Insider tips for new students

So you’ve decided to attend UVSC, welcome. In almost everything in life, from jobs to schools to social groups, there are usually two points of view: outsiders and insiders.

UVSC is no different; there are certain things that long-time students know that new students do not. In order to help the transition to become comfortable with UVSC, here are a few insider tips.

Textbooks: Some people will say to go straight to the school bookstore and buy your textbooks for all of your classes right away. In some cases this may be a good idea. Those who go early will get first choice at the used books.

However, most lower division classes (aka general education classes, all of your basic prerequisite classes) do not use the entire textbook. Most professors only use a few chapters from the textbook. Nevertheless, this is a general rule.

Math classes generally use the majority of the book; but if going to the math lab regularly is on the agenda, the math books can be checked out there.

It is always a good idea to buy the textbook for a class that is going to be more difficult to understand the information.

Keep in mind that the bookstore is not always the best deal for textbooks. There are plenty of places to buy textbooks online; it may take a little longer to get here, but the money you save is worth it. and are two great online resources for textbooks. Having the ISBN is very helpful in accurately finding any given textbook online.

Now, for students who are supporting themselves and spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks, this strategy will not work if they also want to have money to buy food. So, there is an alternative option: the library.

The UVSC library has a Reserve Desk, which has most of the required textbooks available to be checked out. The main drawback is, that the book must stay in the library and can only be checked out for two hours at a time.

Another option is to photocopy the pages that you need. It may take some time, but if it’s only a chapter here and there, it’s worth it.

Parking: This may be a major issue for some UVSC students, because driving is their primary mode of transportation. Parking permits for spring 2008 are $50 for the semester.

For those students whose first class doesn’t start until at least 10 a.m., the best option is to get a free parking pass, because the best parking spots will be found in the back of the lot. Save the money and walk. Besides, the free parking lot is conveniently located directly across the street from the testing center.

Also, for those days that you may be running late and do not want to shuttle to the school from the free parking lot, there are $2 day passes available from parking services.

For the students who have classes before 10 a.m. and wish to take an Institute class, those parking permits are free for the semester when registered for an Institute class, and parking is generally closer.

There is also another alternative mode of transportation offered to UVSC students, the UTA bus system. Bus passes are available to UVSC students for $5. The passes are good for one year; and with fares increasing every six months, it is a great deal.

Additional information about Parking Services can be obtained at

For information about the Orem Institute of Religion, call (801) 764-3000. For bus pass information, see Campus Connection.

Tutor Labs: The peer tutoring labs are some of the most helpful places at UVSC. There are a few things a new student should know about using these labs. First, for the Peer Tutoring Lab, check the schedule for when the teacher’s assistant for your class will be there. Have a list of questions or a topic. Keeping it specific really helps make the tutoring session go faster.

The Writing Lab will not edit papers. Do not make an appointment and expect the Writing Lab tutor to edit it; it won’t happen. The tutors will proofread for organization and wording. They will also help with citations and other bibliography questions.

Having a pre-edited paper with specific questions prepared will help with the session. Also keep in mind that appointments must be made for the Writing Lab. Appointments usually last anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes. For more information about the Peer Tutoring Center or the Writing Lab, call 863-8310.

Dining Services: For some students, most of their meals will be eaten at school, so knowing where the best food is available will come in handy.

There are meal plans available for purchase so that a certain amount of money will be loaded onto the UVSC ID card, which can be used to purchase food from all over UVSC, except vending machines.

Discounts are available when meal plans are purchased. There are several restaurants in Centre Court. Keep in mind that fresh food can be purchased upstairs in the Valley View Room. The food there is relatively inexpensive.

There are kiosks situated throughout UVSC. The main one, found in the LA Building, has food from Centre Court restaurants and the Valley View Room available for purchase. One of the best little meals is a cup of fresh soup and a roll, which ranges from $2.08 to $2.49. For more information, contact Dining Services at 863-8664.

Academic Advising: All new students need to see their academic adviser as soon as possible. Paula Tibbets, the director of Career and Academic Counseling, said there are a few things that need to be done in preparation for a student’s first visit.

First, the school application needs to have been received and processed by UVSC; it usually takes about two days.

The next step for new students is to go to WebStart on UVlink and go through the tutorial session, which gives all information about coming to UVSC. This will take about 30 minutes.

Third, make sure UVSC has received all testing scores, including all ACT scores. This can be checked on UVlink. If a student’s math ACT score is lower than 19, that student needs to take the math test in the testing center.

Tibbets said that one of the most overlooked
preparations of new students is reading the welcome packet, acceptance letter and the acceptance e-mail. These acceptance letters have important information for new students.

Transfer students should make sure transcripts have been received and processed by UVSC. This process takes at least a month.

The best tip is to get in early to the academic advisers. The lines can be long at the start of a new school year.

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