January 2011 Parent E-Newsletter
January 2011 Parent Newsletter
• Greetings from the Parent Council
• Important Dates
• How PLNU is Keeping Your Student Involved
• Offices of Strengths and Vocation – Importance of Informational Interviews
• Important Student Financial Information
• Finals Week Study Breaks Sponsored by the Wellness Center and the Peer Educators
• Study Skills for a New Semester
• Sweet Celebration Treat! You Can Order On-line
I trust that you have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Season and the heralding in of a New Year along with having your student home for a few weeks. My daughter turned to me just yesterday and said, “I miss my friends and I am ready to go back to school.” As students “gear up” for a new semester, we have included in this month’s edition some great tips and suggestions for parents to share with their students by Pat Curley, the Director of Tutorial Services.
The faculty and staff at PLNU are looking forward to Monday when the campus will once again come to life. The RD’s expect the laundry facilities to be quiet for the first two weeks of school due to everyone returning with clean clothes. We expect your students to return more rested, sporting a few new items, and yes, ready to eat in the cafeteria again!
Director of Parent Connection
Greetings from Parent Council
We hope you all had a great Christmas break with your students. We had a great time with our daughter and loved having her home again. While she was home we asked her, “What’s the best part of Christmas Break?” She answered “No studying, no stress and being able to sleep in.”
This made us think of how important it is for our young adults to learn time management skills, healthly eating and sleeping patterns, and effective tools in dealing with stress. If they learn these skills now at a young age, research shows that they are more likely to mature into a healthy, happy adult.
As our students begin a new semester at Point Loma, we should encourage them to eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep, and learn some stress reducing exercises like deep breathing, visualization, or a quick brisk walk. All these can help reduce stress and refresh their mind. It is important for us as parents to keep encouraging our students not to give up, but to keep their eyes on the future.
A verse that can give them encouragement is Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
May God bless you and your family,
Tom and Kim Brunson
Parent Council Members
Airport and Train Shuttle for Christmas Break
January 8, from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
January 9, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Residence Halls Open – January 8 at 12:00 noon
Classes Begin – January 10
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No Classes) – January 17
Last Day to add 16 week classes – January 21
How PLNU is Keeping Your Student Involved
January 10 – Community Conversations with San Diego Opera
January 18 – Commuter Event
January 24-28 – Spiritual Renewal Week
Offices of Strengths and Vocation – Importance of Informational Interviews
Informational interviewing is an effective and important tool for students to use during their years of college. It is an excellent way to explore different careers, network and meet people in industries of interest, as well as learning about possible future job openings that have not yet been opened or advertised.
An informational interview is less stressful than an actual job interview. Students can remain in control of the conversation by bringing their own questions to the meeting without worrying about discussion of salary or benefits. This process should prove helpful to students in gaining valuable insights and information along with building their self-confidence. At the same time students can also expand their network with the names of professionals who can prove beneficial in seeking internships and future employment.
Networking in preparation for an informational interview may include interfacing with family members, tapping parent connections, asking professors, and by attending networking events. Students are also encouraged to avail themselves of our services by making an appointment with a counselor in OSV.
For additional information on how to prepare relevant questions, and how to foster a relationship following the interviewing process, please check out the OSV link at:
OSV February Events
February 8 – Network 9 Biology and Chemistry
February 9 – Summer Camp Job Fair
February 24 – Network 9 Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work
You can also join us on Facebook and get the latest updates and pictures from events! All you need to do is say you like us!
Important Student Financial Information
January 4 – Spring 2011 Payment Due
January 21 – Deadline to Make Changes to On-Campus Meal Plan
January 24 – Financial Aid Posted to Student Accounts
January 31 – 1098-T tax Forms Will Be Available Through Student Portal
February 4 – Deadline To Waive Health Insurance
February 8 – 5% Late Fee Applied to All Unpaid Balances
SPRING 2011 STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT
If your student is registered for the spring semester, s/he should already have received a statement of account in the mail. If you have not seen the spring statement, please contact your student or visit the parent portal to view the statement. All future bills for the spring semester will be made available on the student and parent portals. Payment for Spring 2011 was due January 4, 2011. Amounts showing as Pending Aid are considered payment, even if they haven’t yet posted.
If your student has provided you with financial information releases, you will receive a postcard each month that a bill is generated, notifying you that the bill is available to be viewed online through your parent portal. If you’d prefer to receive this notification by email, please update your “Notification Preferences” through your parent portal (this is found on the same page as the statement of account, under Financial Services). Please be sure that we have a valid email address on file for you.
BOOK MONEY ADVANCES
Students who will have a credit balance for the spring semester can receive a book money advance during the first two weeks. Spring financial awards will not be posted until January 24th. Students with credit balances will need to contact SFS for the money to be advanced. According to federal law (FERPA), college students are responsible for their own records. This forbids educational institutions from divulging information or refunding credit balances without the student’s permission.
This money can transfer to bookstore availability and will be available starting the beginning of the spring semester.
MEAL PLAN AND HEALTH INSURANCE DEADLINES
Students who are looking to change meal plans or to decline health insurance can make these changes on their student portal. Meal plans need to be changed by January 21st and health insurance needs to be declined by February 4th.
CHAPEL AND DORM FINES
Chapel and dorm fines for the fall semester have recently been posted to students’ accounts and can be viewed by generating a new bill online through the student or parent portal.
1098-T TAX FORMS
1098-T tax forms will be made available through the student portal by January 31st. Please have your student print this form and provide it to your tax preparer.
TUITION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
If you currently have a monthly payment contract set up with Tuition Management Systems (TMS), please compare the amount of your contract to the amount owing on your spring statement of account. If you need to make any adjustments, please contact TMS directly at http://www.afford.com/ptloma or 888-285-3052. TMS does not have access to your PLNU account balance, but they can help you adjust the amount of your contract based on information you provide to them from your statement of account.
You’ll want to be sure to keep an eye on your PLNU statement of account, in case there are any changes to registration or any additional charges added to the account (such as fines).
If you have any questions regarding your student’s statement of account, please feel free to contact the Student Financial Services Office at (619)-849-2538 Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.- 4:30p.m. on Friday or email us at email@example.com. We are here to serve you!
HAVE A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!!
Finals Week Study Breaks sponsored by the Wellness Center & the Peer Educators
Recent research has demonstrated the significant benefits of having contact with pets in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. One particular study found in the May/June 2009 issue of the American Journal of College Health noted “a pet therapy program could temporarily fill the absence of previous support systems and be a catalyst for establishing new social relationships.”
Annual surveys on college students conducted by the American College Health Association consistently identify stress as the number one impediment to academic performance. In light of this research, the Wellness Center and student leaders in the Peer Educator program provided well-timed opportunities for PLNU students to de-stress during finals week by sponsoring two study breaks entitled Relax Awhile and Paws Awhile on December 13th and 14th. During the Relax Awhile study break, students were able to participate in the use of massage chairs, receive free shoulder and back massages, engage in guided relaxation exercises, and spend time in prayer. Tea, cider and coffee were also made available.
During the Paws Awhile study break, students were given the opportunity to spend time with guide dogs in training and certified therapy assisted dogs. The event was planned by Rebecca Carter, Wellness Center Outreach Coordinator. Judith Eisienberg, Pet-Assisted Therapy Coordinator with the San Diego Humane Society, and Kim Smith, trainer for Guide Dogs for the Blind, assisted with providing four dogs and one puppy for the event. Kim Smith and her son Kendle, a PLNU freshman, have trained several guide dogs for those with sight impairments and were excited to partner with the Wellness Center by bringing Julissa, Ontario, and Lahaina, three Labrador retrievers, from the program. The dogs from both organizations frequently engage in similar events as a part of their certification requirements in the area of socialization.
An estimated 120 students attended the Relax Awhile event and approximately 160 attended the Paws Awhile event. Smiles and laughter abounded with frequent comments on how much students enjoyed this refreshing and innovative break from finals with the dogs and with each other.
If interested in further reading on the subject, follow the links below.
Study Skills for a New Semester
The first semester is over and freshman students have experienced university level classes, increased study time, and being in charge of their own time management. Dr. Pat Curley, the Director of Tutorial Services, has put together a helpful list to improve academic success.
It is important students set reasonable goals. Schedules need to include time for sleep, recreation, etc. Also, leave time for catch-up. Basically, students need to make it something they really can and will do! It is important they do not design a schedule that will fail in the first day or week because it is too difficult or too hard to maintain.
Here are some helpful hints specifically relating to school:
1. Plan enough study time to do justice to each subject. Most college classes are set up to require about two hours work per week per unit. Multiplying your unit load by two should give you a good idea of the amount of time that you will need for studying. Be aware and sensitive, however, to the fact that each class and teacher varies. Also be aware of your own special needs (e.g. needing extra reading time).
2. Plan to study difficult (or boring!) subjects first. It’s always tempting to do what we enjoy first, but the harder stuff often takes more energy and should therefore be accomplished first.
3. Limit your blocks of study time. Usually, after 1-1/2 to 2 hours you will tire rapidly and lose your ability to concentrate. Also, you will learn better if you take short breaks (2-3 minutes) during the longer blocks of time and vary your study activities. Involve as many of your senses as possible, and stay physically active.
4. Provide time for spaced review. A regular weekly period when you will review the work in each of your courses will help keep you up to date. This review should be cumulative, covering briefly all the work done thus far in the semester. Such reviews will reduce the need for "cramming" later.
5. Practice self-recitation as a device for increasing memory. Organize your notes in a question and answer form and think in terms of questions and answers about the main ideas of the material as you review weekly. When preparing for exams, try to predict the questions the instructor may ask.
6. Keep carefully organized notes on both lectures and assignments. Good notes are one of the best ways for review. Watch for key ideas in lectures and try to express them in your own words in your notes. Look for headings and bold face type while reading to give you clues about the main ideas. Also, take down careful notes as to exactly what assignments are and when they are due. Be sure to schedule time for long term projects on the day they are assigned.
7. For a lecture class, study as soon as possible. Try to find 3-5 minutes shortly after a lecture class to clean up and review your notes.
8. For a participation class, review in advance. Try to find 3-5 minutes before a participation class to review your notes. This suggestion includes classes which often have quizzes on the material from previous class sessions.
9. Plan a good place to study. If you intend to study in your room, try to work out an agreement with your roommates about study time. You can even try writing out clear rules to follow with your roommates or hanging a "Do not disturb" sign on the door to facilitate studying in your room. If you cannot study in your room, plan on going some place else, such as the library or Tutorial Center. Plan for good lighting, low noise levels, and limited distractions. Create the habit of using the same time and location for study on a regular basis.
Tips for Time Management:
1. Overestimate the amount of time needed for an activity. Life often takes more time than we expect. It is better to have extra time to do something than to underestimate and not be able to finish.
2. Maximize your best time of day. Morning person or night owl. Find out what your best times are and utilize them for the most important and/or hardest tasks.
3. Utilize odd hours and waiting times. Odd hours or waiting times between activities can be used for quick reviews, or to accomplish other short tasks. Creating the habit of utilizing these times may very well open up other free time for recreation.
4. Trade time—don’t steal it. Unexpected events will often arise during scheduled activities. This is okay, but be sure to immediately adjust your schedule to make up for the time that you missed.
5. Learn to say "No." You cannot do it all. People will understand if you have to turn down activities to finish important tasks on your busy schedule.
6. Be aware of major interrupters. Everyone has things which consistently interrupt the task at hand---TV, video games, online chat, cell phones or another person. Find out what your major interrupters are and take control of each situation.
7. Be aware of major robbers of time. Do your best to not let over sleeping or napping, sidetracks, procrastination, or daydreaming cut into or take over your schedule.
8. Create an environment conducive for the task at hand. Be intentional about your environment. For example, if you need to study, reduce distractions and don’t let yourself get too comfortable. Also, take advantage of helpful environments, such as the library or the Tutorial Center.
9. Consciously choose how you spend your time. Be aware of your unconscious decision patterns. This is when time "gets away from you." Be conscious and intentional about the way you spend your time!
Send a Celebration Treat!
With a start of a new semester and missing all the home cooking, why not send your student a Sweet Treat to boost their spirits. For a $25 donation, the Women’s Auxiliary of PLNU will lovingly bake homemade cakes, cookies or brownies and have them delivered right to your student’s residence hall! We have even added an option for gluten-free treats by Sweet Willo May’s Bakery.
You can order and pay online at www.pointloma.edu/cake
Proceeds from this Sweet fundraiser are being used to replace the remaining 150 aging library chairs. Two weeks advanced notice is appreciated.
President of PLNU San Diego Women’s Auxiliary
Point Loma Nazarene University Women’s Auxiliary