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August 29, 1967 - Image 45

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1967-08-29

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'I ESDAYf A GTJ.ST 29,1967'



Making the University Workable:
Tips for the Incoming Freshman

U 'Academic Counseling Offei

Below are a number of informal tips to help you, the incom-
ing student, make it through your four years at the University.
Although you will probably pick them up along the way inde-
pendently, The Daily hopes to save you a little time and pos-
sibly a little discomfort.


Your academic counselor usually will not provide advice on
a specific course. However, he is a valuable source of informa-
tion in finding out what courses you will be required to take
before graduation.
He will also not fill you in on just who are the really fine
professors currently teaching courses within the reach of fresh-
men. You should turn to your fellow students for this type of
advice. They may be prejudiced, but they are usually helpful.
Always. check the name of the' professor who is teaching
the courses before asking for advice. The success of a course
depends almost entirely on quality of the individual professor.
If the name of the professor does not appear in the time sched-
ule, go to the departmental office and ask one of the coopera-
tive secretaries there. Most courses are usually offered at least-
once a year and a student can wait to take the subject until the
preferred professor is assigned to teach the particular course.
Certain courses, listed in the general catalogue, however,
are taught only infrequently. If you are interested in a course
not listed in the time schedule, for a particular semestei, you
should once again seek information in the departiental office.
Beware of advice from fellow students which emphasizes a
professor's personality, rather than his approach to his subject.,
Comedy and flare in a professor's lectures usually wear thin by
the end of the semester.

freshman courses. The Rackham School of Graduate Studies
has very derhanding admissions standards, and takes only the
top of the nation's graduating college seniors.
Most TF's hope to be professors in a few years, so flatter
their ages and tell them they are underpaid. If you have a TF
for a recitation section of a course, there may be a difference
of opinion between the lecturer, who is usually a professor and
the TF. It is suggested that you side with the TF, since he has
the responsibility for final grading.
Remember, a TF is also a student and thus has two respon-
sibilities. He must keep up with his graduate studies while
simultaneously teaching a course. Many times his teaching will
Most professors are anxious to meet and talk with their
students. It is a vital addition to a college education and should
not be missed.
Even the most foreboding looking lecturer will probably be
happy to discuss his subject with you. Often times professors
even turn their conversations to campus affairs and national
politics. You can form lasting friendships and gain valuable
information by talking freely with your professors.
All professors have office hours which are especially set
aside for consulting with students. Most instructors are not
happy with large classes and yearn for a chance to establish
meaningful personal relationships with their students.


At a surprisingly large number
of colleges and universities, the
only academic advice available to
students comes in the form of a
catalogue which reads much like
a railroad schedule.
This University, however, prides
itself on what is one of the largest.
and most sophisticated programs
of its kind.
"The University is recognized to
have among the best counseling
systems in the country," explained
James W. Shaw. chairman of the
literary college counseling office
for juniors and seniors.

the student a valuable personal
contact in a sprawling education
institution, if he wishes.
If not, it is a sure source where
one can find out exactly how to
fill distribution requirements.
The counseling procedure begins
when the student makes an ap-
pointment with his assigned coun-
selor, often a time-consuming
process. His appointment may be
as much as a week or more later,
since the counselors are also
working members of the faculty
and usually are assigned more stu-
dents they can properly handle.
But the student is not limited,

1; When a. gt.ijtipnt. npptic mm-n


than academic advice, he will be
referred to a more specialized
agency on campus.
Personal counseling services are
also up to a student's initiative
or a referral by the counselor.
Such counseling includes handling:
the emotional and physcial prob-!
lems that can interfere with a
student's career.
Health Service, for instance, is
available as a fulltime clinic for,
the exclusive benefit of students,
with a staff of doctors, nurses and
technicians, a 60-bed infirmary
and the facilities of University
The Bureau of Psychological
Services has a staff of trained ,
psychiatrists and psychologists1
who talk to students about prob- !

lems of social adjustment
academic difficulties.
The Office of Financial Aic
sists students who enco
emergency financial shortag
are under serious financial d
The Office of Religious A
uses the services of thirty
chaplains as counselors in st
concerns with religious and y
sophical questions.
The function of the Re
Improvement Service is to
students in adding to their res
speed and improvement of
study habits.
The Residence Hall systemr
offers Resident Advisors and
counselors, whose general ai
to assist students in making
best adjustmaent to Universit;
and its demands.



This procedure is commonly referred to as dropping and
adding. It is a' time-consuming process, but well worth your
while if you are unhappy with a particular course. Drops be-
come more difficult as the semester progresses, so effect them as
soon as possible. There are only four years to an undergradu-
ate education; you should take full advantage of your limited
All drops must beapproved by an academic counselor, not
necessarily the one assigned to you. Go to the counseling offices
in Angell Hall and make an appointment. The lines will prob-
ably be long, but so is a semester with a disappointing professor.
Your counselor will probably ask for an excuse as to why you
wish to drop the course. The best policy is to speak with him
frankly about, your difficulties. He will tell you the procedure
for filling out the-proper forms.
Before you go to your counselor pick an alternative course
and make sure it is not closed. Lists of closed courses can be
found in the counseling office or you can contact the professor
in charge of the course.

Well, most of the time nobody cares who the "big-name"
professors are, so don't worry about it. As you increase your
knowledge in a particular field, you will quickly see who are the
leaders in an academic discipline. Most college professors are
not famous outside University communities, since their works
are either scholarly or scientific, and therefore have no appeal
to the mainstream of American thought.
The University has a generous snare of "big-name" pro-
fessors and ranks highly in almost all academic disciplines.
"Big-name" professors are usually famous for their books,
research and papers. This does not necessarily mean they are
good instructors. So make sure each is a fine "teacher" before
you take his course.

Specialized Agencies even in peak periods, in the num-
The University operates more ber of times he may see his coun-
than 20 specialized agencies to as- selor, if he has legitimate concerns
sist students in the areas of aca- about dropping or adding courses
demics, career planning and psy- or revising his course of study.,
chiatric counseling. Students are often dismayed
Academic counseling is the stu- that their counselor, perhaps an
dent's most immediate contact instructor in geology or botany, is
with the wide range of services of- advising them about an unrelated
fered by the University. Although potential English majdr.
no sure solutions are guaranteed, Shaw explains that because the
the counseling office offers a place counselors are faculty members
where a student may seek advice they have a running knowledge of
when he encounters uncertainty the current classroom situations.
or difficulty in building his college They are not expected to know
program. every detail about all the courses
Counseling is available to meet offred in the catalogue.
all student needs, no matter how Sound Advice
specialized their field. The Engin- Although they can't be experts
eering College, Honors College and on eveything, they can give sound
School of Nursing, among others, advice based on experience with
operate their own separate coun- similar situations in '.the ; past.
seling program for students en- They can also refer students to
rolled in concentration subjects. other faculty members when they
Wide Variety desire further information.
But by far the largest operation The student at the freshman-
is the literary college .counseling sophomore level is not allowed to
office, which serves 11,000 under- concentrate in a particular field,
graduates in a wide variety of de- and therefore it is not considered
partments. vital that he have a counselor
"Entering freshmen usually from his field. His main objective
come in with the impression that should be to fill distribution re-
the counselor should be his guar- uirements. In declaring a major,
dian," Shaw claims. "They are in the second semester of their
used to having guidance handed to sophomore year, students are able
them." to choose a counselor in their field
However, at the University, he of interest.
notes, the counselor is regarded "We are not a ritualistic organ-
as a "resource," rather than a ization in which a number of im-
"director" and the student is un- personal clerks are a ilable to
der no obligation to see him after approve course selections made by
an initial half-hour interview, ex- a number," Shaw explains. "Nor
cept to have schedule cards ap- are we a psychoanalysis center for
proved. solving social problems; our true
But the key to the counseling function lies somewhere in be-
process is initiative. tween and we try to be available
The counseling process offers when the student needs us."


The trimester is a new innovation in scheduling. It offers
you jam-packed, tension-ridden eight, months of intensive
study with few vacations. But it ends in April and gives you a
full four.months with no exams, to worry about. You are also
given a jump on students from other colleges and universities
in obtaining summer jobs.
You can finish your undergraduate education, under the
system, in less than three years, if you wish to take courses
during the summer months. Under the former system, this
would be nearly impossible.
The semesters are short, so there is little or no time to let
work pile up. Without a vacation break there is also no free
time to concentrate on researching term papers. So, watch the
calendar and keep up with the pace.,


To have a teaching fellow as - an instructor is a fate far
better, thanr death. Most of the University's TF's are highly
competent graduate stydents more than capable of teaching

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