student life

July 2013 E-newsletter

Dear Students and Families,

Our July e-newsletter is intended to keep you informed about the College during the summer. If you missed the June issue, you can find it here.

You can also stay in touch with the College through President Jo Ellen Parker’s blog. If you have not already subscribed, please consider it.

Students, as always, your engagement and success at Sweet Briar is central to our work. This newsletter features information and resources in that spirit.

Please feel free to contact us at any point this summer. If you are not sure which campus office to call, please contact the Office of Co-curricular Life at (434) 381-6134 and we will be happy to assist you.

You will receive a final summer newsletter in August.

Warm wishes,


Cheryl Steele
Dean of Co-Curricular Life




Orientation Begins Aug. 24
College Success Series
Academic Resources
College Calendar Information
Financial Aid Reminders
Employment On Campus for Students
Student Health Insurance Available
Career Services Is Here to Help
Vocational Reflection — An Exercise for Students




Orientation Begins Aug. 24

We are eagerly planning for the arrival of new students and
their family members on Saturday, Aug. 24! Click here to view Indy helps direct traffic during Orientation.
our schedule for Orientation.

You should have received a mailing from Sweet Briar with important information to prepare you for Orientation. New students will receive more detailed schedules when they arrive on Aug. 24. Academic advisors will be assigned starting in early August. You will receive that information upon your August arrival and check-in. You will meet your advisor on Monday, Aug. 26. Advisors assist with course selection, registration and serve as a general resource. Each advisor is a member of the faculty — unlike at many other colleges, where paid staff oversee advising — excited to help you tackle your first semester.

Please note you must complete the following forms before Aug. 1:

  • Learning on the Land program registration (required for all new students)
  • Quantitative Reasoning test (required for all new students)
  • Entering Student Inventory (required for all new students)
  • Plagiarism Assessment (required for all new students)
  • Placement tests for French, German, Latin and Spanish (required for students pursuing coursework in any of these subject areas)

These forms can be found on the Orientation website

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College Success Series Returns

First-year and SophoMORE Programs and the dean’s office are collaborating to offer the College Success Series again this fall.

Sessions will occur weekly on Monday nights at 6:30 p.m. in Reid Pit. Topics will include Study Skills, Note Taking, Learning Styles, Dealing with Test Anxiety and much more! Watch for additional information in August.


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Academic Resources

The Academic Resource Center, more commonly referred to as
the ARC, is located in the lower level of the chapel and is open six days a week, with expanded hours for the 2013-2014 academic year. This year, we hired more tutors to better serve you. Our staff was carefully selected and will complete a tutor-training course. All tutors are skilled writers prepared to lead workshops in areas such as time management, note taking, test taking strategies, etc., in addition to one-on-one tutoring sessions. All services are free. In collaboration with the ARC, each academic discipline also appoints departmental tutors who are available by appointment.

If you have learning challenges and feel you would benefit from special accommodations, you should forward to [email protected] a copy of challenge testing that has been completed within the last four years. Upon your arrival at Sweet Briar, you will be contacted for a review meeting of that documentation, and steps for accommodations will be put into place. If you have any questions, please contact the dean’s office at (434) 381-6205.

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College Calendar Information

For your convenience and advance planning, below are the dates for the opening and closing of student residences for 2013-2014.

New Student Check-in
Saturday, Aug. 24, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Conference Center

Returning Student Check-in
Sunday, Aug. 25, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Office of Co-Curricular Life, Prothro, 2nd floor


Tuesday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Office of Co-curricular Life, Prothro, 2nd floor

Thanksgiving Break

Residences close:
Saturday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m.

Residences open:
Sunday, Dec. 1, 8 a.m.
First meal served: dinner

Winter Break

Residences close:
Saturday, Dec. 21, 8 a.m.

Residences open:
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 8 a.m.
First meal served: lunch

Spring Break

Residences close:
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 8 a.m.

Residences open:
Sunday, March 16, 2014, 8 a.m.
First meal served: dinner

End of the Year Closing

Non-graduating students:
Residences close Thursday, May 15, 2014, 5 p.m.

Graduating seniors and approved students:
Residences close Saturday, May 17, 2014, 5:30 p.m.

New students and parents: Please note that students self-schedule exams, so they may complete academic work prior to the end of the exam period. You are encouraged to consult the academic calendar when planning transportation.

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Financial Aid Reminders

Students who applied for financial aid for 2013-14 should have received award packages in bright pink envelopes by now. Please return all appropriate paperwork for funds you wish to accept, such as loan request forms and campus employment applications. Most forms are also located on our financial aid website. If you are unsure of your financial aid award or of additional paperwork you may have to return, go to

It is never too late to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We encourage everyone to apply at There are many variables involved in determining eligibility, but there is no way to know whether you are eligible if you don’t apply.

We are here to help you navigate this process. Please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions or concerns at (800) 381-6156 or [email protected]. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Student Employment On Campus

Nell Schroer, coordinator of campus student employment, can help you connect with a meaningful campus job. If you plan to work on campus, please remember the following:

  • Don't wait!
    If you are interested in working on campus, we encourage you to begin applying as soon as you arrive at Sweet Briar.

Please contact Nell Schroer at [email protected] or (434) 381-6580 if you have questions over the summer. 

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Student Health Insurance Available

Sweet Briar College is participating in a consortium student health insurance plan with Gallagher Koster. Detailed information and an online chat option for questions are available here.


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Career Services Is Here to Help

Make the most of your summer! Whether you are interning in your anticipated field, working a summer job or spending time with family and friends, summer is a great time to expand your professional network, learn about career options and get leads for jobs or internships. It is also an opportunity to meet new people and connect with those you have not seen in a while. Take advantage of opportunities to get information and build relationships that will help you when you are ready to launch your career.

Students committed to their educational goals early on are more likely to make steady progress toward their career objectives. Whatever your class year at Sweet Briar, the Office of Career Services has resources to help you. We have developed a comprehensive four-year plan that outlines specific academic, career and personal/social goals to help you reach your goals for life after Sweet Briar.

Also check out these two career services resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major?
    This website allows you to investigate several different types of majors — whether you don’t know what to major in, or if you’ve declared a major and don’t know what you can do with it.

  • O*Net Online
    This is another great site to explore careers. You can complete an “Occupation Quick Search” to find more information about particular jobs skills needed for any career. This site also provides information about job growth and salaries.


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Vocational Reflection — An Exercise for Students

Vocational reflection questions are intended to guide students through an initial process of self-awareness and career decision-making; they have been adapted from questions that are used by the career education office at Hampden-Sydney College. The questions are designed to inspire, encourage and inform each student’s journey through Sweet Briar College with purpose and passion as they begin to make decisions about their futurStudent outsidee. We hope you will review and ponder these questions. They vary in degree from big to small questions — some are easier to answer than others. The career services staff encourages students to schedule an appointment with Tandilyn Phillips, assistant director, or Wayne Stark, senior director, early in their academic career to discuss these and other topics.

Vocational reflection questions

1) Why am I in college?

  • Why did I choose to go to college instead of doing something else?
  • What is my biggest motivator right now?
  • What is my purpose for my time at SBC?
  • Why did I choose SBC over other colleges?

2) What are my passions, talents, and gifts?

  • Describe what you see when you look in the mirror. What kind of person do you see?
  • What makes me come alive?
  • What do people say I’m good at?
  • What do I think I do well?
  • What am I most proud of? What does that say about me as a person?
  • What would I want to do every day even if I didn’t get paid for it?

3) What do others need from me?

  • What do friends and family need from me?
  • What will my friends and family need from me?
  • What does my community and the wider world need from me? 
  • What will my community and the wider world need from me?

4) What do I want to be known for?

  • What does a successful life look like to me?
  • Who or what have been my biggest influences and why?
  • Whose opinion matters?
  • What do I want to be known for when I am 30? 50? 70?

5) What does it mean to be a good woman, and how do I become one?

  • Who are the good women that I know?
  • What makes them good women? 
  • Are there other ways to be a good woman?
  • What would it take to be like that?

6) How will I know my life’s purpose and calling?

  • What’s the difference between being alive and truly living?
  • What is my calling and purpose at this time?
  • Describe a time when you felt like you were doing what you were meant to be doing — and that it felt meaningful and fulfilling. 
  • Where do my passions and talents intersect?

7) How do I take full advantage of my SBC education to become a “productive, responsible member of a world community”?

  • How do I see my courses helping me with this goal?
  • What opportunities would I like to explore outside of the classroom?
  • How will these opportunities feed my spirit?
  • What do I need from my peers?

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