Information for Parents
As parents, you may already have concerns about how your child will perform in their first year of college as they learn to manage their own time without you. We hope the information below is helpful.
Why do we offer Bootcamp?
BISC160 is an important, required foundation course for many science and biomedical disciplines. Students that progress through these disciplines look back and realize that the content and the skills learned in BISC160 were fundamental for their success in many later courses: and that BISC160 and BISC162 were not the most difficult science courses that they encountered. We started Biology Bootcamp in 2012 because many students struggle with these courses, and we know why!
Freshman year of college is not year 13: it is year 1. We see many students who have the ability to learn and perform in BISC160, but who struggle or fail. Although students differ, we recognize a number of factors that influence student success, so we decided to address those factors in Biology Bootcamp.
What factors help students succeed?
Recipe for Success in BISC 160:
- Attend class and actively participate.
- Study regularly, not just before exams.
- Learn by applying and doing, instead of simply memorizing.
- Use the textbook as it was designed to be used.
- Do all homework assignments and on-line quizzes.
- Study in small chunks: A little bit daily is better than 5 hours straight.
- Develop study skills and an effective study group.
- Participate in free Supplemental Instruction.
- Manage time effectively.
- Analyze exams, then alter study methods and test strategies based on that analysis.
If this sounds like common sense advice, it is! But, we know that many students must learn for themselves how important these elements are. Biology Bootcamp allows students to learn that they must do these important, but common sense, things in order to learn and earn a good grade in this course and all the courses that follow.
How can you help?
Most freshman are old enough to vote, serve on a jury, drive and enter the military. Freshman year is the time for them to become independent and take control of their education.
They need to manage their time, learn how to navigate the college system, listen to their professors and try their suggestions and follow instructions. Most importantly, they need to learn how they learn as an individual. The University of Mississippi offers help to any student that needs assistance as they navigate the road to independence through faculty office hours, extra study sessions and counseling and career centers. BISC160 and BISC161 also have additional resources available that help provide your student options and different ways to learn.
What can you do for your student?
- Encourage them to meet their professors and attend office hours.
- Support them in their struggles.
- Set a time for calling and texting that is outside class and study hours.
- Remind them that college requires them to learn differently than they did in high school.
- Ask them if they've attended Supplemental Instruction sessions or office hours.
- Let them take responsibility for their learning, their actions and their choices.
Who are we?
Dr. Lucile McCook was Lecturer and course administrator for BISC160 and BISC162 for 15 years, and passed the torch to Dr. Beckie Symula in 2012. Dr. Brice Noonan and Dr. Colin Jackson are faculty members of the Biology Department and will be two of the lecturers during Bootcamp and the Fall 2018 semester. Nicole Lewis is the Coordinator for BISC161 (Lab). She runs and teaches the labs, and teaches the courses in the summer.
What happens on drop-off day?
Students can move into their campus housing in the morning on Sunday, 18 August. Exact times for move-in will be included in an email after students are accepted into the program.
Bootcamp Check-In will be held on Sunday, 18 August. Details will be provided to all accepted students. During check-in, your student will receive the program materials.
We will have an Orientation session after check-in for parents and students. These are held separately, so that you can have your concerns addressed and they can do the same.
Orientation for Students and Parents
The Bootcamp participants will be introduced to peer mentors and the organizers of the Bootcamp. They'll be able to ask questions about the program, the faculty and the semester without UM Biology Department faculty being present.
You will have an opportunity to meet with some of the faculty of the UM Biology Department during orientation. During this time, we will talk to you about the program and answer any questions you might have about Bootcamp or the fall semester.
After orientation, you can head back to the dorm and get your student settled into their new room or tour around Oxford. On Sunday afternoon, your student will have their first mandatory lecture.