Beyond the academic calendar, families are key partners for student success. Here's a high-level overview of the key points in the semester - what follows are learning opportunities, key events, and numerous places to build community connection.
The rhythm of the school year follows a similar pattern, one which we've observed for many years.
AUGUST + SEPTEMBER
New Students Housing Assignments Released
These are sent to students' UVM e-mail addresses. Note: students participating in TREK or similar pre-semester programs should follow program instructions about move-in. Pro-tip: here's a list of what to bring (and not to bring) to the residence halls.
Orientation for New Students
From move-in day through opening weekend, new students will be onboarded to campus, resources and - of course - to their new peers. Families, plan to head to the Family Farewell after your say goodbye to your student in the afternoon.
First Day of Class
Students who have downloaded the free UVM Navigate application can view their class schedule. While they're there they can view important to-do's and reminders and even schedule a tutoring appointment or find a study buddy in a class.
Week of Welcome
There's over a week of programs specifically designed for students to connect, make friends and explore campus and beyond. The schedule is released in August so students can check out the UVM Bored calendar to see what's coming.
This annual club and resource fair brings out 200+ organizations and many University departments. 88% of UVM first year students spend at least an hour per week participating in co-curricular activites (well over the national average of 73%). Getting involved leads to more learning and skill building that can be great for building their community and a resume.
On-campus and part-time jobs are widely available if you know where to look. Two good starting points: UVM Handshake connects students with jobs and internships and the UVM Student Employment Office has a list of on-campus jobs.
Meet with an Academic Advisor
Academic advising is critical to student success. We highly recommend students reach out to their advisors and set up a meeting within the first six weeks of the semester. This will make sure that they are on track and help get connected to useful resources sooner rather than later. Questions about advising can be directed to Dean's offices.
Career Interest Groups
UVM's Career Center launched these interest groups to support students' career goals. Each group has a team of coaches and offers events, alumni networking and skills development.
Graduate School Fair
For students considering continuing their education, the Grad School Fair is a good starting point.
Students are offered a broad range of academic support - from supplemental instruction (for example, tutoring for a difficult course) to building good study skills. Getting connected is easy through the Tutoring Center's website.
Study Abroad Prep
Planning to study abroad takes a little bit of prep, but the pay off is big. UVM's Office of International Education is committed to making study abroad accessible (and affordable) to all students. Showing up at one of their events is a great first step.
Starting in October, flu shots are available to UVM students - Student Health Services has more information.
UVM's Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS) offers a broad range of services for students, including a mental health screening, group and individual counseling sessions, yoga and mindfulness practices and more. CAPS also has a special section of their website just for families.
Mid-terms happen in October, which will give students a better sense of how they are doing academically. UVM wants students to succeed, which is why tutoring and the writing center are both free for students. UVM's Student Accessibility Services office also works with students on accommodations.
UVM Career Services has a great job shadowing program that happens over winter and summer breaks. The application deadline is as early as November 1, and there is a short orientation session students must attend in order to apply. Get the details.
UVM students have a two-year (four semester) on-campus housing requirement - but can stay on campus longer if they want to. In late October, Residential Life emails students about completing their housing and meal plan contract for the following year. Information about this process is available online.
UVM has been studying high-risk drinking behavior of students and taking pro-active steps to decrease the number of students engaged in high-risk drinking. We know partnering with families is one way to be pro-active around high-risk drinking times such as Halloween. We recommend you check in with your student about their plans and encourage them to participate in any one of the many programs happening on campus this week (look out for an email about this along with some questions to ask your student).
Students register for their spring classes in November. To prepare, students should meet with their academic advisor.
Go Cats Go!
Winter sports are warming up and fall programs are wrapping up (it's not uncommon for our teams to land playoff bids). Students can cheer on the Catamounts (for free), but may need to plan ahead to get tickets.
Residential Life will be in touch by email with hall closing information (students have to leave by a certain time, unless they apply for housing over break). Prepare for your student's return with these conversation starters.
Last Day of Class
Similar to Halloween, the last day of class historically was a high-risk drinking night due to the Naked Bike Ride. Participation in the bike ride has been at an all-time low, and families checking in with their students has been a part of this decline. Now's a good time to get grounded in goals and making choices in alignment with these goals (personal wellbeing and academic success).
Students take their exams after Thanksgiving recess - this can be a busy and stressful time for students. LivingWell in the Davis Center invites students in for a variety of study breaks that support physical and mental wellbeing.
Students head home for a few weeks between December and January. Once again, residence halls close. The academic calendar is a good resource for current vacation dates.
Housing + Meal Planning
Head's up! Returner room selection and meal plan contracts are due in January.
Every year, students must re-submit their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Head's up! The deadline for the FAFSA form is February 1. Student Financial Services has all the details (including the link to the form and our school code).
Housing and Meal Plan Contracts Due
Residential Life outlines key dates for current students.
Students connect with alums at these annual networking events (or any time via UVM Connect).
Like Week of Welcome, WinterFest is a week of programs and activities, including the Winter ActivitesFest (it's never too late to get involved). UVM Bored posts the calendar in December.
Student Leadership Opportunities
Students can apply to be an Orientation Leader this month. Resident Advisor applications are typically due February 1 - view the Resident Advisor website for this year's deadlines. For additional on-campus opportunities view the Student Employment website.
Martin Luther King, Education and Learning Week
It's UVM's tradition to welcome a powerful keynote speaker to headline this week of education and learning.
Registration for "Summer U" UVM's summer courses (on campus, online and around the world through travel courses) opens in February.
Nope, it's not too soon to start thinking about summer plans. Opportunities abound - Handshake is a good starting point.
Spring Career Fair
Network with hundreds of employers looking to hire UVM students. Not just for seniors!
With new classes and a new routine, now's a good to assess if additional academic support may be needed.
Meet with an Academic Advisor
Students should reach out to their academic advisor to check in and begin to plan ahead, for example for service learning classes or study abroad.
Register for Classes
This month, students should work with their academic advisor to register for next semester's classes.
UVM students are off for a week in March. Reminder: halls close, too.
Returner Room Selection
Where will your student live next year? Room selection happens in March.
Student Research Conference
Undergraduate students are engaged in a broad range of research at the University. Students present their research at this annual conference.
Lots of events take place this month - speakers, Earth Week, SpringFest and more. There is no shortage of things to do in April, but it's a good time to check in with your student about balancing it all.
It's a good time to check out with your advisor and check in on your credits. Seniors have a number of steps to take before Commencement, which is outlined on the Commencement website.