2026 Families: Academics at Bates

This Sept. 15, 2022, webinar for new Bates families included panelists from the following campus departments:

First-Year Experience and Dean of Faculty’s Office
Accessible Education
Academic Resource Commons (ARC)
Mathematics and Statistics Workshop (MSW)
Writing and Language Center
Library and Information Services

This webinar is password protected, and the password was sent to all incoming families whether they registered for the webinar or not. 

To request that we resend the password, please email parents@bates.edu.

Does a student have to be approved for the major they select, or is there an unlimited number of students who could choose a certain major?

There is no cap on any major, meaning that we don’t limit any major field of study to a particular number of students. Students are limited to a maximum of 2 majors (they can only declare up to 2 majors). All students must complete a “Major + 1” as part of their general education requirements; the +1 can be either a second major, or a minor, or a 4-course “general education concentration.”

Where can we find class requirements?

You can find them here: https://www.bates.edu/first-year-experience/academic-requirements/

Do you have advice for a student who did not get into a particular intro class this semester (even during add/drop) and really wants to take it next semester? 

Many introductory level courses (100-level) are offered either every semester or every year. As such, students will have multiple opportunities to take it if they didn’t get into a section this first Fall semester. Course registration for Winter 2023 will take place in early November. Registration is not first-come, first serve, so students will have a multi-day period to select their options. If they don’t get into a course during the first round, they can add it during the week that follows registration. Seats are kept empty to ensure that students have access during this second round.

Then there is the add/drop period during the first 2 weeks of the Winter semester in January. Encourage your student to utilize this process and to partner with their academic advisor/FYS instructor for additional assistance with course registration.

If a student wants to drop and add a class, whom should they contact?

Add/drop is controlled by the student through the last day to add a course, which is Tuesday, September 20 for the Fall 2022 semester. Given that [this webinar is taking place] near the end of the second week of courses, adding a course at this point requires permission of the instructor, so the student should reach out to the professor directly. The last day to drop a class is October 28. All of these dates are on the Important Dates and Deadlines Calendar at the Student Advising Portal.

Thanks for sharing that spots have been made available this fall to meet the need for Chem 107. Is it possible this course might be offered in the spring, given how many fields of study list it as a prerequisite?

Chem 107 is currently only offered in the Fall so that Chem 108 can be offered in the Winter semester. This also enables the follow-up class, Organic Chemistry, to be offered on a consistent and annual basis. 

The Chemistry faculty are looking into two options at the moment for future years: 1) offering Chem 107 each semester and 2) offering a different introductory chemistry course other than Chem 107 for students interested in Earth and Climate Sciences and for students interested in Environmental Studies. 

For students who are interested in global education, studying abroad, and global community-engaged learning opportunities, how might they be able to find out more and prepare?

They should reach out to the Center for Global Education. More information is available at the Student Advising Portal, and their Academic Advisor can also connect them to the Center.

Is there a place where students can be on a Zoom call that is not their rooms? Is there a media center to make a video?

We have several rooms in Ladd Library that students can use for a Zoom call. We do have the Digital Media Studio in Pettigrew Hall where students can check out equipment, edit videos, create podcasts and more. It is an absolutely fabulous space, and there are two staff members who can also help them.

How are peer support advisors selected? Do they receive mentorship training?

Peer tutors are selected in several ways. Some are nominated by faculty, and others simply apply based on their own interests and experiences. Any students who apply or are nominated go through an interview process with one of the professional staff. Many writing tutors take a course to learn how to tutor in writing; all other peer tutors receive several hours of on-the-job training, some before the semester begins and more throughout the semester. They are also mentored by us and their fellow peer tutors, some of whom have been with us for several years.

If a student finds a tutor they work well with, will they be able to arrange to continue working with that same tutor?

Yes. Our drop-in tutors have a regular schedule of shifts, meaning each works the same hours on the same days of the week. So, if a student likes a particular tutor, they can refer to our schedule to see when the tutor works. Those who have a CAT (course-attached tutor) embedded in their class would certainly work with the same CAT all term.

What are the requirements for a student to become a language tutor?

Students interested in becoming language tutors apply for the job with a cover letter, a writing sample from a class they’ve taken at Bates in the language they wish to tutor, and a language faculty recommendation. Then we interview and train them in best practices in tutoring their peers. Students who are peer tutors in the languages are typically language-learners themselves, majors or minors in the language.