The Division of Undergraduate Studies and Student Support Services (USSSS) promotes academic excellence and strives to increase the preparedness and ability of students to successfully complete college-level work. The division supports the University's mission to offer access to the widest possible spectrum of students, retain worthy students, effectively manage diversity and insure equity, and promote and increase positive interaction between faculty and students.
“To be Honorable is to Serve”
Honors College students take a special core group of courses that count toward their general education requirements. The Honors College program prepares students to become active problem solvers in both the campus community and in the world.
Eligible students may enroll in the Honors College upon admission to the University. High performing continuing students may enroll in the Honors Seminar Program.
The Academic Recovery Plan (ARP) is intended to identify the issues or factors that contributed to a student being placed on academic probation. The plan is developed to identify steps that the student will take to improve his/her academic performance.
It is the responsibility of the student to schedule an appointment with his/her academic advisor no later than the third day of the first semester on probation. The ARP is an electronic form that can only be accessed by the advisor. If the ARP is not submitted within a month of the start of each semester, a hold will be placed on the student’s account.
The West Chester University community embraces the concept that effective academic advising is a collaborative teaching and learning process between the student and the faculty advisor. Effective advising should assist the student in achieving their academic, professional and personal goals. Faculty advisors will strive to provide accurate, timely and current information, thus establishing the framework around which students will construct their academic program of study.
Academic advising is monitored by the respective college administrators and by the University Academic Advising Committee (UAAC). The UAAC is chaired by Dr. Joanne Conlon, Director of the Pre-Major Academic Advising Center. The Committee membership includes representatives from each of the colleges, as well as the associate deans.
The University Academic Advising Committee worked in conjunction with the Provost and representatives of the Faculty Union local leadership to develop an academic advising instrument to investigate students’ perceptions of their advising experiences. The questionnaire consists of 62 questions, two of which are open-ended. The Office of Institutional Research administers the survey every other year during the spring semester; all undergraduate students are invited to participate. The survey has been administered twice, with response rates of 26% to 28%.
West Chester University defines student success as the active involvement in the academic, co-curricular, and social life of the university, which leads to persistence toward the completion of a degree program.
WCU’s first-to-second year retention rate is 85.4% for the Fall 2011 entering cohort. The six-year graduation rate is 68.8% for the 2006 entering cohort. For more information on the University’s retention and graduation rates, please visit the Office of Institutional Research webpage.
Together with the other thirteen institutions of the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education (PASSHE), WCU is participating in the Equity Scorecard Process™ developed by the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California. The Equity Scorecard (ES) process is a data-driven, organizational learning process designed to foster institutional change through identifying and eliminating racial disparities among college students. Consistent with WCU’s mission to provide access and high-quality undergraduate education, the aim of this project is to identify structurally hidden and unintended inequalities leading to racial disproportions in the following: access to the university, retention, degree completion, and involvement in high impact activities, such as internship, honors, and undergraduate research.
The ES process promotes the principle of equity-mindedness. In this way, our focus is on institutional barriers to student excellence, rather than on potential deficits among individual students. Compensatory programs that aim to eliminate racial/ethnic student deficits alone are not sufficient to bring about equity in student outcomes. By identifying and eliminating unintended structural inequalities that are obstacles to equity at WCU, we are better positioned to effect and sustain systemic change.
Working collaboratively with campus administrators, staff, and faculty, the 12-member ES evidence team began its work in January 2012. To date, the ES evidence team has completed Phase I – Access, and is currently involved in the inquiry process for Phase II – Retention and Completion.
For more information, please contact the ES Co-Leaders:
Dr. Idna M. Corbett – Dean, Undergraduate Studies and Student Support Services
Dr. Vanessa K. Johnson – Professor, Department of Psychology
The Academic Development Program provides intensive academic and social support through a summer bridge and academic year program for special admission students who show evidence of having the ability to succeed in college.
Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs) gather students into small living/learning groups that share two common courses and reside in selected areas of residence halls. The FIGs foster close relations among peers, faculty, and staff, through cross-disciplinary studies and special activities.
The LARC offers tutoring services in most general education courses such as mathematics, writing, biology, chemistry, physics, social sciences, foreign languages, and introductory courses in business. The LARC also offers Supplemental Instruction in several high-risk biology and chemistry courses, Academic Success Seminars, and PAPA Review Workshops.
The Early Alert Program is a proactive system of communication and collaboration of professors, program staff, and academic advisors that alerts students in selected courses, early in the semester, that they are at risk of failing the course. Students are provided with information on available campus resources, as well as optional academic coaching support.
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 to make a successful transition to the university.
The Pre-Major Academic Advising Center offers services to assist students who have not yet declared a major to explore their fields of interest before entering a degree program.
Army ROTC provides college-trained officers for both the Active Component (U.S. Army) and the Reserve Components (U.S. Army Reserve and the National Guard). As the largest single source of Army officers, ROTC fulfills a vital role in providing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Army. Students participate in ROTC by enrolling in the military science electives.