Hidden Curriculum 2024

Over the years, your SoE Hub advisors have learned one thing from their advisees, ‘give them the tool kit for success and they will build it!’ The Hidden Curriculum is just that. It is the answer to how you can build success here at Rensselaer, and ensure that you understand what your responsibilities are as a college student.

Beginning with your first registration and ending as you wrap up your first year of college, follow The Hidden Curriculum series over the next few months, with the support of your SoE Hub Advisor. Each of the following episodes include requirements that you need to be aware of. It is your responsibility to become informed – starting now.

How do we make this easy for you?

We have assigned deadlines to each episode from June 2020 until April 2021. If you pace yourself accordingly, you will have the exact right information at the exact right time to guide you through your responsibilities as a student. In other words, as you work your way through this series, you should find the information you need to be successful in your first year. There is no reason to rush through this information!


Head back to the SoE Hub Website!




What will you find in each episode?

Access to each episode can be found below, alongside their release dates and deadlines.

  • Episode 1 | Major-Specific Registration Guides

    • The Registration Guide (level: Beginner) will prepare you for your first college registration. This will include the important dates and deadlines you have this summer. Without overwhelming you with all the details right in the beginning, we aim to ensure that you are aware of what courses to register for based on your major, what requirements you need to be aware of outside of your major, and that you know who to reach out to if you need support.

  • Episode 2 | The Hidden Curriculum and Student Orientation

    • In this second episode, you will find a more formal introduction to The Hidden Curriculum as you complete your Student Orientation from The School of Engineering. This will include an overview of your curriculum and the academic responsibilities that will emerge in your first year, and every year that follows. You will also sign the School of Engineering Advising Contract which clearly outlines your responsibilities as a college student.

  • Episode 3 | Your SoE Advising Team

    • In the School of Engineering, academic advising begins in the SoE Hub. As a sophomore, you will transition to a faculty advisor. Why do we do this, and how do we prepare you?

  • Episode 4 | What You Need to Succeed

    • This advice comes with years of experience from students, staff and faculty in the Rensselaer community. It also explains some of the requirements you will find in your first year, such as the 4-Year Plan of Study. This episode is the answer to your most frequently asked questions. If you want to find success in college, get started on this episode now!

    • Optional Episodes of The Hidden Curriculum:

  • Episode 5 | Registration at Rensselaer

    • Your Registration Guide taught you the basics so you had enough information to register for your first semester of college. This episode advances you from that ‘Beginner’ level, past ‘Intermediate,’ and straight to ‘Expert’ in registering for courses at Rensselaer! What more could there be to registering for courses? This episode will cover helpful forms, consultation periods, The Registrar’s Office, changing your major and more. It will also give you a refresher on what you learned last summer, so that you are prepared to register for your spring courses.

  • Episode 6 | Academic Resources

    • “I wish I had asked for help sooner,” is the number one piece of advice that we hear from our upperclassmen. Regardless of your success in high school, college is a different type of learning and seeking support is an essential part of achieving the same level of academic success as you have in the past. Not only is it socially acceptable to ask for help, but it is socially recommended! So, where can you go if you are looking for support at Rensselaer?

  • Episode 7 | Campus and Student Life Resources

    • Beyond academics, there are loads of opportunities at Rensselaer! All of the personal goals you had before coming to college likely have a supporting office here, such as the Center for Career and Professional Development, LGBTQ+ networks, and the International Programs office. How can you find them? How do you take advantage of all the support that is offered to you?

  • Episode 8 | DegreeWorks

    • The responsibility of tracking your graduation requirements belongs to you. Your advisors are here to help guide you, but at the end of the day, you need to know what courses are required for your degree! DegreeWorks is the online tool, provided by The Registrar’s Office and ALAC, to follow your academic progress and to help keep you on track for graduation. How do you use it? Where is it? What do you need to know about it?

  • Episode 9 | What’s Your Plan? SAM and your 4-Year Plan

    • Every spring semester, you have a required meeting with your academic advisor. What do you need to prepare for it? Why is it important? And, what happens if you do not do it? The best preparation for your SAM is to create your 4-Year Plan of study. This will be a semester-by-semester layout of all the required courses you need for graduation, organized and updated by you! Learn how to get started on this important tool.

  • Episode 10 | Time for Your Transition

    • You have learned so much about yourself as a college student throughout your first year at RPI, and you are ready for the next step. Learn about your new faculty advisor (how to connect, their research, etc.), collect all the resources you will need to bring with you into your sophomore year, and leave some advice for the Class of 2025!



Head back to the SoE Hub Website!