Aug 08, 2022  
2021-2023 - Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2023 - Undergraduate Catalog

Elnetta G. Jones University Center for Student Success and Exploratory Studies

The Elnetta G. Jones University Center for Student Success and Exploratory Studies uniquely supplements and reinforces the university's commitments to serve a more diverse student population and to cultivate a learning-centered environment where students persist to graduation. We enrich the teaching and learning mission of the university by delivering specialized, high-impact academic and student enrichment resources that empower students to successfully attain their educational goals. For further details, visit

Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies

If you have not decided on a major at the time you are admitted, you will be enrolled as an exploratory student, and the Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies, within the Student Success Center, located in Mowrey Hall, will serve as your academic home until you declare a major. The department provides exploratory students with a wide variety of academic support resources so they can make normal progress toward a degree while exploring educational and career options. (Unlike the three undergraduate colleges, the University Center for Student Success and Exploratory Studies does not grant degrees.) By the middle of their sophomore year, exploratory students are required to have in place a plan to declare a major. The Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Success and Exploratory Studies is the academic dean for all exploratory students.

Opportunities provided by the Dean's Office and Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies include an academic orientation to the university, assistance in understanding the university's policies and procedures, and an administrative unit for your academic records. However, probably the most important resource provided is your faculty academic advisor. You will be assigned an advisor before you arrive at Shippensburg University and will be expected to meet with him or her at least twice a semester. Your advisor might wish to see you more frequently if he or she believes additional support will enhance your academic success. Your academic advisor will be your primary resource for assistance with selection of appropriate courses, registration information, and other important academic advice and information, particularly with regard to your selection of a major. He or she will also direct you to other appropriate support resources should you need them. We consider your relationship with your academic advisor an integral part of your successful experience as an exploratory student at Shippensburg University.


Learning Center

The Learning Center, located on the first floor of the Student Success Center in Mowrey Hall, is the university's primary site for tutoring services and academic support at Shippensburg University. Learning Center services are designed to help students improve their academic performance, writing proficiency, and learning abilities. Students can visit the Learning Center's website at for detailed information about tutoring services and workshops, access writing and study skills resources, and learn how to schedule an appointment with a tutor or a Learning Specialist. The Learning Center works with departments and programs across the campus community to enhance the learning experiences of students and help them achieve their academic goals.

Tutoring Services

Content-based tutoring is available for most general education courses and a number of upper-level disciplinary courses. Free one-on-one tutoring, small group tutoring, and drop-in tutoring is provided by trained peer tutors and graduate assistants. Students can schedule appointments with tutors through the myShip portal as well as the Learning Center's website, or simply stop by the Learning Center to see if a tutor is available on a walk-in basis. Tutoring sessions are interactive experiences where students are engaged in the learning process and work to develop their understanding of course-related concepts. 

Writing tutoring: The Learning Center also offers writing support to help students develop their writing through all stages of the writing process including brainstorming for assignments, organizing and developing ideas, revision of drafts, and documenting source material. Students can schedule an individual appointment with a training writing tutor to discuss their writing goals and enhance their writing abilities. Students will find that working collaboratively with a writing tutor can help them strengthen their writing skills and improve the quality of their writing assignments. 

Learning Specialists

Professional learning specialists are available to help students develop effective learning strategies and reach their academic goals. Learning specialists are equipped to help students improve their study and testing habits and learn how to manage their time, test anxiety, and stress. Learning Specialists help students identify barriers to their academic success and work to develop a plan to address those areas to assist in students' success. Students should schedule an appointment to meet with a Learning Specialist on a one-on-one basis. 

Academic Improvement Plan

The Academic Improvement Plan (AIM) assists students on academic probation to develop strategies and skills that will help them improve their cumulative grade point average. AIM Coaches guide students in the AIM program to help them experience success in college. This structured program is designed to give students skills in studying, self-management, emotional intelligence, and personal responsibility, all of which can help to improve their academic standing and achieve success in their courses. 

The Learning Center is open to all students in the university community. To learn more about the resources and services provided by the Learning Center, call (717) 477-1420 or visit the center's website at


Academic Success Program/ACT 101

The Academic Success Program (ASP) provides access and academic support to students who do not meet the regular admission criteria to Shippensburg University but who have demonstrated the potential, desire, and motivation to succeed in college. The ACT 101 component of ASP is Pennsylvania legislation that provides educational funding support to qualified students seeking admission to the institutions of higher learning in Pennsylvania.

As part of the Elnetta G. Jones University Center for Student Success and Exploratory Studies, ASP's goals are to promote academic success and to build self-confidence with guided support throughout our students' college experience.

Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge program is a mandatory five-week program. The focus of the program is to provide a realistic orientation to the roles and expectations of Shippensburg University students. Upon successful completion of this required experience, students are considered for admission to Shippensburg for the fall semester.

The Summer Bridge Program provides:

  • An extensive orientation to college life
  • An assessment of academic strengths and areas needing improvement
  • An opportunity to develop academic skills in reading and writing
  • An opportunity to explore and improve attitudes and expectations about the nature of college-level work

Summer Bridge students will:

  • Enroll in Introduction to Higher Education (AEES 101): This three-credit course is designed to provide students with an orientation to academic and social expectations of higher education. Topics include study skills; skill development in reading, writing and critical thinking; leadership skills; career exploration; community awareness; and service-learning.
  • Enroll in a second three-credit course, taught by university faculty, that is paired with AEES 101.
  • Participate in workshops, seminars, and selected activities
  • Participate in individual and small group meetings with program faculty and staff members
  • Attend campus and community cultural events and activities

Note: The cost of tuition and room and board is waived to those students who meet all of the ACT 101 State Guidelines, but all students are required to pay for textbooks at the beginning of the summer program.

Academic Year Support Program

The Academic Year Support Program is designed to further develop the overall preparedness of the ASP students who have successfully completed the Summer Bridge program. ASP counselors closely monitor assigned students to ensure they are on track and focused on academic and personal success. Counselors emphasize helping students build on the base of knowledge established during the summer program.

The following are components of the Academic Year Support Program:

  • Academic advising: Students learn to understand policies and procedures and general education and major requirements.
  • Career counseling: Career assessments assist students in evaluating their academic skills as they relate to choosing academic majors and possible careers.
  • Financial aid advising: Students learn about financial aid and other monetary obligations related to their educational goals.
  • Personal and social adjustment counseling: Advisors support students throughout their years at Shippensburg in the areas of personal and social adjustment as they relate to academic success.