Document Actions

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to a number of common questions students have before arriving on campus in the Fall. Click on any of the four categories to skip directly to those questions.
Before You Arrive and Orientation

Student Affairs and Residence Life

Health and Counseling Services

Class Schedule and Registration


Before You Arrive and Orientation

When do I need to arrive?
You should plan to arrive between 8:00 and 11:00 am on Saturday morning, August 17, 2013. During this time you will be assigned a workshop and move into your dorm. The earlier you arrive, the more time you will have to move into your room before the day’s formal activities begin. 

Back to top

Can I get a ride from the airport?
Yes.  The College can provide transportation from Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT or from Albany International Airport in NY to campus.  Please see the Transportation page for costs, times and other transportation details.

Back to top

Can I leave during orientation week?

No. Orientation begins on Saturday, August 17th, and runs through Sunday morning the 24th. During this time you are required to remain on-campus, and guests are not allowed on campus during Orientation.  You are expected to attend all scheduled classes and activities, and if there is some reason this is not possible, you will need to be excused by your faculty or residence director.

Back to top

When do I find out my room assignment and who my roommate is?

If you have filled out and returned your housing assignment profile, you will receive your room assignment and your roommate’s information in early August.

Back to top

Can I ship my stuff in advance?

Yes. After August 1st, feel free to ship your belongings ahead of you using any of the standard shipping services. When received, your boxes will be cataloged and stored until you arrive. If you would like to ship anything in advance, please use this temporary address:

Student Name, First Year Student
Bard College at Simon's Rock
84 Alford Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230-1978

Please note:

  • "First Year Student" is required, as this will assist the mailroom staff in sorting shipments intended for students arriving in time for Orientation.
  • This address should only be used to ship items in advance of your arrival on campus.  Once you have moved in, you will receive a permanent address which you can give out in order to receive mail and parcels (see next question).
  • If you have any questions about what can and cannot be shipped or what address to use, please contact the Mailroom at (413) 644-4127


Back to top

Where do I get my mail?
All students are assigned a mailbox in the Livingston Student Union. If you have not received your mailbox number before coming to campus, you will receive additional information when you arrive on Saturday, August 18. All students receive mail at the college using the following address:

Student Name

Bard College at Simon's Rock
SR Box #___ (student's assigned mailbox)
84 Alford Road
Great Barrington MA 01230-1978

When distributing this address, please make sure that your Simon's Rock mailbox number is included, and it must be identified properly (SR BOX #, not  "PO Box").  This is a necessary in order for the Post Office to deliver your mail to campus. 

Back to top

What about telephone service?
All rooms have phone jacks. Students are required to have a working phone plugged into the jack so they are reachable in their rooms, but you or your roommate must supply the phone. There is one jack in each room, with each student having their own voicemail box. For long distance calls, you must provide your own calling card. Cell phone service is intermittent on campus, but is quite reliable in downtown Great Barrington.

Back to top

What about my computer and email?
The college provides high speed internet access and email services, and each dorm room has standard internet jacks. All personal computers must be registered with the college’s computer services department in order to use these systems. Registering of computers will take place during Orientation.

There is no wireless availability in the dorms; however, secure wireless access is available in most academic buildings. Due to the security component of the wireless network, some configuration is generally required and it is unlikely that your computer will be able to connect "out of the box." For detailed information regarding connecting a computer to the Simon's Rock secure wireless network, please refer to the ITS Wireless Help Pages.

Back to top

What about my laundry?
All dorms have full laundry facilities. These machines are contracted with a local service provider, and a one-time fee is charged each semester to every student’s account (so you don’t have to carry quarters). If you have never done your own laundry, we suggest that you get a crash course before arriving. 

Back to top

What about bank services?
There will be two local banks represented on Arrival Day so that you can get set up with an account. There is one ATM on campus in the Student Union, and at scheduled times, students may cash checks at the business office.

Back to top

What about insurance?
The college is not responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of personal items. Be sure to find out if your parent's homeowner’s insurance policies cover such losses.

Back to top

Can I bring a car?
First year students are not permitted to have a car on campus.

Back to top

How long will my parents need to stay on Arrival Day?

Family members and friends are requested to leave campus on Arrival Day no later than 5:00 pm. 

Back to top

When do classes start?
Classes begin on Monday morning, August 27th, following the completion of Orientation and your Writing and Thinking workshop.

Back to top

Whom can I call with further questions?
Academic Affairs: 413-528-7247
Admissions: 413-528-7228
Bookstore: 413-528-7256
Business Office: 413-644-4285
Computer Services: 413-528-7371
Financial Aid: 413-528-7297
Health Services: 413-528-7353
Student Affairs: 413-528-7693

Back to top


Student Affairs and Residence Life

What is Student Affairs?
The student affairs offices are located on the third floor of the Student Union. Counseling and Health Services are located in one suite, and Security, the Residence Life Offices (including the Director of Residence Life and the Residence Directors’ offices), Activities, Community Service, and the Dean of Students are located in the second suite.

These offices are where you will come to discuss your living environment including housing, physical plant, community concerns, and get involved with campus activities. Members of the Student Affairs staff are on duty 24/7, and after hours can be reached by calling Security at (413) 528-7291.  You will learn more about this once you are on campus.

Back to top

What is a Peer Advocate?

PAs are upper-class students who work with the Office of Student Affairs. They live in the dormitories and are present to assist you in making the transition to college life. They will meet you on Arrival Day, and will be able to answer many of your questions about the dorms, academics, and extracurricular life.

Back to top

What is a Residence Director?

Residence Directors (RDs) are professional adult staff members that reside in the dormitories, they oversee life outside the classroom. RDs work closely with Students, Parents and Guardians, Faculty and other College Staff to build and foster a safe, secure living environment that supports the educational goals of the college.

Back to top

When do I learn about student organizations?

During the first week of classes there will be a student group and activities fair. Look for posters announcing when and where.

Back to top

What’s the story on food?

All students living on campus pay a residency fee, which allows them access to campus dining.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served each weekday, with brunch and dinner served on weekends.  Hours are posted in the Dining Hall.  Meal menus are posted in advance on the Dining Services web site.  You will learn all about this during Orientation.
Back to top

What if I lose my dorm key?
All first year students receive a keycard to access their dorm, and a key to access their room. There is a $50 deposit for the room key. If you lose your keycard, you can get a new one from the mailroom. If you lose your room key, you can get a new one in the Office of Student Affairs. Replacement keys and keycards cost $50 and $10 respectively. There is a charge of $5.00 for each lock-out.

Back to top


Health and Counseling Services

What do I do if I get sick?
You can call the Health Services Office (ext. 7353) Monday through Friday (9am-5pm), during the academic year, and speak directly to a nurse or make an appointment to be seen. Also, you can come by the office during regular office hours and be seen without an appointment. If you feel too ill to call, have a Residence Director call for you. If you require medical care when Health Services is closed, Security or a Residence Director will contact the nurse on call for you. There is always a medical professional available to speak to you and arrange to see you if necessary.

Back to top

What if I want to see a counselor?

Counseling Services is located in the same office suite as Health Services, and counselors are on the same schedule as the Health Service staff.  Counselors may schedule evenings or Saturdays with the director’s approval.  Any student can see a counselor, and many see a counselor on a weekly basis. In addition to regular office hours, after hours and emergency services are available. There is always a counselor on call.

Back to top

What does Health Services have to offer me?

You can receive evaluation and treatment for most health problems that can be treated in a primary care medical office. Health Services is staffed by registered nurses, a nurse practitioner, and medical doctors. Students may also be referred to local medical specialists as needed. When possible, staff will work with your medical provider from home, and sometimes may suggest following up when you are home on vacations for continuation of care. Complicated testing requiring certain medical specialties may be better done at home by the medical providers who already know you.

Back to top

Do I have to pay when I’m treated?

All students are required to purchase the college’s health insurance plan. This health insurance pays for office visits and medical care that students may need while on campus. You or your family will not be billed for your office visit to Health Services. Consolidated Health Plans will also pay for some other types of medical expenses; for more information, visit our website to access their brochure.

Back to top

Are visits to Health Services and Counseling confidential?

We always encourage students to talk with their families about how they are doing while away at college, but do not routinely contact parents for medical visits to our office. We work with students to share information that is important or necessary for parents or guardians to know. The following are some examples: any admission to the emergency room or hospitalization, a request for a medical leave of absence, referral to a medical specialist. We want all students to speak to medical staff about what they are concerned about and learn how to best use medical visits to support your health and academic success while living on campus.

Back to top


Class Schedule and Registration

When can I register for classes?
Incoming students’ preliminary schedule requests are submitted via email to the Registrar after they formally enroll at Simon’s Rock, but before they arrive. To be enrolled, you must have submitted your deposit, financial aid award letter or full payer enrollment agreement and required health paperwork.  Once this paperwork is received you will be sent your Simon’s Rock user name and password so that you may take placement tests. Please note that incoming students will not have the opportunity to register for classes until late May/early June, and will not receive registration information before new student registration is open.

Back to top

What does the typical course schedule look like?
The first-year student’s first-semester schedule typically includes 4-5 courses, worth 14-16 credits. Most classes meet for 3-5 hours per week and are ideally distributed in the following manner:

  • First-Year Seminar                             1 course                       4 credits
  • Other distribution requirements -       1 or 2 courses              4-6 credits
  • General Electives                               2 courses                     4-6 credits     

Individual courses generally range from 2 to 4 credits. Course credits are assigned based on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to): how often the course meets, if there is a lab or other attendance expected outside of the regular class meeting time, and the course level (advanced classes are generally 4 credits courses). Simon’s Rock also offers half-semester courses, which meet for 7 of the 14 weeks in the semester. “Mod-1” courses meet in the first half of the semester; “Mod-2” meet in the second half. “Mods” are typically 2-credit courses.  While it may seem that scheduling 4-5 courses per semester will leave you with excessive free time, remember that college classes demand more homework than most high school classes. You should expect to spend at least two hours per week preparing for each hour spent in class.
Students must have a minimum of 12 credits in order to be considered full-time. Since 60 credits are required for the AA degree, and 120 for the BA degree, an average of 15 credits per semester are necessary to obtain the AA in two years and the BA in four years. However, we recommend that students err on the side of too few—versus too many—credits in their first semester at college. There is a lot of adjustment to do.

Back to top

When do I meet my advisor?
All incoming students meet with their academic advisor just before the semester begins (usually on the Friday of Writing and Thinking Workshop week) or very early in the first week of classes. At this first meeting, advisor and advisee meet briefly to discuss any revisions and adjustments to a student’s preliminary schedule, if necessary, and begin to establish a future regular meeting time for the coming semester.  If you need to speak with an advisor as you are planning your schedule, you may call your admissions counselor (800) 235-7186, Registrar Heidi Rothberg at (413) 528-7201, Sue Lyon, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at 413-644-4282, or Anne O’Dwyer, Dean of Academic Affairs at (413) 528-7240.

Back to top

Do I have to take the placement tests before I register? What if I am unable to take the placement tests before I arrive?
As noted in the new student registration information, placement tests are required to register for classes in mathematics and certain foreign languages: French, German, or Spanish (if you are planning on taking a foreign language other than these, the teacher will assess your appropriate level in discussion or in class). You can register for classes that do not require placement tests even if you have not taken the placement tests. If you do not take the math placement test before coming to campus, we recommend you do it as soon as possible after your arrival. Failure to take the test could keep you from getting into the math classes that are most appropriate for you.

Back to top

What if I want to make changes to my schedule before I arrive on campus? How do I make changes to my schedule after I arrive on campus?
Once you have submitted your schedule to the registrar (see “Typical Course Schedule” question, above), your schedule is set. Any changes can be discussed in the initial meeting—and subsequent meetings—with your academic advisor. (See When do I meet my advisor?). After classes start, all schedule changes must be made via “Drop/Add Forms.” Your advisor can discuss this process with you when you meet, and the staff of the Office of Academic Affairs will describe the “drop/add” process with you during Orientation.

Back to top

What if the class I want to take is full (as indicated by the online course listings)? What happens if I don't get the classes I want?
Please keep in mind that some courses and/or sections of courses may have already filled before your registration, and the on-line course listing information is relatively up-to-date; so, be sure to indicate many alternates. If you don’t get the classes you want prior to your arrival, you will have the opportunity to explore course options with your academic advisor (see See When do I meet my advisor? and See How do I make changes to my schedule after I arrive on campus?).

Back to top

Which section of First Year Seminar should I choose?
It is hard for you or us to predict which First-Year Seminar class will be the best for you. We recommend considering what section works best in your schedule. For example, perhaps use your FYS section to make sure you have a relatively balanced distribution of courses across each day of the week (and not too many classes on one or two days) – it’s good to spread your work out. 
Also, remember that faculty from many different disciplines at the College teach FYS sections. You might want to try to pick a FYS faculty whose interests also interest you – e.g., if you enjoy literature, look to see which of the faculty teaching FYS that semester are literature faculty. However, keep in mind that you are very likely to be pleasantly surprised—and we want you to keep an open mind. Don’t close your mind to taking FYS sections with faculty whose interests are very different from your own; exposing yourself to new ideas and perspectives is what a liberal arts college education is all about!

Updated May 10, 2011