Welcome to the Office of First-Year Experience!

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 Tips in Supporting Students Transition to Online 

In times of uncertainty, we are grateful for and ready to support our community. Our Peer Leaders are here and ready to meet with you virtually, wherever you are, if you would like to talk to a peer about transitioning to online courses. The Office of First-Year Experience is also available to assist you with navigating your transition to online coursework. 

As your classes move online, we have compiled a list of tips to help you prepare for this transition and be successful. Please note this list is not all inclusive. If you would like to share any tips, please be sure to share them to fye@tamusa.edu.  

  1. Be flexible.
    • None of us have done this before. Be patient with your faculty, your colleague, and yourself as we all figure this out.
    • If this is your first time taking an online course, you might need to try a couple of different strategies before you find the one what works the best for you.  
  2.  Set a schedule.
    • It’s important you maintain a productive routine. As you find out how each course will be handling instructional time, build a work schedule for your week.  
    • Do you want to keep it contained to the workday or are evenings a better time for you? Take note of when faculty and staff will be available. 
    • Make sure you set aside time to prepare for and review from each class as you need over the course of an “average” week. 
  3. Discuss study planwith your support network. Although this time may feel similar to a break, it is not, and being off campus can present its own challenges. 
    • Share your study plan with those around you so that they can help protect your schedule and support your focus. 
  4. Find a balance.
    • With your place of residence now becoming your classroom, you will need to find ways to separate the two.  
    • While in-person events might have been canceled, there will still be ways to engage virtually with campus events. Check JagSync for more details. 
  5.  Location, location, location.
    • Think about what conditions are best for you when you’re working. Consider noise and distractions and try to come up with at least 3 accessible places that fit those criteria.  
    • Rotate through those places over the day/week. Please keep in mind that we are getting more guidance daily about exposure to COVID-19 and some facilities may be closing to reduce risk. 
  6. Study groups will work remotely. 
    • Find ways to connect with your friends and colleagues – you can still talk through challenging problems and hold each other accountable for work. 
    • Google Hangouts and FaceTime are just a couple of ways that you can meet up virtually. 
  7. Check your email/Blackboard.
    • More than ever, university communication will require you to read and respond to relevant emails. 
    • As courses are shifted online your professors may have made some adjustments. Be sure to read any information sent from your professors and check for modifications in your syllabi. 
  8. Stay up to date.
  9. Online course format.
    • Each professor may approach their online course differently, therefore be mindful of your own learning approach and methods of communication. 
    • Professors may have different methods of communication, which range from email, text messages, phone calls, etc. Be courteous of the time of day when responding to your professor’s messages.  
    • Although the learning experience may be different from what you are used to, the content and grades you receive are still valuable. 
  10. Technical difficulties. 
    • Remember that there is a list of resources to help you with technical difficulties. Communicate with your instructor, offices available, and peers in regards to the difficulties you are experiencing.  
    • Be sure that your network connection is secure. If not, reach out to IT.  

The Office of First-Year Experience works with you as you transition into the university. Our programs are designed to challenge and support students across the first year and to connect you to outstanding learning opportunities that will help you to achieve your academic goals.

Our office coordinates First-Year Seminar, The Common Experience, Faculty Advising Program, and Learning Communities. Our programs are designed to help all new students connect with the university, meet fellow Jaguars, and start to think of Texas A&M - San Antonio as home.

We offer guidance, advice, and support as you navigate throughout your college experience on our campus. Through programs, resources, and services, we’ll provide the opportunities and information you need that will help you achieve your academic and personal goals.

Take a look around. Get involved. Ask questions. And have a great first year!

To learn more about our programs, click on the links below:

First-Year Seminars | Learning Communities | Common Experience 

Faculty Advising Program