January 2018

Happy New Year from
WWU Family Connection

This newsletter is produced by Western's Office of Communications and Marketing and New Student Services/Family Outreach.

Have questions? Send us a note.

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Couple paragliding in Nago Japan

WWU junior Phoenix Wing-Lawrence tried paragliding for the first time in Nagano, Japan, while studying abroad at Toyo University. She titled the photo "The 'They Explained Everything in Japanese, So I'm Not Really Sure How to Land' Selfie." Click here to see more from the WWU EdAbroad photo contest.

Important Dates

First day of winter quarter, tuition and fees due: Tuesday, Jan. 9

"Back to the Sandbox: Art and Radical Pedagogy" opens in the Western Gallery: Tuesday, Jan. 9

Western Lobby Day: Monday, Jan. 15

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, university closed: Monday, Jan. 15

Last day to pay winter quarter charges before late fees assessed: Monday, Jan. 15

International Jobs and Internships Workshop: Jan. 18

Last day to downsize meal plans: Friday, Jan. 19

Go Abroad Fair: Thursday, Jan. 25

Dance students' "Winter Dances" opening night: Thursday, Jan. 25

WWU's FAFSA priority deadline: Wednesday, Jan. 31

Drop-in resume clinic: Feb. 6

Winter Career Fair: Thursday, Feb. 8

Huxley Environmental Internship and Career Fair: Thursday, Feb. 8

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship information: Monday, Feb. 12

Drop-in resume clinic: Feb. 15

President's Day holiday, university closed: Monday, Feb. 19

Education and Health Career Fair: Friday, Feb. 23

Final Exams: March 19-23

Commencement: Saturday, March 24

Spring Break: March 24 to April 2

Did you know: Winter quarter is career networking time

The Career Services Center website is updated regularly with new events and workshops throughout the quarter. Check back often to see what's new.

The Go Abroad Fair is students' first stop to see the world

WWU sophomore Quinn Comstock visited Machu Picchu while studying abroad in Cusco, Peru. Click here to see more student photos from the WWU Education Abroad photo contest.

The Go Abroad Fair
Thursday, Jan. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wade King Student Recreation Center MAC Gym

The annual Go Abroad Fair Thursday, Jan. 25, is a great way for students to learn about opportunities to study, work or complete an internship aboad.

The fair will include representatives from many organizations who will be there to provide information about their programs that help students and recent graduates go abroad.

Western's Education Abroad office has long-term relationships with most of the organizations attending the Go Abroad Fair. The EdAbroad office tends to only work with academic programs abroad that are accredited, providing students the ability to transfer their study abroad credits back to WWU for evaluation. The Go Abroad Fair will also include organizations that offer jobs abroad teaching English or serving local communities, such as the Peace Corps.

Before the Go Abroad Fair, it is wise for students to check out the Education Abroad website to start thinking about what type of experience they are seeking. The How to Navigate the Go Abroad Fair Workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 4-5 p.m. in Miller Hall 258 is another great way to prepare and get tips on how to make the most of the fair.

They're not alone: Many students face academic challenges during fall quarter, and help is available

The first quarter of college can be a significant transition for students. For some, this can result in receiving lower than expected grades in their first quarter. If that's the case for your student, know that they are not alone.

According to data available from Western’s Institutional Research Office, after fall 2017 13.6 percent of freshmen and 9.9 percent of new transfer students at Western were put on academic warning.

This can be a scary thing for both students and parents. Students whose cumulative grade point average drops below a 2.0, or a C, face academic probation and possibly academic dismissal if their grades don’t improve. The University Catalog provides information about the Scholarship Standards Policy and the Academic Advising Center is available to help students understand their standing and develop a plan for success.

Here are a few recommendations for students who are facing academic challenges:

Seek out resources early and do not wait until it is too late in the quarter. Western has many academic success resources including the Tutoring Center, which provides free tutoring in math and science General University Requirement (GUR) courses.

Plan to study two hours for every one hour in class. This can be a big adjustment for students, as it is far more studying than they have needed to do in the past.

Time management is an essential skill. Use a planner for identifying class and study time and other activities (work, clubs, exercise, etc.). Students find that building structure can help them feel more organized.

Attend faculty office hours. Often underutilized, faculty communicate their office hours in the beginning of the quarter and often on the course syllabus. This is an ideal time for students to get to know faculty and ask questions related to the class, major, etc.

Seek out advising at least once a quarter. Whether that is going to the Academic Advising Center, Student Outreach Services, academic department, etc. it is essential to seek advising as students move through their educational career at Western. It is never too early to begin course and major planning.

Construction begins soon on VU renovation and expansion

The project will include a Multicultural Center, much more space for the Ethnic Student Center, and an expanded lobby.

Major construction begins soon to greatly expand the top floor of the Viking Union and make room for a much-anticipated Multicultural Center.

The expansion and renovation of the VU will also include a new and expanded home for the Ethnic Student Center, new offices for three AS Student Resource and Outreach Programs, a home for Multicultural Services, and an expanded lobby area for the Viking Union building.

In early February, the AS Bookstore will move to a temporary home in the Viking Union Multipurpose room, with access through the doors on High Street. The construction project will include the demolition of the roof and mezzanine of the bookstore and re-orienting the bookstore’s entrance to the new VU lobby area.

Construction is expected to last through June 2019.

Referring your student to the Counseling Center

Attending college is an important achievement and an exciting time. College is also a time of significant change, which can be positive and challenging.

Students who enter college with pre-existing mental health concerns may need additional support. If you suspect your student is struggling, talk with them about mental health and the importance of self-care to their wellbeing. Let them know you are concerned and share campus academic and mental health resources. This guide contains information and suggestions for talking with your student about their mental health needs/concerns.

The Counseling Center is one available resource. Appointments at the Counseling Center need to be scheduled by your student. If you are concerned, encourage them to call to make an appointment (360.650.3164) or stop by the Counseling Center office in Old Main 540.

If your student is reluctant or experiencing an emergency, you can contact the Dean of Students (360.650.3706) or University Police Department (360-650-3555 or -3911 for emergencies).

Finally, click here to see our guide for families, which includes tips and resources for parents of young adults in college.

AS Outdoor Center winter quarter excursions

Excursions provide an opportunity for students to get outside and connect with the local northwest lifestyle, while learning valuable leadership and technical skills.

Trips are designed and led by students, for students. Winter offerings include hiking, snowshoeing, splitboarding, backpacking, snow caving and more.

For more information email as.oc.excursions.coord@wwu.edu or call 360-650-7677.

Signups for Winter Trips open on the first day of Winter Quarter. Click here to learn more.

Emergency preparedness tips for students

While Western prepares the campus community for a variety of emergencies, students can take a few simple steps to prepare themselves. Even a little bit of preparation can help students be more comfortable and able to get back to their usual routines more quickly.

Here are some tips from Holly Woll-Salkeld, Western's emergency preparedness specialist, that families can share with their students:

Print out a list of key phone numbers (you never know when your phone might go dead or break).

Start building a 72-hour kit: Put some energy bars, water, a flashlight, medications, sanitary products, etc. in a plastic gallon zip-lock bag. Keep it where it is easy to grab.

During a big incident, use texting instead of calling.

Participate in Western Alert Tests. There are typically three a year: a lockdown drill in the fall, fire drills in academic buildings in the winter and an earthquake drill in the spring.

Watch the videos on Western’s Safety and Emergency Information website, such as Western’s eight-minute Emergency Preparedness video and the Department of Homeland Security’s four-minute video regarding what to do during an act of violence.

Know where to go in an emergency: Find two exits from buildings where you live, attend class, work, etc. And know how to get to Western's three disaster assembly areas, in front of Old Main, the Communications oval lawn and Harrington Field.

Make sure Western can reach you in an emergency: WWU sends out Western Alert texts in emergencies and weather events. Students can go to emergency.wwu.edu to update their cell phone number. Families may also register their cell phone numbers at emergency.wwu.edu.

For more preparedness information, visit Whatcom Unified Emergency Management at http://www.whatcomready.org/.

The WWU Family Calendar is online

The Family Calendar is filled with important dates and deadlines, as well as campus resources for families.

Click here to see or download a PDF.

WWU news from Western Today

Kiplinger’s Again Ranks WWU Among 100 Best Values in Public Higher Education

Western Washington University Releases Sustainability Action Plan

'Back to the Sandbox: Art and Radical Pedagogy" Western Gallery Exhibition Opens Jan. 9

Western Washington University’s Educational Administration Master’s Degree Program Expands to British Columbia

Despite Glimmers of Hope, Starfish Are Still Wasting Away | Oregon Public Broadcasting

For the love of racing: McFadden pushes, pedals through pain | VeloNews

Click here to see more WWU news at Western Today, or sign up to get Western Today email updates.