Academic Services and Support for Students

8.6  ACADEMIC SERVICES AND SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

8.6.1  Advising Services    Faculty responsibilities for student academic advising and the policies and procedures for carrying them out are established within the various colleges of the University and spelled out in the Faculty Handbooks of the colleges. The Office of Academic Services on the Fredericksburg Campus offers a variety of services for students, including general advising, free tutorial services and study skills workshops. The Office  works to counsel students in academic jeopardy (i.e., those placed on academic probation and/or suspension). Advising on the Stafford Campus is provided by designated advisors who offer such services for students as: pre-admission and pre-enrollment advising, counseling for non-traditional academic credit options and academic jeopardy, career services, information related to financial assistance, and degree audits.

8.6.2  Office of the Registrar    The Office of the Registrar works to provide student record information (degree audit, transcripts, etc.), enrollment and degree verification, and enrollment services (including web course registration) for the University.  The Office maintains an official, permanent academic record for all students including information on completed course work, grades, grade-point average, and notes on the student’s academic status.  The student’s application file, containing the application for admission and accompanying transcripts, is maintained for five years following the student’s last date of enrollment.  Access to academic records is allowed in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as amended (20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99).   The Office is also responsible for managing an electronic degree auditing system enabling faculty advisors to track the progress of advisees in meeting graduation requirements.

8.6.3  Office of Disability Resources    The Office provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. These accommodations may include – but are not limited to – extended time on tests, note-taking assistance, air-conditioned dorm rooms, sign language interpreters, enlarged print materials, permission to tape record lectures, 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 Director of Disability Services. Documentation guidelines for specific disabilities may be found on the Disability Services Web site at http://www.umw.edu/disability/ or by requesting it from the office. The Director verifies the disability, assists in arranging reasonable accommodations, and acts as a liaison between students, faculty, and administration on issues relating to services or accommodations.

8.6.4  Writing Center    Located on the Fredericksburg campus, the Writing Center is open to all students.  Operating within the Honor Code, the Writing Centers offer free tutorial assistance to students, regardless of major, both for course assignments and for personal writing needs.  Trained tutors work with students one-on-one to improve writing performance.  Students can obtain assistance with all types of writing projects, from research projects to résumés, and with all aspects of writing, from brainstorming a research topic to proofreading a paper.

8.6.5  Speaking Center    The Speaking Center, located on the Fredericksburg campus, provides free consultations to students interested in developing oral communication skills.  The Center houses a collection of instructional resources that address a variety of topics ranging from public speaking anxiety to constructing effective visual aids. Trained consultants are available to videotape practice presentations and 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 presentations. Consultants also prepared to offer advice on special types of oral communication activities such as speeches, group presentations, debates, or interviews.

8.6.6  Multicultural Center    The James Farmer Multicultural Center works to enhance students’ educational experiences by increasing awareness and knowledge of diversity issues that impact individuals as well as the community. The Center encourages engagement from students in these initiatives and assists in the development of the democratic principles and critical thinking skills that will help make students effective leaders.  The Center is named in honor of Dr. James L. Farmer, Jr., one of the nation’s foremost civil rights leaders.  Dr. Farmer serves as a Distinguished Professor of History and American Studies at UMW from 1985 to 1998.

8.6.7  Center for International Education     Students considering studying abroad work with the Center for International Education (CIE) to plan their overseas experience. CIE assists students in program selection and approval, transfer credit, and administrative and cultural preparations, while providing support for students while abroad and upon re-entry to the University. The University sponsors a wide range of UMW Faculty-Led programs during winter, spring, and summer breaks with destinations based on the expertise of the instructor. Students are awarded either transfer credit or UMW credit for coursework completed during their study abroad experience. In addition, there are many summer, semester, and full-year study abroad programs available to UMW students, offering courses in a variety of academic disciplines. CIE also assists international scholars and students (short-term/exchange and degree-seeking) with immigration details as well as academic and social adjustments.

8.6.8  Career Services   The Center for Career and Professional Development provides instruction on career planning and search strategy, individualized coaching, and a variety of resources and programs designed to empower students for success in life and career.  The Center supports these efforts by facilitating connections between students, alumni, and employers.  The Office also offers career planning programs and services for freshmen through graduate students, and for alumni as well.  The Office helps students decide areas of academic interest and career direction, and can help students assess their strengths and learn how to research occupational areas and employment opportunities. Through a portal called Handshake, students can search for internship opportunities. Counselors at the Center help students navigate an internship search through one on one appointments and workshops. Finally, Career Fairs hosted by the Office bring prospective employers to campus each year.  Varieties of resources are available online through the office website at www.umw.edu/careercenter.

8.6.9  Student Services    The Student Affairs Division of the University provides a number of resources and services designed to provide support for students and to create opportunities for productive and engaging co-curricular, recreational, and entertainment activities for students.  Additional information about specific programs and services may be found at: www.umw.edu/studentaffairs.

8.6.10  Violence Prevention and Threat Assessment    UMW promotes a safe and secure environment in which to learn and work by prohibiting threats or acts of violence by or against members of the University community. In addition, UMW prohibits threats and acts of violence on University property and within University facilities. The violence prevention and threat assessment process promotes campus safety and aims to prevent violence through comprehensive threat management oversight and the identification and evaluation of possible threats to an individual or to the campus. Additional information is available at: http://students.umw.edu/threat-assessment/