I was talking to a friend from home about applying to university and I realized how confusing it can be. There is so much different information to take in but most of all, many of the words involved with applying to university are new and unfamiliar. I thought I would shed some light on the situation so here it goes:
1) The Undergraduate Calendar
As odd as it seems, this is not actually a calendar. I know, I know it seems odd but this is one of the most useful tools you have for doing research about potential programs. It not only gives you a description of the program but it gives you an idea of which courses you would be taking each year and connects you to course descriptions. This really helped me decide between programs at different universities because I could see how each school set up their respective programs. If you’re interested, take a look below.
2) Academic Advising
This is the equivalent of a guidance department in your high school. Your academic adviser will help you navigate course codes and prerequisites so you are by no means on your own. My Academic Adviser has helped me make sure that I am meeting all of the requirements of my degree and she has told me about courses that I didn’t even know existed but I have really enjoyed. Academic Advising is a part of the office of the Registrar and if you want to read more about the services they offer, just follow the link below.
3) Office Hours
I love office hours! Each professor and many teaching assistants offer designated hours each week where they want students to come and talk to them about their courses. You can ask questions about things you don’t understand about the course, talk over your ideas for assignments or even discuss other things you found interesting. Profs and TAs want you to come and talk to them and they are much more approachable than you would imagine.
4)Seminars & Lectures
Most courses at Brock are split into 2 or 3 separate parts: a lecture, a seminar and/or a lab. A lecture is what you would traditionally think of for a university class. A professor stands at the front of the room and speaks about a given topic for 1, 2 or 3 hours with breaks in between. Lectures, for the most part, are not interactive and just involve the students listening and taking notes. One of the lecture halls looks like this.
A seminar is a much smaller class, with a maximum of 20 or 30 people, where students discuss the lecture material and readings with a teaching assistant or TA. This portion of the class encourages every student to make a contribution to the discussion and students are encouraged to learn from each other as well as the TA. These are my favourite parts of classes because I find that I learn better from talking about what I am learning and applying it.
University classes can get pretty large, especially in first year. Instead of having one huge class, what Brock does is it splits the class into sections. These sections are offered at different times and sometimes have different professors but are the exact same course just like the average high school class. That being said, the most people you will have in one lecture with you at Brock is 450 because that is the size of our biggest lecture hall.
Hope this clears up some of the confusion. If there are any other things that are unclear, feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to help!
Hello Victoria, can we connect on facebook so that i can ask you more questions about Brock University. I prefer students interaction than the administration. Just add me, nanapoku2011 on facebook. Thanks.