The Elnetta G. Jones School of Academic and Exploratory Programs supports collaboratively the mission and goals of Shippensburg University by providing quality academic support services to the campus community that aid student transition to college; encourage and support the potential for learning and personal development; enhance student academic success; and support persistence to graduation. All programs offered by the offices within the school are committed to helping students reach their full academic potential. We respect and appreciate the diversity of our students and embrace the changing needs of the university within an evolving global community. For further details, visit www.ship.edu/aps.
Office for Exploratory Studies
If you do not declare a major at the time you are admitted, you will be enrolled as an exploratory student, and the Office for Exploratory Studies, within the Elnetta G. Jones School of Academic and Exploratory Programs, will serve as your academic home until you declare a major. The office provides exploratory students with a wide variety of academic support services so they can make normal progress toward a degree while exploring educational and career options. (Unlike the three undergraduate colleges, the Office for 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 Dean of Academic and Exploratory Programs is the academic dean for all exploratory students.
Services provided by the Office for 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 service and 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 during the 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.
Shippensburg University is committed to creating a responsive learning environment in which all students can develop the skills and attitudes necessary for the attainment of academic, career, and life goals. Developmental education is a process to assist students in overcoming individual barriers to academic success. This process includes
- Ensuring proper placement in writing, reading, and mathematics by assessing each learner’s level of preparedness for college-level coursework; and
- Providing developmental courses for students who need to improve their academic foundation for success in college-level studies.
Developmental courses are offered in writing, mathematics, and reading. These courses provide opportunities for students to develop academic proficiencies necessary for college success. A grade of C or better is required in developmental-level courses; students earning a D or F will need to repeat the course in the following semester.
Credits earned in courses numbered 050 taken at Shippensburg are included in determining a student’s class standing, and the grades are computed in the student’s quality grade point average; however, these credits do not count toward the total number of credits required for graduation.
Students who earn placement into a developmental-level course are strongly encouraged to contact the Testing Center for options to satisfy the placement before entering Shippensburg University.
The Learning Center, located on the first floor of the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, is the university’s primary site for tutoring services and academic support. Within the center, students are able to select from an array of options that can help them improve their academic performance, writing proficiency, and learning abilities. Outside the center, students can peruse the Learning Center’s website at http://learning.ship.edu/home to obtain information on tutoring options, view virtual workshops, find schedules for face-to-face 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 the faculty and student affairs offices to provide services and programs that enhance the learning experiences of students.
Content tutoring is available in 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 through peer tutors and graduate assistants who are carefully trained, and regularly evaluated. Students seeking tutoring sessions can schedule an appointment or simply stop by the Learning Center to see if a tutor if available on a walk-in basis. For students who enjoy studying in a collaborative environment, small group tutoring offers students the chance to meet in study groups where a tutor helps explain problem areas and guides the direction of the group. Students who desire flexibility and a casual tutoring environment will enjoy the drop-in tutoring option where they can choose to meet with a tutor or small group for as little as a few minutes or up to a few hours. The many options for tutoring provide students with choices to fit their learning styles and academic needs.
The Learning Center also offers individual appointments, workshops, and resources for helping students improve their writing or address writing concerns. Students can schedule an individual appointment with a trained writing tutor where they can discuss their work-in-progress and enhance their writing abilities. Through the Learning Center’s website, students can also view on-line writing workshops, learn about interactive workshops available at the center, and access writing resources to help them throughout the writing process. Students will find that talking with a writing tutor can help them strengthen their writing skills and improve the quality of their writing assignments.
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. Not only can a learning specialist serve as a mentor to students experiencing difficulties in their academic skills, but learning specialists can also successfully help students on probation improve their academic standing. Learning specialists meet with students on a one-to-one basis, and students should schedule an appointment to meet with a Learning Specialist.
Academic Improvement Plan
The Academic Improvement Plan (AIM) assists students on academic probation in developing strategies and skills that will help them to improve their cumulative grade point average. Learning specialists 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 them to improve their academic standing and achieve success in their courses.
The Learning Center staff endeavors to be a central resource for all learners 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 www.ship.edu/learning/.
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 School of Academic and Exploratory Programs, ASP’s goals are to promote academic success and to build self-confidence with guided supportive services 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 (ASP 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 ASP 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.
The Testing Center administers placement tests to students under the auspices of the Elnetta G. Jones School of Academic and Exploratory Programs. Details regarding the placement testing program are available under the General Education section of this catalog and through the placement testing website at www.ship.edu/testing.