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The first thing I did when I submitted my last assignment during the winter session was to read a book, I miss reading so much during the semester. The reason I cannot read for pleasure during the semesters is that I always have things to read that I have to read, so if I have time to read my mind tells me that I should read things related to the courses that I am taking. This time I read a book called A Little Life, by Yanagihara, and it was sad but really, really good—I can highly recommend it. After that I read a bunch of Swedish mysteries that people visiting from Sweden had brought me over the course of the semester, which was truly nice.

Back to reality, I just started my last semester at CUNY SPS, and I am hoping to have my Bachelor’s degree in May. Hard to believe that I am actually seeing the light in the tunnel. I am taking my Capstone, and two other courses. I am not, as of right now, 100% sure what a Capstone course is but I guess I will find out. I have been assigned to my clinical site, which is where I did my clinical hours for the Community Nursing class that I took last semester. I am happy about this because I really like my clinical site person, she is great, so I am kind of dreading and kind of looking forward, and will keep you posted on how it is going and how I feel about it. I am taking two more classes, 11 credits all together while working full time and having my family that I have to tend to—it will be a tough semester I guess. I just have to make myself do it, and do the work I need to do, and know that it will benefit me for the rest of my life to have my BSN.

I had an issue when signing up for classes. My advisor told me that I need a US Experience course that I was not aware of. I made a plan when I went to meet with her when I first started at SPS, and that course was not mentioned then. If I would have known, I would have taken it already. So, this one came out of the blue, 3 extra credits that I need to take on this semester. Yet, I am very happy I double checked because I would not have been able to graduate without it. Still, I am a little upset, and feel that I was wrongly informed. But what can I do about that? Nothing really. I just have to do it. I guess that is what this study-as-an-adult is all about, setting your mind to it and “just do it.”

Happy Start of the Semester Everyone.

And, if you are still deciding if you are going to get started at SPS, “just do it!”

Charlotte

Charlotte Wahlquist is from Sweden. She is a graduate of BMCC and is now a Registered Nurse as of January of this year. In addition to working as a full-time nurse she is enrolled in the online RN to BSN program at CUNY SPS and is a recipient of the ACE Scholarship. Shortly after Charlotte moved to New York, seven years ago, she took a giant leap of faith and went back to school. With her five children, and an impenetrable drive to make her dreams come true—she hit the send button on her CUNY application. The time since that life-altering push of the button has been spent with many early and late hours being a single working mom, a student, and a person wishing for more hours in the day. There have been many challenges that have threatened to pull her off track; however, having her son asking to sit down next to her one night, and work on his homework next to her while she studied made her realize that she had embarked on something much larger than herself.

Idalia Reyes is a current student here at The CUNY School of Professional Studies, studying in the Online Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media. Academic Advisor, Johanna Rodriguez recently had the chance to ask Idalia a few questions about her goals and motivation for pursuing higher education, and here is what she shared with us:

Johanna: What are you hoping to accomplish in the next five years?

Idalia Reyes Online Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media Idalia: In the next five years I hope to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media. It is not only one of my biggest goals; it is also the most important and challenging one that I have to accomplish.

Johanna:  What or who inspires you and keeps you motivated?

Idalia: The person who inspires me and keeps me motivated is “me.” I push myself very hard.

Johanna:  What challenges do you face as an online student? And how have you overcome those obstacles?

Idalia: Being an online student is very difficult on many levels. One of the biggest challenges that I face as an online student is always getting to know the curriculum in the beginning of the semester. I get so nervous. I overcome my obstacles by printing out the syllabus and the assignments, and then start a schedule for myself. There is not a day that goes by that I do not check my discussion board in Blackboard several times a day. Whether I am on vacation or working, I am constantly checking in.

The online program has made it possible for me to achieve my goal due to the industry I work in, as my schedule can be very unpredictable. The flexibility of going online anywhere and anytime has made it possible for me to complete assignments and keep up with my classes. It is an interesting program, but it requires dedication and discipline.

I will be very honest. I didn’t think that I was going to make it this far. I am still here, in my fifth semester and I enjoy it. What I found to be helpful is to always keep an open line of communication with your advisor. The School of Professional Studies cares about their students and their opinions. If it becomes difficult, the communication lines are open.

Joanna Rodriguez Admissions and Academic Advisor for The CUNY School of Professional Studies Online Baccalaureate Program.

Johanna Rodriguez is an Admissions and Academic Advisor for The CUNY School of Professional Studies Online Baccalaureate Program. When asked to reflect on her work here at SPS, she said:

How do I define advising? It’s funny because I had to explain myself to my older brother when he asked, “What is it that you do again?” I told him I advise students and teach them to become self-sufficient. I got the response “ohhh” and then he told me he was considering going back to school. His question did force me to think about my definition of academic advising.

The Greeks define learning as the process of bringing about self, and as an advisor I am here to help my students develop active leaning skills. I am here to guide students through their academic career and teach them to become independent and successful. Yes, I do make sure my students take on a balanced work load and make sure they contact financial aid on time, but along with those responsibilities I am teaching my students to become more self-sufficient.

To me the best part of my job is helping my students make choices that will in turn guide them on a new career path, and if it wasn’t for their education they would have not taken that step. I must agree with the Greeks because they were on to something, education isn’t just getting A’s but it is the process of developing yourself.

The CUNY SPS Academic Advisement Center for Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs is dedicated to furthering the educational mission of SPS by assisting the academic pursuits of students. The Academic Advisement Center helps students with educational planning, improving study skills, accessing learning support services, and adjusting to the demands facing adult learners.

More infographics on CUNY SPS’s Pinterest account.

What Type of Learner Are You?

As we enter our second week of the Summer 2013 Term, many of us have busy schedules that can range from working full time and taking classes, working part time and taking care of children, or a combination of both scenarios. By this time many students reflect on their time management skills and see where they need to improve, but the summer is more than just improving study skills or even professional skills. Summer represents, for many, a time of relaxation and taking time for oneself to rejuvenate from the stresses of work, school, and family. What does the academic advisement team do during the summer to help relax while still managing busy schedules?

“After the long months of winter, I always look forward to the beautiful days and nights of summer, where I get to be active and catch up with family and friends. Going to the beach, playing volleyball on the sand and taking walks by the water are the most relaxing activities for me and the best part is that I still find time to do all of this after work. I love the simple things that make summer enjoyable like eating lots of ice cream, drinking fresh lemonade and seeing everyone in a good mood. Managing work and personal life during the summer is fun because you can get creative and do it all with a nice summer tan.” –Agrona Selimaj

“Summer is my favorite time of the year, not because my birthday happens to fall during this season, but because I love the beautiful greenery and warm, relaxing nights. I plan to go back home to Wisconsin to visit my family and friends. I am looking forward to taking my three year old son to the Bronx Zoo, Coney Island, Prospect Park, the American Museum of Natural History and many other wonderful attractions that New York has to offer” –Anjali Anderson-Buckley

“Visiting Long Island’s East End brings a sense of relaxation to my weekends during the summer. The long drive into the Hamptons might be ridden with traffic, but it’s worth it. My favorite thing to do while I’m there is to shop at the local boutiques. I also enjoy visiting the beautiful vineyards on Long Island’s North Fork. Port Jefferson is another summer favorite place where I like to unwind. There you will find the New Port Jefferson Brewery and local eateries such as Tiger Lily café and Tommy’s Place. The summer concert series and drive-in movies at Overlook Beach are most enjoyable after a busy day at work. When I’m there it feels like I can stay up all night and catch up with family and friends while enjoying the night’s entertainment. I am looking forward to changing my routine a bit this summer since I hope to close on my first house! The excitement of decorating, planning backyard barbeques and buying new things to make my new house feel like home will be keeping me busy.” –Ashley Hoyt

“This summer will mark the first summer in a few years that I do not devote to classes. Although I have graduated from graduate school I do research on the side. I will be working on my conference paper for The Association of Asian Studies. When I am not working, I enjoy going to the many events New York has such as summer stage, Shakespeare in the Park, film festivals, and special exhibits at a museum. The goal is relaxation and much fun in the sun. Sometimes a simple picnic in the park with friends is enough to make any day relaxing.” –Arianna Rodriguez

“During the summer I try to take advantage of the nice weather as much as I can. This can range from going to as many Yankee games as possible to a weekend getaway to the beach. I enjoy having brunch on the weekends and playing in a softball league during the evenings in Central Park. Overall, just staying busy with things that are not work related can ease the mind when my schedule gets hectic.” –Gary Washburn

“I am a graduate student during the fall and spring semester; the summers I reserve for myself. It is a time of rejuvenation for me. This summer I will be taking a trip with family to Nova Scotia. I also intend to read for pleasure, an idea alien to me during the fall and spring terms. I will pick up my guitar again to do more than just vacuum under it. I will play, sing, and connect with other musicians. The summer is here and with it all of its inherent joys.” –Jaye-Anne Sartoretto

“At the end of the spring and beginning of the Summer I love to clear out all my winter clothes and finally bring out the fun colors. I like to make sure I spend at least every weekend outside with my family. Unfortunately, ‘every weekend’ becomes every other weekend, but it is still something. I love being able to enjoy the outdoors. New York winters can be rough and one forgets that New York has many outdoor activities that one can enjoy. I make sure to take at least one big vacation; usually it is a trip to Atlantic City with my family (and trust me, no gambling is involved). I enjoy the sand and the sun while relaxing in Atlantic City. I feel that one good vacation can help de-stress a rough semester and can revitalize one for the upcoming semester.” –Johanna Rodriguez

“Summer is a great time to take weekend getaways. I like to take this time to visit friends and family who live out of state. If I am not traveling, I like to spend my weekends in a park or try a new restaurant (preferably one with outdoor seating to enjoy the weather). As an Academic Advisor, it feels like the summer can be the busiest time during the year with new students enrolling for the fall. It is important to maximize your free time during the weekend and relax with friends and family.” –Lana Callender

“While working full time and attending graduate school this past semester, it was difficult to balance out work, school, homework, family, and friends. All of these things are equally important to me. I relied on my agenda/organizer/calendar and my color pens to keep me organized. The summer is my second favorite season. To me summer means exploration and adventures. Discovering new places in New York is an all-time favorite. I enjoy going to the lake, beach, and theme parks. I relish in reading and having picnics in the park.” –Lourys Pichardo

CUNY SPS Academic Advisement Center for Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs.

Agrona, Anjali, Ashley, Arianna, Gary, Jaye-Anne, Johanna, Lana and Lourys are all advisors for the CUNY SPS Academic Advisement Center for Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs. Otilia Abraham is the Associate Director of Admissions and Academic Advisement. They are dedicated to furthering the educational mission of SPS by assisting the academic pursuits of students. The Academic Advisement Center helps students with educational planning, improving study skills, accessing learning support services, and adjusting to the demands facing adult learners.