Freshman Advising: Wrapping Up, Looking Ahead

Dear Freshman Advisers:

I write to thank you for your work with your freshmen advisees this term. Whether providing them with course information, discussing their academic goals, or attending to their well-being, you’ve played a crucial role in their lives.

Below, please find some advising information divided into four categories: 1) reading week and finals; 2) important January dates; 3) spring preregistration and preference selection instructions; and 4) four things to keep in mind for your spring advising meetings. If you prefer to read this information online, please click here.  I hope this information proves helpful.

Best wishes for the end of the semester, and happy holidays!



Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs
Director of Advising and Special Programs 203-432-8427

p.s. To access your advisees’ names and email addresses, please click here

Reading Week and Finals Reading period officially began on Saturday, with final exams beginning this Thursday. Attached to this message, you will find some study and test-taking tips developed for first-semester freshmen. You might consider passing them on to your advisees, and you might also direct them to the Morse College Tips on Conquering Finals web page.
Bass Library is sponsoring some Reading Week stress-down events: Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 15-16, free coffee and tea every night after 10:00 p.m. (Bass Library), and Wednesday, Dec. 16, Orangeside doughnuts from 8:00 p.m. until the doughnuts run out (Bass Library Service Desk).

Spring 2016 Preregistration and Preference Selection The University Registrar’s Office will email all undergraduates this week to announce the spring 2016 preregistration/preference section period (generally speaking, Dec. 14, 2015-Jan. 14, 2016). A list of preregistration departments or courses with clickable links for instructions can be found on the Yale College Preference Selection, Preregistration, and Applications web page.

Important January 2016 Dates Please keep in mind these important dates for the start of the spring term. Other important spring-term dates are listed in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines.

  • Jan. 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; classes do not meet. Freshman registration meetings in the residential colleges
  • Jan. 19: spring term classes begin; 8:20 a.m.
  • Jan. 22: Friday classes do not meet; Monday classes meet
  • Jan. 27: last day to submit course schedules for the Class of 2019; 5:00 p.m.

Four Things to Keep in Mind for Spring ‘16 Freshman Advising Meetings

1. Foreign language requirement Did your advisees take an L1 (first-semester) language course in the fall? No credit will be awarded for L1 until a student has successfully completed L2. Upon completion of L1 L2, students are awarded 3 credits.

2. Course sequences Many courses, especially in STEM fields, are sequential in nature. Check with your advisees to make sure they are following the correct sequence. Refer any questions to the DUS of the relevant department.

3. Lives, Histories, and Cultures of Under-Represented Communities Please click here for a 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. Click here for a 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. 

4. Grades Before meeting with your freshman advisees, consider checking their fall-term grades (available via your personal advising page). You might open your January conversations by asking them how they feel they did last term, keeping in mind that, for some students, a C in a challenging course is as welcome as an A for others. To get an idea of the evolution of your freshman advisees’ thinking about academics, you might also ask them which course(s) they looked forward to last term, which course(s) didn’t turn out as expected, and why.

Fun Fact (Online Etymology Dictionary)

freshman (n.)

  • 1550s, “newcomer, novice,” from fresh (adj.1) in the sense “making one’s first acquaintance, inexperienced”  man (n.). Sense of “university student in first year” is attested from 1590s. As an adjective by 1805. Freshwoman is from 1620s. Related: Freshmenfreshmanicfreshmanshipfreshmanhood.

frosh (n.)

  • student colloquial shortening and alteration of freshman, attested from 1908, “perh. under influence of German frosch frog, (dial.) grammar-school pupil” [OED].