Weekly Round-Up

NOTES ON SCHEDULE REVISIONS

Now that the revised FA20 schedule is visible at https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/2020/fall, please take some time to review your classes and see if you need to make any changes.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If a course is no longer showing up on your schedule grid, but you haven’t dropped it, then that means it will be taught asynchronously (in other words, with no scheduled class meetings).  Asynchronous online courses have the advantage of being more flexible and allowing you to get the work done when it’s convenient (though you must keep an eye on deadlines!) but the disadvantage of not allowing for real-time contact with peers.  It’s up to you to decide whether you feel comfortable with an asynchronous course.  The risk is that you will feel detached, so gather all the information you can ahead of time about what will be expected of you (and when) and how you can keep in touch with the instructor.   Remember that the computer is not teaching the course; there is a person there!
  • If you see a time conflict that wasn’t there before, let an advisor know.  We need to check to see what is causing the conflict and what needs to be done to address it.  In some cases there may be a mistake to be fixed or a glitch to be resolved.  Give us a chance to make sure there’s isn’t an easy fix before you drop a class.
Design the Ultimate Pitch!

Check out the Siebel Center for Design’s class on Successful Storytelling: Designing the Ultimate Pitch (TE 398 (Section ST).  This class will meet on Wednesdays from 1-2:50 pm and will be taught completely online by instructors well-versed in current innovative technologies and techniques.

Updates from the Women’s Resources Center

From the WRC’s site at https://oiir.illinois.edu/womens-center:
“While a number of WRC programs and events are in the process of being cancelled or rescheduled, we want to reassure you that students, staff, and faculty in need of confidential advising services related to sexual assault and harassment, stalking, sexual exploitation, and abuse within a relationship (and their support persons) are still able to access services through the Women’s Resources Center with the following modifications:

In-person services are temporarily suspended, however phone/virtual advocacy and support for new, past, or currently-served clients and their support person(s) remains available Monday-Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm.

To schedule a free appointment: Call (217) 333-3137 or email womenscenter@illinois.edu (or your Confidential Advisor for current/past clients) from a safe number or email account. Please note email is not a confidential form of communication, and should only be used for scheduling purposes.

For free after hours (and 24/7) confidential support, call the RACES Hotline (for sexual assault and stalking) at (217) 384-4444 or the Domestic Violence Hotline at (877) 384-4390. These resources and more can be accessed at wecare.illinois.edu. We also invite you to visit the WRC’s COVID-19 Statement for more information about WRC changes during the pandemic at https://oiir.illinois.edu/womens-center/wrc-home/wrc-news.”

Preparing for the Fall Semester

As we approach the start of the fall semester, we want to share some information about how to handle schedule changes (if necessary) and remind you of some important resources.

First of all, if you’re currently enrolled in courses for the fall semester (as most of you are), then you will remain enrolled in those courses unless or until you make changes. You do not have to re-register from scratch. Instead, once the revised schedule is published on August 1, you will need to review your courses and make sure they still work for you. Things to consider:

  • Is a course now online that was originally listed as face-to-face (hereinafter to be referred to as f2f)? If so, do you still want to take it?
  • If you’re hoping to do all your coursework online, do you have some f2f courses that you need to drop?
  • Are the courses you don’t want to take this fall (because of the format or for any other reason) courses you particularly need? What will the repercussions be if you don’t take them this fall?
  • If you have f2f courses that have a changed location or meeting time, do they now pose time conflicts or are they too far apart on campus?
  • Given the life/work challenges the fall is likely to bring, would it be wise to reduce your hours (if you can afford to do it) or change the ratio of “easier” to “harder” courses (keeping in mind that this is a rather subjective distinction and has a lot to do with your own strengths and study habits)? Remember that to be a full-time student you need at least 12 hours.

As always, these are your choices to make, but we are here to help. Please review your schedule first and try to figure out how changes might affect you and what questions you need to answer and then let us know if you need assistance. To connect with us, please choose one of the following:

-either–

Email englishadvising@illinois.edu (or the advisor of your choice) with your questions. This is a good option if you are asking a factual question or just want to confirm a detail or get a quick bit of feedback. Note that we do not schedule appointments via email.

–or–

Call the office at 217-333-4346 and ask to schedule an appointment (phone or zoom). This is a good option if you’re trying to sort out a more complicated problem, have a lot of questions, or just feel stressed and want to have a real-time conversation.

You will not be able to make changes immediately once the revised schedule is published on August 1. Instead, you have a new time-ticket assigned between August 3 and 15.

You can see the schedule for time tickets (and some information about registration changes) here: https://registrar.illinois.edu/registration/registration-process/revised-reg-fall-20/

If there are any other pressing concerns you have regarding housing and financial aid, please note that these offices are open and ready to field your questions.

Housing: https://housing.illinois.edu/housing/contact-us.aspx

Financial Aid Office: https://osfa.illinois.edu/contact-us/

Also, a comprehensive FAQ (including but not limited to on-campus testing locations, events, and activities on campus) from the University concerning fall semester can be found here: https://covid19.illinois.edu/fall-2020-instruction-faq/

Take the time before the registration system opens up again to consider what you most need from the fall semester. Keep those long-term academic and professional goals in sight, but try to balance them with more immediate concerns, such as your health, mobility, and access to resources.

Like you, we’ve been struggling to adapt to an ever-changing set of conditions and trying to figure out what to expect from the fall semester and how we can best prepare. We’re happy to share our thoughts, and to hear yours.

Best wishes from all of us in the English advising office!