Calendar of Second-year Student Needs

Posted by Beth Black on 5/20/19 1:28 PM

First Year Experience, Second Year Transition


Beginning of Fall Semester

  • Establishing healthy routines. Remind second-year students of library locations and supports for undergrads. I attend a Welcome Week fair for second-year honors students, and ask them where they studied last year and what libraries they know about. I then point out the other library locations on our campus and challenge them to find libraries closest to their breaks between classes to support good use of “down” time.
  • Meeting new people. FYE programming is traditionally focused on meeting other new students—but second-year students are still interested in meeting new folks too! When I ask students about highlights from participating in the Second-year Transformational Experience Program, most note the chance to meet new people. If you’re teaching sessions or holding outreach events, include time for introductions.
  • Accessing Textbooks. Remind students that the library may have the books and resources they need for their classes. Most libraries work with faculty to create a course reserves collection for short-term loan that often has different rules and ways of finding than the normal collection.

Middle of Fall Semester

  • Investigating opportunities for summer. While it feels early to be thinking about summer, many study abroad programs have deadlines for applications in the second half of the autumn semester. Also, many companies are already interviewing potential interns. Several of the internship fairs on my campus happen just 3-4 weeks into our 14-week fall semester. Help students investigate these programs, or even host summer opportunities fairs at the library.
  • Keeping things interesting. Holding outreach events at this time can add variety as things get settled and, potentially, boring. Pop-ups in unusual places work well because they are unexpected.
  • Selecting next semester’s classes. If your library collects textbooks, you might offer them as ways to help students select from among the courses they are choosing for next semester.

End of Fall Semester

  • Finishing the semester strong. Study space and stress management are key needs in the final weeks of the semester. Many libraries offer extended hours and stress management supports, such as therapy dog visits, coloring sheets, toys, and healthy snacks.

Beginning of Spring Semester

  • Revisiting habits with new schedule. This is a chance to look at how they spend their time: to assess and update routines for self-care and study habits, to reinforce ones that worked well for them, and to change ones that did not serve their goals.

Middle of Spring Semester

  • Tutoring and related supports. During second-year, many students retake classes or find themselves in that one class that causes them to stumble. A few weeks in, after students are likely to have had their first exam or assignment, remind students of the tutoring and other supports available through the library. This is a good time to partner with the tutoring or learning center on study smart events.
  • Escaping the mid-spring semester doldrums. Short days and winter weather can make the first half of spring semester feel especially long. Look for opportunities to partner with others for campus events, such as research festivals sharing undergraduate research and summer employment fairs. Outreach events like library lock-ins work well at this time.

End of Spring Semester

  • Recruit student employees. Now is the time to recruit for positions that need to be fully functioning at the beginning of fall semester. At my institution, this is when we recruit the student who will deliver presentations in our workshop series for first-year students during the fall semester. Students just finishing up their second-year are ideal for this role because they have completed a wide variety of courses and are confident navigating student challenges.

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