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September 8, 1999

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English Department Stresses Technology Literacy
The English department at UMBC is using its required freshman English class to ensure that each student on campus is not only literate, but technology literate. This year marks the introduction of what will be a major shift in philosophy for UMBC, a two-semester freshman writing course which stresses the use of technology. During the fall semester, six of the 40 sections of the required English 100 composition class will require students to perform online research, analyze web sites and participate in class listserves. Students in these six sections must then follow up with English 101 in the spring, which will build upon the writing and technological skills developed in English 100. Jim McKusick, English department chair, believes that the course will "alert students to the close relationship between writing and technology, not only for academic success, but professional success." This requirement will ultimately set UMBC apart from the rest of the pack for its dedication to technology as a literacy skill comparable to writing.

Top Students Reap the Benefits of Tutoring
One usually thinks of a tutor as a person who helps students in academic "hot water" get back on track, but not at UMBC. Tutors here can expect to see the same names on their schedules that are already on the Dean's List. The chemistry tutorial lab, for example, has a reputation on campus for being the place where A students go to earn higher As. The 35 chem. lab tutors work in small groups to tutor a total of 600-700 students each week -- and there's a waiting list. The lab has created an environment where students are excited to learn and tutors are treated as legends. Photos of past tutors and descriptions of what they've gone on to do line the walls. Tutoring is serious business at UMBC and the top students are making the most of it.

Advice for Parents of First-year Students
Let the parental hand-wringing begin. With thousands of students now deposited at various institutions of higher learning across the nation, parents are left at home to worry. Vice Provost Charles "Tot" Woolston has spent 31-years at UMBC providing helpful tips to parents on how to cope and help their children cope with university life. Woolston's main concern is parental involvement, and how it can help make the transition more pleasant. He encourages parents to follow the "four-week" rule. Woolston explains, "this is the time when the euphoria of being away from home wears off, the first round of exams is looming, and the bloom of some early relationships begins to fade. You may be surprised at how much you are missed at this point."

Posted by dwinds1 at September 8, 1999 12:00 AM