With the start of the spring semester comes a renewed opportunity forstudents at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to excel in the academic setting and work toward their collegiate goals.

“The beginning of the semester is the one time that everyone starts out in their courses with an “A”,” said Kevin Thomas, director of retention and student success. “If students take advantage of that fresh start, they truly can accomplish anything.”

Thomas offers advice on the best ways for students to maximize their potential throughout their college career at SIUE. He emphasizes the importance of staying organized, checking SIUE email, creating a schedule and attending class.

“Students who take the time to put key dates and times into their calendar are more likely to be prepared in advance for major tests, papers or projects,” Thomas explained. “It is also important to be at class. It is impossible to learn the course material if attendance is poor. Attending classes also allows a relationship to build with faculty members, contributing to a student’s success.

 “It is important that on top of all the responsibilities a student may have each day, they attempt to get the homework, readings or projects completed as early in the day as possible,” Thomas said. “Effective learning diminishes late at night and early in the morning.”

Many students have more than coursework on their mind throughout their college career. Thomas notes the many pulling priorities in a student’s life. The juggling of classes, work and extra-curricular activities makes it imperative students plan accordingly for the semester.

The Office of Retention and Student Success offers multiple resources to help students reach their goals and achieve success throughout the semester.

“Ultimately, it is our goal to help students persist and graduate from SIUE, by aiding in the navigation of their academic path,” Thomas said. “Whether that is tutoring, writing help, finding a way to get involved on campus or the thousands of other opportunities available, this office is here to aid in student success.”

Thomas highlights the current students section of the SIUE website as a comprehensive guide to numerous campus resources.

He adds that it’s never too early to begin planning for summer and fall terms. He encourages students to schedule an appointment with their advisor early in the spring semester to be advised for upcoming semesters.

“Class registration occurs during a busy time, with regard to classes and many student organization activities, and that can make balancing all of life’s priorities a bit more difficult,” Thomas said.

“Students should make an appointment now and show up prepared with a list of possible courses. This allows the advisor to focus on the student’s academic plan, career discussions, study abroad and many other critical topics that may need to be discussed, in addition to course selection.”

Thomas urges students to be proud of each day spent earning their academic degree.

“Whether you are a first-year student, or nearing the end, each grade in class, credit earned, hour spent studying and friendship made is a stride toward graduation,” Thomas said. “It really is a journey. Graduation starts today!”

Find a list of resources provided by the Office of Retention and Student Success online. Course information for both the summer and fall terms is available through CougarNet.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse studentbody of nearly 14,000.

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