UMSL student Nicole Vickers

Senior and campus tour guide Nicole Vickers says UMSL’s extended office hours allow busy students like her to start the semester strong. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Senior psychology major Nicole Vickers enjoys this time of year at the University of Missouri–St. Louis – the palpable excitement of new faces, new classes and lots to do. Working as a tour guide on campus, she also realizes that it can all be a little overwhelming to navigate.

From getting registered for courses and purchasing textbooks to finalizing financial aid, access to academic advisers and other services is crucial as the semester kicks off. That’s why many offices, including the Welcome Center where Vickers is based, are expanding their operating hours the next few weeks to make those tasks more manageable.

“Especially for students that commute or work or have kids, it’s kind of tough trying to get all that done by the end of the day,” Vickers said. “Having these places open later can make a big difference.”

Meeting with advisers and taking care of other academic business in a timely manner will be simpler, with services available into the evening and in some cases on the weekend. The expanded operating schedule – in place from Aug. 11 to Sept. 1 – is available here.

The idea is to provide busy UMSL students with more options, recognizing that many of them are tied up during normal business hours, said Alan Byrd, dean of enrollment services.

“We want to avoid students having to scramble to make changes to their class schedules, purchase textbooks or get a parking pass after classes have begun,” Byrd said. “It is our goal to make their transition back to school as convenient as possible.”

Vickers and several fellow students agreed that the expanded schedule is a smart move.

“It’s more flexible, and students don’t have to stress about trying to get up here before five,” said UMSL junior Michelle Gleich, one of the student orientation leaders that have helped make this summer’s new- and transfer-student orientation events a success.

Megan Green, who directs the Office of New Student Programs, said the longer hours are one key aspect of a larger effort focused on getting students off to a strong start as the semester gets under way.

“Research shows that the first six weeks are truly the most critical to student success,” Green said.

The extended office hours and related resources and events are part of UMSL’s Weeks of Welcome initiative, aimed at bringing the community together to welcome new and returning students and orient them to UMSL life.

Upcoming highlights include the Triton Take-Off weekend, volunteer-powered Help-A-Triton welcome stations around campus during the first two days of the semester and a wide variety of events.

The first step for admitted undergraduate students who have not yet enrolled is setting up an appointment with an academic adviser – who can help students register for classes. Those contact numbers are:

Arts & Sciences: 314-516-5501
Fine Arts & Communication: 314-516-5501
Business: 314-516-5888
Education: 314-516-5937
Honors College: 314-516-5243
Nursing: 314-516-6066
Social Work: 314-516-6385
Engineering: 314-516-6800

The UMSL Experience

Evie Hemphill

Evie Hemphill

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Triton Leaders Allison Lendman, Ashley Schauwecker and Cole McWilliams take a seat in the newly wrapped, UMSL-branded red golf cart outside the Millennium Student Center.