UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

At Undergraduate Studies … Where is everybody?

Some in Undergraduate Studies who’ve been in McIver and Moore HRA for years are now in Mossman. Some who were in Mossman for years are now in McIver. Undergraduate Studies has continued to reorganize, as the past year has brought new initiatives and new offices within US.

The Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies – still located in McIver 132 – has provided CW a rundown of where the various offices in US are, currently, as well as the functions and leadership of each. With our campus’ increased focus on undergraduate student success, this is information many may want to know.

“Faced with a recently altered [UNC] System-wide funding formula that will penalize UNCG if it fails to dramatically increase retention and graduation rates, alongside a challenging fiscal climate, a lean and focused Undergraduate Studies is critical to UNCG’s academic and fiscal health,” says Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of US.

Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies (McIver 132)
Steve Roberson, Dean
The Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for central administration of Undergraduate Studies, which includes oversight of policy development and implementation; fiscal management; data collection, analysis, and reporting; assessment and strategic planning; Unit synergy and creativity; hiring and review of senior professional staff; Unit-wide staff development; support for UCC, GEC, CAC, and Alumni Teaching Excellence Awards, to cite some examples; allegiance to the strategic plan; web site management; and public relations and fund development. Additionally, the Office reviews student-initiated appeals for certain academic exceptions and provides student-athlete academic support. (John Sopper, Executive Director; Gabe Bermea, Coordinator of Data Analysis and Assessment; Pat Combs; Pat Joyner; Lee Odom; Trish Plunkett; and Milvia Sadler)

Communication Across the Curriculum (Locations have not changed)
Steve Yarbrough, Director
While in the midst of campus-wide program review, Communication Across the Curriculum (CAC) continues to strongly promote and facilitate a focus on writing and speaking skills by implementing the writing- and speaking-intensive general education and College additional requirements; assisting faculty in developing, proposing, and exploring methods for teaching writing- and speaking-intensive courses; advising students in planning and executing writing and speaking projects, chiefly through the renowned Speaking and Writing Centers; and promoting the value of communication and communication skills to the broader University and Piedmont Triad communities. (Kim Cuny, Director of the Speaking Center; and Sara Littlejohn, Director of the Writing Center)

Office of Learning Communities (McIver 138/125)
Laura Pipe, Director
Learning Community (LC) and Living-Learning Community (LLC) students at UNCG report statistically higher levels of engagement compared with non-LC/LLC students across a wide range of activities and experiences; more, LCs and LLCs are associated in national research with higher levels of academic performance and retention. Through the collaborative efforts of campus partners and at the recommendation of the 3.3 Strategic Planning Committee, the Office of Learning Communities was established in 2011 to foster and support learning community programs and partnerships throughout the University. The office coordinates day-to-day logistics and provides administrative oversight and support for UNCG’s Learning Communities and Residential College programs, works across campus to develop new learning community opportunities, and researches and promotes best practices for ongoing quality enhancement. The program is coordinated with a high level of collaboration among academic and student affairs units – with the main goal of providing UNCG students with a rich, holistic and integrated learning experience emphasizing collaboration, critical inquiry, integrative thinking and effective communication for responsible leadership in a sustainable global society. (Anne Barton, Director of Strong College;MichelineChalhoub-Deville, Director of Ashby Residential College; and Love Crossling-Keys, Director of Grogan College)

Office of “Students First” and Advising Enhancement (McIver 139B/119)
Jacqui Dozier, Associate Director
After an in-depth analysis by the US-formed“Retention SWOT Team,” which is composed of various campus partners, Undergraduate Studies created the “Students First” center, which will open in the summer of 2011 to serve as a drop-in and referral center for students, faculty, and staff needing information and assistance regarding various campus academic support services and policies available to undergraduate students. Additionally, the Office advises visiting students, approves course overloads and Curriculum II Options, assists students with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy and requirements, and works with the Advising Council and others to promote developmental advising.

Office of Transfer and Adult Student Academic Success (McIver 134)
Stephen Moore, Director
An often forgotten strength of our undergraduate population exists in the students who come to UNCG as transfer and/or adult students. In fall 2010, 36 percent of UNCG’s undergraduate population was comprised of transfer and adult students. Upon the recommendation of the Academic Affairs/Student Affairs Transition Committee, the Office of Transfer and Adult Student Academic Success was established in 2011 to foster collaborative learning and personal development and growth for transfer students and adult learners. The Office strives to be a leader in the UNC system, providing learner-centered experiences for students who enter the university as transfer students or adult learners. The Office serves three core purposes: 1) Providing academic coaching, support, and advocacy for transfer and adult students; 2) Developing partnerships with community colleges in and around the Piedmont Triad, advancing academic success for community college students before they arrive on campus; and 3) Promoting and supporting students in UNCG in 3 (uncgin3.uncg.edu), an accelerated degree completion program for motivated students who know their career destination.

Office of Undergraduate Research (Mossman 159)
Mary Crowe, Director
In the fall of 2009, Undergraduate Studies welcomed the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). OUR is dedicated to supporting and promoting the research, creative expression and other scholarly experiences for our undergraduate students. OUR has dramatically increased the awareness and opportunities for students to engage in Undergraduate Research (UR) with faculty mentors, one of AAC&U’s “High Impact Practices.” Involvement in UR has been shown to positively impact retention, enrollment in post-graduate studies and overall satisfaction of the undergraduate educational experience. Using a combination of internal and external funding, OUR provides stipends to students to work with faculty mentors on independent research projects during the summer and academic year. It sponsors an annual Undergraduate Research Expo and a variety of student and faculty development workshops. OUR also ensures UNCG’s students and mentors are recognized locally, regionally and at the national level.

Student Success Center (McIver 104)
John Foreman, Director
The Student Success Center supports the individual needs of students as they persist towards an undergraduate degree and develop into lifelong learners. Complementing the efforts of the teaching faculty, professional SSC staff serve students through a personalized and structured approach that includes tutoring, counseling, peer assisted study groups, academic skill development, workshops, and computer instruction.

The Learning Assistance Center (LAC) provides individual and small group tutoring services in most 100 and 200 level courses. Some tutoring is also available at the 300 and 400 course levels for Nursing majors. Additional support services include: academic skill assessment; one-to-one instruction to enhance academic skills; academically focused workshops; and learning assistance handouts. As a nationally recognized program, the LAC has been recognized by the College Reading and Learning Association for its tutor training certificate as well as bythe National Association for Developmental Education for advanced tutoring certification.

Special Support Services (SSS) is an educational support program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and UNCG for first generation and low-income college students. Support services available to students include: individualized tutoring in most courses (100-400 levels); skills assessment and instruction; writing and research skills assistance; personal, academic and career counseling; graduate/professional school guidance; a skills lab for academic skills improvement, and a study skill handout resource area.

The Student Study Program (SSP) is intended to address a documented need for increased engagement in studying. SSP will be piloted during the 2011 fall semester to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to form collaborative study groups of up to four students. Also, the Program will provide students with the ability to study and retain information through the group format, as well as helping them to build positive relationships with peers.

The Supplemental Instruction Program (SIP) provides academic support that targets historically difficult courses. SIP is a non-remedial approach to learning enrichment that increases student performance and retention. Students enrolled in SIP identified courses attend regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions. SIP review sessions are informal seminars in which students review notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and prepare for examinations.

Undergraduate Student Excellence (McIver 61)
Kristen Christman, Director
Undergraduate Student Excellence (USE) was created in the fall of 2010 to coordinate programmatic initiatives that empower students — freshmen through seniors — to achieve their greatest academic potential as engaged members of the UNCG community. In collaboration with partners across campus, USE creates unique programs of academic enhancement and engagement for various stages of the undergraduate experience, including first-year students, along with tailored approaches for sophomores, juniors and seniors; students at risk of not achieving potential; and those returning to the university after academic difficulty with the individual opportunity, access, and support necessary for collegiate success. Specific initiatives coordinated within the office include Exploratory Studies, Foundations for Learning, Summer Launch, Academic Excellence and Outreach, the Student Success Contract Program, Student Academic Success Program, and UNCG Guarantee.

University Teaching and Learning Center (Mossman 159)
Ray Purdon, Director
The University Teaching and Learning Center (UTLC) promotes a creative and stimulating learning environment. The primary focus of the UTLC is the support of faculty in their efforts to enhance the university’s instructional programs. The UTLC provides group and individualized faculty professional development; instructional development activities; instructional materials and equipment; test and data scanning services; and consultation in the use of instructional technology. The UTLC also installs, maintains and monitors classroom instructional technology. Further, this UTLC administers several faculty grants for professional, course and instructional development. These include the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Grants (ATL), the Faculty Instructional Development Mini-Grants, and the John and Mary Hamil Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education. In addition, the UTLC supports UNCG’s face-to-face, e-learning and blended courses by administrating the Blackboard course management system and providing training in its use. The Office hosts the annual Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching, and sponsors New Faculty Orientation and UNCG’s Faculty Mentoring Program. The “Starfish” software system, which provides scheduling and early alerts services, is the newest offering.

The Media Services division of the UTLC has been transferred to Jackson Library. Cathy Rothermel will transfer from UTLC to the University Libraries and will continue to work with faculty to select, order and reserve films. Her office will be on the first floor of Jackson Library.

Student Academic Services
SAS has been disbanded, with appropriate reassignments of staff to other offices within Undergraduate Studies. All functions and services will be retained. Most staff formerly reporting to SAS moved to McIver on June 1 and 2, while the UTLC joined the Office of Undergraduate Research in Mossman.

“As Undergraduate Studies continues to make preparations for the upcoming academic year, we look forward to working with campus partners — faculty and staff — as an evolving Undergraduate Studies seeks synergistic collaborations,” says Roberson.