Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't "Paws" Too Long: Carolina's Enrollment Deadline is Tomorrow!

It's been a crazy few weeks here on campus.

From President Obama's visit to final exams to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, there's been a lot of activity at Carolina lately.

Amidst all the hustle and bustle, it's been tough to find a few moments of calm. More than once, I've found myself feeling like this:


This is Whiskey. She's a therapy dog, part of a team that comes to campus during exam week to provide stress relief for students, faculty, and staff. Whiskey and her fellow therapy dogs work with patients at the NC Children's Hospital, assisted living homes, and other area medical centers to provide calming care to aid in the healing process. Whiskey, Mazie, and Teddy spent last Thursday in the Park Library of the J-School, ready and eager to give tail wags and puppy kisses in return for belly rubs and  treats - and, of course, lots of pictures. Silvia, Whiskey's mom/handler, told us that in the beginning, Whiskey was a jumper - very eager, very smart, but not so refined. Now, Whiskey knows that the day after she gets her bath, it's time to go to work. When the bandanas come out, it's game on.

Whiskey has some choices to make, too.
As we make this final push towards tomorrow's enrollment deadline for our admitted first-year students (admitted transfers, you still have until May 16), we know that this is a crazy time of year for you, too. Some of you have already decided upon your plans for the fall and are now sifting through mountains of information about housing, orientation, and thinking about what you'll study next year. But some of you are still in the throes of making a very big decision: which school will be the best fit for you? Which school will enable you to grow as a scholar AND as a person? Which school has the opportunities for research, study abroad, internships, public serviceacademics and connections with great students that are most important to you?

Sometimes advice can be heavy-handed.
Lots of people are offering you advice and guidance - some of it welcome, some of it subtle, some of it...less so. It seems everyone has an opinion and sorting through all your options can be pretty overwhelming.

After learning about the amazing things you've already accomplished from reading your applications, we are so excited about the possibility of you joining our community and making an impact here at Carolina. But our hopes and dreams are secondary to yours: in the end, this is YOUR decision. 
 YOU are the one who's going to college and YOU are the one who will be living on campus, taking classes, and deciding how to spend your time. And in the end, what's important is that you choose the school that enables you to grow, learn, and become the person you want - and deserve - to be.

Whiskey's found her happy place - now it's your turn to find yours.

If you have any questions or concerns about enrolling at Carolina, please continue to reach out to us and let us know - we're here by phone (919.966.3621) and email ( We hope to see you on campus in the fall!

Admitted transfer students: Ease your stress by remembering to RSVP for the Academic Advising Program’s transfer student welcome reception on Friday, May 4 from 4:30-6:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to meet professors, current students, and your new classmates in an informal setting. You will get to hear from current transfer students and enjoy light refreshments overlooking Kenan Football Stadium. Friends and family members are welcome to attend with you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Day in the Life at Carolina: Introducing the President

Domonique introducing President Obama to a crowd of 8,000 
Today we share the story of our own Domonique Garland, a senior at Carolina and a leader within the Admissions Ambassador program for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions:

On Thursday, April 19, I received a call from the Chancellor’s Office asking if I would be interested in introducing the President of the United States during his visit to campus the next week. Of course, I had to say yes while silently screaming and jumping up and down in my apartment. The Office told me that I would meet with them the next day and they would collect information so that President Obama’s administration could decide who they actually wanted for the introduction. On Sunday, April 22, I received a call from the White House saying that I was chosen to give the introduction for President Obama. I literally ran into every room in my apartment jumping, screaming, dancing, flipping, and anything else you can imagine. Then I called my mom and for the next 30 minutes all I heard was screaming through the phone as she was jumping on her bed. The next 48 hours flew by fast. I had to write my speech, get it edited, practice, re-work the speech, practice some more and go to dress rehearsal.

The dress rehearsal was like a walk-through of how the program would go. I was warmly welcomed by the UNC coordinator, the publicist for UNC, the coordinator for the administration, as well as some of the Secret Service. I was also grateful to see another familiar face, Will Leimenstoll, who is a fellow Ambassador and just won the election for Student Body President. Tuesday was the big day and when I say big, that is still an understatement. I was able to invite my family to the speech and they were elated. Finally, it was time for me to go down into the corridor. When I entered the corridor, the Secret Service was all around. The program began and it was amazing to watch the program from where I was standing and to see the background work of something that seems to just happen so easily. All of a sudden a huge crowd was walking toward me and in the midst of this crowd was President Barack Obama. I just stood there in awe. He went into the back hallway first to take pictures with the ROTC representatives, and then they said “Domonique, it is your time.” The President of the United States came out, gave me a hug, took pictures with me, and then asked about what I was doing. Right before I went on stage he said “Are you ready?” I replied, “Are you ready?” He laughed and said “Yes" and I replied, “Then I am too!”

My name was announced as I walked out of the corridor. Just that short conversation with the President calmed my nerves so much that I was not nervous when I went on stage to do the speech.

After I completed my speech, the President walked on stage and gave me a hug. Then I walked off and as I was doing so, I heard him mention my name and say that I would be a great teacher. It was literally like a dream.

The whole day just did not feel real and even today I am still amazed and thrilled that I was able to have this opportunity.

--Domonique Garland, '12 (Elementary Education)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Transfer Credit and Advising FAQs

Today is an exciting day at Carolina, as we prepare for President Obama's visit. This is President Obama's first visit to our campus as president, and we're proud to welcome him to Carolina.

As promised, we're posting a list of FAQs regarding transfer credit. We're also partnering with the Academic Advising Program to answer your questions on advising. If you have comments or questions, please post them here for Kyle Brazile, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions for Enrollment and Sarah Nelson, Senior Academic Advisor from the Academic Advising Program.

How will my credits transfer?

You may transfer a maximum of 75 semester hours from a four-year school and 64 semester hours from a two-year school. In general, you will be awarded credit for an academic course with a grade of a C or better from an accredited institution if Carolina has a similarly equivalent course. Please note that college algebra, engineering, architecture, agricultural and other technical courses do not transfer. Additionally, professional school courses such as business, journalism, education and nursing rarely transfer. For more, please see the Transfer Credit Guide.

How will the courses that I've transferred fulfill Carolina's curriculum and my degree requirements?
The Transfer Equivalencies database maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions may provide initial information about how courses may transfer to UNC-CH. After the admissions office has confirmed how a student's credits will transfer to Carolina, the following resources will be helpful to see how the transferred courses will fit into Carolina's curriculum and individual degree requirements.

The Undergraduate Bulletin provides complete information about degree requirements, all majors and minors available at Carolina, course descriptions, and information about policies and procedures at Carolina.

Academic Worksheets, which provide a one page synopsis of degree requirements, are available on the Advising website. A worksheet is available for all majors. The student can use the worksheet and the information in the Bulletin to tentatively determine how their transferred credits may be used.

Departmental websites offer additional helpful information. Academic advisors in the Academic Advising Program will assist admitted students regarding the completion of degree requirements. In the meantime, please visit the Advising website to learn more about the curriculum and academic options.

How do I find the abbreviations for the courses listed in the undergraduate bulletin? You can find the abbreviations for the courses listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin under the Table of Contents. The Table of Contents in the undergraduate bulletin will let you know on what page(s) the course abbreviations are listed.

What if I don’t get into a professional school program I applied for… do I have to reapply for the College of Arts & Sciences?
No. you will not have to reapply to the College of Arts & Sciences. Your enrollment will continue if you are not accepted into a professional school program.

What if I went to both a 2-year school and a 4-year school? Is my cap 64 or 75 credit hours?
If a student takes courses from a combination of a two-year and four-year institution, the maximum number of transferable hours will be determined by the most recent institution attended. Moreover, if the last institution a student attended is two-year then the student can only transfer a maximum of 64 hours, while if the most recent institution was a four-year then the student can transfer a maximum of 75 hours

Do dual enrollment courses count towards my transferrable hours?

I would like to have my courses re-evaluated. What is the process?
After you have received your credit evaluation, you can fill out the re-evaluation form located on our website. Along with the form, be sure to have copies of the course description and syllabus of the class you wish to have re-evaluated. Once you submit your request, you should receive a decision by email within 30 days.

There are some errors with my credit evaluation. What do I need to do to have them corrected? You can email the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at or call the office at (919) 966-3621.

I need to register for classes. When will I receive my evaluation? You will receive your credit evaluation through email shortly after you receive your admit decision.

Do military courses transfer?
Professional school courses such as business, journalism, education and nursing or credits earned during active-duty military service rarely transfer.

How can I get a copy of my transfer credit evaluation? While we do not send paper copies of transfer evaluations, the Admissions Office will email your transfer credit evaluation to you. You can request a copy of your evaluation by emailing

Do AP credits count towards my transferrable hours?
Yes. Once you have enrolled at Carolina and we have received official reports for AP or IB tests, we will award credit based on individual departmental requirements.

Will my credit evaluation be complete before I go to orientation? Credit evaluations are completed once you have been admitted. Your evaluation should be complete by the time you go to orientation. If not, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

A Special Note to Admitted Transfer Students from the Academic Advising Program:

Congratulations on your offer of admission. Please visit the Academic Advising Program website to read the Transfer Student Advising Guide. It's accessible under the “Important Links” in the left-hand sidebar on the program's homepage. Once you confirm your intent to enroll, you’ll be able to register for fall courses and schedule an appointment with your advisor. Enrolling students will receive a welcome letter via email from Academic Advising very soon.

We encourage enrolling transfer students to make an appointment beginning as soon as late April (the sooner the better). The office requires that all appointments are made online. Click here to make an appointment. These appointments can be handled over the phone or via Skype for students who do not live nearby. Please note that you need to have an ONYEN to make an appointment. Also, we encourage students to begin enrolling in classes right away—even if it’s before their appointment.

Remember to RSVP to the May 4 Academic Advising Program’s transfer student welcome reception at the Academic Advising Program website. This is a great chance to meet your future classmates and get in touch with campus resources in an informal setting. Please note that this is a social event, and you will still need to make an individual appointment with an academic advisor and register to attend a transfer orientation session.

How is class standing computed for enrolling students?
This is calculated automatically in our system based upon hours toward graduation earned. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors must have earned 30, 60, or 90 hours respectively to attain this status.

We hope you that you will take the time to become familiar with the Academic Advising Program and all of their resources. You may follow Advising on Twitter @UNCAdvising and Facebook

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Update on Transfer Decisions II

Good afternoon. We posted the majority of our decisions for transfer applicants on Friday. We thank all of our applicants for their patience as we carefully reviewed more than 3,000 applications for admission. We appreciate your interest in us and the time it took to prepare your applications. Letters will be mailed very soon.

Our phones are very busy today and in order to better serve those of you who may have been on hold, we'll post a list of frequently asked questions. Your comments and questions are welcome and we'll do our best to answer them here.

I was not offered transfer admission this year. Why?
We regret that we could not offer admission to everyone who applied this year. Due to the increase in applications, we had to turn away many students who would have succeeded here. No students are admitted or denied on the basis of a single number, and as part of our holistic review, we take everything we know about our applicants into consideration as we make our decisions. For this reason, and we're very sorry, but we're unable to provide individualized feedback to our applicants.

To all those applicants we could not accommodate, we hope that you will consider applying again. Sophomore transfer applicants are welcome to apply again as juniors and all applicants (sophomores and juniors) would do well to consider Carolina for graduate school in the future. Our students travel many paths to Carolina and not all are the same but those who join our community have an outstanding experience regardless of how they enter Carolina.

I am a transfer applicant but did not receive my decision.
A number of transfer applications remain under evaluation. We are releasing new decisions every day from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Please continue to check your MyUNC account. Please note that some of these applications remain under evaluation because we needed more information. If you have received an email from us requesting more information, it's very important that you respond as soon as possible.

FAQs Admitted Transfer Students

I am an admitted transfer student and I would like to enroll. What are my next steps?

First, please accept our congratulations!
  1. Log into MyUNC.
  2. Under Applicants, click on “ConnectCarolina Student Center.”
  3. Log in with your Guest ID.
  4. Under Admissions, click on “Click here to view your decision in a new window. Please make sure popup-blocking software is disabled.”
  5. Once you see your decision letter, you may click "Accept" to accept our office of admission and pay your enrollment deposit online.
I was admitted. When can I register for classes?
You can register for classes the day after you pay your enrollment deposit. So if you pay on Wednesday, you can register on Thursday. Unfortunately, if you pay over the weekend, you will need to wait one business day before you can register but you may do so as early as the following Tuesday.

When will I receive the email with my transfer credits?
We emailed transfer credit evaluations to more than 700 admitted transfer students over the weekend. The remaining evaluations will be sent out as soon as possible. Stay tuned; we will update the blog with more FAQs on transfer credit very soon.

I indicated that I planned to pay my enrollment deposit by check but now I want to pay through my credit card. How do I do this?Please contact our office at 919-966-3621 and we will happily re-set your payment options.

How can I receive a waiver for my orientation fee?
If you would like to defer your orientation fee, please contact the Office of New Student Programs at 919-962-8304. There is not currently an online option to defer payment, but New Student Programs will gladly help you set up a payment plan to suit your needs.

For more information, please be sure to check our website for Admitted Transfer Students.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update on Transfer Decisions

Here are the steps to view your transfer decision when it’s available online. Please note that due to the high volume, you may experience delays when attempting to view your decision online. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  1. Log into MyUNC.
  2. Under Applicants, click on “ConnectCarolina Student Center.”
  3. Log in with your Guest ID. If you do not have a Guest ID, please follow the instructions in the email that will be sent shortly. If you do not receive these instructions, please email us at
  4. Under Admissions, click on “Click here to view your decision in a new window. Please make sure popup-blocking software is disabled.”
In order to view your decision, please note that, if applicable, the pop-up blocker feature on your browser must be disabled. Below are instructions for disabling pop-ups in the popular browsers:

Internet Explorer
  1. In the menu bar, go to Tools and navigate down to “Pop-up Blocker Settings.”
  2. Click on “Turn-Off Pop-up Blocker.”

Google Toolbar
  1. Click the Google Pop-up Blocker toolbar icon.
  2. The Pop-up Blocker icon should read “Popups are okay.”

Mozilla Firefox
  1. In the menu bar, go to Tools and navigate down to Options.
  2. Select “Content” tab or icon.
  3. Uncheck box labeled “Block pop-up windows.”

  1. Click on “Blocking Pop-ups” at the bottom right corner of the AOL window.
  2. Uncheck box labeled “Suppress pop-ups from websites I visit.”
  3. Click “Save” button.

Yahoo Toolbar
  1. Click on the Yahoo Toolbar's popup blocker icon option arrow. This arrow is pointing down beside of the popup blocker icon.
  2. Click on “Enable Pop-up Blocker” to uncheck.

To allow blocked pop-ups when you're already on a site, follow these steps:
  1. Click the “Pop-ups Blocked” alert at the bottom right-hand corner of the browser tab.
  2. Select the pop-up that you'd like to allow.
  3. If you'd like, select “Always show pop-ups” from (site).

If you're using Google Chrome Beta for Windows, the site is added to the exceptions list, which you can manage in the Content Settings dialog (go to Tools menu > Options > Under the Hood to open the dialog box).

If you're using Google Chrome Beta for Windows, you can also disable the pop-up blocker completely. Follow these steps:
  1. Click the “Tools” menu.
  2. Select “Options.”
  3. Click the “Under the Hood” tab.
  4. Click Content settings in the "Privacy" section.
  5. Click the “Pop-ups” tab.
  6. Select "Allow all sites to show pop-ups." You can make exceptions for specific websites by clicking Exceptions.
  7. Click “Close” to save your setting.

  1. Open the Safari menu and select the “Preferences” option.
  2. In the window that displays, click on the “Security” option.
  3. Remove the checkmark from the “Block pop-up” windows option.
  4. Close the window.

Or, for an older version of Safari, try
  1. Open Safari
  2. Click on the Safari Menu
  3. Uncheck “Block Pop-Up Windows”

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Campus Chatter: Update on Transfer Decisions, Senior Week & More

Yesterday, I spent some time outside over lunch. As I was walking back to Jackson Hall, I heard some rather insistent chirping from one of our nearby trees. I stopped to search for the source and discovered two fledgling mockingbirds starting to stretch their wings -- with Mom and Dad Mockingbird just a few branches away encouraging them along.

We’ve had a lot of chatter in the comments about transfer decisions so I thought it might be helpful to address these here. We experienced a 15% increase in transfer applications for Fall 2012 (for a total of just over 3,000), so it’s taking us a little longer than we had originally planned to review these applications. That being said, we know that the waiting is tough and we are so grateful for your patience as we complete our work. We use the same holistic approach to review our transfer applications as we do our first-year applications, and Julie’s post from earlier this year gives great insight into all the things that have to happen before we can release decisions.

We do not have a specific date or time that transfer decisions will be available yet, but they will be available by the end of April. At this time, we do not anticipate adjusting the enrollment deadline, which for transfer students is still May 16; of course, if that changes, we’ll let you know. Transfer credit evaluations for admitted students should be available at approximately the same time as decisions, so you’ll be able to review this in making your decision.

Lots of people on campus are chattering, too. With only about two weeks to go before the end of the semester, our students are looking ahead to plans for next year while finishing up their coursework for this year. For our seniors, it’s particularly exciting as they make plans for after graduation and this week is Senior Week. Last night, the Morehead Planetarium hosted seniors for a special program; tonight will be the Senior Send Off and Last Lecture; and on Thursday, seniors will get to climb the Bell Tower.

After graduation, our students are taking advantage of an increase in hiring projections and other fabulous opportunities. For example, Elaine Townsend will be spending next year teaching English in South Korea on a Fulbright award.

Here are some of the other stories that we’re chattering about:

Please let us know what other questions you have. If you include your name or at least a screen name, that’s great, as we like being able to respond to a specific person!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere

Over the next few years, you’re going to hear a lot of talk about water at Carolina. 

New research from UNC reports that 1.8 billion people – 28% of the world’s population – use unsafe water and millions of people die annually due to lack of access to clean, potable water for drinking, washing, and other uses. From disease to natural disasters like floods and droughts, water is a critical part of our lives – and one that’s easy to take for granted.

On March 22, Chancellor Thorp led the kickoff of the University-wide theme for the next two years, Water in Our World.  Not only will this be an academic theme on campus, but we’ll also be drawing upon the great work of the UNC Water Institute and our involvement with the US Water Partnership recently announced by Secretary of State Clinton.

You can learn more about these initiatives through the links above; stay up to date by following Water in Our World on Twitter at @UNCWater. Innovate@Carolina also has a wealth of information on the ways Carolina is making an impact on the world’s most pressing issues.   

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Action & Empowerment

Hi everybody! It’s been a few weeks since I last posted about TEDxUNC. A lot has happened on campus since then: spring break, first-year decision release, Wristwatch2012. Last time, we talked about access, the compulsion we humans feel to act when we see someone in need of help, and the enduring presence of hope that things can always get better.

I try to write each of these posts with an eye to the post that will follow (leave it to the lit major to have a story arc in mind at all times!). From access, I arrived at the pairing of action and empowerment. Since January and certainly since crafting the last post, I’ve made an effort to be more conscious of the empowering moments I encounter on a daily basis. It’s been a bit like being told “don’t think about a pink elephant” – suddenly all you can think of is a herd of pink pachyderms and since then, I’ve seen the opportunities for action and empowerment around me more and more.

But what exactly does “action” entail? How does one achieve a state of “empowerment” and what does that mean?

Greg Van Kirk talked to us about his five guiding principles of social entrepreneurship, which started with a seemingly simple premise: once you determine your desired outcome, the next step is to set something in motion. “Inspiration comes from action, not the other way around,” he said. I’d previously thought of inspirations and action as a chicken and egg sort of dichotomy, but this new viewpoint makes a lot of sense: it is part of our human nature to want to contribute, but deciding where and how to start can sometimes be really, really overwhelming. Sometimes, we just have to do something and figure out the details later.

Our students at Carolina are definitely active: with over 600 student organizations ranging from academics to athletics to service to culture, there is always something going on around here. One of the things that stands out to me about this is that whatever an organization’s “category,” there’s almost always a service component to its activities. It’s one of many things that illustrate the Carolina Way: a commitment to the greater good that is such a part of our identity as an institution and a community.

Perhaps most of all, it’s those individual connections we make with each other that bring a new level of meaning to our actions. When I talk to students about why they should apply to or enroll at Carolina – or even (scratch that: especially!) about college in general – it’s that personal moment of connecting as one human to another that makes that interaction meaningful and memorable. Kate Otto’s Everyday Ambassador project is a great example of this; if you’re not familiar with EA, I recommend starting with Carolina student Chenxi Yu’s experience in rural India. When I think of campus organizations whose primary focus is on this idea of empowerment through the action and advocacy of individuals, I think of my own experiences with Safe@UNC, whose initiatives provide resources and support for students, faculty, and staff and enable us to become resources for one another. This all brings me back to Greg Van Kirk’s closing charge to us as we sat together that January afternoon: “empower yourself so that you may go and empower others.”

Here at Carolina, we strive to provide an environment that empowers our students to take action in their own lives, both in and out of the classroom. A harsh truth about working in higher education is that if a student is the same person upon graduation that s/he was upon matriculation, we as faculty and staff have not done our jobs. We’ve talked about how it’s both okay and even necessary to fail, and that is certainly true, but in this area, failure is not an option. Your college search is a chance for you to consider those campuses that will empower you to grow – personally, academically, and professionally – and launch yourself towards the person you want to become. Likewise, our holistic review process seeks out the stories behind the transcripts and numerical statistics to learn about the experiences and the potential of each and every applicant. We don’t build our class out of test scores or weighted GPAs; we build it out of people. And it’s the people that make Carolina…well, Carolina!

Wherever your journey takes you, you have the power to act, to empower yourself, and to empower others. So often, we find ourselves discouraged by the size and scale of the issues we confront – what can I do, if I’m just one person? But sometimes one person – one act, one moment, one step – is all that’s needed to set something amazing in motion.

 I’ll leave you with a final thought from Greg Van Kirk complimented by a little Newton’s First Law of Motion: “Social entrepreneurship is a journey. You have to take the first step.” The first step is the hardest part. The laws of physics teach us that objects at rest will remain at rest until an external force acts upon them, but once an object is put into motion, it will remain in motion. It all comes down to inertia and converting potential energy into kinetic energy.

Be your own external force. Do something. Go somewhere. Make things happen. You can do it. And you will.

Melissa Kotačka 
Assistant Director of Admissions 
Follow and/or tweet at me: @makunc 
Watch all of the videos from TEDxUNC 2012 online.