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 Parents: frequently asked questions

Parents often have these kinds of questions about college life. We hope the answers will assist you as you help your son or daughter prepare for success in college.

Academics & Advising

Who will teach my child?

Most professors will be both teachers and scholars. They will bring the latest research information into their classrooms using innovative teaching methods. They will also care about your child, offering ample opportunity for out-of-class meetings and discussion. Some will even become friends, mentors, and role models to your son or daughter. Unlike large universities, we do not rely on graduate students to teach many of the first- or second-year courses. Your child’s responsibility will be to actively seek guidance and advice from our faculty. They will be waiting.

Can my son/daughter get the personal attention necessary to succeed?

Students are assigned an academic advisor during summer orientation based on their college or major. Many faculty also advise students on an informal basis. Our Academic Advising Center and Academic Resource Center offer a host of academic and personal supports including professional and peer tutoring on a one-to-one and small-group basis.

What about selecting a major and choosing classes?

Many of our students enroll as undeclared in the arts and sciences, business, engineering, or studio arts and finalize their choice of major after the first year of college. Academic advisors and faculty help guide student decision-making.

Your son/daughter's academic advisor and the experts in Academic Advising help students select the majority of their courses. Students have the opportunity to modify their schedules during the add/drop period at the start of each semester. After the first semester, students continue to select classes with the assistance of faculty and staff advisors.

Does UMass Dartmouth have an Honors Program?

Our Honors Program is part of the state-wide Commonwealth Honors Scholars Program. It offers smaller classes, personalized advising, research opportunities with faculty, advance registration, merit scholarships, and other advantages for talented, motivated students (usually with at least a 3.30 high school GPA and a 1200+ combined critical reading and math SAT score on a 1600 scale). Students who graduate from the Honors Program receive special recognition on their transcripts, diplomas, the graduation program, and at Honors Convocation.

Opportunities & Success

What opportunities are available after classes?

There are many options for students. Our SAIL Office (Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership) offers activities seven days a week in conjunction with more than 110 student organizations. Students choose to participate in sports and the outdoors club, academic organizations, sororities and fraternities, art and performance groups, and media outlets on campus.

Our Unity House offers cultural activities that celebrate the diversity of our campus. UMass Dartmouth offers NCAA Division III, club, and intramural sports. Students learn about and practice leadership skills, via Student Government, student groups, peer- education, peer-advising, community service, and orientation and residential leadership positions. Residential students participate in activities specifically planned for them by the staff in the residence halls. Your son/daughter will stay busy and continue to learn and grow outside of the classroom.

How will UMass Dartmouth help my son/daughter get a job after graduating?

We encourage students to begin working with our Career Development Center early in their undergraduate careers. The center provides students and alumni a wide array of career and employment related services, including help with resumes, interview training, experiential learning, and other guidance to help students find success after college.

Affordability & Value

Is UMass Dartmouth affordable?

We believe we are an exceptional value, but realize that many of our students and their families need our help and support in financing a college education. Nearly 85% of our students qualify for need-based financial aid and many qualify for merit scholarships that are awarded without regard to financial need. We meet an average of 90% of students’ financial need, significantly above comparable New England institutions. Many students qualify for merit scholarships, which are awarded without regard to financial aid. We work personally with each student and family to find as much federal, state, institutional, and private fund aid as possible, including grants, loans, and college work study. We also offer a monthly payment plan that allows a budgeted approach to paying for college.

What about housing and dining options?

New students live together in single, double, triple, or quad rooms. Students indicate their housing preferences and are assigned on a first-come, first- served basis. Contracts are sent out in mid-May and assignments are made during the summer.

Students will be greeted by the UMass dining services with an abundance of menu and food options, with an emphasis on locally grown produce. The campus is located near many local farms and the dining services encompasses that asset into the dining plan. Residence hall and commuter students are encouraged to choose from several meal plan options to meet their specific needs. Many of the meal plans include complimentary guest passes for visitors and snack money to spend as the student chooses. Many choices are available to students.

Do students need their own computers? Is the campus wireless?

While most students bring a desktop or laptop computer to campus, we have several student computer labs in most academic buildings, including the library. Students in some programs will be strongly encouraged to have their own computer. The residence halls all have high speed internet connections in each room. UMass Dartmouth has launched a new technology initiative, becoming one of just a few campuses nationwide to deliver WI-MAX wireless broadband connectivity to our students both on campus and in the surrounding community.

Support & Safety

What if my son/daughter needs medical attention or personal counseling?

Campus Health Services is open M–F from 8:30am–5pm during the academic year. Our doctors and nurses evaluate and treat most problems that students have—sore throats, coughs, the flu, skin problems, orthopedic injuries—as well as personal wellness issues such as birth control, body image and stress-related concerns. Students with ailments that cannot be handled by the health office are referred to a nearby off-campus health provider.

The Counseling Center helps students with a variety of social and psychological concerns on both an appointment and emergency walk-in basis, with complete confidentiality.

What about campus safety? What protections are in place?

Ensuring your child’s safety is our top priority. Here’s how we do it:

Public Safety: Officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

SAGE: Student Alert Group Engagement (SAGE) identifies and helps students who may be experiencing serious academic, personal, or social difficulties.

myAlert is a voluntary emergency notification system using cell phones, text messages, email, and voice mail. Emergency messages can also be displayed on the UMass Dartmouth web site. Students must sign up for the emergency notification system by submitting their phone number or email address on the myAlert webpage.

Safe transportation for students: Our free transportation services are available throughout the campus starting early morning and continuing into the evening seven days a week. Safe free transportation is also available to local shopping venues and our CVPA satellite campus in New Bedford.

Residence hall/apartment building safety: Only students who live in a specific building are given swipe-card access (UMass Pass) into that building. All other students and guests must sign in with the desk attendants, who are on duty from 7pm to 3am every day. Guests must sign in with their host and carry a guest pass at all times. Resident Assistants (RAs) are on duty in each building on weeknights from 7pm to 7am the next morning and on the weekend from 7pm on Friday night to 7am on Monday morning. RAs make rounds throughout the night to ensure safety. Resident Directors (RDs) are on-call 24 hours a day to respond to any emergencies. Additionally, the Student Affairs deans are on-call each night to provide assistance as needed.