First-Generation Student Support

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

As the first in your family to earn a college degree, you may have questions about the ins and outs of higher education. That's why we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions — equipping you with terminology, tips, and tricks to help make the most of your Goodwin journey.

Higher education terminology

Academic advisors challenge, support, and encourage students to actively participate in their learning, development, and academic success. They help you with class selection, registration, problem-solving, and other academic-related questions. Your advisor is assigned based on your program of study.

A professor provides classroom instruction, holds office hours, grades student assignments, and answers questions related to the class they are teaching.

An adjunct professor works part-time. In contrast, assistant, associate, and full professors work full-time. Their titles vary based on their employment status and promotion level.

In a university, faculty members are responsible for teaching, researching, and holding academic positions such as professors.

Staff members work in non-academic roles supporting university operations, such as admissions or IT specialists.

Administration includes top-level leaders like university presidents and deans, who make strategic decisions, oversee institutional management, and shape the overall direction of the university.

Together, these three groups—faculty, staff, and administration—contribute to the comprehensive functioning of the educational institution, with faculty focused on academics, staff managing operational aspects, and administration providing leadership and governance.

The provost is the chief academic officer at the University. They oversee the deans and faculty members.
The difference between a dean and a provost primarily relates to what part of the University they oversee. A dean oversees faculty and staff in their respective School (e.g., School of Nursing). A provost oversees all academic faculty, including the deans and other professional staff related to academic or educational offerings. At Goodwin University, the Provost oversees all academic and student affairs programs. There is a dean for the three academic schools and one dean of students.
A registrar maintains student academic and enrollment records, transcripts, course registration, and student-related information. The registrar collaborates with academic advisors, especially during course registration periods.

The Financial Aid department assists students with how they will pay for tuition and fees. Various payment methods are available, from student loans to grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities.

The Business Office focuses on the accounting of the University. If you have a financial hold on your account, you must contact the Business Office to remove the hold after settling any financial obligations.

Information Technology (IT) focuses on email, myNavigator, Microsoft applications, and computer-based questions. If you have trouble with these systems, need to reset a password, or experience other computer issues, contact the Information Technology department.

Online Studies focuses on Canvas and courses. If you experience issues related to Canvas, please reach out to Canvas support.

Goodwin’s Student Affairs department provides students with services, resources, and programs extending beyond the classroom — helping you get the most out of your Goodwin University experience.

Classroom questions

A syllabus is your guide to a course and what to expect over the semester. It will include course policies, rules and expectations, required and recommended texts, and weekly topics and assignments. A syllabus can tell you nearly everything you need to know about how a course runs and what you need to be successful.
Courses are either 7 or 15 weeks in length.
Updates from the University and your instructors are sent to your university email address. Please check your email every 1-2 days for updates, important announcements, and deadlines.
You should check your course Canvas shells daily for announcements and other updates. These notifications will also appear in your Goodwin email inbox. Be sure to turn on your notifications to receive these emails immediately.
Synchronous online classes mean that the instructor and students meet (live, face-to-face) in Zoom on a regular class schedule (i.e., specific days and times) for scheduled teaching and learning activities. Office hours are held on Zoom at scheduled times for extra support and to ask questions.
Asynchronous online classes do not have a live, face-to-face component. Students access the class content regularly and at different times and submit assignments based on a course schedule. Office hours are available via Zoom at scheduled times.

Support services

Talk to your academic advisor about the types and availability of student support services. You may also contact or visit Goodwin’s Student Affairs department.
Call or email Goodwin’s Academic Success Center to make an appointment and learn more about the support and tutoring services available to you.

We encourage our ELL students to seek out support with reading and writing. We have faculty and staff who can assist you. You can contact Goodwin’s Academic Success Center, the Office of AccessAbility Services, or ask your instructor about language services and support.

Dr. Kania also hosts grammar study groups each semester where students can ask questions or have him review assignments. The schedule changes every semester, so please email him for the dates and times ().

Goodwin’s Hoffman Family Library is the place to go. Our librarians are very helpful and ready to assist you with finding different types of sources. They will show you how to navigate the library, use our digital databases, and utilize other online programs and resources.
If you need accommodation based on a disability, please contact the Office of AccessAbility Services as soon as possible.
Goodwin provides free mental health counseling to current students. To learn more or make an appointment with one of our licensed mental health counselors, visit our counseling page.
The Ann B. Clark Co-Op serves members of the Goodwin University community and is managed by a team of faculty, staff, and students. Through the passion, generosity, and inspiration of Goodwin University's provost emerita, Ann B. Clark, this service ensures that no Goodwin student has to choose between affording school or food.
If you are exploring other program options, you are encouraged to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your interests and resources, such as career services, to explore your interest further. Once you decide what's best for you, your advisor can help you fill out a form to change your program.
If you're considering withdrawing from a course, make an appointment with your advisor. They will discuss the academic consequences of withdrawal, encourage you to speak to Financial Aid and the Business Office to discuss the financial repercussions of withdrawal, and will assist you in accessing and completing the withdrawal form.
If you need to repeat a course, you should meet with your academic advisor to discuss your academic plan and whether you will need to repeat the course for a 2nd or 3rd time, as the process of how to do this will differ.
You can reset your password if you forget it. You will receive a notification to your secondary email address to reset your password.
To obtain a Goodwin University ID, please visit the Welcome desk in the main lobby at One Riverside Drive. If you need to visit campus after hours, please schedule a time with the IT department.
You may call or email Canvas Support at 860-913-2152 or

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