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2023-2024 Student Guide: Preparing for your first semester at Marianopolis

Preparing for your first semester at Marianopolis

There are many significant differences between high school and college. Recognizing these differences can help you make appropriate adjustments so that you can maintain academic success and take full advantage of your time at Marianopolis.

Academic Expectations

The number one reason students struggle in their first semester is that they do not adjust their study habits to the increased workload in college. Now that you are entering post-secondary education, academic expectations will increase in order to best prepare you for university studies. This means that you will be responsible for a larger volume of more challenging material than in high school. You will also be asked to think more deeply and critically about the material you encounter.

The consequences of weak academic performance are greater than they were in high school, too. You cannot submit extra work, re-write tests, or re-submit assignments to improve your grade. A failing grade in a course stays on your record, even if you re-take the course later and pass.

As you progress in your education, matters that were once the responsibility of your parents, teachers, or school are become your responsibility. In college, you are expected to attend class, participate in class activities, and submit work on time without reminders from your teachers. Be sure that you stay on top of your work by checking Omnivox daily, reading your MIOs, and using an agenda to track exams and due dates.

How much time do I need to spend studying?

Good time management is one of the most important skills to develop at this stage. You will have a different schedule each day, and more time outside class than you had in high school. You will likely have several tests, projects, essays, or assignments due the same week, and even on the same day; this will require you to manage your time appropriately and develop the discipline to work consistently throughout the semester, even when nothing is imminently “due”.

Your teachers will each distribute a course outline at the beginning of the semester that will specify your evaluation deadlines throughout the semester. Mark these in your calendar or agenda right away so that you are not caught off guard when you have several evaluations due the same week, or even the same day. Start studying or completing your work well in advance of each deadline.

Each of your courses lasts only one semester, so the pace is much faster than it was in high school; this means that you will need to start studying seriously from the first day of class and maintain a consistent study schedule throughout the semester.

You are expected to devote approximately the same number of hours to studying as there is class time for each course. Therefore, in addition to class time, you can expect to spend another 20 to 25 hours on schoolwork per week. Identify the precise days and times in your schedule that you will devote to studying, and respect that commitment in the same way you would class time.

How should I study?

You will need to adjust your study methods according to the subject matter of each course and they type of evaluation of each of your courses. If you are unsure how to study for a given course, seek advice from your teacher.

Where should I study?

It will be important to have dedicated study space that is free from distractions, whether at home or at the College. Your study space should only be used for studying, and you should always use the same space. This way, sitting at the space will cue your brain that it is time to study. Avoid using your bed for this purpose. There are spaces to study at the College such as in the College Library. A list of classrooms that are available for study will also be provided at the beginning of the semester. Find spaces at the College where you can study well and try to return to the same location when possible.

As a general rule, you should only have the materials in front of you that you need to use for the task you are completing. Put away papers, notebooks, readings, and other materials for all your classes except the one you are currently focused on. While you are studying, put your phone, smartwatch and any other distracting portable devices in a place that is physically far away from you. The temptation to use your device for non-school activities is greater when it is within easy reach. Disable notifications on all your devices while you are studying.

Academic Integrity

You may not be familiar with the idea of academic integrity yet; it means that you are expected to exercise honesty and fairness in all academic matters. Violations of academic integrity, such as plagiarism and cheating, are considered to be serious offenses that can result in failure and other significant penalties, including expulsion. The document that explains the academic policies at the College is the Institutional Policy on the Evaluation of Student Achievement (IPESA). It is important to be aware of the information included in this policy before you start your first semester. An infosheet has also been posted in Omnivox with additional an explanation and examples of what constitutes a violation of academic integrity; be sure to read it well and to consult your teacher if you have any questions about academic integrity in a given course.

Where can I turn for support?

One of the best ways to ease the transition from high school to college is to ask for help when you need it. Below are some of the many resources available to you at the College to support you in your studies and help you achieve your goals.

Your teachers: Teachers have weekly office hours during which they are available one-on-one to discuss your specific questions and concerns.

Contact: Send a MIO directly to your teacher and/or speak with them during their office hours.

Peer and alumni tutoring: Selected students and recent graduates have been trained to provide tutoring to students who are having difficulty in a particular course.

Contact: Complete the “Request a Peer Tutor” form or send questions by MIO to Laura Paris.

English Writing Support

How we can help: Students can improve their English language ability with the help of professional support offered through the Writing Centre. We can provide help with grammar, sentence structure, speaking and pronunciation, reading skills, and learning how to revise your graded essays for grammar errors. 

Contact: Alex Kerkhoff

Centre d'aide en francais

How we can help:

Students enrolled in the 602-009 French class are automatically assigned individual sessions with French monitors to supplement class instruction. Students enrolled in 602-100 and 602-LPW are encouraged to used the service on a voluntary basis.

If you need help in French, you can also see on the French Language Monitors in room F-305 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:15 to 2 p.m. 

Contact: Fanny Larivière

Math Support

How we can help: The Math Monitor works one-on-one and in small groups with students to address difficulties in pre-calculus concepts. Individualized plans are created to target skills improvement in polynomial functions, exponential & logarithmic functions, graphs, trigonometry, etc. 

Contact: Ethan Wong (Math monitor)

                Veronique Godin (Department Chair, Mathematics)

The Library: The Library staff can help you learn how to find and evaluate resources, how to complete academic research, and how to cite your resources properly.

Contact: send an email to or chat live with Library staff.

Counselling Services: Counsellors provide confidential guidance and support with mental health and personal issues. They also provide interests and skills assessments and career counselling.

Contact: Send a MIO to Josie Cavaliere to book an appointment.

Academic Advising: Academic Advisors help you with questions about your courses and program at Marianopolis, and provide guidance on university choices and information on admission requirements.

Contact: Book an appointment in Omnivox or attend drop-in hours posted in Omnivox; you can also send a MIO to one of the Advisors, Tanja Geurtsen or Pauline Grégoire.

Financial Aid: The Financial Aid office provides information about tuition credits, short-term loans, the textbook lending program, and applying for loans and bursaries through Aide financière aux études.

Contact: Send a MIO to Kathryn Fitzpatrick or Josie Cavaliere­­.

Adapted Services: The AccessAbility Centre provides services and testing accommodations to students with documented disabilities (e.g. quiet room, extra time, specialized software, enlarged print, etc.).

Contact: Send an email to or a MIO to Ioana Constantinescu.

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