments are offering an online program modeled on the ONEXYS (Online EXperiences for Yale Scholars) program for incoming freshmen (http://onexys.yale.edu). ONEXSYS, which began in 2014, provides students with structured online math training, and leads to significant student learning gains. 
Participants in the program for incoming PHYS 170 students (ONEXYS for PHYS 170) will receive access to online content, including videos built by Professor Jim Rolf of the Mathematics Department and his team, real-time discussions with other students in the program, advice and mentoring from math-savvy Yale students who serve as coaches, and a variety of problem sets, quizzes and other assessments to help them enhance their mathematics skills in preparation for PHYS 170.
The reason we are emailing is to ask you to bring the existence of the ONEXYS for PHYS 170 program to the attention of any of your students who both (1) are planning to enroll in PHYS 170 next Fall 2016 semester, and (2) you are concerned may have weak mathematics skills.
Concerning the interface to PHYS 170, participants in the ONEXSY for PHYS 170 program will benefit from available one-on-one tutoring from the start of the Fall semester. In addition, although sometimes students avoid or delay asking for needed extra help, because they are concerned about what the instructors will think, we would like to emphasize that participation in this program will only be viewed positively by us.
All interested students should contact us (simon.mochrie@yale.edu or claudia.degrandi@yale.edu) and will be asked to take an online diagnostic before admission into the program in order to ensure a proper match between the program and students’ mathematics skills. The program  will run for 6 weeks from June 29 through August 12, and will involve between 5 and 10 hours work per week for participating students. Students can participate from anywhere they have an internet connection.

Confucius as Freshman or Sophomore Adviser: What “The College of Chinese Wisdom” Has to Say to Yale Undergraduates

Starting from the idea that “telling young people to discover their true selves causes confusion and anxiety — better to follow Confucius, who knew that our identities are in constant flux,” Dr. Charles Puett (Chinese history professor at Harvard) and Dr. Christine Gross-Loh (journalist and Harvard Ph.D.) argue that “the contemporary Western emphasis on self-discovery and self-acceptance has led you astray.”

Political Science Web Page with Major Information Specifically for Freshmen and Sophomores

Psychology Web Page with Major Information Specifically for Freshmen and Sophomores

In March 2016, the Psychology Department debuted a web page with major information specifically for freshmen and sophomores.  Located at http://psychology.yale.edu/undergraduate/freshmen-and-sophomores, it contains such sections as

  • FAQs
  • How would I decide whether to major in Psychology?
  • What should I take after Introduction to Psychology and when should I take each course?
  • What can I do with a Psychology major when I graduate?
  • I am trying to decide between majoring in Psychology and Cognitive Science. What are the differences?
  • Where can I find information about the Neuroscience Track within the Psychology Major?

If you have questions that are not covered by the above sections, first check the FAQ section. If your questions are still not covered there, contact DUS of Psychology; woo-kyoung.ahn@yale.edu.

Spring 2016 Courses that Fulfill the WR Requirement and Have Open Seats

Several courses that meet the WR requirement had open seats well into shopping period. Students who needed to fulfill the WR requirement were advised to consider one of the following:

  • ENGL 115, Literature Seminars—all sections
    • WR literature seminars with themed sections:
      • Writing Exile (01)
      • Literary Politics (02)
      • Outlaws (03)
      • Monsters (04)
      • “Minor” Voices (05)
    • N.B. Sections 01, 02, and 05 explicitly discuss issues of race, gender, and identity
  • ENGL 127, Readings in American Literature—all sections
  • ER&M 327/MMES 311/WGSS 327, Constructing the Self: From Autobiography to Facebook
  • ER&M 328/SAST 458/WGSS 328, Popular Culture and Postcolonial India
  • CLCV 044, Cultural Diversity in Greek and Roman Literature (Freshman Seminar—freshmen only)

Spring 2016 Courses on the Histories, Lives, and Cultures of Unrepresented and Underrepresented Communities

  • short list of courses that are either taught in or cross-listed with the departments and programs in African American Studies; American Studies; Ethnicity, Race and Migration; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Many of the faculty in these programs base their scholarship and research on the study of identity and race, ethnicity, and gender, and many of their courses incorporate current theories and methods pertaining to these areas of study. The list of these courses is available here.
  • longer list of courses taught by instructors across the faculty who are exploring questions of identity from the perspective of their own expertise and fields of scholarship. As departments and programs continue to self-identify additional courses and add them, we expect that this list will grow in the coming weeks. You can find that list here.

Click here for information about mandatory pre-registration for places in Spanish language courses, levels L1-L4, spring 2016. 

Career Outcomes for Humanities Graduates The Humanities Indicators Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is continuing to explore the career outcomes for humanities graduates. Two new data sets explore gender and its impact on humanities graduates’ salaries and occupations.

Inside Higher Ed Quick Take.

What Influences International STEM Students’ Decisions? British Council survey of 1,348 international undergraduate and graduate students studying in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States asked about factors affecting their decision making in choosing a country and course of study. The report found that undergraduates tend to choose U.S. universities with the goal of increasing their career prospects globally. Graduate students are drawn by perceptions of rigorous education and high-quality research, and affordability.

“The U.S. perhaps has the most well-rounded value proposition to international STEM students: it is a country where students perceive they can engage in high-quality education and gain skills and research experience to apply to work either there or in their home countries; poststudy work experience in the U.S. has expanded and STEM students can now spend 29 months working – though there remains debate about the future sustainability of this policy,” the survey report states.

The survey found that while significant numbers of international students hope to stay in their destination countries to work after graduation, a comparatively small proportion (15 percent) hope to migrate permanently.

Inside Higher Ed Quick Take.

Chemistry. Click here for changes to introductory chemistry courses for STEM students, beginning in fall 2015.

ENGL 114a. Click here to learn how to register for ENGL 114a.

New Course Enrollment Regulation for 2015-2016

Dear Yale College Student:

As you begin reviewing fall-term course offerings, you should be aware of a new course enrollment regulation published in the YCPS:

“In both fall and spring terms, students in all classes must create a preliminary course schedule in Online Course Selection (OCS) by 11:59 p.m. on the day before classes begin. Students who fail to submit a preliminary schedule by the deadline will be charged a fine of $50. The preliminary course schedule must contain at least three course credits. Students are expected to edit their online course schedules regularly during the course selection period, retaining courses they are actively considering and removing courses in which they do not plan to enroll.”

This new regulation formalizes the valuable work you and your classmates did last year by creating and keeping current your OCS worksheets. Those actions provided accurate and timely course demand statistics. Academic departments were able to set realistic expectations for enrollment, and students were able to gauge which courses were oversubscribed or likely to have available seats. Your efforts improved the course selection process and benefited the entire campus community.

You will receive e-mail reminders in the coming weeks asking you to create an OCS worksheet by September 1. I thank you in advance for your continued help improving the course selection experience.

With best wishes for the start of term,

Gabriel G. Olszewski

University Registrar

Executive Director, Student Financial and Administrative Services

Placement Tests and Preregistration

Freshmen or sophomores who wish to take a Yale College language course at the L2 level of higher after having studied the language outside of Yale are advised to take a language placement test.  The Center for Language Study provides placement test information and, in the case of some online tests, links to the test themselves, on its Placement Testing page. Many online placement tests are available over the summer, between July 1 and August 15, 2015.

Freshmen or sophomores who wish to take introductory or advanced courses in certain other fields of study, such as 

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • economics
  • English
  • mathematics
  • music
  • physics

or — for freshmen only —

  • Directed Studies (DS)
  • Freshmen Seminars

or, for both freshmen and sophomores, would like general preregistration and placement information or information about ROTC, are advised to consult the Special Programs, Placement, and Preregistration page.

Goals for All Yale College Majors

The Yale College Dean’s Office launched the “Intensive Majors Project” in 2013-2014 with, as its top priority, the goal of helping to advise students about their courses of study.  Other goals centered on the faculty, the departments, and Yale’s national accreditation requirements.

It is expected that roughly fifteen majors will conduct self-reviews each year, allowing all majors to undergo review in a four- to five-year cycle, at which point — because major requirements and goals change over time — the self-reviews will begin anew.

The goals for each Yale College major are listed here, as approved by undergraduate departments and programs. 

How Do Yale Students Spend Their Summers?  What Do They Do after Graduation?

The Office of Career Strategy conducts a series of surveys to track students’ choices during their summers at Yale and after they graduate.  In addition, through Symplicity, students are encouraged to contact their peers to learn more about these specific experiences.

  1. First Destination Survey for the Class of 2013: Career choices and salaries of graduating students
  2. Summer 2013 Activities Survey: Summer choices of Yale College students

Academic Resources

Sophomores on Sophomore Year

“Sophomore year, and especially the summer after that, should be a time to explore different fields.” “Look ahead to junior and senior years because there are some provisions like studying abroad and class load in senior year that should be taken into account.”
“You can still join extracurricular groups in sophomore year. It’s a great time to try something new.” “It’s OK if you don’t have your entire life planned by now. Most will change their minds anyway.”
“The best advice I can give about ‘sophomore slump’ is just to stick it out. Don’t drop anything you’ve previously liked just because you’re feeling down. Chances are, when your situation improves, you’ll appreciate it even more. Be careful about making major decisions (changing a major, quitting an activity, etc.) when you know you’re not really at your best.” “Don’t be afraid to have fun! People get stressed out, but you should have a few nights when you just stay up watching movies with your friends. Make sure that you leave time for yourself in addition to all of your commitments. Also, sleep is good.”