How to enroll in a summer/winter online class

Enrollment for summer or winter online classes can be done right through SPIRE if you are a matriculated (enrolled & attending) undergraduate student at UMass Amherst.  The process can be a little confusing, however, since you have request a SPIRE summer/winter enrollment appointment. For your convenience, we have put together step-by-step instructions:

  • Log into SPIRE
  • From the Main Menu dropdown, click Enrollment.
  • In the Enrollment dropdown, click on Summer/Winter Enrollment Appointment.  (You should now be on a screen titled “Enrollment Appointments for CPE Classes”.)
  • Read this screen carefully before committing.
  • From the Term dropdown, select the term you want (e.g. Summer 2015).
  • Check the box next to “I understand that charges for CPE classes are not included in my tuition” .
  • Click the green button that says [REQUEST CPE ENROLLMENT APPOINTMENT] .
  • Now when you go back to your SPIRE enrollment page, you’ll see the summer or winter term you selected.
  • Search and enroll in classes as you normally would.

For more information on CPE summer online course costs and logistics, go to the CPE website at .

How to drop or change to pass/fail after add/drop

If you are struggling in one of your classes and you feel there is a high risk that you’ll fail, you can withdraw from the course.  If you withdraw after add/drop,  it will show as a “W” on your transcript and will not affect your GPA.  If you think you’ll get a low grade but you can still pass the class and you want to keep the credits, you can change it to pass fail.  You will not be able to use a pass/fail course toward Gen Ed, Global Ed, or major requirements, but you’ll protect your GPA.  See instructions below for both scenarios.


  • These instructions will only work if your primary major is in SBS.  For majors outside of SBS, consult with your primary major and college for the proper procedure to follow.
  • If you are concerned that you will fail a class in which you are currently enrolled or you forgot to drop a class that you’ve never attended, follow the instructions below.
  • Pick up COURSE CHANGE REQUEST and PETITION FOR LATE WITHDRAWAL forms at Help Desk in Thompson 219.
  • Fill out both forms completely and provide your signature where needed.
  • Select ‘W’ Drop (it is unlikely you’ll get permission for ‘no record’ drop unless there are extreme circumstances).
  • Obtain instructor’s signature on both forms.
  • Submit both forms to Academic Dean’s office before the mid-semester date to give the Dean time to review, sign, and forward forms to Registrar before the deadline.


  • These instructions work no matter what your primary major is.
  • Pick up COURSE CHANGE REQUEST form at Help Desk in Thompson 219.
  • Fill out form with all student and class information.
  • Check the box labeled PASS/FAIL.
  • Sign form. (There is no need to obtain instructor or Dean signatures.)
  • Submit form to Registrar’s office in 213 Whitmore before the mid-semester date to ensure it goes through.

New York Union Semester

New York Union Semester (NY Union Semester) is a full-time intensive academic and internship program that provides students with an opportunity to put their passion for social justice to work, both inside and outside the classroom.  As interns, students learn first-hand how unions and labor organizations fight for workers’ rights by contributing to the movement themselves.  Students analyze the experience they gain in the field by studying the history and current status of the U.S. labor movement.

Undergraduate students earn 16 credits and are awarded a Certificate in Labor Studies, and graduate students earn 12 credits and are awarded a Graduate Certificate in Labor Studies upon completion of the program. The program welcomes undergraduates, recent college graduates, and graduate students.

Students participate in New York Union Semester to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the labor movement
  • Sharpen their analytic skills in order to be more effective in their studies or on the job
  • Obtain professional experience that can help build a career path in labor and social justice
  • Earn transferable college or graduate credits
  • Gain exposure to related fields including law, economics, history, or political science
  • Receive a partial tuition scholarship and a weekly stipend to help cover program costs and living expenses

Contact Us

To speak with the NY Union Semester Coordinator, Sarah Hughes, call 212.642.2075 or email

For Additional Information click the link here.

7-week Mindfulness, Meditation, and Leadership Development Training

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is pleased to sponsor a series of seven weekly classes which will provide interested UMass students an opportunity to delve deeper into mindfulness and meditation practices while also cultivating leadership skills.

This training will be especially valuable for students who want to lead meditation groups on campus, such as our nondenominational, student-led groups that meet every Tuesday and Wednesday in the Campus Center. (More info about our weekly meditation groups.)

The class will be taught by Shalini Bahl, PhD, founder of Downtown Mindfulness in Amherst. Dr. Bahl has studied mindfulness-based stress reduction with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn (at the UMass Medical Center) and published research on the relationship between mindfulness and the well-being of college students.

Dr. Bahl will be assisted by Kevin Harrington, who has played a key role in creating, building, and leading our nondenominational, student-led campus meditation groups over the past three years.

Students will learn the science, practice, and benefits of mindfulness
…to lead with compassion and wise heart;
…to manage stress and cultivate wholesome habits;
…mindful listening and speaking;
…to develop focus and clarity;
…to lead within one’s own life and enable others to do the same.

Dates, times, location
The seven-week class series begins Monday, February 23rd, and continues every Monday through April 13th (except Spring Break), from 5:30-7:00pm. Classes will meet in the Campus Center; specific locations TBA. Please note that this course is not for academic credit (unless you can make arrangements with a faculty member for independent study).

$100 for UMass and other Five College students (including graduate students);
$150 for non-students (UMass staff, faculty, and general public).

Some scholarship assistance may be available for students who would not otherwise be able to participate. (Contact Larry Goldbaum for more information about scholarships.)

ONLINE REGISTRATION is now available
Click here to register (and pay) online

For more information

To learn more about the content or structure of the class,
please contact Shalini Bahl or Kevin Harrington.

For questions about scholarships or problems with registration,
contact Larry Goldbaum, director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Thank you! We look forward to building a more mindful campus together.

Teach For America

Teach For America is a national corps of outstanding college graduates from all academic majors who commit to teaching for two years in low-income communities across the US. Corps members become lifelong leaders for educational equity while earning a full-time salary and benefits. You can find more information about Teach For America here.

Deadline: March 6th

Careers in Progressive Change: Opportunities for Graduating Seniors

“Do you have a spare 900 Million dollars? I’m a little short but would still like to participate in our democracy” –99.99% of Americans

The progressive movement has seen some major advances in the past few years, from the EPA implementing better carbon emission standards to more and more states finally allowing full marriage equality to the LGBT community. Despite this, we still face huge challenges:

-2014 was the hottest year in recorded history

-Over one billion people around the world are living in extreme poverty

-State after state is passing laws making it harder for people to vote

To top it all off…


The Koch brothers announced that they’ll be spending 900 million dollars to buy our elections next year.

We have to do something about this.

Over the next year and the next election cycle, Grassroots’ activists will reach millions of people all across the country to talk about the issues and call those people to action, inspiring millions to act, giving donations, time and energy to organizations who have the best ideas on how to make the world a better place. In 2016, we’ll also be working in key states across the country to elect candidates who will advance progressive change.

There will always be easier jobs to take, but no path will be more rewarding.

Grassroots Campaigns is currently hiring Assistant Canvass Directors to run field campaigns on behalf of issue-based organizations like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and The Nature Conservancy.

Grassroots Campaigns is looking to interview interested students to join our teams as Canvass Directors and Assistant Canvass Directors. We’re already running campaigns in major cities across the country, and we’ll be launching new projects this summer in places like Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas as we build towards 2016.

There is no better time get involved and shape the next generation of activists that will take this country in a more progressive direction and see change on issues that matter now.

Betty Rothstein will be on campus from March 3rd to March 5th meeting with interested candidates and holding interviews. Students who are interested should contact Betty directly:

To Apply:

Contact Betty at 413-345-2642 or



We are also hiring undergraduates to work on our campaigns as Field Managers. These jobs are a great way to get involved on the campaign and have a huge impact before you graduate. We hire students to work part time during the school year, and we will be considering applicants who want to work on campaigns next summer as well. Go to apply!


Please visit our website,, for more information about current and past campaigns.


Grassroots Campaigns past and current clients include: Amnesty International, the ACLU, Oxfam America, Doctors Without Borders, the League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Equality California, Lambda Legal, Freedom to Marry, the Southern Poverty Law Center, VoteVets, the Democratic National Committee, Political Action, Repower America, Working America, Common Cause, and the Center for American Progress, and Save the Children. (Save the Children is an independent organization and is not religiously or politically aligned. Save the Children has no direct affiliation with the organizations Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. partners with.)

Hiring Field Support Coordinator, Immigration Advocates Network

Field Support Coordinator, Immigration Advocates Network

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is an innovative collaboration of 12 leading immigration advocacy and legal support providers and Pro Bono Net, its fiscal sponsor and anchor organization. IAN seeks a Field Support Coordinator to support the rollout and adoption of online tools that increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and increase the impact of nonprofit legal and community-based organizations. The position requires experience in community outreach, strategic partnerships, technology and training, and familiarity with immigration issues. This is a full time position, with excellent benefits, including 4 weeks paid vacation. The Field Support Coordinator will be based at Pro Bono Net’s San Francisco, CA offices.


● Promote the rollout and adoption of online immigration legal services tools to nonprofit organizations;

● Cultivate new community partners that serve immigrants, including libraries, schools, public service, religious and other charitable organizations;

● Develop partner capacity to effectively implement online legal service delivery tools;

● Provide remote and on-site support;

● Respond to technical inquiries from partner organizations and questions from public users;

● Manage services and update content on new and existing platforms;

● Liaise with national, regional and local stakeholders to understand common issues and to share new features and best practices; and

● Assist with resource development and grant reporting, as needed.


● B.A. degree;

● Three or more years experience working with immigrants or immigrant-serving organizations;

● Experience managing complex projects, building community-based partners, and conducting outreach and community education;

● A high level of comfort with technology and related problem-solving skills;

● Training, technical support and/or mentoring experience;

● Spanish language proficiency required;

● Familiarity with immigration law and forms preferred;

● Ability to travel; and

● Ability to work well independently and in collaboration with a dynamic team and network of partners.

Why Work With Us?

● We’re a mission-driven organization that works closely with nonprofit, private sector, and government partners to deploy effective technology to make the legal system more accessible to low-income immigrants;

● We’re a dedicated and passionate team that cares deeply about social justice, the effective use of technology, and the success of our projects;

● We work collaboratively in a supportive environment that encourages staff develop a diverse skill set and the flexibility to pursue new ideas.

To Apply:

Send a resume, a brief cover-letter and 3 references to No telephone calls please. Identified candidates will be contacted directly. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. We are an equal opportunity employer.

To learn more about IAN, our projects and our partners, visit

New Info Sessions for Oxford Summer Seminar 2015

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Oxford Summer Seminar, which runs from July 4-August 14.  Students study at Trinity College in Oxford, England and programs include courses in law, political science, history, and literature.

Come to DROP-IN information sessions on classes (literature, politics and history), and SCHOLARSHIPS:
–Tues. Feb 17, 5-6, 107 Herter Hall
–Wed. Feb. 18, 2:30-3:30, 601 Herter Hall
–Wed Feb 18, 7-8, JQA Tower, 12th Floor Lounge

Stop by the information table at UMass Campus Center Concourse: Mon-Friday, 9-12

Or apply online:

For more information, contact Anne Broadbridge, Director, Oxford Summer seminar,

City of Springfield Office of Housing Data Internship


WANTED: Undergraduate or Graduate student intern to assist the City of Springfield Office of Housing with a study measuring the strategic impact of resources into blighted neighborhoods.

Public funding is scarce, and determining the use of these scare resources requires public policy planning, taking into account social, economic, and political factors. By identifying necessary data sources from a wide array of municipal services, the researcher or intern will analyze local neighborhood markets to create a typology of census block groups that accurately reflects the local housing market. Previous examples of this type of study have labeled these local neighborhood typologies as “distressed” “stable” or “transitory.” This typology will be derived from a wide array of data sources, including property assessments, owner occupancy rates, crime, housing vacancies, and will be used by the City to strategically allocate limited resources.

The City of Springfield Office of Housing seeks a researcher or intern to assist in a strategic planning internship to last approximately 6-8 weeks. While some travel is necessary, our digital age can accommodate electronic communications, and email and phone will be primarily in use to contact local agencies to acquire data and crunch numbers. The position is flexible depending on availability and quality of work.

The researcher/intern would help gather these data points in coordination with the Office of Housing, and will work as part of a team to formulate a template by which to study the impact of the resources being utilized within the city. Establishing this template will enable the Office of Housing to plug in updated data at any point in the future, providing the ability to examine the impacts long after the project has been completed.

This would serve two purposes- giving the researcher a data-specific portfolio project to be proud of, while enabling the Office of Housing to have a more accurate and timely picture of the tangible effects of these resources at work within our community, a crucial component for community planning.

Use existing data sources to create a neighborhood housing market typology.

Map all results in coordination with Springfield’s existing City GIS mapping programs to help shape how we allocate resources and where to best aid in community and neighborhood development.

Develop a final report based on statistical findings and other data gathered throughout the study.

Building professional skills working in coordination with municipal, police, and city government forces to identify, establish, and create an accurate data subset to analyze.

Having a tangible portfolio project piece by which to showcase skills and data.

Managing a working partnership between the City of Springfield Housing Dept. and UMASS Amherst.

Gain experience while identifying crucial public policy elements at work within the community.

A Data-Based Approach to Understanding Urban Housing Markets by Ira Goldstein.

Targeting Strategies for Neighborhood Development: HUD Website Article

Student PIRGs Organizers & Insights from an Alum

Students: We are all about making connections and passing on professional development and career info when it comes to us. Read below for an opportunity with MassPIRG and the insider info from one of our alums-turned-campus-organizers!

My name is Michael Basmajian, and I am a UMass alumn working with the Student PIRGs. I’m writing to tell you a little about my experience and our job opportunities.

When I graduated from UMass with a degree in Political Science, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to go directly to law or grad school, but I wasn’t sure what else was out there that related to the content I was studying in the classroom. When I found out that I could work full time organizing students to work on some of the most important issues of our time – things like climate change, money in politics, and student debt – I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. In my first semester as a campus organizer, I worked with over 60 students to register almost 800 of their peers to vote in the midterm elections and worked with a massive statewide coalition for common sense recycling policy. Now, I’m organizing in the Berkshires, working to get more solar energy in MA, stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms, and get cheaper textbooks for the students.

We are currently hiring graduating seniors to work full time as campus organizers at 40 campuses across the country – from here in Massachusetts, all the way to California and Washington! This is a great opportunity to make a huge impact on many of the issues that you’ve been learning about in the classroom. With this job, you will learn new skills, challenge yourself, and make a real difference on the issues you care about. Below is the full job description. Our early application deadline is March 1st, so I encourage you to submit your application soon!

Student PIRGs Organizer

Early Application Deadline: March 1st

Click here to learn more about Organizing with the Student PIRGs after you graduate


Students founded PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) over 40 years ago, based upon the simple idea that America has more problems than we should tolerate, and more solutions than we use.

We’re hiring organizers who recognize we are inheriting a country that is facing some real challenges – we’re losing time to combat climate change, big money and corporate contributions are corroding our democracy, and the cost of higher education continues to increase and bury graduates in debt.

Students have been at the forefront of social change for decades. And the Student PIRGs have organized students across the country to get real results. For example, we mobilized students to ban plastic grocery bags in dozens of cities across America. We passed strong state legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by putting more clean cars on our roads.

When you become an Organizer with the Student PIRGs, you’ll recruit, train and organize students to tackle these problems head-on. You’ll teach them to run campaigns that make a difference in their community and our country, and help develop them into leaders who can continue to make an impact years after they graduate. 

For more information, visit

Responsibilities may include:

  • Recruiting hundreds of students to volunteer
  • Teaching students to plan and run effective campaigns through internship classes and on-the-ground training
  • Building relationships with faculty and administrators
  • Organizing news events and rallies, and generating the grassroots support it takes to win campaigns
  • During the summer, each Campus Organizer runs a citizen outreach office. This entails fundraising and building the organization, by canvassing and training others to canvass.


  • Strong work ethic
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Strong commitment to getting results
  • Passion for making positive social change


As a PIRG Campus Organizer, you will participate in regional and national trainings run by experienced Student PIRGs staff, consisting of both classroom-style learning and hands-on experience. This training will supplement the valuable skills and hands-on experience you gain on your campus.

Find out more

Find out more information at If you have any questions you can contact Micaela Preskill, Student PIRGs Recruitment Director at (312)544-4436 ext. 304 or

How To Apply

Apply online at by March 1st

The Student PIRGs and all PIRG-affiliated organizations are equal opportunity employers and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or veteran status.