University of Southern Indiana

Tips For Success

Email: It is the student’s responsibility to monitor USI email. Students will be held accountable for email content. It is essential you check your USI email regularly. I recommend you get in the habit of checking at least every 2 days. Getting everything set up before classes start will support your success.

  • Email on a mobile device: You can set up your USI email to come directly to your phone or tablet. Please see instructions on use of an app to access your email at
  • Avoid forwarding email to a different account: It is possible to have the email forward but there is a very real risk that an email will not go through or get blocked and you will miss important information.
  • Attachments: Watch for attachments on emails. Faculty frequently send out information with an attachment. If you open an email on your phone, you may not see the attachment. Attachments do not always come through or may show up at the end of an email. If you suspect there should be an attachment and you do not see one, check it on a computer.
  • Check email over breaks: Keep checking your USI email during breaks. The university continues to send essential information and faculty may send requests for missing assignments or information about an upcoming course.

Use of Tablets and Phones for course work:

  • Blackboard is not mobile friendly. You may be able to access videos and some information on your phone or tablet, but it will not work to create and submit assignments. You will need to use a computer (laptop or desktop) to save and submit assignments, access grades and instructor feedback, and participate in many aspects of the course.

Time Management: Plan now for success

  • Time requirements: Research shows students need to spend at least 3-4 hours each week for each credit. Plan on spending at least 9 – 12 hours/week for a 3 credit class. You will spend time reviewing course material, reading assignments, viewing video presentations, doing assignments and interacting with other students on course material.
  • Plan your schedule: Build study time into your schedule. Schedule your study time throughout the week to meet course deadlines. Planning for study time makes it a priority.
  • Support system: Let others help - if your mother-in-law offers to clear your house, definitely take her up on that! Who are your cheerleaders? Who will give you a pep talk when you are feeling overwhelmed?
  • Set priorities: This will not last forever, set priorities. What activities/responsibilities are essential, what is truly important to you, and what can be put on hold for now?
  • Plan for the unexpected: Do not wait till the last minute to finish assignments. Give yourself a little time in case you get called into work, you have a sick child, or you have the opportunity for a last minute dinner date.

Communication: Don’t make us guess!

  • Communicate with faculty: If you are having trouble in a class, reach out to the professor. If you are not able to meet an assignment deadline, communicate with the professor BEFORE the due date.
  • Communicate with advisor: If you are not able to take classes as planned on your individualized plan of study, immediately contact your advisor. Your advisor will need to develop a modified plan of study to address the delay.

Contact Dr. Constance Swenty


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