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West Chester University

West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383

Undergraduate Studies and Student Support Services

Academic Development Program/Act 101 Program

Location: 231 Lawrence Center
Phone: 610-436-3274

The Academic Development Program is designed to provide an opportunity for college education at West Chester University to those students who do not meet current admission requirements but who show a potential for success in college. Students admitted to the program are expected to take advantage of the program components that have been developed to enhance their skills in reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, and critical thinking, as well as to help them in their transition from high school to college. The Academic Development Program comprises a series of required courses supplemented by specialized tutoring, counseling, scheduling, and advising.

The program begins with intensive, five-week preparatory courses during the summer that students must complete. Developmental course work is credit-bearing, but these credits are not applicable toward graduation.

Students in the program are also required to complete the following courses: WRT 120, SPK 208, and EDR 100, all of which should be taken as soon as possible after completion of summer requirements. All of these courses satisfy University requirements for graduation. Students will be advised on the completion of general education requirements and, as necessary, on the transition into a major course of study.

Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs)

Location: 222 Lawrence Center (Coordinator's Office)
Phone: 610-436-3505

Freshman Interest Groups gather students in small groups of 24-35 students to live and learn together during their first semester at WCU. FIG students live near each other in the residence halls and take two classes together that are based on common theme. This arrangement assists the transition from high school to college by helping students make friends more quickly and connect with University faculty and staff. Students who are living on campus and students who are commuting can both participate in the program. The program is held only in the fall semester for first-time freshmen.

Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC)

Location: 224 Lawrence Center
Phone: 610-436-2535

The Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC) strives to provide quality academic support services that help students become independent, active learners who achieve academic success. The LARC offers tutoring services in most general education courses such as mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, other languages, music, and introductory business. Tutoring sessions are 50 minutes long and are held by appointment only. Interested students register on a first-come, first-served basis and are assigned tutors depending on availability.

The LARC offers Supplemental Instruction (SI) in several general education and "high-risk" courses; registration for SI and general tutoring sessions is done in 224 Lawrence Center. The LARC also offers refresher workshops in preparation for the Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) for education majors, which are held throughout the academic year; registration for these workshops is available at http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc/praxis.asp. Additionally, Academic Success Workshops (ASW) demonstrates the application of learning strategies and/or affective skills influencing learning, such as stress management, test anxiety reduction, assertiveness, and motivation. Registration for the ASW is available at http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc/wrkshp.asp, and the sessions are available to student groups upon request. Online tutoring for general education math and science is available through SMARTHINKING. An access code for free online tutoring hours can be obtained through the LARC (http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc/smarthinking.asp). The LARC website (http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc) includes information on our services, a list of courses we tutor, and links to helpful resources.

The LARC provides opportunities for paid practical training for undergraduate and graduate students. The LARC offers a comprehensive training program for new tutors, which includes seminars, workshops, individualized projects, and peer observation. Tutors employed by the LARC acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to meet the requirements for certification by the College Reading and Learning Association. Students interested in tutoring positions can apply online at http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc/employ.asp.

The LARC is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. You may contact us via e-mail at larc@wcupa.edu.

Office of Services for Students with Disabilities/TRIO Student Support Services

Location: 223 Lawrence Center
Phone: 610-436-2564

The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) offers services for students with physical and learning disabilities. The OSSD is designed to assist students make a successful transition to the University. We take a proactive stance that encourages students to understand their needs and strengths in order to best advocate for themselves.

At West Chester University we recognize that some students with disabilities want minimal assistance while others require the full range of support and services. To facilitate successful transition we recommend a comprehensive assessment of needs through our office. We can also provide advocacy with faculty for classroom accommodations, but we work to provide students with the tools to be independent.

The OSSD is located within the Division of Undergraduate Studies and Student Support Services. Our main purpose is to arrange for accommodations for students and create a level playing field within the classroom. In addition, we provide academic services through a federal TRIO SSS grant-funded program. We coordinate services with other units within the division, such as the Learning Assistance and Resource Center, the Academic Advising Center, and other University offices including the Writing Center and the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services.

Students needing financial support for personal services or interpreters should register with the appropriate agency at least six months in advance of matriculation. It is the student's responsibility to provide services of a personal nature (e.g., attendants).

Services offered through the OSSD may include the following:

  • Special Summer Orientation
  • Central documentation file
  • Advocacy with faculty
  • Referrals for LD testing
  • Alternative test-taking arrangements
  • Academic coaching
  • Priority registration
  • Note-taking support
  • Content tutors
  • Study skills tutoring
  • Adaptive technology
  • Readers for visually impaired students
  • Interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing students
  • Peer Support
  • Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society for students with disabilities

See the West Chester University Handbook on Disabilities and OSSD web site for additional information.

Pre-Major Academic Advising Center

Location: 222 Lawrence Center
Phone: 610-436-3505

The Pre-Major Academic Advising Center (PMAA) provides support to undergraduate students prior to admission to an academic major. The assignment to PMAA either reflects the student's own choice or a designation by the University because the student either does not meet all of the preparation and/or academic requirements for a particular major or a student's prospective major has reached its maximum enrollment for the academic year or semester. Pre-major students are encouraged to take prerequisite courses in their intended major and/or courses in a particular major program because of implied interests. Pre-major academic advisers assist students in interpreting University and departmental policies and requirements, as well as with appropriate course selection. They also make referrals and discuss vocational and career interests.

Together, the adviser and the student develop an educational plan of sound strategies for success.

The Pre-Major Advising Center is located in Room 222, Lawrence Center. Contact the center at 610-436-3305 or advising@wcupa.edu.