Tips for iSchool Success from New Student Orientation

iStudent Blog

Published: January 22, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

Can you believe the new semester begins on January 24th? On January 14th, over 80 students gathered to participate in a New Student Orientation and prepare for the start of classes. A full scope of material was presented, which was helpful for incoming students as well as for all of us students continuing our program. Here I share some highlights I gleaned from the orientation that I hope will be useful to you!

Presenters included iSchool Director Dr. Sandra Hirsh and Associate Director Dr. Linda Main. They were joined by Debbie Faires, director of online learning, as well as Gina Lee and Sheila Gurtu of iSchool Student Services Team. I spoke briefly at the end, and had a wonderful time meeting new students.

Dr. Hirsh went over key aspects of the iSchool such as the five degree programs and two certificate programs, all available 100% online. She also reminded students in the Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program to consider the 15 core competencies as they move through the program. Each student completing their MLIS will complete a culminating experience class, where convincing evidence such as class projects and papers will be presented to demonstrate how they have fulfilled each competency.

Dr. Hirsh shared invaluable insight during the orientation to help new and continuing students be as successful as possible during their time in the program. She encouraged students to do an internship, and take advantage of leadership opportunities such as joining a student chapter of one of the many professional associations here at the iSchool.

Dr. Main also had important content to share during the orientation, including the SJSU iSchool Curriculum Center where she posts updated class schedules and other helpful information about registration. I spent a lot of time on this blog the beginning of my first semester, so I encourage each of you to check it out!  

Debbie Faires spoke about important aspects to iSchool success specifically in regards to technological literacy. She encouraged students to pay special attention to the technology requirements students are expected to meet before they entered the program. Faires also gave a tour of the newly minted iSchool website, which includes exciting new navigation tools such as the hamburger menu.

Sheila Gurtu brought students’ attention to the robust New Student Checklist. This important tool includes everything students need to know before the program begins, and subsequent weeks after! Other important resources were described, such as the Advising Toolkit, how to register for classes, and finally how to contact them through the student services help forum! Gurtu advised students to keep their checklists close, and click on the picture puppy if they ran into a question they could not locate the answer to.

I closed the orientation with briefly with mentioning highlights of my first year in the iSchool. I joined VCARA, attended a wonderful event at the San Diego Zoo Global Library and Archives hosted by Society of American Archives Student Chapter and particularly enjoyed one of my summer classes, Community Partnerships.

The start to our upcoming semester can seem overwhelming, but rest assured that with these tools crafted by our wonderful faculty and staff, you are well on your way to a successful experience at the iSchool! Please see below for other posts on the blog about starting the semester strong.


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