Learning Resource Center

On the Road…

To Learning  To Opportunity  To Success

Welcome Week Edition, 2010

Welcome to the Journey of a Lifetime!  Welcome to Butler University!

College can be quite the trip!  It is fun and exciting and full of unexpected twists and turns.  You'll have the chance to take roads you've never explored before. Sometimes you'll feel like you are "on track" but sometimes you might feel that you need a little guidance.  So this newsletter is designed to help you navigate the first year of your journey, to give you some of the basics so you better understand what this new place has to offer, what the institution expects of you, and how to best utilize staff, faculty and students who really know how Butler works. We want you to enjoy your college journey and make the most of every opportunity.

What You Need to Know About Butler ~ View Full Article

Don't Get Lost…

Code Building
AU Atherton Union
CF Center for Faith and Vocation (Blue House)
CH Clowes Hall
FB Fairbanks Center
FH Hinkle Fieldhouse
GA Garden House
GH Gallahue Hall
HB Holcomb Building
HR Health and Recreation Center
HO Holcomb Observatory
IL Irwin Library
JCAD Jordan Academy of Dance
JH Jordan Hall
LH Lilly Hall
RB Robertson Hall

Learn More Butler Speak… ~ View Full Article

Blackboard: An online system, managed by your professors, that posts class information, assignments, and, in many cases, your grades. (blackboard.butler.edu)
FERPA:  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act - a federal law that protects the privacy of your student records.
My Butler: The online portal where you enroll in classes and find information such as your class schedule, your transcript, registration times, your advisor, and any holds on your account. (my.butler.edu)
Pass/Fail:  Some classes will have a grade of pass or fail, not the standard A/B/C/D/F grading scheme.  Pass/fail classes count as credit if you pass but they are not factored into your GPA.
Prerequisite: A qualification you need before you can enroll in a course.
Student Bulletin: A booklet that contains an overview of the university, including history, tuition and fees, offices, financial aid, and courses offered in each academic program. (www.butler.edu/registrar
Student Handbook:  A guide of the university's rules and regulations. (www.butler.edu/student-conduct/student-handbook)
Transcript:  An inventory of the courses taken and grades earned throughout your time at Butler.

What You Need to Know About College ~ View Full Article

What do I Call My Professor?

Most instructors will let you know what to call them, or will have their titles and/or names printed on the syllabus you receive for class. Many, if not all of your professors, have earned doctoral degrees and will ask you to call them "Dr." Others will ask to be addressed by Mr. or Ms., or simply by their first name. If you're unsure which title is appropriate, the safest bet is to address him/her with the title of "Professor." That is appropriate for any classroom instructor you will encounter.

Make a Good Impression!

Now that you have decided to attend Butler, you probably have a lot of questions. The faculty and staff here are eager to help and to answer your questions. To make the most of these interactions, we recommend the following guidelines when communicating with them.

When Emailing Faculty and Staff:

  • Use a meaningful subject line-For example, instead of using "Hi" or "Help" in the subject line, be more specific and use "Schedule concern for math course." 
  • Use an appropriate opener - such as Dear Dr. Smith or Professor Jones.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation - An email to a staff or faculty member should be written like a formal letter and not like something you would send a friend. Keep it professional. Always spell check.
  • Avoid jokes or sarcasm - remember the tone of your voice cannot be heard in an email.  Something that is meant to be funny may actually come across as rude or insulting.   
  • Reread the email before you send it.
  • Be patient while waiting for a response- Faculty and staff may be away from their desks for significant portions of the day and may not check their email in the evenings. Allow 24-48 hours for a response before following up.

What's a Syllabus?

A syllabus is a document that provides you with information about a course. Usually the instructor distributes the syllabus to students on the first day of class. Make sure you are familiar with all of its contents.  The syllabus has the following functions:

  1. It's a Contact Sheet - You will know how to contact the professor (phone number, office location, and email address).  The professor's office hours should also be included; these are times when you can see the professor to ask questions.  Sometimes the professor won't have time to see you after class so it's important to know his/her available hours.
  2. It's a Schedule - This is the most important function of a syllabus because you'll then know when assignments need to be completed and when tests and quizzes are scheduled.  Unlike high school, in college you're not going to have daily reminders about assignments and deadlines.  You will need to read the syllabus to know when assignments are due.
  3. It's a Guidebook - Although syllabi vary in content, typical types of information you will find are course readings, assignments, the grading scale, and class policies.
  4. It's a Contract - The syllabus is an agreement between you and the professor, outlining class policies and procedures.  If you hand in a paper late and then complain about being penalized, the professor will tell you that the policy is in your syllabus. So it's important to know what is expected of you.

What Does an Academic Advisor Do?

As a new student, you have been assigned an academic advisor. You may think that an academic advisor simply helps you select courses, but your advisor does much more than that.  What is the role of advisors at Butler?  They are a resource, they can connect you with important services and opportunities on campus that will help you progress towards your academic and career goals.  Academic advisors are interpreters, they can help you better understand University policies, explain curricular requirements and interpret the Butler lingo. In addition, they are mentors.  Advisors are well connected and can assist you in finding internships, international experiences, and research opportunities. So take the initiative to meet your advisor during the first weeks of school. Your advisor can help make your experience at Butler a valuable one!

College 101: Transition to Success! ~ View Full Article

Start your Butler experience with a step in the right direction!  Learn more about the differences between high school and college at COLLEGE 101!  The College 101: Transition to Success! workshop will help you develop a plan of action to approach academic work in an active, engaged and goal-directed manner.  Come learn how to be successful in college and hear tips from current Butler students.  The workshop includes lunch and is open (free of charge) to all first year Butler students

 COLLEGE 101: Transition to Success!

Saturday, August 28, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Reilly Room, Atherton Union

Please RSVP to cprather@butler.edu by August 26th

Drop/Add Policy ~ View Full Article

It's possible in the first days of class that you need to drop or add a class. So here is some information about the process.

If you want to make changes to your class schedule, set up an appointment with your academic advisor to start the process. Be sure to discuss your reasons and discuss any repercussions.

Reasons for dropping and adding classes vary greatly and might include: the class level is too challenging, the subject matter is not what you expected, or you need to rearrange your schedule due to an unforeseen conflict.

You will have until 5 p.m. on August 31 to add a class and September 8 to drop a class. Classes added and dropped by the deadlines are not posted on your transcript. If you feel that you need to withdraw from a class and the September 8th deadline has passed, you then have the option of withdrawing, only until November 5th. A withdrawal is different than dropping because it will show up as a "W" on your transcript.

How Can You Be Academically Successful While Living With a New Person? ~ View Full Article

7 Questions to Ask Your Roommate 

Living in a new environment with a new roommate can be challenging.  It takes some time to adjust to each other's schedule and habits.  Use the questions below to facilitate a conversation with your roommate about your study habits.  Hopefully this conversation will help you understand each other's needs, avoid any distractions and encourage academic success from day one!

  1. What interests you about your major?  If you don't have a major yet, what areas are of interest to you?
  2. What is your peak time of day for studying?  Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  3. What type of environments help you concentrate on your studies most effectively (i.e. can you study with music/TV on or others in the room; do you need absolute silence, etc?)
  4. When are quiet hours in our room?  What does that mean?
  5. Are there special "rules" to follow when someone has a test, project, or final paper to prepare?
  6. If one of us is distracting the other one while studying, how should we handle that situation?
  7. If people drop in while one of us is studying, how should we handle it? Are overnight guests acceptable? Under what conditions?

Educational Records - Your Right to Privacy! ~ View Full Article

Did you know that as a college student you hold the rights to your educational records?  This is drastically different from your high school days when your parents had full access to all of your academic information.  What has changed?  For one, you are now considered an adult who is ready to take responsibility for your own education.  As part of that responsibility, the university wants you to be empowered to make your own educational decisions, manage your own information, track your own progress towards graduation and learn to advocate for yourself when necessary.

A federal law called FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) governs this change and protects the privacy of your educational records.  The law allows you, the student, to determine to whom academic information is released.  Butler University requires written permission from you in order to discuss academic issues with your parents. You and your parents can learn more about FERPA by visiting the U.S. Department of Education's website:

FERPA website (with links to FERPA regulations): http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Other frequently asked questions pertaining to FERPA are answered here: /parents/student-affairs-faq/student-conduct

Make Your College Expectations a Reality ~ View Full Article

What is it that you are hoping to gain from your college experience over the next few years? Here are some ways you can make the most of your experience! 

If you chose Butler because you liked the size…

  • Get to know your professors. Take advantage of office hours. Stop by to talk to your advisor and professors about classes, your future plans, and why you chose to study your major.
  • Make the most of small classes. Sit in the front of the class, participate in class discussions, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Tip: Challenge yourself to speak during each class. This can start great discussions!
  • Get involved.  Join a student organization, participate in a volunteer activity, and gather friends to attend various events on campus.

If you like the city of Indianapolis…

  • Volunteer in the community.
  • Participate in Bulldogs Into the Streets (BITS) during Welcome Week.
  • Attend events sponsored by the Program Board.
  • Attend cultural events, sporting events, and dine downtown.
  • Find out what is going on around town by reading the newspaper.
  • Explore Broad Ripple, Massachusetts Ave, and other cultural districts around the city.
  • Bike the Cultural Trail, walk the Central Canal Towpath and explore the Monon Trail.

If you enjoy meeting people from diverse backgrounds…

  • Reach out and make friends with Butler's many international students.
  • Participate in diversity programs and organizations.
  • Attend the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.
  • Explore courses, organizations, and volunteer opportunities that will broaden your horizons.

If you value a liberal arts education…

  • Take full advantage of the core curriculum.  Use the courses to explore academic disciplines, broaden your knowledge, develop skills, and expand your interests.
  • Complement your major with a second major or minor that broadens your abilities.
  • Choose a variety of electives that are of interest to you and that challenge you to develop new skill sets.

Introducing Butler Connection! ~ View Full Article

The Butler Connection is your news source for everything that is happening at Butler! It gives you a lot of great information, such as programs taking place around campus, clubs and organization meetings, and new classes being offered. You will receive this email every day. So keep a look out for Butler Connection!  It will keep you connected!

Brought to you by the Learning Resource Center at Butler University

Jordan Hall 136

You can submit article ideas and suggestions tolearning@butler.edu.