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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

FYI from FYE May 2017

Welcome Class of 2021

Welcome to "FYI from the FYE."

Ron Seyb

We hope you find this newsletter interesting and informative, and that it offers a glimpse into Skidmore's First-Year Experience and into the College itself. At Skidmore, we believe that there is something unique and wonderful about liberal arts education, an education whose principal aim is to free the mind and develop the soul.

I hope you'll take the time this summer to consider what you'd like to get out of your time at Skidmore and how the intellectual risks you take may contribute to your development. We look forward to welcoming you as you embark on your undergraduate journey. 

Ron Seyb
Interim Director of the First-Year Experience

Checklist of Upcoming Deadlines

May and June Checklist

Activity Due Date
Enter Scribner Seminar selections  By May 17
Fill out Academic Interest form By May 17
Complete Directed Self-Placement for Expository Writing (DSP) By May 17
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 21-22
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 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 more dates and deadlines, visit the Dates and Deadlines page

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. Because summer advisors are matched with students according to shared interests, it is important that you enter your academic interests by May 17. Interests are entered using an online form available through the Registrar's website

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

Scheduling your Scribner Seminar
Students should have entered their top 10 choices for the Scribner Seminar (SSP-100) by May 17 using the online form. The Registrar's Office will send an email on or around May 26 notifying students that seminars have been assigned and providing instruction about how to view their assignments. During the following weeks, each student should then 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 indicated on the lava colored sheet that 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

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.

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.

Computer Q&A

Students in the library

Are students required to bring a computer to campus?
While it is not a requirement, we find that many of our students bring a computer to campus. In a recent survey, most Skidmore students have laptops. Skidmore students who choose to buy a computer can take advantage of our purchasing relationships with Apple, HP and Dell, who all offer educational discounts. Before buying a computer, please check out our Purchasing Guide.

Can I get free or discounted Microsoft Office?
Yes! As long as you are a current Skidmore student, you are eligible to use Microsoft Office under the :Microsoft Student Advantage Program". For more information, visit our website: Microsoft Office for Students

What types of IT support services does the campus provide

  • The Information Technology Help Desk offers some support for students. It is located on the first floor of Scribner Library and is open during normal library hours. You may also contact the Help Desk via e-mail or (518) 580-5900. Students can get help and instruction on a range of technologies.
  • Formal training on a variety of software is available through a college agreement with You will be able to login to after you establish your Skidmore user account. For more information, visit the Academic Technologies website.
  • Assistance with multimedia production is offered through Media Services. Media Services is at the bottom of the spiral stairs in the library. They can be reached at (518) 580-5940.

Phishing – be careful!
Phishing is a form of identity theft. The bad guys throw out a hook in the form of an imaginary but semi-legitimate looking request. They hope that you will take the bait and provide your credentials or financial information. With your username and password (or credit card number or bank PIN), a lot of damage can be done to our servers, your mail account, or even your financial status. If you’re not certain about the legitimacy of an email, please email the Help Desk. The IT Help Desk is located on the first floor of Scribner Library, near the stairs.  

Does the college provide technical support for students who bring their own computers?
While the college does not repair non-college-owned computers, the Help Desk offers troubleshooting advice and can give recommendations for off-campus service providers.

What public computing access is available to students?
Skidmore has approximately 200 public computers available to students, 100 of which are located in Scribner Library. Internet connectivity (wireless) is also available for students in each dorm room. Please do NOT bring a wireless access point, or a wireless printer (without a USB cable), as they will not be allowed in the dorms.

How does the campus support printing for students?
The college does not currently charge students for printing, but for sustainability reasons, printing is managed in the Library using PaperCut.  Students will find printing available in many of the public computing areas.

What self-service opportunities are available to students online?
Students are able to manage most of their academic and personal information online. For example, students can register for courses, add/drop classes, view transcripts, register vehicles, sign-up for emergency notifications, etc.

What technology resources and assistance are available to students with special needs?
The Coordinator for Students with Disabilities is a resource for students who require modifications and/or accommodations on campus and in the classroom. For more information, please visit the Student Academic Services website.

Are library collections and resources available online?
Most of the library's online resources are accessible from on and off campus through the Scribner Library website. Online resources include the library catalog, most databases, electronic journals and books, interlibrary loan, course reserves, and research tools.

Orientation and Family Logistics

Due to the popularity of tourist travel in Saratoga Springs in August, we encourage families that may need to stay overnight to make local hotel reservations as soon as possible. Please click here for information from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.  Please note that residence halls open for New Student Orientation on Sunday, September 3 at 8:30 a.m. For more information and the Family Orientation Guide, visit the FYE Orientation website.

Pre-Orientation offers a rich and diverse set of opportunities for students to get to know Skidmore and to make new friends before classes begin. More than half of the incoming class participates in these programs each year. For more information about the various programs please click here. Students participating in Pre-Orientation programs will arrive on campus on Thursday, August 31. For schedules and the Family Orientation Guide, visit the FYE Orientation website

Please note: Registration for Pre-Orientation opens on June 1 and closes on July 15.  A limited number of scholarships are available for high-need students on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning in mid-May. Students may receive 50% to 100% off the program fee. If you would like to apply for a program scholarship, please go to our Pre-Orientation webpage and fill out the scholarship application. You will be notified of your scholarship award by the end of May prior to registration opening.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mary Ann Toia.

Class of 2021 Facebook group

If you haven't done so already, please join Skidmore’s Class of 2021 Facebook Group! Meet your classmates and meet the group moderator, Joe Doino '18. Joe is there to answers questions and update the group on dates, deadlines, and other important information you will need as you get ready for the fall.

* This is a closed group for members of the Class of 2021 ONLY! If your Facebook username is not the name you listed on your college application, please be sure to email Joe your Facebook user name and your legal name so he can add you to the group. Joe will only add students to the group who are confirmed members of the Class of 2021.

Students on the lawn