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My Advice for Newbies

newbies

“What advice would you give a new student at UoPeople”?

Bill Neeriemer, Computer Science, United States:

1) We’re UoPeople

Learn this… UoP is a registered trademark, and it means the University of Phoenix. That’s not us. We’re UoPeople, which means University of the People.

2) Be patient

UoPeople operates on a thin budget. Support staff costs money, which means more fees. Therefore, you must adjust your expectations of response. Instructors, Program Advisors, and other UoPeople will respond and act on your requests, BUT, they will do it when they do it, and not before. Nothing is a crisis. If UoPeople’s computers are down, then UoPeople will likely extend the deadlines. It’s happened before, and it may happen again. Grades are never set in stone. If you make a timely appeal, then even if UoPeople takes their time deciding the matter, they can make the change. I’ve seen it happen. Getting upset, and berating them publicly, is NOT going to help your case. Talk to your assigned Program Advisor. Talk to Academic Affairs. Never demand. Never yell. In my experience, they are more than reasonable.

3) Remain calm

No matter, what comes up in the course of your studies, if you do what you need to be doing, then UoPeople will likely resolve things in your favor. That means if you get a grade that is objectively wrong, write to your instructor. Remember rule 1, they may only be online once a week, but when they do come online, they’ll see it, and respond. Don’t pester them about it. If the instructor is being unreasonable, then take it to your Program Advisor. Whatever you do, don’t become testy.

4) Read everything they send you

UoPeople sends you lots of information. They also pack the catalog and student portal with valuable stuff. Read it. Most of the questions posted are already answered in the catalog.

5) Don’t wait for your issue

While you must be patient to get a response from UoPeople, the opposite applies to you. You must immediately contact your instructor, Program Advisor, whomever. They won’t know you have a problem until you report it. If you wait, then they are less likely to be willing to resolve it in your favor.

6) Follow directions

During UNIV 1001, which will be your first real course at UoPeople, they will teach you about how to get the most common things done. Like registering for the next term. Checking your grades, and stuff like that. They give you detailed directions. Follow them. They work.

7) For more obscure things, it is better to take it to Facebook and/or Yammer.

If you’re outside the US, country may have laws that impact your ability to pay the fees. Learn about them, and remember them. Odds are, you’ll be doing them a lot over the next few years. Feel free to bring these concerns to the Facebook or Yammer UoPeople community. You’re more likely to find a fellow student from your country there. Odds are, they’ve already done, what you’re doing now. You can benefit from their experience.

8) Check out the optional course too

I have the Online Student Writing Center, and the Peer Assessment Office on my list. They are optional, but they do contain good information. Especially about APA citations, and trust me, you’ll be dealing with APA citations throughout your career at UoPeople.

9) Be prepared

UoPeople operates on a tight budget. Many staffers are new in their roles, and mistakes happen. Sometimes due dates don’t get coded properly. Typos creep into the course materials. Other Quality Control issues exist. Do NOT panic. Talk with your instructor. Incorrect due dates will be fixed. It’s not the end of the world.

10) This is the most important rule, have fun

There’s a lot of new information that going to come your way and fast. Make sure you pace yourself. It is easy to become overwhelmed. Life is the journey, not the destination.