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Columbia Web Site Is a Helpful Tool for Incoming Students

By Kristin Sterling

Although the summer months find fewer people physically on Columbia's campus, tens of thousands visit Columbia "virtually" every week. According to a report from Reuters, for the week ending July 14 Columbia's Web site drew 191,000 visitors from their homes (off-campus), a 54 percent increase over the previous week, putting Columbia in the top five Universities with dramatic increases in off-campus traffic for this period.

Part of this increase may be attributed to incoming students searching Columbia's site for information they need before they arrive on campus. And there is a wealth of information available online to assist incoming students -- everything from academic advising to sheet sizes for dorm room beds.

For incoming students and their parents who may not have had a chance to see Columbia's campus, there is a Virtual Tour.

The Web sites of the individual schools, Columbia College, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), and General Studies, provide a wealth of information. In addition there are numerous resources for incoming students. A sampling includes:

Academic Life

  • The First Year/Sophomore Academic Advising Center (FYSAAC) supports students' academic needs during the first two years of their educational career. Assigned deans are familiar with the degree requirements of both the College and Engineering School. Advisors assist students in developing an academic plan based on expressed interests and goals, acquaint students with the core requirements of each school, clarify academic policies and procedures and assist students in discovering the array of resources available on campus.
  • Advising Resources @ Columbia offers a new multiple-source advising system for College and Engineering students. This system enables students to acquire several personal advisors along with supplementary advisors and helps students with academic programs, fellowships, study abroad, financial aid, health services, student activities, internships, career development and outreach programs. The new online system helps students connect to resources in a timely manner and locate advisors that meet individual needs.
  • The Center for Career Services site offers College, Engineering and General Studies students information on career search skills development, graduate program exploration, alumni networking resources and identification of employment opportunities. The Center also offers career counseling, job search programs and sponsors career fairs, industry networking forums and career panels.
  • Through its three offices Academic Services and Intercultural Resources (ASIR) assists students in bridging the perceived gap between their life experiences, the values of a diverse world and the world of ideas based on the curriculum. The Academic Success Programs, Scholars & Fellowships Office and the Intercultural Resource Center work collaboratively to ensure that students have opportunities to work closely with faculty, participate in programs to enrich their academic performance and take part in programs to foster intellectual and intercultural communication skills.
  • Academic bulletins provide a wide range of information, including school requirements, financial aid and fellowships. The Columbia College and General Studies Bulletins also offer information on the core curriculum, programs of study, special projects, University policies and more. Likewise, the SEAS Bulletin includes information on degree requirements, department and academic programming and study abroad.
  • The Student pages of the Columbia College, SEAS and General Studies Web sites provide information on topics such as: academics, academic services and intercultural resources, fellowships, financial aid and student development and activities.

Student Affairs/Services

  • The New Student Orientation Program site outlines important deadlines and announcements and includes a survival guide recommending items to take with you to campus and which to leave home. The site also provides answers to frequently asked questions (including sheet size). The Engineering Web site also provides information on orientation.
  • The Student Affairs Web site includes links to information on academic success programs, intercultural resource center, parent and family connection, pre-professional office, scholars program, study abroad, tutoring and more.
  • Student Services Online is a secure Web site that offers online access to a registered student's own personal records. Among the options, a student can register online, access up-to-date balance information on his or her student account and review his or her financial aid award letters and documents.
  • The Library Web is a gateway to the Libraries print and electronic collections and services. Columbia's collections and services are organized into 22 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia University Library system is the nation's eighth largest academic library system, with 7.5 million volumes, 84,000 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms and other non-print formats.
  • The Health Services Web site offers information on primary care and women's health, counseling and psychological services and eating disorders. It also includes a link to Go Ask Alice!, a health question and answer Internet service that answers general health questions as well as questions about relationships, sexuality, sexual health, emotional health, fitness, nutrition, alcohol, nicotine and other drugs.

Campus Life

  • The Student Development and Activities site offers information on the more than 150 student groups, ranging from social, religious, cultural and academic groups to athletic, political, literary, pre-professional, public-service and Greek groups, as well as leadership development and SDA programs.
  • The Campus Life of the Student Affairs Web site offers links to intellectual life, the neighborhood and the city. It includes a link to the Urban New York program which gives students an opportunity to experience the various cultural and entertaining aspects of New York City free of charge and to promote interaction among students, faculty and administrators outside of the classroom or office setting.
  • The Residence Life site provides information on special housing services and the Living and Learning Center. The First Year Housing Information site offers detailed information on the various dormitories, room assignments and dining services, as well as details on phone, cable and computing services.
  • There are numerous events occurring around campus at any given time. Columbia College , the Engineering School and General Studies offer online calendars that include information on events from Family Orientation to Washington D.C. College Day and the Great Teacher Awards Dinner. Likewise, the University calendar provides event listings on the arts, exhibits, talks, and special events throughout campus that are free or of nominal cost.
  • The Athletics Web site offers information on upcoming games, statistics on recent games and athletics news.

These are a mere sampling of the resources available through Columbia's Web site. The search option on the home page is an excellent tool to direct surfers to a particular topic of interest.

Published: Aug 26, 2002
Last modified: Oct 14, 2002

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