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Bridging the Semesters

As you welcome home your Mountaineers during this winter break, take some time together for thoughtful reflection. It is important to identify the successes and areas of improvement from the Fall semester when planning for the Spring semester.

Pause for Reflection

Reflecting on the Fall semester is much more than just checking final grades. As you spend quality time with your student over the break, encourage them to identify what their great successes this semester—pride over a final project, finding a subject about which they are passionate, joining a club, growth in time management skills, etc. Students should plan to replicate those accomplishments in the Spring semester, and you can help them identify ways to continue to manifest those successes! 

Another aspect of this period of reflection is identifying areas of improvement—what did not go well in the Fall semester, and why? Students often struggle with difficult classes, finding motivation, and time management—all of that is very normal for college students, so do not fret! Parents can help the student identify ways they can work to overcome these struggles in the Spring semester. You can remind them that their areas of improvement may not be a quick fix, but what is most important is to persevere and seek support.

One of my greatest points of pride as a Mountaineer is the amount of support available to our students. Some ways to make sure your student continues their successes and improves upon their difficulties are listed below.

Meet with your Advisor

Your student’s academic advisor (Student Success Coordinator) is their conduit to academic success at WVU. We not only advise students on their course schedules, but we also help them discover their long-term goals and help them plan to attain them. If your student is facing a specific difficulty and does not know where to seek support, they should always ask their advisor. We are eager to connect students to FREE tutoring, the REACH Center, the Purpose Center, the Carruth Center, and any other resources that can help them attain success in the Spring semester. Through our CAHS Office of Student Success, we even offer in-house workshops on career readiness and time management. Advisors are available even between semesters, so please encourage your students to reach out as soon as they realize they need some support.

Get Involved

Did you know that student success is highly correlated with social connectedness outside of the classroom? If your student has not yet sought out extracurricular activities available at WVU, you can help them identify some groups they might like to seek out in the Spring semester. At WVU, we have over 450 student organizations, so you can be sure there is a group for everyone here! Students can visit WVU Engage to find groups that align with their personal or academic interests. WVU Campus Recreation is another fantastic way to meet folks with similar interests whether that be through intramural sports, outdoor recreation, or crafting. If your student has interests in serving the greater community of Morgantown and West Virginia, they can find verified and safe volunteer opportunities through iServe. On a personal note, I still have close friendships with the friends I made through Adventure WV during my undergraduate degree at WVU. 

We wish you all a joyous and restful winter break, and we look forward to supporting your students on the path to success in the Spring semester!

Hilary Woodrum
Student Success Coordinator
College of Applied Human Sciences
West Virginia University