Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR)
The College of Southern Maryland offers several orientation options for students. Each is outlined below.
New Student SOAR
The College of Southern Maryland offers new students a comprehensive student orientation, advising and registration opportunity. During the SOAR session, students are given information about academic programs, campus resources and services, and college regulations. SOAR sessions also allow students to meet with an academic advisor and register early for classes. Sessions are offered May through July for the fall semester and November through January for the spring semester. Complete information on how to register is included in each student’s college admission acceptance or can be found at www.csmd.edu/Admissions.
The Online SOAR allows students to learn about CSM at their own pace and at a time that is more convenient for them. The online SOAR provides an in-depth overview of college policies and procedures, registration, and student resources. The college Admission Application must be submitted, placement tests completed, and prior credit evaluated before accessing the online SOAR. Please visit www.csmd.edu/Admissions for more information.
Kickoff to College
Kickoff to College prepares students to have a winning academic season at CSM. New students have the opportunity to participate in interactive learning activities, tour the campus, meet the college faculty and staff, and win prizes. Kickoff is offered in August at all of our campuses. For more information, visit www.csmd.edu/kickoff.
First Year Experience
The First-Year Experience is academic and student success programming designed to help students transition into college and to challenge students to meet academic and personal goals. Whether a student is working toward a two year degree to transfer to a four year institution, working toward a credential to enter the workforce, or pursuing academic enrichment, the first year is a critical time to connect and engage with other students and faculty. For more information, visit www.csmd.edu/fye.
First Year Seminar (FYS-1010 or FYS-1010T)
A college course to connect students with academic and social resources for success, strengthen critical thinking skills, build student and faculty connections through shared learning experiences, expose students to our diverse campus community, connect students with an academic advisor, and engage students in considering a career focus and transfer opportunities.
College Success Skills (STU-1010)
One of the college’s courses, College Success Skills (STU 1010 ), is a three-credit success course that offers the student a semester-long orientation to the college. Please refer to the Course Descriptions section of this catalog for a description of this course.
CSM Mobile App
Make life as a student easier with the College of Southern Maryland Mobile App, available for Android and iOS. With the app, students can access everything about CSM, from news and events to maps of the campuses. Students can get walking directions to buildings and organize class schedules, add to-do lists, and more. Students can also chat with fellow students, share events, manage classes, and find out more about clubs and organizations. Find the app on iTunes or in the Google Play store today.
The college’s Online Services, through my.CSMD, provides students with a convenient method to register for classes and access information about their student bills, financial assistance, schedule of classes, and other student services. Online Services can be accessed at my.CSMD.edu.
Maintaining contact with a CSM academic advisor will ensure you are meeting your program requirements and accomplishing your personal goals. CSM advisors can assist with:
- Program Selection
- Course Selection
- Transfer Information
- Graduation Requirements
- Questions about Classes, Instructors, Grades, and More
Students are required to consult with an advisor prior to registering for 18 credits and then again by 36 credits. Until meeting with an advisor you will be unable to use online services to register for classes. If you are in this situation, at the time of registration you will receive an error message that it is time for your program review. Students can consult with an academic advisor by making an appointment or walking in during open hours at any location. Go to www.csmd.edu/academicadvising for additional resources or for advising hours of operation.
A variety of services are available to assist students and job seekers as they make career and employment decisions. Learn more at www.csmd.edu/careerservices.
Career Planning and Decision Making
Career satisfaction is directly related to how well students can define themselves and match their careers to their own interests, values, and skill sets. Advisors work with students one-on-one, using a variety of self-assessment tools. For more in-depth research, the college offers a three-credit course, Career Decision Making and Life Planning (STU 1050 ). A computerized guidance program helps develop structured career decision-making skills and a reference library is available for researching specific occupations.
Job Search Assistance
Job Connection is a quick and easy way to connect to current local or regional job openings. It’s free for students, alumni, and community members. Career Services can assist in resumé preparation, interviewing, and identifying skills. In addition, each spring the college hosts the Tri-County Job and Career Fair on the La Plata Campus.
Cooperative education (co-op) is an academic course that allows the student to combine classroom theory with supervised work experience in a professional environment. This experience can be full-time or part-time in a paid or non-paid format. Co-op sites include public and private sector employers as well as government agencies. Students are required to work 225 hours for each three-credit co-op course. The co-op opportunity is available for students who are already employed in their field of study as well as those seeking entry into employment in their program of study:
- Students already employed in their field of study should provide a current position description and submit a complete intake form to Career Services at least four weeks prior to the start of the semester. This form is available on the website at www.csmd.edu/careerservices.
- Students who are not currently employed in their field of study are advised to complete the co-op intake form and contact Career Services at least eight weeks prior to the semester they wish to enroll. Career Services advisors assist students with resume construction and job search information. Students may use that assistance as they locate a site for their co-op experience.
Students planning to transfer to another college should contact that institution to assure transferability of credits for co-op courses. Additional information, specific to each co-op course, is available on the web at www.csmd.edu/cooperative.
Career & Technology Education
The Career & Technology Education program (formerly Tech Prep) allows students to earn college credits through a sequence of academic and technical coursework while still enrolled in high school. Students successfully completing a Career & Technology Education (CTE) program in High School may receive articulated credits which are applicable to designated letters of recognition, certificates and associate of applied science degrees in a career field at CSM at no cost! For more information, see the college’s website at www.csmd.edu/cte.
Transfer Services offers many activities, services, and resources specifically designed to increase awareness among all students, and to inform transfer-bound students about their options. Visit us on the web at www.csmd.edu/transferservices.
Transfer Success Academy
Early planning is essential to a smooth transition from the community college to the four-year college/university. The Transfer Success Academy’s goal is to engage students to develop an academic transfer plan that leads to graduation and a seamless transfer. The Academy consists of three advisory sessions: Transfer Essentials, Getting Interactive and a free trip to Maryland’s flagship university, the University of Maryland College Park.
The Transfer Library maintains college catalogs from nationwide accredited institutions, course articulation agreements with four-year colleges, numerous transfer handbooks, and videotapes.
Several transfer-related workshops are offered throughout the year to assist and inform students about transfer issues and application procedures. Representatives from four-year institutions and college staff conduct presentations on selected topics critical to the transfer process regularly, during both day and evening hours. Topics include Essay/Scholarship Writing For Transfer Students, Transfer Tips For Business Majors, and Transferring to an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).
Representatives from four-year colleges and universities visit CSM regularly to advise students individually and provide information pertaining to transfer eligibility, program requirements, admissions policies, and financial aid. In addition, Transfer Services offers a Transfer Fair each September and February. A Transfer Fair gives students an opportunity to meet with representatives from other colleges on campus.
Tours to local four-year universities provide exposure and information exchange. These university campus visits help each student in selecting a campus that is appropriate to his/her individual needs. Students are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the campus through an orientation session, a walking tour, and “free time” where they explore their own interests. Transportation is provided free of charge. Reservations are made by calling the advising office.
The College of Southern Maryland operates libraries at the La Plata, Leonardtown, and Prince Frederick campuses. These libraries provide services, resources, and facilities that support the academic, vocational, and enrichment programs of the college. Many of the resources are also available through the Internet. Through the library’s participation in the Maryland Community College Library Consortium and the Maryland Interlibrary Loan Organization, students may borrow materials from most academic and public libraries. This free service makes it possible for students to pursue research beyond the limits of any one library.Librarians and/or library assistants are available to assist students in seeking information, locating materials, using library resources, and doing research. Students are encouraged to ask for individual assistance at any time. The Library collections include books, reference materials, course reserves, periodicals and indexes in print and electronic formats. Electronic information sources are available for students doing research in many subject areas. Students enrolled in credit courses have remote access to certain journal databases. Multimedia and audiovisual materials are available in the library. Computers are available to access library resources, the Internet, and course-related software. There are also collections of paperbacks, music CD’s and audio books. Students may check out library circulating materials and use course reserve materials by presenting their college identification cards. Community members may borrow library materials by registering at the library with their public library card.The staff can assist students in identifying and obtaining materials from other campus libraries. Student ID cards are available in the libraries for currently registered students with proper ID.
Waldorf Center for Higher Education Library Services
Library services for alliance students are available from both the University of Maryland University College and the CSM libraries. Access to electronic databases is available in the Waldorf Center for Higher Education computer labs. Students can borrow books from the University System of Maryland libraries; they can request reference assistance via e-mail and by phone. Students who want personal assistance may visit the CSM libraries at the three campuses. Most materials from the campus libraries can be sent to the Waldorf Center main office for pick-up by CSM students.
Southern Maryland Studies Center
Southern Maryland Studies in the Learning Resource Center (LR Building) was established at CSM in 1976 to provide a central location for research on this historically significant region. Students, historians, genealogists, and community members use the center resources to study the culture and development of Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s, and southern Prince George’s counties. The archival collections include rare books, unpublished documents, newspapers, photographs, slides, maps, and oral history tapes.
Student Success Services
The College of Southern Maryland’s Student Success Center provides comprehensive academic and disability support services for students. Services include peer and online tutoring, skills improvement software, testing, and reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information, visit the Student Success Center at the La Plata Campus or contact the Student Services director at the Leonardtown or Prince Frederick campus.
Testing is available at all three campuses. Entry-level assessment of basic skills is provided through the college’s placement program. (See also Placement Procedures.) Students may earn credit through DSST (formerly DANTES), CLEP, and departmental examinations. (See also Credit for Prior Learning.) The La Plata Campus Testing Center offers ACT and SAT. All three testing centers offer Pearson Vue testing, which includes GED testing.
Peer tutoring is available on all campuses. Tutor schedules are posted on the college’s web site by campus. Online tutoring is also available for a large number of (core) courses including, but not limited to, math, English, accounting, economics, chemistry, and statistics. Tutoring services are free of charge to enrolled CSM students.
Support Services for Pre-Clinical Nursing Students
The Nursing Programs’ Outreach Advisor assists preclinical nursing students in identifying and accessing services necessary to support student success.
Services for Students with Disabilities
The College of Southern Maryland recognizes that qualified individuals with disabilities may need accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in and benefit from the college’s programs, services, and activities.
Each campus has a Disabilities Support Services office that is responsible for verifying disabilities, evaluating documentation, and recommending reasonable accommodations and services for students with a disability.
The student is responsible for making timely requests for accommodations to meet his or her particular need. Requests for accommodations/services must be made at least six (6) weeks before the date that the services/accommodations will be needed. Requests made less than six (6) weeks before will be addressed in the order in which they were received. Students can access services by filling out the appropriate form and contacting the Disabilities Support Services Office at the nearest campus. Request for services/accommodations is voluntary and must be made each semester the student is enrolled and seeking services.
Maryland Relay: 1-800-735-2258 or 711
Veteran and Military Support Services
At the College of Southern Maryland, we take pride in partnering with veterans and military-dependent students to make sure you get the most of the veterans benefits available to you. The commitment is so important to us that we have been identified as a veteran- and military-friendly institution. We have Veterans Affairs Coordinators on all three campuses and a Student Veterans Lounge on the La Plata Campus.
If you’re a veteran and are curious about what benefits are available to you or how to apply for them, visit csmd.edu/veterans.
Some students who come to college have been out of school for a few years, are changing life or career goals, have not taken college preparatory courses, have not performed as well in high school as they would have liked, or for personal reasons wish to improve basic skills. Recognizing this, the college offers these students College preparatory courses in English, mathematics, reading and study skills so that they may improve skills without having to delay attending college.
Placement tests are available to assist students in determining skill strengths and weaknesses. Advisors, faculty, and Student Success Center staff are available to help students determine the specific skill-building courses they need. In some cases, students are limited in the number of courses they may attempt and need to complete the appropriate skill-building courses before being admitted to a degree or certificate program. In others, students may take some college-level courses concurrently with skill-building courses. College preparatory courses do not carry credit and may not be counted toward any degree or certificate program. However, since they have credit equivalency, College preparatory courses do count toward eligibility for student financial assistance and intercollegiate athletics.
CSM Alumni Association
The CSM Alumni Association promotes the welfare of CSM through the support of its alumni members. The association enables alumni to network, keep in touch with friends, attend special alumni and college events, and stay informed with the recent accomplishments of CSM’s students and programs. The goal of the Alumni Association is to provide a wide range of educational, social, and volunteer programs at CSM. Opportunities are designed to promote lifelong learning and networking for alumni. Membership in the Alumni Association is open to all students with 25 or more credits from CSM, or to those who have received a degree or certificate from CSM.
To find out more about the CSM Alumni Association or to join, call 301-934-7604, or check out the college’s website at foundation.csmd.edu/alumni.
St. Charles Children’s Learning Center
The St. Charles Children’s Learning Center at the College of Southern Maryland is a state-of-the-art, 10,000-square-foot child care facility on the La Plata Campus. The center provides high-quality care to children eight weeks old through 12 years old, and serves students, faculty, staff, and the general public. The center’s programs emphasize positive growth and development of the whole child through a child-centered developmentally appropriate curriculum. Programs include an Infants and Toddlers program, serving children eight weeks to 24 months old, a Two-Year-Old program, and a Preschool program, serving children ages three to five years old. The center also offers a Before- and After-School Care program for children ages five through 12, as well as a Summer Day Camps program.
Eligibility priorities: The first 25 percent of available spaces are reserved for CSM students. (Students must be enrolled in no less than six credit hours.) The remaining 75 percent are available for CSM faculty, staff, and community members.
For more information, call 301-934-7871 or visit the website at clc.csmd.edu.
CSM boasts a College Store on each of the three campuses with locations in the La Plata Campus BK Building, the Prince Frederick Campus Flagship Building, and the Leonardtown Campus B Building. Whether students are looking for CSM apparel, textbooks, or school supplies, the CSM College Store has it all. Textbook selections include new, used, rental, and digital textbooks, as well as an assortment of general interest books, course-related supplies, computers, educationally priced software, and a variety of other merchandise to meet the needs of the campus community. Stop in and visit one of the three College Store locations where dedicated staff are always ready to be of assistance. For additional convenience, students can make purchases online at www.CSMCollegeStore.com and get pertinent information on store hours, refund policy, book buyback, and much more.
Campus dining is available at the Prince Frederick and La Plata campuses. On the La Plata Campus, students can find several food options at the CSM Café or through an extensive vending program. The CSM Café, located in the Center for Business and Industry (BI Building), offers hot entrees, daily breakfast and lunch specials, grilled sandwiches, pizza, salads, grab-and-go items, and snacks.
A small cafe is operated at the Prince Frederick Campus in Building A in the Student Lounge. It offers a variety of grab-and-go items, as well as coffee, cold beverages, and snacks to students hoping to grab a bite to eat on their way to or from class. Hours vary by campus. The food café is located at the Prince Frederick Campus in the Flagship Building, near the CSM College Store, Room 121. Catering services are available at all the campuses for college events. Catering includes a choice of delivery or pick-up service. Snacks and cold beverages are sold in vending machines throughout most buildings, as well as, the CSM College Stores at the La Plata, Leonardtown, and Prince Frederick campuses. Questions about vending should be directed to the College Store on the campus.
The college provides a housing referral service for students who are looking for housing in the tri-county area. Housing information notebooks, which list possible rental opportunities in the tri-county area, are available in the Student Life and Athletics Department at the La Plata Campus and in the main offices of the Prince Frederick and Leonardtown campuses. Apartment owners or those who wish to share an apartment or house may leave their name and telephone number with the Student Life and Athletics Department for listing in these notebooks. This is an information service only; all rental arrangements must be made by individuals on their own. Rental information can also be found in local newspapers and on campus bulletin boards. Bulletin board notices must be signed and dated by the college before they are posted. Copies of the local newspapers are available in the college library or in local public libraries.
College can be a time of stress and difficulty. Trying to deal with school, work, social, and family responsibilities all at the same time can be overwhelming. CSM offers counseling services to all currently enrolled students at all three of our campus locations. CSM has two licensed mental health clinicians who serve our student population. Counseling Services is part of the Office of Student Affairs. On the La Plata campus the counseling office is located in the Administration Building (AD), AD205. On the Prince Frederick campus, it is located in Building B, PFB 109B and on the Leonardtown campus in Building A, A204E. The counseling approach is from a wellness/wholeness perspective and is short-term (up to eight sessions per semester). For further questions or to make an appointment, contact CSM Counseling Services at the following campuses: La Plata, 301-934-7577; Leonardtown, 240-725-5328; and Prince Frederick, 443-550-6169.
Student Health and Wellness
The Student Health and Wellness Coordinator is responsible for providing health education and health-related resources, programs and information on personal wellness including anti-violence education, alcohol and other drug abuse and prevention, nutrition, and finances. This resource is for students enrolled in credit and credit free courses and the community. The coordinator will also use data to prioritize/plan health education and promotion activities; advocate for policy, procedural, and environmental changes that support the health and well-being of the campus community; and work with community partners on matters related to student health and wellness.
There are three options available to students who do not have a car and need transportation to a college campus:
- For those interested in a ride-share service who need a ride to class or are willing to drive other students to campus, please contact the Student Life office. A bulletin board posting can be done for exchange of information between drivers and riders who live in the same area.
- The local governments offer transportation to the La Plata, Prince Frederick, and Leonardtown campuses for students in need of transportation assistance. There is a small fare for the service.
- The Regional Ride share of Southern Maryland assists tri-county area residents and commuters in organizing carpools. The Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland provides a free computerized matchlist to applicants as well as transportation information, schedules, rates, and services for Southern Maryland.
Fitness and Aquatic Centers
CSM encourages both its students and employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Wellness and fitness activities are available at the La Plata, Leonardtown, and Prince Frederick campuses to assist individuals in making decisions relative to reaching and maintaining optimal levels of health and well being. CSM offers fitness exercise classes and labs, pool memberships, private swim lessons, personal training sessions, GroupEx Passport classes, and punch passes. Learning seminars, health screenings, fitness assessments, and a variety of health-related events are also offered.
All three campuses have fitness centers that house circuit training equipment, free weights, exercise bikes, treadmills, and a variety of strength training equipment.
The aquatic centers on the La Plata and Leonardtown campuses provide group aquatic classes, American Red Cross swim classes for youth of all ages and adults, aquatic reconditioning and strengthening classes, aquatic certifications, open swim hours, and a variety of swimming options. The La Plata campus offers a 25-yard lap pool, and the Leonardtown campus has two swimming pools. The first pool is a six-lane lap pool and the second pool is a therapy pool.
Credit students enrolled with a minimum of three (3) credit hours or continuing education students enrolled in a minimum of 45 hours of instruction, are welcome to take advantage of open hours in CSM’s fitness and aquatic centers. Students not meeting the course-hour requirements can get fit by purchasing our GroupEx Passport or the punch pass option.
For more information, visit www.csmd.edu/go/fit.