Dear Parents and Family Members of Second Year Students,
We hope your student is finding success as they begin their second year at CSU. As your student settles back into a routine on campus, we hope to share with you some tools and strategies specific to supporting your student in their second year.
Students in their second year may experience a time of transition, much like their first year on campus. Here at CSU, we recognize the importance of providing support specifically to students during this time. As a result, we have intentionally developed a number of programs aimed at supporting second-year students while they navigate new challenges and important life choices such as, choosing their major, learning about the responsibilities of living off-campus for the first time, seeking co-curricular opportunities such as internships or research, maintaining a connection to campus, taking on additional or larger leadership roles in clubs and organizations, and managing relationships with friends, family, and professionals.
The Year 2 @ CSU programming (coordinated by Orientation & Transition Programs) exists to support second-year students at CSU and provide opportunities to enhance and maintain connections to CSU. Through Year 2 @ CSU your student can participate in outdoor experiences such as hiking, environmental restoration, rock climbing and more. Students can apply for spring break trips to Boulder Creek, California and Moab, Utah. Your student will also be presented with workshops specifically for second year students through TILT, and lunches with Faculty and Alumni, all focused on assisting with navigating the second year experience.
As you support your second-year student through this transition, we ask that you encourage your student to engage in the programs and services designed specifically to meet their needs. As always, please contact Parent and Family Programs with any questions you may have. Our office can be reached at (970) 491-6680 or by email at vpsa_parentfamilyprograms@Mail.Colostate.edu.
Wishing you and your student the best during the 2017-18 academic year!
Parent and Family Programs Staff
The Second Year Experience: A Time for Challenge & Opportunity
by Keith Lopez, Associate Director, Orientation and Transition Programs
In terms of the transition into a second year of college, there are many things students need to navigate differently than what is experienced during the first year. While there are clear challenges students face during this time, the second year of college provides students with the opportunity to reflect on purpose and make meaning out of what they are experiencing in college.
Challenges in the Second Year
Academic: Some of the challenges students face in a second year include a “sophomore slump” which is marked by reduced motivation and or declining academic performance. Other challenges for students during the second year can include entering into an intensified curriculum or a period in which academic difficulty increases as they begin to take courses in their major of study. This difficulty and/or exposure to courses in their major may cause second year students to reflect on their fit or interest with their selected major and at times, causes students to reflect on whether or not they’d like to change their major. Also, for students who remain undeclared, pressure to declare a major or a course of study may exist (some of this pressure is created by students’ social circles, university policies, and individual pressure to determine a focus for study).
Housing: There are a multitude of housing options on campus for second year students. For students who choose to move off-campus in their second year, there can be unique challenges associated with living off-campus for the first time. These can include (but are not limited to): learning how to acquire basic life skills (paying bills, maintaining a clean living environment, working with landlords or leasing agents, living with multiple roommates, etc.) and maintaining a sustained connection to the CSU campus community. It’s important for students who move off-campus in their second year to find and maintain a connection to CSU instead of just arriving for class and then leaving to return home.
Values & Relationships: The second year of college can be a time of intense reflection where students begin reflecting on their personal values and decisions, as well as their identity and peer relationships. It isn’t unheard of for peer relationships to begin to change in a students’ second year, as they are no longer friends with the same individuals based off of convenience or proximity.
Students will now have to work towards maintaining relationships with others, and at times the process of values clarification is related to the development of mature and meaningful interpersonal relationships.
Typical Issues Experienced in the Second Year:
- Reduced motivation & declining academic performance
- “Newness” has worn off and reality hits, leaving students feeling as if the institution is not as supportive as in the first year
- Intensified curriculum
- Choosing a major or degree path
- Feelings of a lack of connection to campus
- Peer challenges
- Identity exploration
- Time management and balancing levels of involvement
Opportunity in the Second Year
While these challenges can exist for students in the second year, this is also a time of increased opportunity for students. The second year provides the opportunity for students to explore, figure out what they are passionate about and truly reflect on their purpose and how they are beginning to make meaning out of their college experience. It allows students to seek out new opportunities on campus, new connections, new peer relationships, new confidence in who they are becoming as an adult, new ways to challenge themselves academically, and new ways to learn and grow as an individual.
Ways to Help Prepare Your Student for Their Second Year:
As the fall semester gets underway, below are some questions to ask your student as they begin their second year of school:
- What do you believe will be different between your first-year and second year?
- How do you feel about your major? Or if Undeclared, what are you passionate about? What interests do you have? How does that relate to majors offered?
- What is your relationship with your professors? Your academic advisor?
- How do you anticipate remaining connected to campus in your second year? What are you looking forward to getting involved in?
Year 2 @ CSU: Second Year Program
Year 2 @ CSU is an entire program coordinated by Orientation and Transition Programs dedicated to students during their second year. Students have the opportunity to participate in Academic Transition Workshops, Outdoor Experiences, an Alternative Spring Break, as well as receive monthly newsletters highlighting events across campus pertaining to second year students! For more information, visit the Year 2 @ CSU website.
For additional information on second year programs, view the Students as Emerging Adults: A Transitions Guide for Parents & Families on the Parent & Family Programs website or contact Orientation and Transition Programs at (970) 491-6011 or e-mail email@example.com.
Fall 2017 Events
- September 22-24, Quandry Peak, CO - 14'er Service Trip
- September 29 - October 1, CSU Mountain Campus - Year 2 Mountain Experience
- October 10-12, TILT Room 221 - TILT Academic Workshops: A Deeper Dive
- October 13 - Lighting of the A
- October 15 - Introduction to Rock Climbing
- November 14-16, TILT Room 221 - TILT Academic Workshops: Motivation & Goal Setting
To learn more about each of these events visit the Year 2 @ CSU website at http://www.otp.colostate.edu/sy-year2.aspx.
Where in the world will your student be next semester?
Education abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime, life-changing opportunity with enormous benefits. Whether it is to learn a language, fulfill major requirements, or simply to focus on general electives, international experience sets students apart from their peers, enhances their studies, and engages them as citizens of the world.
The Office of International Programs recognizes the important role that parents and family play in a student's education abroad experience. Our Education Abroad unit works with students to examine the options that fit best with their academic, financial, and personal goals. Once students select a program and are accepted, we help prepare them for the academic and intercultural challenges that they may encounter abroad.
Opportunities exist for most majors to go abroad to nearly any country of the world. CSU-sponsored and affiliated programs are offered in Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe/Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania. With approval, students may also have an education abroad experience through an unaffiliated program or enroll directly in a foreign university.
From animal production in France, intensive language in China, and field-based research in Costa Rica to media studies in Europe – the possibilities are endless. Some programs will focus on a particular field of study, and others will offer a general curriculum. Students can study in a foreign language or in English. Instructional offerings in English are plentiful – even in many non-English speaking countries.
Students may take classes that apply to their major or minor requirements or take a combination of coursework while earning general elective credit and fulfilling All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements. The key to staying on track toward graduation is early planning. Talk with your students about how they can include an international experience into their CSU experience. Encourage them to talk with their academic advisor about including an education abroad experience into their degree program. This will help them to see which courses may be taken abroad and assist them in selecting a program.
With so many programs to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The Office of International Programs, located in Laurel Hall, is the central resource for information on opportunities abroad. In Laurel Hall’s International Resource Center, Education Abroad maintains reference materials on a wide variety of study and internship programs, short-term work and volunteer opportunities, and grants and scholarships, as well as resources for student travel abroad. Education Abroad advisors are available to assist students in learning how to research programs, to identify those that meet University requirements for credit transfer, and to answer questions they may have. Advisors are also available to answer questions that parents and family may also have.
Additional Resources to Support Second Year Students
Off-Campus Life helps students moving or living off campus to have a successful transition and integration into the Fort Collins community.
The 17th annual Community Welcome was held this year on August 23, 2017. Your student may have participated in this event as a volunteer or as a member of the Fort Collins community. With the goal of the program being to connect students and long-term residents within the community. Representatives from CSU (including current students and staff), as well as representatives from Fort Collins and CSU Police, and staff from the city of Fort Collins all go door-to-door together sharing information about expectations of students - and resources to support both students and long-term residents. This year was a great success! If you are supporting a student that lives off campus, resources from the event are available on the Off-Campus Life website.
The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) Learning Programs
TILT Learning Programs provides direct support for undergraduate and graduate students with programs such as the Academic Success Workshops, Arts & Sciences Tutoring, Study Groups, and U-Turn.
TILT Tutoring Schedule
TILT Study Groups Schedule
TILT Academic Success Workshops Schedule
U-Turn - CSU recognizes that there are a number of factors that can impact a student's academic performance. A variety of campus resources are available in a one-stop shop format to provide the support needed for a student to find success at CSU.
Involvement Advising at CSU through SLiCE
Is your student seeking connections through campus clubs and organizations, but isn't quite sure where to start?
The Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) Office can help! Encourage your student to connect with an Involvement Advisor and maximize their time at CSU.
Additional details and information about scheduling an appointment can be found here.
As your student considers their future career goals and options, encourage them to connect with the Career Center - early and often.
Check out the many resources available online at the Career Center website.
Additionally, encourage your student to attend the All-Campus Career Fair on 9/20-9/21. This could be a great way to practice engaging and interacting with employers prior to searching for a job or internship in the future!
For a complete listing of Career Center events visit www.career.colostate.edu.
Homecoming and Family Weekend - October 12-14, 2017
Don't forget to join us this year for Homecoming and Family Weekend 2017!
Check out the familyweekend.colostate.edu website for additional details - and check back frequently because updates will be coming soon!
Interested in attending the CSU vs. Nevada football game on October 14th? Single game tickets are available at www.csurams.com!
Support our RamFam Preferred Business Partners when you make your reservations, for Homecoming and Family Weekend or any other visit to Fort Collins.
Quality Inn & Suites: 4001 S. Mason Street, Fort Collins
Homewood Suites: 1521 Oakridge Dr., Fort Collins
Candlewood Suites: 314 Pavilion Lane, Fort Collins
See the full list of RamFam Preferred Business Partners here.