The College of Southern Maryland offers several orientation options for students. Each is outlined below.
New Student Orientation
The College of Southern Maryland offers new students a comprehensive orientation and registration opportunity. During New Student Orientation, students are given information about academic programs, campus resources and services, and college regulations. Orientation 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. Students can call to set up an individual appointment at the La Plata Campus at any time. Complete information on how to register is included in each student’s college admission acceptance letter or can be obtained from Advisement and Career Services on the La Plata Campus and the Student Services offices at one of our other campuses.
The Online Orientation allows students to learn about CSM at their own pace and at a time that is more convenient for them. The orientation 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 orientation. 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 click here.
College Success Skills (STU-1010)
One of the college’s courses, College Success Skills (STU 1010 ), is a three-credit orientation 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.
Students who are unable to attend any of the orientation programs provided by the college can get an overview of campus services and facilities by reading the Student Handbook. The handbook is available on literature racks on all campuses and online.
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 through the web site at www.csmd.edu and then click on my.CSMD.
Numerous support services are available to all students.Students who wish to receive help in any of the areas listed below should contact Advisement and Career Services at the La Plata Campus or the Student Services office at one of our other campuses.
- Academic concerns—course selection, help with a difficult course, or program planning
- Transfer to a four-year college
- Assessment of interests and skills
- Referral to community agencies or other off-campus resources to assist students in handling personal concerns—financial, family, health, or other problems that are affecting the student’s performance
- Career planning and decision making
While students may consult an advisor at any time, they are required to contact an advisor prior to registering for 18 credits and then again by 36 credits.
A variety of services are available to assist students and job seekers as they make career and employment decisions. Contact Advisement and Career Services on the La Plata Campus or the Student Services offices at the other campuses.
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 (www.csmd.edu/CareerServices). Career Services can assist in resumé preparation, interviewing, and identifying skills. In addition, the college holds an annual Tri-County Job Fair in the spring 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 at any campus or on the cooperative education link on the college web site at www.csmd.edu/forms/Coop/intake/.
- 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 co-op. 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 at the college’s web site at www.csmd.edu.
Cooperative education courses are usually numbered 1910, 1920, 2910, and 2920 in each discipline in which co-op is available. (Art co-op courses are numbered 1330 and 1340.) If a co-op course is not listed in a student’s program of study, the student should speak with the career services specialist.
CSM offers personal counseling services to all currently enrolled students struggling with the demands of juggling school, work, social, and family responsibilities, and daily stress. The approach is meant to be short-term and is solution-focused to find working answers to current issues. Arrangements can be made to meet the counselor on any CSM campus.
Tech Prep coordinates high school and college career programs, assuring that graduates acquire the technically oriented knowledge and skills required in today’s workplace. A high school student may select a 2+2 Tech Prep pathway that prescribes a coordinated sequence of academic and vocational courses beginning in the ninth grade and generally extending through community college graduation. Additional articulations with four-year colleges provide students with the opportunity to become part of a 2+2+2 program. These programs enable students to build on to the 2+2 high school and community college program and complete a bachelor’s degree in Southern Maryland. For more information, see the college’s web site at www.csmd.edu. Tech Prep credits only transfer to a four-year institution if they are a part of the 2+2 program.
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.
Early planning is essential to a smooth transition from the community college to the four-year college/university. Advisors are available to assist you with the transfer process using a variety of resources. STU-1090, Transfer Preparation, is a course that provides students with the information, resources, and tools necessary to plan a successful transition. Special emphasis is placed on developing an individual transfer plan.
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 in the state. This free service makes it possible for students to pursue research beyond the limits of any one library.
La Plata Campus Library (Dr. Elaine Ryan Library)
Librarians are available days and evenings 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, periodicals and indexes in print and electronic formats. Electronic information sources are available for students doing research in many subject areas. 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 paperback and recorded books, both fiction and nonfiction.
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.
Prince Frederick Campus Library
A library assistant is available to assist students in doing research and using the electronic information resources. Students can obtain copies of periodical articles on site; interlibrary loan service is also available. The staff can assist students in identifying and obtaining materials from other campus libraries.
Leonardtown Campus Library
Services are available during the hours when most students are on campus. Electronic information sources, media materials, and a reference/reserve collection are available for students doing research. Students can obtain copies of periodical articles on site; interlibrary loan service is also available. Students may request materials from other campus libraries.
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.
Southern Maryland Studies Center
The Southern Maryland Studies Center was established at the La Plata Campus Library in 1976 in order to provide a central location for research on this historically significant region. Students, historians, genealogists, and community members use the center’s resources to study the culture and development of Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s, and southern Prince George’s counties. The collection of printed materials includes books, unpublished documents, newspapers, photographs, slides, maps, and oral history tapes.
Student Success Services
The College of Southern Maryland’s Student Success Center provides a comprehensive system of student support services which includes peer and online tutoring, skills improvement software, testing, and services to 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. The Waldorf Center for Higher Education offers placement testing only. 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, SAT, LSAT, PRAXIS, GRE, TOEFL, Pearson Vue, and Certiport Testing. Dates for these tests can be found on the college’s web site .
Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction
Peer tutoring is available on all campuses. Tutor schedules are posted on the college’s web site by campus. Online tutoring and academic support 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 Nursing Students
The nursing programs’ outreach coordinator 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.
1-800-735-2258 or 711
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 developmental 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.
Developmental courses do not carry credit and may not be counted toward any degree or certificate program. However, since they have credit equivalency, developmental 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 web site at www.csmd.edu/Foundation/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 web site at www.csmd.edu/CLC.
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.