The University of Mary Washington Libraries consist of the Simpson Library, located on the Fredericksburg campus, and the Stafford Campus Library. Through services provided by its highly trained
staff, the Libraries enhance and support the instructional programs of the University while providing assistance in support of the research needs of students and faculty.
During regular semesters, Simpson Library is open with full-service for 90 hours each week and is open an additional 10 hours each week as a study space. During Reading Days/Exam Week, the Library is open 24/7. Many of its resources are available at all times via the Internet. The Libraries’ collections contain more than 380,000 cataloged items including books, serials, audiovisual materials, and an extensive microform collection of newspaper and periodical back issues. The Libraries provide access to more than 45,000 serial publications—many of them online—and some 76,000 electronic books. The Libraries also provide access via the Internet to an extensive array of electronic databases. The Libraries add 4,000 or more volumes to their collections each year to support the University’s wide-ranging curriculum. An official partial depository of both Federal and state government publications, the Libraries also maintain an online digital repository, a rare book collection, and the archives of the University. The University of Mary Washington is an active member of VIVA (The Virtual Library of Virginia) a consortium of colleges and universities in Virginia that provides students and faculty access to a rich array of electronic resources through the campus network. VIVA resources range from online encyclopedias and dictionaries to bibliographic databases and full-text periodical services.
One of the largest buildings on the Fredericksburg campus, Simpson Library offers 400 seats for public use, including 260 individual study desks and several small rooms for group-study. A large classroom, used for the Library’s instructional program, has facilities for acquainting students with the Library’s information portal and automated systems. Most of the resources made available through the library portal are accessible from any computer on campus, and many are accessible from remote locations. Simpson Library has numerous Internet-accessible stations available for student use. Simpson Library also provides wireless access to the campus network. The online VIRTUA catalog provides access to the Libraries’ print and electronic collections. A full range of instructional services is offered to faculty and students to aid in the use and interpretation of the Libraries’ resources, research methods and the efficient use of new information technologies. Librarians teach a wide array of course-related instruction in addition to the provision of reference assistance. The Libraries also support an efficient interlibrary loan service.
Opened in 1999, the Stafford Campus Library is a branch of UMW Libraries that serves the students, faculty, and staff located at the Stafford campus. Working in coordination with Simpson Library, the Stafford Campus Library provides access to physical and online resources in support of the courses offered at the Stafford campus. The library’s physical collections consist of books, media, and periodicals focusing on business, education, and information systems. Additionally, a children’s literature collection, student research projects, and course reserves are also available.
The Stafford Campus Library offers a document delivery service which allows the faculty and students at the Stafford campus to have full access to the collections available at Simpson Library on the Fredericksburg campus. Open conversation areas and comfortable seating provide a welcoming environment for individual and group study, and 20 networked computers provide access to the Internet, the University’s network, and the Microsoft Office Suite. The library staff is available to provide assistance to groups and individuals, and librarians are available to provide in-class or online library instruction sessions. Online tutorials and research guides specific to the Stafford campus community are available on the UMW Libraries’ website. Wireless access, printing and photocopying are among the other services available at UMW Libraries’ Stafford location.
The Office of Career Services coordinates the program of academic internships, through which qualified students work in off-campus settings. Academic departments sponsor these pre-professional internships, under the joint direction of a faculty member and an on-site supervisor, and award academic credit for their successful completion. Guidelines for academic credit vary from program to program; therefore, students are encouraged to review the specific internship requirements of the academic program which sponsors the internship. Career Services maintains files of internships both online and in print. Current internship policy and procedure guidelines are available from the Office of Career Services.
The Office of Career Services assists students and alumni in assessing their skills, interests, and values; exploring and testing occupational areas; and implementing their career goals. Career Services offers programs for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, and alumni. These services can help students decide their majors and career direction. Students can also assess their strengths and learn how to research occupational areas through workshops, individual career counseling, and a computerized career guidance system. The office maintains a Career Resource Center that contains over 700 books and magazines about a variety of occupational areas as well as directories of organizations.
Career Search, a computer database of more than 4 million employers nationwide, is available for students and alumni to use in their job searches. The Resource Center also houses information on graduate and professional school programs, including law and medicine, as well as internship listings and full-time, part-time, and summer job vacancies. Listings for internships and full-time positions are also available online. Informational interview binders and a computer database list alumni and others who are willing to discuss their career fields.
Career Day, held each fall, provides an opportunity for representatives from businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to explain their career opportunities. A similar program, Employer Fair, brings school systems, government agencies, business, and non-profit agencies to the Stafford campus to connect students with career opportunities in the region. Workshops on résumé writing and interviewing skills, as well as videotaped mock interviews, help students with their job search. Through the on-campus recruiting program, graduating students have the opportunity to interview with organizations hiring for full-time positions. The office also maintains credential files for seniors and alumni. A résumé referral service is available for seniors and alumni. Résumés are available to employers through a web-based system.
The Summer Session offers numerous opportunities to enrich and accelerate a student’s academic program. Additional Summer Session offerings include internships, study abroad courses, courses that satisfy state teacher certification requirements, and some offerings that are only available in the summers. Students attend the summer session for many reasons: to get ahead on their work toward a degree; to catch up by taking a course the student had been previously unable to take; or to explore an area of personal or career interest. Qualified high school students may apply to attend the Summer Session and may take courses if their application is approved.
The University has adopted a comprehensive plan for evaluating the impact of its programs and services on its students. Developed in response to guidelines set forth by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the outcomes assessment program examines the extent to which the University is meeting its intended goals for its students. Assessment results are used to evaluate programs and curricula, not individual students.
Although the data collected are maintained in the institution’s computer database, they are not included on official transcripts, nor are the aggregated data used for any purpose other than comparative analysis. The long-range goals of outcomes assessment are to identify and rectify the University’s shortcomings and build upon its strengths. Only by examining closely the effects of what it does can the University become a stronger and continuously improving institution.
The University’s commitment to assessing its effectiveness necessitates the participation of students, who are required to be involved directly in the evaluation of the various academic major programs as well as the General Education curriculum.
The University of Mary Washington encourages students to enrich their liberal arts education with a study abroad experience. Any currently enrolled student with at least 12 accumulated UMW credits and a 2.0 GPA may make study abroad part of their Mary Washington experience.
A wealth of programs are available in a variety of locations for nearly all academic disciplines. UMW offers faculty-led programs founded on the expertise and interest of the instructor, which are conducted during summer, spring, or winter break. Students may also enroll in summer, semester, or full year programs sponsored by UMW, other American universities, study abroad providers, or they may also apply directly to foreign institutions.
Students considering studying abroad work with the Center for International Education (CIE). Preparations must be made well in advance and include the guidance of CIE and the student’s academic advisor(s). CIE assists students in program selection and approval, transfer credit, and other administrative and cultural preparations, and supports them while abroad and upon re-entry to UMW. The procedure for transferring credits earned on study abroad programs is different than transferring credits earned at U.S. institutions. With careful preparation and planning made in conjunction with CIE and the student’s academic advisor(s), students may use study abroad course work and internships to fulfill degree and major requirements.
CIE also assists international students, both exchange and degree seeking, with immigration, and academic and social adjustments. The office acts as the first point of contact for issues specific to the needs of international students at the University, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of State, and Department of Justice regulations, and their compliance with federal rules governing international student status in the United States.
Faculty are committed to the mutually supportive values of undergraduate teaching and academic research. Seeking to extend those values to its students, UMW has a well-established and nationally-recognized Undergraduate Research Grant Program, whereby collaborative teams of faculty member(s) and students apply for University-funded research project support. This grant program enables undergraduates to work intensively with faculty members on a broad range of research topics, work which in many instances leads to student presentations at state, regional, or national academic conferences. In some instances, undergraduate research grants support student travel for study, observation, and performance related to focused individual projects.
Students engaged in undergraduate research earn credits by registering for individual studies (courses numbered 491 or 492). Every academic discipline offered at the University has such courses available. Students should check with the department in which they are interested in doing an individual study because programs have specific requirements for enrolling in individual study courses.
Another undergraduate research option is the URES 197 course. In this case, the student works on the faculty member’s research project and completes research tasks connected with that project as determined by the faculty member. Beginning students are eligible to register for URES 197, and the students who complete URES 197 will likely develop their own individual study project at a later time, thereby building on initial research experiences. Individual studies are most often done by more advanced students (juniors and seniors) who have the necessary background to successfully formulate an individual study project.
The Writing Centers located on both the Fredericksburg campus and the Stafford campus are open to all Mary Washington students. Operating within the Honor Code, the Writing Centers offer free tutorial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major or concentration, both for course assignments and for personal writing needs.
The Writing Centers work with student writers at every skill level to improve their writing performance. Staffed by faculty directors, assistants, and well-trained student tutors, the Centers provide advice in getting started on papers, developing ideas, achieving unity and coherence, reviewing troublesome parts of papers, learning writing styles such as APA and MLA, understanding and correcting recurring grammatical and punctuation errors, and overcoming writer’s block. The Writing Centers welcome students writing research papers, short essays, letters of application, and laboratory reports. They also provide access to various writing guides.
The Speaking Center, located on the Fredericksburg campus, supports the Speaking Intensive Program by providing free consultations to students interested in developing oral communication skills. The Center houses a collection of instructional resources (books, handouts, videotapes, and equipment) that address a variety of topics ranging from public speaking anxiety to constructing effective visual aids. Consultants are available to videotape practice presentations and to provide feedback.
The Center adheres strictly to the Honor Code: consultants will not compose any portion of a presentation for a student, nor will they do research for a student’s presentations. Consultants also are prepared to offer advice on special types of oral communication activities such as speeches, group presentations, debates, or interviews.
The University of Mary Washington is making steady progress toward status as a national model in the use of technology in teaching and learning. The divisions of Information Technologies and Teaching and Learning Technologies focus not only on the construction and maintenance of networks and information systems, but on the exploration and deployment of technologies that effectively and efficiently promote a first-rate education.
The University believes that technology helps stimulate creative thinking, enabling students and faculty to take advantage of all that the current worldwide information environment has to offer. Technology allows students to view, learn, assemble, and personalize information and resources from diverse sources, and enables faculty collaboration with colleagues without geographic limitations. In every discipline throughout the University, courses make use of technology to help actively engage students in the learning process.
Student Computing Needs. Nearly all students bring their own computers to campus, and new students are encouraged to bring laptop computers to take advantage of their mobility. The University makes wireless network access available in all academic and administrative buildings and many areas along campus walk. Residence hall rooms are equipped with high-speed Internet access for each occupant through subscription ResNet service. University network resources, such as registration, class schedules, course materials, library offerings, and email, may be accessed over the Internet.
There are 27 computer labs between the Fredericksburg and Stafford campuses, equipped with both PC and Macintosh computers and printers. Labs are located throughout the campuses in academic buildings, and are available at posted times for student use.
For more detailed information on computer and software recommendations, and on what to expect in the UMW computing environment, incoming students should visit the UMW Student Computing website (www.umw.edu/technology/studentcomputing).
IT Support Services. In addition to online documentation available at its website (www.umw.edu/technology/), the Division of Information Technologies offers help to its users through the IT Help Desk, which is the campus clearinghouse for all technology-related questions. In helping diagnose and solve problems, the Help Desk staff may “walk” users through some steps on the phone (654-2255), point them toward online resources that can help, provide technical consultation in person at the Help Desk location (GW B027), or, if needed, identify someone to provide on-site help. The specialists staffing the Help Desk may also be contacted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All students who have not declared a major are advised by academic advisors assigned to students upon entry to the University. When students choose their major fields and declare their majors through the Office of Academic Services, they are assigned advisors from the major department. B.A./B.S. students may also consult the Office of Academic Services on a variety of academic situations. BLS students may contact the BLS office. Assistance in developing academic skills and in choosing a major field is also offered by these offices as well as by the Office of Career Services. Any B.A./B.S. student may request a change in his or her pre-major advisor by submitting a written request to the Office of Academic Services or a change in his or her major advisor by consulting the chair of the major department. BLS students must contact a member of the BLS Office, and BPS students may contact the Assistant Dean of Advising on the Stafford campus.
The First-Year Advising Program is specifically designed to help students with the transition from high school to college. Incoming Freshmen are assigned to a First-Year Faculty Advisor based on the their interests. The program begins with Orientation, where they meet their First-Year Advisor for advising and schedule review. A series of group and individual meetings sees them through the first academic year. Orientation, and the subsequent meetings with the first-year academic advisor are planned around the UMW academic cycle and meant to alleviate stress as well as to assist students in their journey towards graduation and becoming self-sufficient adults. At the conclusion of the freshman year eligible students may declare a major. Each declared student will then be assigned to a major advisor. Students who do not declare a major will remain with their first-year advisor.
Non-Major Advising is provided for B.A./B.S. students who are not eligible or ready to declare a major. Non-major faculty advisors are assigned based on a student’s academic interest. Non-major advisors along with Career Services staff can assist students in deciding on a major.
BLS Advising for incoming BLS students is provided by the BLS advisor and/or director. After declaring a major BLS students will be assigned a major advisor but also continue to be advised in the BLS Office. To change advisors, students should contact the BLS Office.
BPS Advising is generally provided by the Assistant Dean for Advising Services, who is located on the Stafford campus. Professional staff members are available on a walk-in or scheduled basis. While the BPS program is no longer accepting new students, advising services for our existing BPS students continues to be available.
Major Advising is provided by faculty in the student’s major department. Major advisors are assigned by the departmental chair. Students will have a major advisor for each declared major. Students will plan their course work with their major advisor so that they will be able to meet all graduation requirements in a timely manner. To change the major advisor, B.A./B.S. students should contact the chair of the major department. BLS and BPS students should contact advisors in their respective areas for a change in major or concentration.
Non-degree students are not assigned to an advisor.
In addition to each student’s designated academic advisors, the Office of Academic Services offers a variety of advising services for all University of Mary Washington students on the Fredericksburg campus. International students are mentored by one of the assistant deans in consultation with the Assistant Director for the Center for International Education. Students with documented disabilities are mentored by one of the assistant deans in consultation with the Director of Disability Resources. Deans in Academic Services counsel B.A./B.S. students in academic jeopardy (i.e., those placed on academic probation and/or suspension). One of the assistant deans of Academic Services, in consultation with the student’s academic advisors, mentors students of color. Additionally, any student can schedule a general advising session with any of the deans in the Office of Academic Services.
The Office of Academic Services offers free tutorial services to degreeseeking University of Mary Washington students in need of academic assistance. Tutorial sessions are offered twice a week. Although tutors are available in a variety of subjects, tutors are not available for every course offered at the University of Mary Washington. Students are encouraged to seek help early in the semester if they feel that they will have difficulty in a course. Students who need assistance should contact Academic Services or their academic advisor on the Stafford campus.
Accounting. Students interested in accounting may focus their study in this area through electives in accounting. The accounting advisors help students select courses that meet their individual needs and interests, as well as develop the communication and critical reasoning skills necessary in today’s accounting profession. Courses offered at Mary Washington provide students with an opportunity to prepare for the uniform examinations required to obtain the designation of certified public accountant (CPA), certified management accountant (CMA), and certified internal auditor (CIA).
Health Sciences. The health sciences constitute a variety of professions providing health care. The basic liberal arts and science courses offered at Mary Washington prepare students for entering nursing, physical therapy, dental hygiene, medical technology, occupational therapy, ophthalmic technology, optometry, physician assistant, and pharmacy programs. During their first year students must give careful attention to the professional school admission requirements, which are available on the respective school websites. The Pre-Physical/Occupational Therapy and Allied Health Advisors in the Department of Biological Sciences are available to help students select courses that meet these requirements, and prepare for the relevant admission examination. Admission to professional institutions is, of course, very competitive, and depends on academic performance and scores on qualifying examinations.
Medical. Pre-medicine, pre-dentistry and pre-veterinary medicine are career paths, not majors. Students in pursuit of one of these clinical careers may select any of the major programs at the University. Although most premedical, pre-dental, and pre-veterinary students major in one of the sciences, students can easily major in one of the humanities or social sciences and complete their premedical courses as electives.
The pre-medical/pre-dental advisor provides academic guidance for the pre-clinical curriculum of the pre-medical and pre-dental students, and students thinking about pursuing one of these careers should contact the pre-medical advisor for an advising appointment. The advisor also heads the Pre-medical Advisory Board, a committee charged with the preparation of an institutional recommendation for each student to be sent to the medical and dental schools. The pre-veterinary medicine advisor provides academic guidance for students interested in veterinary medicine. These students should contact the pre-vet advisor for an advising appointment.
Law. The pre-law advising system provides guidelines for students interested in entering law school. There is no prescribed “pre-law curriculum,” and students considering a legal career may focus their studies in any academic major. Students, however, are encouraged to enroll in courses that develop written and oral communication as well as critical reasoning. The pre-law advisor helps students to select courses that meet their individual needs, foster skills necessary to the legal profession, and prepare for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
Teacher Education. The Teacher Education Program is approved by the Virginia State Department of Education. Students who complete an approved program qualify for licensure/certification in all the states with which Virginia has reciprocity agreements. Students major in an academic discipline and take professional education courses as electives. They have advisors both in their major discipline and in the University’s College of Education.
The Office of Disability Resources (ODR) coordinates reasonable and appropriate accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. These accommodations are based on individual student profiles and may include – but are not limited to – extended time on tests, note-taking assistance, accessible dorm rooms, sign language interpreters, electronic texts, and distraction-reduced testing sites.
In order to receive services, students must provide professional documentation of a substantially limiting condition and discuss appropriate accommodations with the ODR. Documentation guidelines for specific disabilities may be found on the Disability Resources website at academics. umw.edu/disability/ or by requesting it from the office at 540/654-1266. The ODR verifies the disability, determines reasonable accommodations in collaboration with the student, and acts as a liaison with students, faculty, and administration as needed on issues relating to services or accommodations.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests are available in computer-based formats and may be scheduled individually through local universities. Different programs at the University have varying regulations about the acceptance of CLEP test scores. Students should consult their advisor and/or the Office of Academic Services.
The University’s National Testing program provides a quality testing environment for the hundreds of teachers, high school students, and graduate school applicants who live in the Fredericksburg area. On scheduled Saturdays throughout the year, the PRAXIS Series, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Subject Tests, the ACT, and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) are given on the University’s Fredericksburg campus.
To register for a national exam, candidates must contact the national office of the exam they plan to take. For more information about these tests and to register, visit these websites: www.ets.org/praxis for PRAXIS; www.gre.org for the GRE; www.act.org for the ACT; or www.lsac.org for the LSAT. Testing announcements, as needed, are posted on the UMW website at www.umw.edu/nationaltesting.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is scheduled individually and is only offered at various computer-based testing(CBT) centers throughout the country. Students interested in taking the GMAT should consult the GMAT Bulletin or go to www.mba.com/mba/TaketheGMAT.
The UMW Center for Economic Education was established in 2011 as part of the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE). The VCEE works in partnership with colleges and Universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia through a statewide network of university-based centers for economic education. The mission of the UMW Center for Economic Education is to build ongoing partnerships with the region’s school divisions and their teachers, provide professional development workshops for teachers, and provide creative, hands-on lesson plans, curriculum and programs for students. These efforts are with the goal of effectively infusing economic and financial education in grades K-12 to promote economic and financial literacy.
Established in 1979 through a Commonwealth of Virginia Grant for Excellence, the Center for Historic Preservation has a dual mission, to support the historic preservation program and to encourage preservation activities through public outreach programs. The Center enhances students’ opportunities for employment, research, internships, and public involvement in preservation by sponsoring lectures, workshops, and conferences, and by conducting research and service projects in the Fredericksburg region. Preservation organizations, government agencies, and citizens are the beneficiaries of the Center’s second charge – the support of preservation activities through public programs and cultural resource management services. Since 1989 the Center annually awards the nationally competitive Historic Preservation Book Prize to the book that a professional jury deems to have made the most significant contribution to the intellectual vitality of historic preservation in America. Through its website, the Center hosts the Virginia Local Preservation Reference Collection and the newly established Historic Buildings of Fredericksburg database.
The Center for Leadership and Media Studies supports the study of political leadership and of the mass media’s roles in international, national and Virginia politics. In conjunction with the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, the Center’s programs are designed to give students a wide range of academic experiences and professional opportunities by conducting public opinion research and by bringing members of the university community into contact with political figures and media practitioners at the international, national, state and local levels.
The Center for Spatial analysis and Research (CeSAR) at the University of Mary Washington is an interdisciplinary research center focused on education, research, and application development in the field of geographic information science (GISc). The center provides customized educational programs, innovative solutions, and access to students and intellectual capital at UMW.
CeSAR professionals encompass a wide variety of academic disciplines and broader GIS experience. To support its mission, CeSAR provides state-ofthe-art technology and facilities. The Center serves as a leader and catalyst for the advancement of geospatial thinking and analysis for academic institutions, private industry, and the public sector.
The Center seeks to raise the visibility of existing activity, to encourage linkages and to stimulate new research and education at UMW in the rapidly developing field of GISc. It accomplishes this mission by serving research, education, and administration with computer infrastructure support; shared hardware resources; distribution of site licensed software; specialized instructional classes and seminars; data development, repository and access; consulting services; programming support; community building; and outreach.
The Leidecker Center for Asian Studies supports interdisciplinary study of Asia, drawing on the expertise of faculty from across the campus. The Center sponsors an annual lecture series, seminars, and conferences. In coordination with the resources of the Center for International Education, the Center also promotes academic and cultural exchange as well as awareness of Asia and its place in the world. In addition to promoting the academic study of Asia, the Center for Asian Studies sponsors public workshops allowing direct familiarity with various aspects of Asian cultures. The Leidecker Center for Asian Studies was established by the College’s Board of Visitors in 1998 in honor of Professor Emeritus Kurt Leidecker (1902 – 1991), a professor of philosophy at Mary Washington College from 1948 until his retirement in 1973 and a specialist in Buddhism, who first developed a program in Asian Studies at Mary Washington College.
Through the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation, UMW works to promote and sustain excellence in teaching, explore and develop innovative pedagogy and curriculum, and advance student learning. The Center is more than a place; it is a community of faculty, staff and students passionate about learning, a focal point for conversations about and taking action to enhance teaching and learning. The Center seeks to promote a culture of teaching innovation and teaching excellence through scholarly inquiry. A culture of teaching innovation and excellence goes beyond knowledge of pedagogy and course design. For faculty, a culture of excellence embodies knowledge and the application of best practices to one’s teaching. For students, it involves the willingness to open up to the challenges of engagement and genuine learning. Through a variety of means, the Center works to support faculty who are interested in scholarly inquiry and in developing teaching strategies to support meaningful learning, implementing meaningful approaches to student assessment, or exploring emerging academic technologies or other instructional and creative resources.
The Ridderhof Martin Gallery is a high-quality art museum facility. It displays traveling exhibitions from museums around the country, bringing to the University the art of the past and present from many cultures. Other exhibitions draw from the permanent collection for themes such as “The Artist Looks at Sister Artists” and “Art and 20th-Century War.” The duPont Gallery features painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and textiles by art faculty and students as well as other contemporary artists.
The Galleries’ permanent collection of some 6,000 artworks is strongest in mid-20th century art and Asian art. The Galleries also house much of the life’s work, as well as the personal papers, of New York surrealist Margaret Sutton and Los Angeles figurative expressionist Phyllis Ridderhof Martin.
Professors in art history and other fields often assign class projects and research in the Galleries. Students study the works on view and in storage, and delve into the computerized records and paper files. Students also participate in cataloging the collection and organizing and installing exhibitions.