New Student FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Success

  • What does my “Area of Interest” mean?
  • Should I expect the same grades I had in high school?
  • Should I transfer my AP or IB credit?
  • Should I have a computer?
  • What kind of calculator do I need?
  • How do I do well?
  • As a parent what can I do?
  • How much work do I really have to do?
  • How do I learn how to be best manage my time?

Campus Traditions 

  • What is Convocation?
  • What is the M Climb? 

Launch

  • Do I have to attend Launch?

Fall Kick Off

  • What is Fall Kick Off in August?
  • How long do parents and families stay during Fall Kick Off?

Students Move In

  • How does move in work?
  • What should I bring to move in to my hall?
  • What do I do if my student is place in a hall that they don’t want to live in?

Students On Campus

  • Do students feel safe on campus?
  • What is a Blastercard?
  • How do I find jobs on-campus?
  • Who can assist me with applying for these jobs?
  • When can the students leave for breaks?
  • Can students have a car on campus?
  • What about marijuana?

Student Involvement

  • Should I go Greek?
  • Should I get involved in co-curricular activities on campus?

Trans + Students 

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Academic Success

  • What does my “Area of Interest” mean?

Incoming students have noted an “Area of Interest.” Most often, this was originally noted as part of your application packet. An Area of Interest means that you are interested in the degree as a possible major. You are not committed to this major or degree. And to support your exploration of additional major possibilities, your CASA Advisor can provide guidance and support, as well as liaison names in different departments. It should noted, too, that most students do ultimately graduate in a different discipline than what was originally noted as their Area of Interest. 

  • Should I expect the same grades I had in high school?

Maybe. Maybe even better! While Mines is a rigorous school with high expectations and a significant work load, many of our students truly excel. In fact, many hundreds of students earn Honor’s and Dean’s List Distinction annually. That being said, most all students evaluate previously held study habits or approaches and often learn new, more effective ways to excel as a student. There are extensive support services to support those who are reevaluating their study habits and additional support services for those who wish to be doing better in school. To learn more about these support services, please contact CASA at casa@mines.edu.

  • Should I transfer my AP or IB credit?

This is a great question. Ultimately the decision is up to you…but, we encourage you to make an informed decision because this decision can only be made once and is final. Generally speaking, students are encouraged to take their earned AP or IB credit as the institution only awards this credit to those who have demonstrated significant proficiency with a particular subject. There are unique, case-by-case considerations that complicate this universal advise. Students who’ve taken a gap year or those who fear that their understanding of a particular subject is not as strong are encouraged to speak with their CASA Advisor. 

  • Should I have a computer?

Many Mines classes include an online component that will require the use of a computer.  In addition, a variety of  computer systems are employed for assignments and labs, such as, MasteringEngineering, WebAssign, Canvas, Sapling, and LonCapa on a computer. In regard to a specific computer, Linux, Mac, Chrome, PC may all suffice but we do have some technical recommendations that can be found at http://ccit.mines.edu/CCIT-Recommended-PC-Configurations.

  • What kind of calculator do I need?

The majority of classes only allow for basic TI30-XIIS scientific calculator during tests. Many students do have higher power calculators for homework and assignments.

  • How do I do well?

Similar to any new experience, settling in to college takes a little time. The great news is, you have wonderful resources at Mines available to help familiarize you with campus, offer support, and provide you with strategies for doing well. Consider setting reasonable academic goals for your first semester and displaying them somewhere as a reminder of what you would like to accomplish your first semester. Share your goals with the friends you make, they can help keep you accountable. Talk with your RA or Peer Mentor if you start to feel a little overwhelmed; they have been in your shoes and can provide great guidance. Utilize professor office hours to further course discussion, ask clarifying questions, or simply to learn more about your professors. Take advantage of CASA Tutoring -- a great space to study with tutors available to provide assistance as you work through course material. Should you feel like your time management, note taking, study habits, or test preparation techniques could use a little retooling, contact your CASA Academic Advisor who is happy to work with you on further developing your strategies for doing well at Mines.

  • As a parent what can I do?

You did it, you helped your son or daughter move into their residence hall, wished them well, and said your goodbyes. While they may not be at home, there will still be times that they need you. Perhaps their first round of exams did not go as well as they hoped, their classes are more challenging than anticipated, or they are having trouble with a roommate or friend and they call you for help. Times like these will arise and your patience, understanding, and guidance are exactly what your student needs. Keep in mind, how you handle the first challenge your student brings to you may influence what  they share moving forward. As much as you will want to solve your student’s problems, take a step back and provide the tools they need to handle the situation rather than solving it for him/her.  Although this may be a challenge, in the long run it will be a good learning experience for both of you.  

  • How much work do I really have to do?

Being a college student is similar to a full time job. You will divide your time between classes, homework, study groups, preparing for exams, and extracurricular activities. Some weeks may be lighter than others, it simply depends on when papers, projects, and exams are scheduled. We encourage students to plan ahead and take advantage of lighter weeks to work ahead so the busy weeks are a bit more manageable. Planning ahead is a great way for students to balance academics and life outside of the classroom.  

  • How do I learn how to be best manage my time?

Time management is a work in progress. We encourage students to find a planning system that works well for them and to use it daily so it becomes a habit. A few options include a daily planner that students carry with them and update throughout the day, electronic planning applications, and a simple weekly calendar. During busy times students may find a to-do list or calendar reminders are an effective addition to their planner. Older students such as Peer Mentors, RA’s, and  Peer Advisors can be of great assistance when it comes to providing tips and techniques for managing time. Uncertain where to even begin? Contact your CASA Academic Advisor for helpful resources and strategies to begin this important process. 

Campus Traditions

  • What is Convocation?

Convocation is the first official Orientation activity and the kick-off to the fall semester. Your family is welcome to attend as well, but starting at 8:15pm you’ll be busy with your other Orientation activities so families should plan on leaving by this time at the latest.

  • What is the M Climb? 

This longstanding event is one of the campus’s favorite traditions and something you won’t want to miss! Don’t forget to pack your 10lb rock!

The Annual M Climb will take place on Friday. You MUST wear closed-toed shoes; you will be walking up Mt. Zion to the “M” in your hard hat carrying your 10lb rock from your hometown. We strongly recommend not wearing nice clothes for this event; there’s potential to get wet along the way and you’ll participate in whitewashing the “M” at the top.

Launch

  • Do I have to attend Launch?

These sessions are not mandatory, but they are highly recommended. The sessions contain a lot of logistical information about the first year on campus. You will cover things like class registration, how to pay your tuition, getting a jump start on getting a Student ID and also provides a lot of opportunities to get those burning questions answered by faculty, students, and other campus resources.

 

Fall Kick Off

  • What is Fall Kick Off in August?

Fall Kick Off is your student’s comprehensive orientation to Mines. Fall Kick Off is a time for your students to meet new people, experience campus traditions like the M-Climb, and help them understand the value and excitement that comes with being a student at Mines. Students will meet their Peer Mentor groups and have plenty of opportunities to have a great first week on campus!

New Student Orientation is REQUIRED for all new students. Check-in will take place on the IM Fields alongside the Welcome Back Barbeque (see attached campus map)

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. Here students will receive their hardhat and other important information.

  • How long do parents and families stay during Fall Kick Off?

Convocation takes place at 7pm on Thursday, which is the official welcome to campus for the incoming class. Directly following Convocation, we will host an ice cream social and sendoff where we ask families to say their goodbyes, if you have not done so already. Some families choose to leave as soon as their student’s last box is in their room, and others stay until the last possible minute. You and your student can decide together what is best for them.

Student Move In 

  • How does move in work?

We are looking forward to seeing you in the Fall!

     August 15th(8am-4pm) Move-In Day for Theme Learning Community & International Students

     August 17th(8am-5pm) Move in for all other students.

Residence Life has strong connections with the Mines Community, making move-in volunteers possible. We strive to use the latest technology to make your move-in process easier. Please utilize our mobile-friendly guide for the latest on everything that you need to know to move in.

  • What should I bring to move in to my hall?

This is a major transition in your life, so bring items from home that are going to make you comfortable. It is not necessary to bring your entire room at home, but bring enough to make the space feel like it’s yours. Be sure to communicate with your future roommates about larger items (i.e. television, refrigerator, microwave, sound system, etc.). For more information about Mines' Residence Life Policies please click here

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.  Residence Life works with a company to rent micro-fridges to our students. You can check out these items at CollegeProducts.

  • What do I do if my student is placed in a hall that they don’t want to live in?

No residence hall is better than the other, and every student will find each residence hall has unique benefits and drawbacks. Once students move in, they immediately start to form community and focus less on the aesthetics or room set-up and more on the relationships created within their hall community. The Traditional Halls are a more traditional college living experience, whereas the suite style living provides a little more privacy. We are very full in our halls and moving is not an option we have for students once they choose their rooms.

Students On Campus

  • Do students feel safe on campus?

Our campus is very safe and few people feel nervous walking around at night. Campus Safety is composed of extraordinary licensed police officers, and we always have someone on patrol. Notice as you are walking around campus the blue emergency towers. If something bad happens, you feel unsafe, or would just like an escort from your location to your destination, you can push the help button and an officer will be with you in minutes.

  • What is a Blastercard?

A Blastercard is your student ID. If you attended a Summer Orientation session in July, you will be one step ahead of the rest of the incoming class and will receive your Blastercard when you check-in to your Residence Hall in August. Everyone else will need to visit the Blastercard Office in the Campus Living Office on Thursday, August 18th before 5:00pm to get your card. The office is located on the west side of Elm Hall in the Campus Living Office.

  • How do I find jobs on-campus?

All new students will receive a separate email during the first week of August with his or her personalized access code to DiggerNet. After receiving this email, students will need to complete his or her profile and create a password. The student will immediately have the ability to apply for on-campus jobs. In addition, an on-campus student employment job fair will be held at the beginning of each semester. These dates will be announced in DiggerNet and through daily blasts.

  • Who can assist me with applying for these jobs?

The Career Center staff will be happy to assist all incoming students with their job search and resume as soon as the student receives the access email. Videos and resources for using DiggerNet and writing a resume are located on the student tab of the Career Center website: careers.mines.edu.Incoming students and parents are welcome to contact the Career Center staff at any time with questions.

  • When can the students leave for breaks?

Mines has lots of breaks through-out the school year.  These breaks include: Fall Break (October 16-17), Thanksgiving (Nov 23-27), Winter Break (December 19-Jan 9), Spring Break (March 24- April 1) and Summer Break (May 11-Aug 20).  the 2017-2018 final exams are scheduled for December 9-14th and May 5, 8-10. Usually First Years have early exams, and the Residence Halls ask they are out 24 hours after their last final. Please note: if a make-up exam is needed that occurs on the last Thursday of final exam week. For more information about breaks please visit Mines Academic Calendar

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  • Can students have a car on campus?

Students do not need a car to get to and from classes. It is a short walk from corner to corner of campus. However, if they would like to have a car there is a lottery for parking passes, so it is not guaranteed that they will get one.  There is also Zip Car, which is a rental car for college students. More information is available at zipcar.com/mines

Parking permits are required when you park within campus boundaries. If you’re bringing a vehicle to campus, please go to the Parking Services website to purchase a permit BEFORE arriving on campus. A current Mines email is needed before a permit is available for purchase; please allow three days after activating your email account before attempting to purchase your permit.

It is important to become familiar with the campus Parking Policy before selecting your permit. When ready to do so, select “Purchase a Student Permit” on the right hand side of the screen and follow the instructions to make your purchase. You’ll need to have the make, model, year, and color, as well as the license plate number of your vehicle. Those living in the Traditional Halls, Maple Hall, or Weaver Towers must select a Resident Commuter permit. Those living in Mines Park may select a Mines Park permit which is included in your rent or, you may opt for a Resident Commuter permit if you choose to park closer to campus; however this allows parking only in Resident Lots identified on the campus map. After purchasing your permit online, you can print a temporary permit, valid for 15 days from the date of purchase.

  • What about Marijuana?

Although Colorado has chosen to regulate marijuana, the Colorado School of Mines still operates under Federal restrictions. Therefore there is no marijuana of any kind allowed on campus, and students under 21 who choose to consume off campus will be in violation of State and Federal Law. The Colorado School of Mines Code of Conduct states that each student is held responsible for their conduct from the time of their acceptance of their admission, all the way through awarding of a degree, at all times and places, even if the student is not on campus or classes are out of session.

Student Involvement

  • Should I go Greek?

Although Greek life is not for everyone, attending some recruitment events is the best way to recieve more information, and see if the Greek Life experience here at Mines is right for you.

Recruitment week for all the fraternities is the second full week of school, and the recruitment schedules will be posted around campus. Gentlemen please stop by any rush events that interest you. Men: August 29th-September 2nd.

Recruitment for women takes place August 27th with a welcome event hosted the evening of August 26th. Please sign up for sorority recruitment online to receive the official schedule and email minessororityrecruitment@gmail.com for any questions. Women: August 27th- August 30th. 

  • Should I get involved in co-curricular activities on campus?

Absolutely! Students who are involved on campus have a better college experience, better networking, and are proven to be more successful. College is not just about how well you do in your classes; you should have a well-rounded experience and get involved in activities that interest you.

 

College is an exciting and often overwhelming time. As students and family members of the Colorado School of Mines, take advantage of the resources on campus to make the transition and college experience as easy and exciting as possible. There are many opportunities that you will be presented with in college, so make sure to take full advantage of all that is offered for you at Mines! Go Orediggers!


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