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First Semester Success

Thank you for completing your New Student Orientation.

Here are things you need to know to have a successful first semester at CCRI. Go through the slides at your own pace, and you can always come back and look at slides again if you have a question or need information.

Ten things to know for a successful first semester

  1. Assume everything will take more time than you think.
  2. Arrive at least 20 minutes early for class to find parking.
  3. Store personal items out of sight or in the trunk of your car.
  4. Don't leave your backpack, purse, laptop, phone or other valuables unattended.
  5. Don't open textbooks/supplies until instructor confirms they are correct.
  6. Make time for at least five hours of homework for each class each week.
  7. Have backup childcare and transportation, in case of an emergency.
  8. Study on campus if home is too distracting.
  9. Studying in 45-minute blocks, with 15-minute breaks in between (more effective than cramming).
  10. Turn off your cellphone in class.

« Previous Step: New Student Orientation
Next Step: New Student Registration »

Common questions in your first semester

Don't see your question? Contact us.

How do I pay for college?

When you are looking at how much college will cost, figure in your tuition, fees and books, but don't forget to add in your transportation, living and other costs. Visit the CCRI Bursar's Office to find out more about tuition, fees, special payment programs and deadlines for payment.

Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) right away. Many grant, scholarship and work-study programs use the FAFSA to determine eligibility. There is also a list of scholarships and programs on our Foundation website: URL.

You are responsible for paying for classes, fees and books, so help yourself as much as possible by applying for financial aid as soon as possible. If you have questions, or need help completing financial aid forms, contact the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center (RIEOC): URL.

What should I study?

You might want a degree to get a better job or a head start on a four-year program. But you might not know what you want that job or program to be. That's OK! CCRI is the perfect place to start. You can check out all the programs we have to offer online.

Our Career Planning and Advising and Counseling teams can help you plan for the future, whether or not you know what field you hope to enter. Contact both at least twice during your first semester to discuss career options, make a plan to fulfill your goals, and keep on track.

How many classes should I take?

When you meet with an advisor, make sure you discuss how much time you can devote to your studies, and how quickly you want to obtain your degree or certificate. If you want to complete a certificate program in one year, or degree in two, you will likely need to take 15 credits per semester. You can also take classes during summer sessions to stay on track, if you can't take 15 credits during the regular semester.

The cost of college is more than just tuition, and the time it takes is more than just class time. Homework and travelling to and from school take up a lot of time. Teachers will expect you to complete work outside of class, so make time for about five hours of homework per class each week.

How do I register for classes?

Set up your MyCCRI account as soon as possible. MyCCRI is where you add or drop classes, pay your bill, view your schedule and receive email from CCRI and your instructors. Make sure to check your MyCCRI account every day – before, during and after the semester – so you don't miss important information.

You also use your MyCCRI login to access Blackboard, Office 365 and campus printers – all resources you will need throughout the semester.

What if I'm struggling in a class?

Everyone has problems keeping up in class sometimes. Asking for help as soon as possible is the key to success. We have tutors available for many subjects, and you can always ask for help from your instructor whenever you have questions or problems. Everyone at CCRI wants you to succeed, and we are here to help. To schedule a tutoring session, visit TutorTrac.

If you are having problems with more than just a class, please visit Advising and Counseling right away. Advisors can help you with academic and personal counseling, and explore ways you can stay in school despite outside challenges you might be facing. Find Advising and Counseling on your campus.

What if I don't use a computer?

Instructors will expect you to use a computer to check email and submit assignments, but if you have limited or no computer experience, we have introductory computer classes. Make an appointment with Advising and Counseling, and let your advisor know you need introductory computer classes as soon as possible.

What about safety on campus?

Be aware of your surroundings when walking in campus parking lots and buildings. Look around and put your phone away while you're walking. If you need an escort in the building or to your car, or feel unsafe in any way, don't hesitate to contact the College Police office on your campus.

Sexual assault, harassment, stalking and domestic and dating violence are all crimes under state and federal law, and are "no tolerance" offenses at CCRI. If you experience any of these crimes, contact College Police immediately. You are not alone, and you do not have to make decisions alone. We can help you plan your personal response and investigate the complaint. We can also provide immediate transport to a medical facility, assistance and support in filing a criminal complaint, and referrals to outside agencies that can help. For more information, contact Advising and Counseling.

How can I get involved at CCRI?

So many people call CCRI home – students, faculty and staff – each with different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, ages, orientation and values. Whether you are still in high school or have been away from the classroom for many years, you will not feel alone at CCRI.

You will also gain new perspectives from students with different life experience. CCRI is committed to respectful dialogue fostering a diverse and inclusive community, sharing different perspectives, promoting understanding and education and respecting the dignity and worth of each human being.

Athletics, student government, clubs and volunteering are great ways to get involved in the CCRI community, and connect with other students. 

This page developed and maintained by the Office of Student Affairs. Send comments and suggestions to wjparr@ccri.edu .

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Last Updated: 7/26/17