Mohammed Khayum, Ph.D., Provost
Michael “Brody” Broshears, M.S., Assistant Vice President for Academic Success
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 is comprised of The Center for Exploring Majors, undergraduate advising centers, Academic Skills, Career Counseling, and Student Support Services. For additional information visit www.usi.edu/university-division.
Center for Exploring Majors
The mission of the Center for Exploring Majors (CEM) 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. Center for Exploring Majors 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 the Center for Exploring Majors 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 Center for Exploring Majors students are required to see an academic advisor prior to registration each semester. Students in the Center for Exploring Majors 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 Center for Exploring Majors advisors, the course GENS 111 - Career Planning , Career Cruising (an online career guidance and planning system), and other resources, i.e. – Strong Interest Inventory (SII), personality types (MBTI) and Indiana Career Explorer (ICE).
Like all baccalaureate degree-seeking students, Center for Exploring Majors students spend much of their first four semesters completing Core 39 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 the Center for Exploring Majors 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.
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 9 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.
Placement into English, math, and reading courses are based on a student’s ACT/SAT scores and any transfer credit a student may have. Students who don’t have scores, or who wish to try to improve their course placement, can take the Accuplacer placement test.
Academic Skills administers math, foreign language (French, German, and Spanish), reading, and writing placement tests. Any required placement testing must be completed at least two weeks prior to advising and registration. These tests can be taken in a variety of ways:
- Visit the USI campus during normal business hours with no appointment necessary (appointments for on-campus testing 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).
- Visit the USI campus during special testing sessions in the evening or on a Saturday.
- Arrange for testing at a testing center in your community.
- Take the test at home using BVirtual. This option requires the student to use a webcam and pay a $25 fee.
Students with disabilities requesting special accommodations must be registered with Disability Resources, 812-464-1961, 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, visit www.usi.edu/university-division/academicskills/placement-testing.
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, subject-based, study skills, and writing tutors are all certified by the College Reading and Learning Association. The academic coaches can assist students with enhancement of study skills, including time management, note-taking, and test-taking strategies. 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.
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. GENS 098 - Strategies for Writers prepares students by giving them the skills essential for success in college classes, but the hours do not apply toward graduation. GENS 151 - Academic Reading Strategies is a three-hour elective credit course that helps students prepare for a university reading load. Academic Skills also offers one-hour elective credit courses that help students get off to a sound academic start.
Student Support Services (SSS)
Student Support Services is one of the eight grant funded TRIO programs offered through the U.S. Department of Education. At USI, the SSS Program helps motivate 140 eligible students to successfully complete their bachelor’s degree. The SSS Program provides students free comprehensive services through peer mentoring, academic advising, scholarship search support, student leadership opportunities, graduate school preparation, personal and financial aid counseling, and cultural experiences designed to enhance the collegiate experience on USI’s campus.
To receive assistance: students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and
- Meet a limited income criterion and/or,
- Be a first generation college student (neither natural parent residing in the household with the student has a four-year college degree) or,
- Have a documented learning or physical disability
Students must show academic need and also be willing to take full advantage of all support services offered by the program. Student Support Services is located in ED 1142. The office is open from 8-4:30pm Monday through Friday. If you are interested in participating in the program and meet the eligibility requirements please contact 812-465-1606 for more information.