Brian Posler, Ph.D., Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Michael “Brody” Broshears, M.S., Director of University Division
The mission of University Division is to facilitate USI students’ academic success by helping students build a solid foundation for their college careers. University Division coordinates a variety of academic programs and services, including academic support services for all USI students and academic advising for students without a declared major or classified as non-degree seeking, guest, high school agreement, or conditionally admitted. The Division comprises University Division Advising, Academic Skills, and the English as a Second Language International. For additional information visit www.usi.edu/Uni_Div/index.asp.
University Division Advising
The mission of University Division Advising is to provide academic services that enhance the connection between students and the University. Students who are undecided about a major enroll temporarily in University Division instead of enrolling in an academic major. University Division academic advisors offer guidance to those uncertain about their educational, career, and lifelong goals. Located in Education Center Room 1142, advisors are available to students 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 812/465-1606.
Students are encouraged to declare an academic major as soon as possible. Students must declare a major before the first semester of their junior year. Transferring from University Division to an academic department can occur at any time during the exploratory period. However, some departments or programs may have additional requirements students must meet before declaration can be made.
Regular academic advising is particularly important for the long-term academic success of students currently exploring multiple career options. Therefore, all University Division students are required to see an academic advisor prior to registration each semester. Students in University Division receive specialized academic advising and are encouraged to participate in one or more career exploration experiences offered on campus. These services include individual career counseling through the Career Counseling office, the GENS 111 Career Planning course, Career Cruising, and other resources.
Like all baccalaureate degree-seeking students, University Division students spend much of their first four semesters completing University Core Curriculum courses, the nucleus of a liberal arts education. These courses help students become better problem solvers, better citizens, and more thoughtful human beings. These requirements and the special academic advice that University Division students receive establish a strong foundation for advanced study and encourage students to use their curiosity and enthusiasm to inquire into many realms of knowledge. University Division seeks to help students become more flexible, to see relationships among disciplines of study, and to develop the basis for lifelong learning and work.
Conditionally admitted students meet regularly with University Division advisors and take an academic support course (UNIV 101 - Freshman Seminar ) to help them make a successful transition from secondary education to university work.
ACHIEVE is an early-intervention program that assists faculty in the identification and referral of students who are at risk of failing one or more courses to the ACHIEVE representative. Weeks three, four, and five of the semester represent the first critical period when instructors observe students with low skill levels, poor attendance, missed assignments, and limited notetaking activity. At the request of instructors, the ACHIEVE representative will attempt to contact students and provide early intervention strategies to help achieve success.
The mission of Academic Skills is to enhance student success and the educational process at USI by providing academic support services through classes and a variety of learning assistance programs. Located in the Education Center, Room 1111, office hours during the fall and spring semesters are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Peer tutoring is available at no cost to students. Check with the department for current tutoring schedules.
Academic Skills administers math, foreign language, reading, and writing placement tests. Any required placement testing must be completed prior to advising and registration. Photo identification is required to test. Appointments are not necessary but can be scheduled by contacting Academic Skills at 812/464-1743 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students with disabilities requesting special accommodations must be registered with the Counseling Center, 812/464-1867, at least two weeks prior to scheduling an appointment for placement testing.
Math, reading, and writing placements are mandatory and GENS coursework should be completed by the end of the first year. Credit hours for all these courses count toward a student’s full-time status, but not all of the classes offer academic credits. However, these courses save time, academic standing, and financial aid, all of which can be jeopardized if students try to advance to courses for which they are not prepared. For additional information on placement and testing, see page 12.
Academic Skills strives to provide the best services possible to help students succeed. Tutoring is available in a variety of subjects including accounting, biology, chemistry, economics, finance, geology, history, mathematics, modern languages, physics, psychology, sociology, study skills, and writing. All peer tutors complete a comprehensive training program. The mathematics, study skills, and writing tutors are all certified by the College Reading and Learning Association. No appointment is needed for most tutoring, although appointments are available with academic coaches and writing consultants. Students interested in becoming tutors should visit Academic Skills for more information.
Supplemental Instruction (SI)
SI is an academic support program that provides regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions to all students in a variety of courses. Facilitated by an SI leader (a student who has previously completed the course), the sessions provide an informal environment to review notes, discuss readings, and prepare for exams. By participating in SI study sessions, students can improve grades while learning effective study strategies that make efficient use of their study time, and, at the same time, make friends who also have strong academic goals.
Success Series Workshops
Success Series workshops are free 45-minute interactive workshops that focus on skills for mastering college-level course work and strategies for lifelong learning. Offered in the Education Center, Success Series workshops cover a wide variety of study strategies including note taking, test anxiety, time management, major/career exploration, and goal setting.
General Studies (GENS) Classes
University Division offers general studies (GENS) courses designed to prepare and enhance students’ ability to meet the demands of college-level work.
English as a Second Language International
The University has partnered with English as a Second Language International (ESLI) to provide intensive English programs for international students who need to satisfy English proficiency requirements before enrolling in University degree programs. For additional information, call 812/461-5362 or visit www.usi.edu/uni_div/esli/.