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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

FYI from FYE
June 2017

To the Class of 2021

Ron Seyb

Dear students,

It's time to begin preparing for September in earnest!

Becoming a college student means taking charge of your own education, and you will begin that process this month by constructing your fall schedule of classes. Your advisor will call you to discuss your interests and options, but it's your job to be prepared: read the materials we have sent you, peruse the Master Schedule, and be ready with questions and ideas. This conversation will be your first opportunity to interact one-on-one with a Skidmore faculty member, so be sure to make the most of it. And if a course you want turns out to be full for the fall (which sometimes happens), seize the opportunity to explore new options!

Indeed, now is the time to start comporting yourself like a college student, and that includes not only delving into new experiences, but also taking on a variety of college-level responsibilities. Check your Skidmore email account regularly, submit all required forms on time, and familiarize yourself with Skidmore's resources. If you have a question or concern, call the FYE Office or another relevant office on campus—and resist the temptation to have a parent or other adult do these things for you. After all, college readiness is about more than academic preparation; it's also about learning to advocate for yourself. (For your convenience, a list of important contacts on campus is available here.)

We stand ready to assist you with your transition to a new level of independence. 

Ron Seyb
Interim Director of the First-Year Experience

Checklist of Upcoming Deadlines

June Checklist

Activity Due Date
Create email account ongoing, upon receipt of letter from IT
Submit housing information June 5-16
Talk with summer advisors June 2-23
Register for classes June 21 or 22
Register for Pre-Orientation June 1-July 15 

Upcoming Deadlines

Activity Due Date
Submit ID picture July 1-August 21
Mail in Health Services forms (portal opens June 6) Due July 14
Write RAP July 1-August 30
Complete online alcohol education class August 1-30
Register for Skidmore Urgent Notification System (SUNS) Ongoing

For a complete list of dates and deadlines, visit the Dates and Deadlines page

London First-Year and Opportunity Program students should use the dates and deadlines for your programs:

Important Information from the Registrar about Scribner Seminars and Registration

Scribner Seminar placements are now complete. You can view your assigned seminar by logging into the Skidmore Student System and clicking 'Student', then 'Registration', and then 'Student Detail Schedule'. See screen shot below for a visual. 


If you find that you have a conflict with your Scribner Seminar, please discuss this with your summer advisor to assess the severity of the situation. Changes to the Scribner Seminar should not be taken lightly. Valid reasons to request a change might include a time conflict with a course that is necessary for your planned major and is part of a set sequence; an unforeseen conflict with a team practice schedule; or unexpected issues with rehearsal schedules. Changes will be subject to course availability and must be completed by July 15.  If you need to make a change prior to your registration timeslot, email the Registrar.

Remember, all first-year students are required to take a Scribner Seminar in their first semester at Skidmore. 

A Note for London First-Years and Opportunity Program First-Years

London First-Years
For information about the London program and dates and deadlines, please be sure to visit the London FYE 2017 page and join the Skidmore College London First-Year Experience, Class of 2021 Facebook group. Orientation schedules can be found on the FYE Orientation website. 

Opportunity Program First-Years
For Opportunity Program dates and deadlines, please be sure to visit the OP page and join the OP 2017 Facebook group. Orientation schedules can be found on the FYE Orientation website

Summer Advising

Summer advising for the Class of 2021 takes place June 2 through June 23. We have 50+ summer advisors who will contact new students to talk about their academic and personal goals and how to navigate the course registration process. 

Summer advisors
Our summer advisors are faculty who are familiar with Skidmore's academic programs and opportunities. The advisors are ready to help students make decisions about fall semester scheduling and beyond. Whether a student comments that "my passion is science" or "I am totally undecided," he or she will find a summer advisor who is eager to discuss strategies for making the most of the first semester at Skidmore. Students should ask their summer advisor about a range of academic and co-curricular issues, such as interests in the sciences, studio arts, or athletics. If students are undecided on a major course of study, they may want to talk to their summer advisor about a variety of liberal arts courses.

The New Student Advising and Registration Guide has plenty of information on selecting courses that fit student interests (information on placement testing, requirements for each major, academic support resources, etc.). For information on deadlines and the registration process, the best resource for students is the Incoming Students section of the Registrar's website

Scribner Seminar
Students should have received an email on or around May 26 notifying them about seminar assignments and providing instruction about how to view their assignments. In early June, each student should decide on the additional courses he or she wants to take in consultation with his or her summer advisor. All students should be prepared to enter those courses into the registration system during his or her assigned registration time on June 21 or 22 (the assigned time is  is included with the Registration materials). Except for the Scribner Seminar, students are able to adjust their schedules through the add/drop period in September. If a student registers for classes after his/her assigned time on June 21–22, it is highly likely that many courses will be closed.

Students with any questions about summer advising may contact the Office of Academic Advising via email or by phone at (518) 580-5720.

A special note to parents
Since we treat college students as emerging adults, each advisor needs to talk directly with each student about his or her college goals. We appreciate that parents are often eager to assist their son or daughter in the transition to college. However, we find it particularly helpful when parents review this newsletter and other registration information and then encourage their son or daughter to prepare for his or her summer advising session with specific classes and questions.

Best wishes,
Kim Marsella
Director, Office of Academic Advising
(518) 580-5720

P.S. Beginning with the summer advising and the registration process, the College will communicate important information via the Skidmore e-mail network only. Each member of the Class of 2021 will receive an email message from a summer advisor to schedule a specific advising time to talk over the phone.

Pre-Registration Diagnostic Exams
Chemistry, Calculus, World Languages, and Music

This information originally appeared in our May 2017 newsletter.

Chemistry is required for students majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geosciences, and Health and Exercise Sciences, Neuroscience as well as for those interested in Pre-Health career tracks (pre-med, pre-vet, pre-PT, etc.)  Skidmore offers two pathways through the first–year chemistry curriculum. The Chemistry Department has developed an online diagnostic to place you into one of these courses. Based on your diagnostic score and previous chemistry experience, you will be given permission to register for either Foundations of Chemistry (CH 115) or Principles of Chemistry (CH 125).  A student cannot register for a chemistry course without completing the diagnostic.  If you are interested in any of the fields requiring chemistry, we strongly encourage you to take the diagnostic at you earliest convenience.

For more information please visit the Chemistry website. For questions, please contact the chair of the Chemistry Department.

Skidmore offers several levels of calculus. If you are planning to take a calculus course next year or in a later year at Skidmore, it is important that you complete the Calculus Placement Exam online. The Placement Exam is a tool that helps the department advise students which calculus course is best suited for them.

For more information, please visit the Mathematics website. 

World Languages

French, German, Italian, and Spanish
Students planning to continue study in French, German, Italian, and Spanish language and literature classes in the fall must take the foreign language diagnostic exam (webCAPE) prior to registration.

Students with no previous study in these languages should not take the placement exam.  Students beginning French (FF 101) or Spanish (FS 101) must contact the instructor for permission to enroll as these courses are reserved for students with no previous study of the language.

For more information, please click here.

For questions about the exam and/or other languages offered at Skidmore, please email Cindy Evans, Director of the Language Resource Center.

Greek and Latin
Students interested in Greek and Latin should visit the Classics Department’s website. For more information, please contact Michael Arnush, Professor and Chair, Department of Classics.


Majoring or minoring in music
If you are considering either a major or a minor in music, the Music Theory curriculum should be on your radar. Please click here for more information about what music theory course to take. Click here for a Sample Music Theory Diagnostic Exam.

Lessons and/or Music Ensembles
If you are interested in private lessons or an ensemble, please use this online form - Interest in Music to inform the Music Department of your interest. Actual registration for private lessons or for a music ensemble will not be finalized until you arrive in September.

Please visit the Music Department’s First-Year Information page for contact information and answers to other questions about music at Skidmore.

Summer Advising FAQ

Summer advisors will use
your Skidmore 
email, so
please be sure to check this

When will my summer advisor contact me?
Starting June 2, you should expect an email to your Skidmore email account from your advisor to set up an appointment. If you have not heard from your summer advisor by the time you get this newsletter, please contact the Office of Academic Advising. (However, if you have not heard from your advisor and you have NOT checked your Skidmore email, please check your Skidmore email first.) 

What if I have not set up my Skidmore email?
Please do so immediately. If you are having technical problems, please contact the IT Help Desk.

What if I have not received my registration packet from the Registrar's Office?
Please contact the Registrar's Office.

How should I address my summer advisor?
Students have a variety of high school experiences. We suggest that your initial contact with your summer advisor and/or faculty members be formal. When emailing a faculty member, please address him or her as "Professor _____".  He or she will let you know if he or she would like to be addressed in a different manner.

Housing Questionnaire

From June 5–June 16, students will be able to fill out and send their Housing Questionnaire to the Office of Residential Life. If you will not be available to submit the questionnaire during this time period, please contact the Office of Residential Life as soon as possible, via email or by phone: (518) 580-5765.

Summer Reading on the Web

While the July newsletter will have more information about this year's summer reading selection—The Book that Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation—please start reading and be sure to visit the 2017 Summer Reading page.

A Note from Health Services

Welcome to Skidmore! The staff at Health Services is looking forward to meeting the Class of 2021. We are busily preparing for your arrival. Please feel free to visit our website for a comprehensive list of our services, health information, and much more—including downloadable copies of all required health forms.

All students are required to register for the student health web portal and complete the portal forms by July 14. Please note you will not be able to register for the portal until after June 6.

Health forms were mailed in May and the deadline for their return is July 14. If you have yet to schedule an appointment for a physical and/or immunizations, we ask that you do so soon. During the summer months doctors' offices often become backed up for several weeks with appointments. We really appreciate timeliness in returning health forms to us.

As a reminder, all students attending Skidmore need to have proof of U.S.-based health insurance. Skidmore offers a reasonably priced, primary student insurance plan. During the month of June the Bursar's Office will be providing information about the health insurance plan available to Skidmore students. Additional information may be obtained by calling the Bursar's Office at 518-580-5831.

If you have a chronic medical condition, we would encourage you or your parent/s to reach out to us before arriving on campus. If there are any services that we can provide or that you have questions about, feel free to call us at 518-580-5550 or email us.

Please feel free to contact us over the summer or stop by once you have arrived on campus. The Offices of Health Services and Counseling are on the first floor of Jonsson Tower.

See you soon!

Patty Bosen, FNP
Clinical Director, Health Services

Phone: (518) 580-5550
Fax: (518) 580-5556

Notes from Campus Safety

A member of the Department of Campus Safety can be reached at any time by calling 518-580-5567 or via email.

Skidmore Urgent Notification System (SUNS)

Skidmore's Department of Campus Safety offers staff and students the chance to receive text messages and email notification in the event of an emergency, via the Skidmore Urgent Notification System (SUNS). There is no need to wait until you arrive at Skidmore to partake of this service. Click here to get started!

Registering Your Vehicle

Beat the rush and register your motor vehicle online. There is a fee of $110 for the academic year (or $55 per semester) to park a vehicle on campus. This fee is charged to the student's account. Click here to get your vehicle registered.

Questions about the Skidmore College motor vehicle rules and regulations? Check our posted policies.

Registering Your Bike

The Department of Campus Safety offers a bicycle registration program for those students who plan to bring their bicycle to campus. Once the bicycle is registered the student may store his or her bicycle in a secured area of the College through the Office of Residential Life. 

Training Programs

The Department of Campus Safety also periodically offers training programming such as CPR/AED/Basic First Aid, a Defensive Driving classroom course, and R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) course. We encourage those individuals who are interested in taking one of these courses to watch their Skidmore email for sign up information.

Class of 2021 on Facebook

If you haven't done so already, please join the FYE at Skidmore Facebook group. (This is separate from the Class of 2021 Facebook page.) This is a closed group for students in the Class of 2021 only, so if you'd like to join, please visit the page and send a friend request.

If you do not use your legal name for your Facebook account, please include your legal name in your friend request or email Joe Doino, the Class of 2021 Facebook student liaison to let him know your username.  

The Source 

Sign up for The Source and start building your unique college experience today! We're here to help you connect to peers who share similar interests, keep you up-to-date with local activities/events and introduce you to places in Saratoga that might be of interest to you. Whether you're substance free or are just looking for other things to do on the weekends, The Source is for you!

The Souce