Pre-pandemic, Chemistry professor Matthew Gage’s day-to-day life focused on teaching chemistry and running student labs focused on course material. His research was primarily dedicated to bacteria, proteins and fungi, not viruses. That all changed in 2020.
Professor Gage’s expertise in laboratory sciences made him the perfect person to head up an on-site COVID-19 testing and surveillance laboratory. Since last fall, he has been working alongside a handful of students to ensure the campus infection rate is monitored and controlled. Their work is one of the main reasons why UMass Lowell’s positivity rate continues to be low.
The best part? The students in the lab are getting a truly enhanced and critical hands-on-learning experience. By turning the unexpected into an opportunity, they embody what it means to be a River Hawk. And you can, too. We’re here to give you the tools and support you need to tackle the unexpected. We’ll guide you every step of the way as you make strides to a brighter future beyond this pandemic.
We asked UML students on Instagram to tell us about their favorite courses. We received over 80 responses to the poll. A handful of current students and alums reached out directly to give us more details about what made those classes their favorites.
It’s been a challenging year, and you shouldn’t be penalized for needing more time to think about your next steps. That’s why, for students applying for fall 2021, we’ve shifted to rolling admissions for all of our majors (except nursing). With everything going on in the world, we want you to know it’s ok if you need a little more time.
To help you better understand what this means for you, I sat down with Ed Seero, my colleague from Admissions, to lay out all the things the Office of Admissions wanted you to know.
Q: Why did UMass Lowell make this shift to rolling admissions?
Destination UML is a monthlong discovery event that’s the perfect way to explore what life will be like for you as a UMass Lowell student. We’re filling the calendar with virtual events, sessions, clubs, labs and more. You’ll be able to join in and choose what you discover.
Take a sneak peek at Destination UML
Here’s a quick look at some of the things we’re offering. The calendar is packed—and more offerings are continually being added.
You’ll have the opportunity to:
Participate in club sessions
Attend seminars with current students
Explore career opportunities and what you can do with your degree
Meet current students in your academic college and major
Sit in on lab demonstrations and clinical simulations
Explore your major and academic college
Join a campus recreation fitness class
Attend series that will help you transition to college and set you up for success
Ever since the world at large began social distancing and locking down, we’ve been working hard to understand how the pandemic impacted your high school experience. And we realized something.
We’re hearing that many high school students, like you, feel less prepared for college because of their remote and hybrid learning situations. And it’s no wonder—it’s been a tumultuous year. This is no one’s fault—not yours, not your teachers’ and not your counselors’. Missing out on in-person interactions in classrooms, hallways and during breaks is challenging. We know you and your teachers are working hard.
We hear your concerns, and we want you to know that our faculty and staff are working hard to find ways to support you and help bridge the gaps in your education.
It’s not just on you to catch yourself up. It’s on us, too. We’re acknowledging that there may be gaps in your education because of the pandemic. We are committed to making sure that you and your fellow students feel supported and able to understand your UMass Lowell coursework fully once you enroll. The state of the world is beyond your control—we know this and it’s not your fault if you are a little behind academically. We will help you get caught up.
We’ll say it again for the people in the back: It’s not your responsibility to cram hundreds of hours’ worth of studying and worry about this unnecessarily. It’s on the UMass Lowell admins, faculty and staff to create environments and supports that help you bridge these gaps.
How we’ll support you
Pandemic or not, our faculty and academic support staff are here for you from day one through graduation day. Here are some ways we’ll help you once you’re enrolled at the university:
The Launch! Summer Program lets students ease into college courses and build confidence in the classroom
The Centers for Learning, Advising and Student Success offers academic advising and tutoring for students worried about falling behind
All students are assigned a faculty and professional advisor—you’ll find support in your academics and your future aspirations
As always, we’re here to guide you on the next stage of your education. Have questions? We’re a quick email away.
We know that application season is a stressful time of year for students, and that’s before we take the pandemic into account. If you’re struggling to find a bright side in all of this, we’ve compiled a list of some of the ways we’ve seen the River Hawk community come together to deal with stress. And, we want to share some resources to help you destress.
How we’re helping high school applicants this year:
Every year, colleges and universities across the country celebrate the accomplishments of first-generation college students. If you’re the first person in your family to attend college, this day is to celebrate you.
Making college education accessible is
top-of-mind here at UMass Lowell. We were proud to receive recognition as a First-Gen Forward Advisory
Institution by the Center for First-Generation Student Success this past
summer. And even though this honor reminds us of how far we’ve come, we know
that there is still more to do and more voices to hear.
That’s why we’re constantly striving to
develop supports and services to help students succeed.
Here are some more ways we’re supporting our
first-generation students at UMass Lowell:
The River Hawk Scholars Academypromotes academic success and fosters active campus engagement for full-time, first-year students who identify as first-generation college students
UMass Lowell has a rich tradition of welcoming and supporting first-generation college students. A number of faculty and staff on campus were first-generation students themselves and advocate for their success
The Launch! Summer Program provides incoming first-year students with a choose your own adventure approach to transitioning to university life
That’s just a sampling of many ways we’re helping our students achieve their goals in college. You should know that we’re here to help you before you’re even admitted to UMass Lowell. Join us at our regular community discussions with high school students, Empower Hour: Supporting Access, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity. We cannot stress how much we want to help students succeed in college.
Presidential Election is just days away, and many UMass Lowell students are casting
their ballots for the first time. We want to ensure that they (and you, if
you’re eligible to vote) go into the polling booths as informed voters. UMass
Lowell is a leader in political polling, and we have a lot of experts on campus
here to help voters navigate the voting process.
Here are some ways UMass Lowell students are preparing for the election:
They’re registering to attend a virtual discussion with our top political science professors, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and UMass President Marty Meehan
They’re double checking resources we’ve shared on everything they need to help get through election day
UMass Lowell students are inquisitive and active participants in their community and country, and we’re proud to support them. We’re excited to support so many as they vote during this truly historic election.
Like many colleges and universities, UMass Lowell converted most instruction this fall to online formats. We know that switching to online learning is a cause of concern for many, but we’ve also been leaders in online education for over 25 years – so we’ve had time to get pretty good at it.
As proof, I talked with Professor Keith Mitchell about how supports his online students.
Way back in 2015, UMass Lowell became the first public university in New England to offer a No Test Option for applicants. Lowering the barriers to education for students who have the ability to succeed in college is something we pride ourselves in. That’s why, this year, we’re also giving you the chance to self-report your SAT and ACT scores.
No Test Option
that test center closings and cancellations are a cause of concern. The good
news is that we’ve offered a No Test Option to applicants for years. At this
point, it’s a long established and totally acceptable way to apply to UMass
Lowell. If you’re thinking of applying
with the No Test Option, know that you can apply to all majors and you’re
eligible for scholarships.
Since you have a limited number of schools you can send test
scores to free of charge, we want to remove the financial burden of sending
your scores to us, too. You will only need to submit official test scores if
you are admitted to UMass Lowell and choose to enroll.