Welcome and Welcome BAck

Welcome to a new semester of the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree completion program. We’re so happy you can join us for your first semester in the program and we’re equally happy to see our returning students. Take time to look through your courses, get to know your classmates online, and be sure to ask any questions that might arise. We are here to help!

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Two weeks down

Hi BSPers!

Happy Friday! You’re two weeks into your eight-week term. We hope you’re finding your classes this term stimulating and just challenging enough.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Hiatus Over

Hey BPSers!

We’ve had a short hiatus, but we are back. Look for a new post 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). If you’ve got a topic burning in your mind, let us know and we’re happy to investigate that for you. Connect with us at professionalstudies@uwex.edu or at www.facebook.com/UWBPS.

E-Books and Why They Win

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last five or so years, you should know that e-books are taking the techie and literary world by storm. I’m hardly a tech freak – new electronics are essentially just to new toys for me to abuse and try not to break/lose… But I can’t help but be enthusiastic when it comes to e-readers and e-books. After all, they combine my two favorite things – Toys and books (I’m really just a grown-up child). My newest toy (that I’ve taken very good care of, by the way) is my Nook Simple Touch, one of the many e-readers on the market. The screen is all of six inches which makes this bad boy easy to tuck into a backpack or purse and weighs next to nothing. So instead of toting around your enormous sack of learning all over the place with three unnecessarily heavy textbooks in it, consider this fresh gadget of excellence.

If the concept of saving your poor back alone doesn’t persuade you, how about saving your sanity? It’s a lucky day filled with triumph when I show up to class or my designated study space (a coffee shop, a friend’s, etc.) with all of my vital materials. Ironically, it’s always the most important material, the textbook, that I forget. I drop all of $100 on the Nook Simple Touch and suddenly, I never have to worry about forgetting a textbook again. Every single textbook for my classes this semester have been available as an e-pub/e-book. If it just so happens that yours isn’t, shoot an email to the publisher! Barnes and Nobles has a clickable link for interested consumers to send publishers emails if their book is not available in a digital format.

Are you still not convinced that you’re living in the dark ages? How about the fact that e-books are cheaper than their physical counterparts? Or that you can actually share books with fellow e-bookies? I hear all the time from friends who refuse to try out an e-reader that “nothing will ever be as wonderful as turning a real page”… They clearly haven’t had the joy of swiping a finger across a screen and watching words magically change. Silly archaic friends…

Claim Your Space!

It’s Wednesday and, of course, that means study tips. It’s important to stake out an effective and positive place to study. Everyone’s different. The library doesn’t work for everyone, especially if you’re easily distracted like me. Some need absolute quiet, others actually do well with some background noise. Follow these steps to find out where and when is the best place to study for you.

  1. Evaluate your personality and preferences. Figure out whether or not you are vulnerable to noise and other distractions. Also determine if you work better by sitting quietly for a long period of time or if you need to take short breaks once in a while and then return to your work.
  2. Identify the space and claim it.Your bedroom maybe the best place to study, but it may not be. Some students identify their bedrooms with rest and simply can’t concentrate there.A bedroom can also be problematical if you have roommates. If you happen to need a quiet place without interruption, it might be better for you to set up a place somewhere else in the house or a campus building with quiet study areas.
  3. Make sure your study area is comfortable. It is very important to set up your computer and chair in a way that won’t harm your hands, wrists, and neck.
    Next, stock your study space with all the tools you’ll need, like pens, pencils, paper, dictionaries, a thesaurus, and math tools.
  4. Establish study rules. Give yourself strict rules to when to study and when to take breaks! If I let myself go unchecked, I’ll take hour long breaks that turn into…well, not breaks. I just quit studying. If you set up a study schedule, you can hopefully avoid sabotaging yourself!

 

You are the expert

As the BPS student services coordinator it is my job to connect with students, to help identify any roadblocks, as well as document factors that bolster academic success.  Student input is what helps us refine and direct BPS programming and supports.  It is essential to the success of BPS, and I enjoy checking in with students more than any other aspect of my job.

This past week I spoke with several BPSers about how classes were going.  Their insights proved to me just how important their voice is and how potentially powerful the blog forum would be to share these insights with all BPS students.

For example, I spoke with two students who, in my opinion, gave an excellent overview of e Books, including: their experience with them, the pros and cons, and their recommendations for use.  Their insights were just as meaningful as any I’ve read, and because they were unique to our program, they became more relevant to me than other more generic applications that I have read on-line.  I am still hoping one of them will write a blog…hint, hint.

When confronted with the task to write, most students say “I don’t blog” or “I don’t know how to blog”.  It couldn’t be easier.  Send an email to professionalstudies@uwec.edu with a couple of paragraphs you would like to share.  It doesn’t have to be written like a newspaper article.  Write like you speak, like I am doing now.  If you share something cool that you have read somewhere, write down where you found it, so we can look it up as well.

Then just cut and paste whatever you wrote into the body of an email, or attach it in a Word document.  Not interested in writing, but wanting to pose a topic for discussion on the blog, email me that as well.  We will do the research and begin the conversation.  Chime in at any time by clicking on “comment” which is located directly below the post.

That’s all there is to it.  You can do it.

Getting to Know You… Part III

Today, we’re going to highlight your Academic Program Director and Academic Adviser, Kate Lang.

Kate is the academic director for the Bachelor of Professional Studies program. We asked Kate a few questions.

Where did you grow up? 

Hinsdale, IL

What was your major in college?

Comparative and Regional Studies/Arab Studies

What made you come to work for BPS?

I believe public higher education needs to do a better job of serving adult students. I also love an administrative challenge.

What drives you?

It might not be healthy, but I am driven to get things done.

What’s your favorite color?

Blue

Favorite song?

I’m not sure I have one. Lately, I’ve been listening to the Kinks.

Got kids?

I have two sons, ages 9 and 12, two stepdaughters, ages 23 and 30, and a stepson, age 25.

Got pets?

I have a 13-year-old cat. I spend a lot of time babysitting the neighbors’ German shepherd puppy and adult chocolate lab.

Got milk?

Only with cereal.

If you could go anywhere in the world for an all-expenses paid 2 week vacation, where would you go? 

The south of France – but I’d want to start with a long weekend in Paris.

Who is your favorite student services coordinator at UWEX? 

Alia :)  (Hear, hear!)

Thanks to Kate for answering our questions. Stay tuned for another exciting installment of Getting to Know You!