DUS News

DUS News - January 18, 2021

Message from the Associate Dean

Dear DUS Students and Community, 

Today as we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of the words he delivered at a speech in Detroit, Michigan on June 23, 1963: "I will go out with you and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows." We are at a critical place in our nation’s history, and I hope that all of you will join me in thinking about how we can continue to use the power of higher education to transform and improve our world. Across DUS, the core of our work continues to be to inspire students to be hopeful of the future and to recognize the power of higher education to solve the many problems of our world. Though classes are all starting remotely, I hope you are in a safe and supportive environment. Everyone in DUS is prepared to be present and helpful in the coming days and weeks, so please reach out as needed.

David R. Smith 
Associate Dean for Advising and 
  Executive Director 
The Division of Undergraduate Studies 

Evaluate Your Schedule

You met with your academic adviser, reviewed your Suggested Academic Plans and What-If Reports to plan your schedule, and registered for courses. Now that those classes are beginning, it's time to ask yourself some questions: Is the course content aligned with what you hoped to learn from this course? Is the out-of-class work balanced among your courses? Do you have three midterm exams on the same date? All of these can be addressed by looking through your syllabi and talking with your instructors about the semester agenda. Please be an active participant in your educational journey, and reach out for help, if needed. If you need to alter your schedule, NOW is the time to do it. 

Advising During the First Week of Classes

Classes start on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. As you know, all classes are remote until the university returns to in-person instruction beginning on February 15. Check your email for any updates from the university.  

Remember, you can still adjust your class schedule through next week. Students can drop full-semester courses through 11:59 p.m. on January 24th and add full-semester courses through 11:59 p.m. on January 25th (partial-semester courses have different drop/add dates). You can make changes to your class schedule via LionPATH.  

If you have questions related to the spring semester or need help adjusting your schedule, follow the “Connect with Us” link below to find the most appropriate way to connect with an academic adviser via Zoom (January 18–22).   

Connect with Us 

If you are happy with your spring classes, plan to schedule advising appointments in February after you settle into the semester.

Important Dates: 
  • January 18 (Mon)
    - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - NO CLASSES
  • January 19 (Tues)
    - First Day of Classes Spring 2021
    - Dean's Welcome
  • January 24 (Sun)
    - Regular Drop Deadline (11:59 p.m.)
  • January 25 (Mon)
    - Regular Add Deadline (11:59 p.m.)
  • January 26 (Tues)
    - DUS Group Advising: Tools for Success
  • January 28 (Thurs)
    - DUS Success Series: Student Loans 101
Resource Spotlight: 
Student Organization Involvement

Looking to get involved? Check out the Penn State Index of Student Organizations, or look for information about your campus involvement fair!  

Events and Announcements: 
Discussion with the Dean
All Campuses

Please join new and continuing students for a special Discussion with the Dean on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 7 p.m. EST.

Along with Prof. Sam Richards (World in Conversation), DUS advisers and Associate Dean and Executive Director of DUS, Dr. David Smith, will reflect upon our hopes for the semester and the transformative role higher education has to play in fostering an environment of respect, civility, and inclusion. We will think critically about how the challenges we are facing in the United States and in the world can inform and shape academic decisions going forward.

You will also learn about important deadlines, opportunities, and resources; meet some of our staff; and get to know more about how DUS can help you have a successful college experience.

Have questions about being a DUS student? Submit a question and we'll try to answer as many as we can during the meeting.

Please use this link to join the meeting: rebrand.ly/sp21dus. You may be asked to log in using your Penn State Access ID (abc123) and password.

Virtual Involvement Fair
All Campuses

Check out many of Penn State’s student clubs and organizations on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, January 26–28, from 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m at the Student Involvement Fair. This fair is a great way to find some interests outside the classroom, enrich your college experience, and add value to your resume.

Spark Program
University Park

Interested in doing research or possibly studying abroad at some point in your academic career? Consider applying for the Spark Program. Spark is a 7-week educational experience discussing funded opportunities for research or study abroad. Participants will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to help them take ownership of their undergraduate career and become competitive applicants, as well as leaders in their fields. Presenters include Penn State’s current and past fellowship recipients and key faculty on campus. Dinner is provided at every session/presentation.

Topics include: 

  • Undergraduate research and internships
  • Leadership and civic engagement
  • Working with faculty
  • Writing a personal statement

Learn more at https://urfm.psu.edu/fellowships/spark-program.

A program for second-year students is available during the fall semester. 

Erickson Discovery Grant
All Campuses

Planning to do a research-related project over the summer? Apply for the Erickson Discovery Grant and earn money towards your project! The Rodney A. Erickson Discovery Grant Program supports undergraduate student engagement in original research, scholarship, and creative work under the direct supervision of a faculty member. The grants may be used to cover living expenses and project costs (supplies, materials, books, specialized software, travel for the purpose of data collection, etc.).

The application deadline is January 23 at 11:59 p.m. For more information about the grant program or to apply, visit https://urfm.psu.edu/research/erickson-discovery-grant

Group Advising Sessions
All Campuses

University Park

DUS will be holding group advising sessions throughout the semester as a way to discuss popular advising topics with groups of students. These sessions are open to all DUS students and will help you to learn more about the topic and to ask questions in a friendly, open environment.  For more information on each session, including dates and times, visit https://dus.psu.edu/group-advising. All sessions will be held via Zoom.

Upcoming Spring 2021 Sessions

January 26, 8:00 p.m.: Tools for Success: How to be a Successful Online Student

Register and attend online: https://psu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEucuquqjMsGNwByRjcf8SzVSZ0UKKTje8K

January 28, 4:15 p.m.: DUS Success Series: Student Loans 101

Register and attend online: https://psu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrceGrrj8oGddkxq7jGdQgKw6Jpua1EQtx

February 2, 8:00 p.m.: How to Get Involved: Get Engaged from the Start

Register and attend online: https://psu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYlf-CspzovE9QCzPze2X-NcOT1OV35V2nY

February 4, 4:15 p.m.: DUS Success Series: Searching for and Applying for Scholarships

Register and attend online: https://psu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrceGrrj8oGddkxq7jGdQgKw6Jpua1EQtx