Starting College Resources
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Getting ready to start college?

So you're all signed up for college, you've been accepted into your program, and now you're just waiting for the first day of school. We are as excited as you are that you will be joining our St. Clair College family and we want to share with you a couple things that you can be doing while you wait for school to start. There are three skill areas that can help you as you start your college career. These areas are Math, English, and Computer skills.

Math Skills

There isn't one program of study at St. Clair College that doesn't incorporate math concepts in some way. While not every program will have a math course as part of the curriculum, basic computation skills and an understanding of math concepts are still important. Also, for programs with a first-year math course, many students are surprised to find that their professors expect them to be able to do math calculations without a calculator. If it's been sometime since you have reviewed math computation skills you may want to spend some time looking at that now. We have instructional math videos available online and for each section, we have prepared some question and answer sheets. Please click here to see the math videos.

How to use these Math Videos:

As you watch these math videos, you're going to want to have a pencil and paper available so that you can try out the problems that are presented in the videos. Afterwards, take a look at the question sheets that are available for each video. The first question in any section will be the same question that was used in the instructional video. We encourage you to try this math question without looking at the video, or any notes that you may have taken, to see if you can solve it on your own. Go online and try a couple of the other math questions we provided for you. You can check your answers against the answer sheet which is also provided online.

This strategy of working out a problem that has been demonstrated on a video or in class can be used in any of your math classes as well. Before you start studying or working through homework problems, try to rework the problems that were completed in class or that are worked out in your textbook without using any notes or your textbook to solve them. Questions that are used in the class generally demonstrate important concepts that you need to learn. By working through those questions again on your own without any help, you reinforce those concepts and if you get stuck you have your notes and your textbook to compare your answer to in order to find out where you've gone wrong.

See also: St. Clair College Math Tutorial pages

English Skills

One of the ways that you will demonstrate the knowledge that you are learning in your program is through written assignments. Writing in college is a little bit different than writing for personal reasons or the writing that you may have done in high school. In college, we are looking for academic writing. Academic writing is a style of writing that uses sentences in active voice and wording that is both clear and concise. In academic writing, a lot of emphasis is placed on giving credit to other authors whose works you have read through your research and whose ideas or concepts influence you. One style for crediting authors that have influenced your writing is called APA style. If you haven't used APA style in the past, we encourage you to check out this Basics of APA video from the American Psychological Association's website.

www.apastyle.org/learn/tutorials/basics-tutorial.aspx

If you have used APA in the past, you may want to take a look at this video that describes version 6, the most current APA version, as there have been some changes in how to cite and reference research materials.

www.apastyle.org/learn/tutorials/brief-guide.aspx

Our Library Resource Centre webpages have many links to resources that you can use for research, including links to electronic databases and a database of electronic journals that are available. There are also links to citation guides and two software programs and instructions that can help you to appropriately cite your resources and create your reference page.

Computer Skills

At St. Clair College, there are three computer software programs that are available online that will be important for you to explore. These online programs are student self-serve, student e-mail, and Blackboard. As soon as you have received your confirmation of registration, you can try these out. Information about your User Name and default passwords are included in this mailing.

Student Self-Serve
The student self-serve program gives you access to information about you and your registration with the College. It is through the self-serve that you can find your class schedule, sign up for an elective, get your grades, and even check your tuition account. The following link will take you to instructions on how to access and use your student self-serve account.

www.stclaircollege.ca/stclairspace/instructions.html

Student e-mail
Each student at the college is assigned a student e-mail address. You should use this e-mail address when communicating with any staff member or faculty of the college. When you send an e-mail, please include your name and your student number so that the staff member or faculty can easily identify who they are communicating with. You should check your student e-mail often, as you will be receiving e-mails about your courses, announcements about college-wide events and activities as well as from student services departments such as tutoring.

Blackboard
Many of our courses have an online component available to students through a computer software program called Blackboard. This isn't a blackboard that you might have seen in your elementary school, the kind that you write on with chalk. This Blackboard is a computer software program that presents courses and course material. For example, your professor may post PowerPoint slides that are used in classes, you may be asked to complete assignments or do quizzes through Blackboard, or you may find discussion boards where you can ask questions and discuss the material with your professor and your fellow students. The following link will take you to instructions on how to use Blackboard.

www.stclaircollege.ca/blackboard/91/students

Your student self-service, student e-mail, and Blackboard account are available from the St. Clair College home page, simply click on the tab called Current Students which is located in the upper right-hand corner of the St. Clair College home page. The Current Students tab contains links to all three of these computer software programs as well as to other important areas of our website such as our Library Resource Center pages and other student services pages.

Want to try it now? Go directly to the log in pages using the links below: Need help with Math, English, Computer Skill or any of your program courses?

St. Clair College's Tutoring Services offers free tutoring including one-on-one peer tutoring, Walk In and Group services!

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