What Should I Be Thinking About When?
Some things to read through
- Read through the Academic Knox booklet. It's got a convenient summary and explanation of graduation requirements, an explanation of the role of advisor, and tips about a variety of opportunities to explore.
- Get familiar with the college catalog. Be sure to skim through the pages with the purple edges, which describe "Special Programs and Opportunities." There are lots of great things you may not have heard about!
Some questions to think about
- What are you most looking forward to studying?
- What extracurricular activities are you interested in pursuing, if any? (E.g., a sport, band, theatre, etc.)
- You'll most likely be studying a second language this year or next. What second language would make the biggest contribution to other academic or personal plans that you might have?
- What personal and academic strengths could you be building on?
- What difficulties or challenges might you be facing in this new environment?
- With college as a fresh start, are there new directions you'd like to take in your life?
Rest of First Year: during pre-enrollment for next term or before
- Some weeks into college, how do things feel to you?
- Which course(s) do you like best, and why?
- What new courses would make good follow-ups to what you've done this term?
- What new directions might you like to try out?
- How are things going outside the classroom?
- If you're having problems in one or another area of life, do you know where you can turn for help? (If not, ask your advisor and/or RA for suggestions of resource people.)
- Learn how to read your EDR (Educational Development Record). This is the way you can keep track of what requirements you have fulfilled (and have yet to fulfill) for graduation. To get a copy of your EDR:
- Go to the Registrar's page:
- Click on: Academic Information for Students and log in.
- Login is different for this page than for e-mail:
- Your username: Your student identification number
- Your password: Initialized to the last four digits of your social security number
- You can print out your EDR from the website.
- If you haven't yet done a second language, which language makes the most sense to study, given your interests and plans?
- Knowing that you'll need to declare a major in spring term of next year, what new fields of study might you like to sample in the next two terms before making that decision? What fields would you like to do a second or third course in, in order to confirm an interest you currently have?
- Look over the suggested questions in the Educational Plan Guidelines (your advisor will give you a copy) and begin writing about your experience so far.
- Open your e-portfolio. Are there are some things you'd like to save into it, such as preliminary writing for your ed plan, a copy of your best FP paper, notes towards your Ed Plan, etc.?
- What kind of experiential learning possibilities interest you? For help with internships, visit the CCPPD (Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development), SMC D-212.
- What off-campus programs for junior year might you consider (applications due early February)?
- What other areas to explore before settling on a major? (Decision needed on this early in spring term.)
- Interested in constructing an independent major? If so, this is the time to start working up your ideas and talking to possible advisors.
- Continue work on your educational plan, which would have been started at the Fall Institute.
- Last chance for course enrollments to confirm/expand choice of major.
- Use the college catalog to review departments and special opportunities. Review Academic Knox for an overview of academic requirements.
- Finish a first draft of your educational plan and send it to your advisor for comments.
- The final draft of your ed plan needs to be submitted to your advisor before you declare a major (which usually entails shifting advisors). Put a copy in your e-portfolio.
- You'll be meeting this term with your major advisor. Go over your ed plan with him/her.
- Do you have any career goals, including grad school options, in mind? Talk to your advisor about this, and go to the CCPPD for further help.
- Settle on a plan for experiential learning, if you haven't already completed it.
- Make plans for a minor or second major.
- Review your EDR to see what other graduation requirements you have yet to complete.
- Are you satisfied with your major? There's probably still time to change if something else would be better for you.
- Might you be interested in a summer internship to help you decide about eventual career goals? This is the time to search out opportunities and apply. Go to the CCPPD for help.
- Thinking of med school? Look into MCAT prep.
- Thinking of grad school? Look for GRE prep sessions.
- What's your thinking about plans for after Knox? Find out about relevant exams and fellowship opportunities if you're interested in graduate or professional school. Start the search for programs you might want to apply to. Final chance for GRE prep sessions.
- Are there any courses you want to be sure to take next year, before graduation?
- Interested in an honors project? Talk about your ideas for a project with faculty.
- Go over your EDR to be sure everything is lined up for fulfilling graduation requirements.
- A good time to visit the CCPPD?they can help you in the becoming-urgent question of what to do after Knox! Among other things, they can help you connect up with Knox alums in career fields of interest to you.
- Make sure that you have declared all majors and minors.
- Take out your ed plan. Have developed as you anticipated or if have you gone in new directions? Add in a new section to reflect back on the last couple of years.
- Check your EDR to see that all graduation requirements have been met and all necessary substitutions have been made.
- Enjoy your final term at Knox!
- If you're entering the job world directly after graduation, this will also be a busy time with job exploration and interviews. Good luck!