The Fifth-Year Interim Report

Part III: The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification


2.10 Student Support Services

The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that promote student learning and enhance the development of its students.

Judgment of Compliance

Compliance

Narrative

Alcorn State University (ASU) offers a wide-range of programs, services, and activities designed to promote student learning, growth, and development. These student support programs, services, and activities are consistent with the mission of the university to “emphasize intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs”. Through the 2009-2019 Strategic Plan: Road Map to Greatness seven core values were identified. Three of those core values emphasizes ASUs commitment to developing student leadership and awareness of cultural diversity and professional, ethical, and moral behavior:

  1. Student-Centered- Our students are our greatest assets. We value every student. We encourage leadership development by mentoring our students and enabling them to participate in our decision-making processes.
  2. Professionalism- Everyone accepts full responsibility for personal performance and actions, maintains high moral standards, and complies with effective performance appraisals. We expect honesty, objectivity, and fairness in all transactions among our stakeholders. We pride ourselves on our strong commitment to a rigorous work ethic.
  3. Diversity- We value the global nature of our society. Everyone is respected. We promote diversity of thought and encourage the acceptance of cultural diversity. We believe that diversity stimulates a dynamic intellectual environment, creativity, and innovation. We believe that everyone has something to offer.

 

The university’s emphasis on promoting student learning and development is perhaps best summarized in the first of seven institutional goal, which states the university’s commitment to continue to offer students an engaging, transformative learning and living environment, empowering them to become globally competitive, socially and environmentally sensitive, and technologically competent leaders.

2015 Fall University Snapshot

Enrollment

3,518

    2,911 (undergraduate)

       607 (graduate)

Gender

Female-83%

Male-17%

Race

African-American-92.8%

Caucasian-3.8%

Other-3.4%

On-Campus Students

1, 681

Pell Grant Recipients

88%

The university provides instruction and support services in three locations: Lorman (main campus), Natchez, and Vicksburg. All undergraduate degree programs are offered on the Lorman campus with the exception of the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, which are offered on the Natchez campus. All graduate degree programs are offered on the Lorman campus with the exception of the MBA and MSN, which are located on the Natchez campus.  The Vicksburg Expansion Center does not offer any programs, but occasional courses based on market demand and faculty availability. There were six night courses offered at the Vicksburg Expansion Center that served 89 students for the fall 2015 semester. None of these students took courses exclusively at the Vicksburg Expansion Center. No classes were offered at the Vicksburg Expansion Center spring 2016. The main Lorman campus is situated halfway between Natchez, forty miles to the south and Vicksburg approximately forty miles to the north. The university offers four graduate programs (Workforce Education Leadership, Biology, Business Administration and the RN-BSN program online.

Program Descriptions

Given the student population, the university provides student support services that help to promote the three core values: 1) Student-centeredness—which  includes services related to academic advising, academic support, financial services, and campus safety; 2)  Professionalism—which includes among other things pre-professional programs and career services; and 3) Diversity—which encompasses services related to special student populations, global programs, equity and inclusion, and disability services.  The narrative which follows provides an overview of some of the most significant support services related to each of these three core values, and a more detailed chart is provided below which highlight additional services, the offices responsible for delivering those services, campus locations at which the services are available, and the student populations to whom the services are available.

Student-Centered Services

Transition Services

Once students are admitted to the university, all new students (freshmen and transfers) are acclimated to the university by attending the New Student Orientation sessions conducted by University College. Orientation includes introductions to all aspects of the university—student support services, academic services, and co-curricular activities.

All first-time incoming freshmen are required to enroll in a one-credit course known as University Life. This course introduces the student to the learning environment and University expectations that empower them to successfully transition to University life. The course also acquaints students with institutional services and processes and influences effective integration into the academic setting. This course explores a wide-range of topics that includes the University history, a plan of action to achieve career goals, survival skills, and engagement in personal and intellectual development with emphasis on critical thinking.

First-time freshman who score below a 17 on the ACT in any subject area are required to enroll in an intermediate course for that subject area. In addition to enrolling in the intermediate courses, these students must take Survival Skills I and II. These courses are two one-credit courses offered in the fall and spring that cover an intensive regimen of topics and activities designed for students to develop and expand their skills necessary to succeed in higher education. These classes also incorporates course content from the University Life course.

To help students learn about and adjust to the complexities of applying for financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid sponsors and an annual Financial Aid Awareness Week which includes a full orientation to the office, the financial aid process, an individualized financial counseling. Additionally, the financial aid website is available for students can find information on all financial aid matters. A detailed description of the various types of financial aid can also be found in the ASU General Catalog 2016-2018, p. 52-53.

The Department of Counseling Services sponsors a First Month Support Group for freshmen and transfer students to deal with issues such as adjusting to university life.

The First Year Experience (FYE) program continues the orientation experience throughout the school year. Programs offered via FYE provide exceptional learning experiences that will aid in maximizing student’s success at the University. These college success workshops include but are not limited to effective study and time management skills, financial literacy, career preparation, and health and wellness. The goal is to help students feel personally, academically, and socially connected to the university as they transition.

Second Year Experience activities are a continuation of the first year experience. Student success workshops are conducted for sophomore students to aid in ongoing retention efforts. These informative workshops present details for students on thriving after the first year, health and wellness, social media, etc.

Wellness Services

The Department of Counseling Services provides group and individual counseling services through crisis intervention and outreach programs. Counseling services promote various workshops that are designed for personal and social growth for students. Counseling services supports student development by conducting workshops include topics on (stress management), (suicide prevention), (violence prevention), and (grief).

Health and Disability Services provides general health treatment and instructions at no charge for students. Health services is also able to make referrals to the ASU Family Clinic located on the Natchez campus and local health care providers. Also, an after-hours call center is available for students through Nurse Link.

Health services promote healthy education/awareness activities for the campus community. For example, to support women’s health, Paint the Yard Red  was held where information was disseminated on heart attack prevention for women. They also sponsored a Be The Match event to bring awareness to sickle cell disease and allow students to be swabbed for the sickle cell national registry. Health services also partners with other entities on campus to sponsor health and wellness fairs. Free health screening, information and demonstrations are conducted at the fairs. 

Under the auspices of counseling services, the Alcorn Substance Abuse Prevention Program (ASAPP) is designed to decrease the problems associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use that includes confidential counseling services. Consistent with the University’s goal and values, the ASAPP maintains a “student-centeredness” posture. By involving students and faculty in a cooperative effort, the program promotes learning and leadership qualities. The Prevention Services Program also conducts awareness seminars for the University community to bring attention to those issues that may impact our student population.

Academic Support Services

The University Math Center is designed to support and improve student learning outcomes in mathematics courses. The center is equipped with seventy computers that have mathematics tutorial software that can be used by students. Faculty and tutors are available to provide one-on-one assistance for mathematics courses offered at the institution.

The Writing Center has consulting services and other writing resources that are available to help students become better writers. The consultants work with students to improve writing skills, plan, organize, and revise essays and reports, write cover letters, and resumes. Additionally, students can receive assistance with completing job and graduate school applications. The center is also equipped with computers, books for checkout, and other media resources. Consultants are available by SKYPE to distance learning students on an appointment basis.

 The Honors Curriculum Program supports students in the honors program by offering courses, workshops, seminars, community services, colloquia, experiential learning, and undergraduate research opportunities.

Professionalism Development Services

Developing Leadership Skills

Through the Office of Student Engagement and Community Service Outreach (OSECSO) students have the opportunity to engage in student elections and governance of the university. Students also have the opportunity to evolve as leaders by participating in a variety of approved student clubs and organizations. Students are allowed to participate in the governance (town hall) and the elections process to enhance their knowledge and skills so that they may become engaged campus citizens and effective leaders. Additionally, students are given an opportunity to campaign for various elected offices and must present a platform that addresses their vision for the student body.

The Department of Health & Disability Services staff advises the ASU H.E.R.O.S. (Health Educators Reaching Other Students) student organization. The main focus of this student organization is promoting health and wellness to the campus community. ASU H.E.R.O.S. may partner with other organizations to sponsor health and wellness programs.

Students have an opportunity to develop leadership skills by serving on the Campus Union Advisory Board through the James L. Bolden Campus Union. The campus advisory board is the liaison between the campus union and student body. These students provide input on the university activities that are offered. Additionally, these students provide leadership for these activities sponsored by the campus union.

Under the auspices of residence life, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) allows students to act in the needs, interests, and welfare of students who reside in the residence halls. RHA is primarily concerned with developing and implementing programming activities for residents.

Promoting Careers and Advanced Education

The Office of Career Services assists students with resume and cover letter writing, career fairs, and teacher career fairs. Workshops are presented that enable students to develop skills in leadership, networking, successful interviewing, and proper dress for interviews. Also, a graduate and professional school fair provides students to talk with representatives from universities nationwide about professional programs and advanced degrees. The Teacher Recruitment Fair allows prospective teachers to meet recruiters from various districts. Career services activities are published online for the unit. A career fair allows students to meet with representatives from companies and organizations to interview and talk with students about career opportunities. Students can also log onto Jobs4Braves, which allows them access to an online career service that post job opportunities.

 

The Pre-Professional Program is designed to offer value added activities for those students who are interested in professional and graduate programs. The pre-professional program is intensive and focused on placing students in schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and law. Also, there is a focus to place students in biological, chemical, physical, and biomedical sciences graduate programs.

Diversity and Inclusion Services

Diversity Appreciation

Through the Office of Global Programs students have the opportunity to attend the annual Multicultural Festival that promotes a variety of activities from around the globe. The festival exposes students to different facets of each culture that includes flags, cuisine, clothing, religion, language, dance, movies, and artifacts. Students, faculty, and staff participate in the activities and represent various areas such as India, Russia, Africa, East Asia, South America, Hawaii, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. Some of the activities that were presented during the International Education Week 2014-2015 newsletter were presentations about the study abroad program and workshops to apply for scholarships to help broaden student’s horizons and life experiences. Additionally, global programs host the weekly International Coffee Hour where all students make presentations about various countries and international opportunities for students. 

Equity and Inclusion

Students are required to take a mandatory Title IX through Workplace/Campus Answers course that will address discrimination and sexual violence. Students have thirty (30) days to complete the course. Students receive a certificate after completing the course. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the course, but it is not associated with the curriculum. A review is currently underway to evaluate the feasibility of including the Workplace/Campus Answers course as a registration requirement.

Table 1: Student Centered Services

Service

Area

Responsible Office/

Department

Campus Location

Description of

Services

Student

Population

Transition Services

First and Second Year Experience

University College

Lorman

First and second year experiences are designed to aid students in maximizing their success as they matriculate at the university. Some workshops that are offered to students include time management skills, financial literacy, career preparation, and health and wellness.

Freshmen

Sophomores

Adjustment to University Life

University College

Lorman

This course introduces incoming first-time freshmen students to university expectations that empower them to successfully transition to university life.

First-time freshmen who score below a 17 on the ACT in any subject area are required to enroll in an intermediate course for that subject area. In addition to enrolling in the intermediate courses, these students must take Survival Skills I and II. These courses are two one-credit courses offered in the fall and spring that cover an intensive regimen of topics and activities designed for students to develop and expand their skills necessary to succeed in higher education. These classes also incorporate course content from the University Life course.

First-time incoming freshmen

New and Transfer Student Orientation

University College

Lorman

The new and transfer student orientation is designed to acclimate new and transfer students to the campus environment through various academic and social activities. 

Freshmen

Transfer

Academic Support Services

Undergraduate Advising

University College

Lorman

All freshman and sophomore students are assigned academic advisors who will assist students with creating a schedule. Students will remain assigned to these advisors until the General Education Core is completed.

Freshmen

Sophomores

Transfer students who have not completed general education curriculum.

Upper Class/Graduate

Advising

Academic Departments

 

 

Lorman

Natchez

Vicksburg

All junior, senior, and graduate students are assigned an academic advisor in their specific major.

 

Juniors

Seniors

Graduate

TRIO program

University College

Lorman

A federally funded program designed to foster a climate that promotes and provides essential academic support to help students remain in school, graduate, and pursue graduate or professional school.  To be eligible for the program, students must meet one of these criteria: 1) low-income individuals who are first generation students or 2) have a documented disability. Students participating in the SSS program are offered support through workshops, tutorials, computer learning programs, and study skills instruction.

Freshmen

Sophomores

Juniors

Seniors

Writing Center

Academic Affairs/English Faculty

Lorman

Natchez

Consultants work with students to improve writing skills, plan, organize, and revise essays and reports, write cover letters, and resumes, and complete job and graduate school applications. The center is also equipped with computers, books for checkout, and other media resources.

All students

Math Center

Academic Affairs/Math Faculty

Lorman

The math center functions to support and improve student’s learning outcomes for College Algebra, Calculus, and mathematical courses.

Freshmen

Sophomores

Juniors

Seniors

Wellness Services

Health Services

Student Affairs/Office of Health and Disability Services

Lorman

Natchez

Health services are provided on the main campus for students free of charge and appointments are not required.

 

The ASU Family Clinic is located on the Natchez Campus for students and the community.

All students

Disability Services

Student Affairs/Office of Health and Disability Services

Lorman

Natchez

Disability services provides health treatment and instructions at no charge for students.

All students

Counseling Services

Student Affairs/Office of Counseling Services

Lorman

Counseling Services provides an opportunity for students to discuss problems in an individual or group setting in a confidential, safe, and supportive environment. Concerns can range from the normal challenges of everyday life to psychological issues. Crisis services are also available to students who need immediate, short-term assistance. These services are available to individuals who are experiencing an event that produces, emotional, mental, physical and behavioral distress or problems. 

All students

Campus Safety

Campus Police

Finance and Administration/

Campus Police

Lorman

Natchez

 

Campus police provides a safe and supportive environment for the student, through professional law enforcement, prevention of crime, intervention with offenders, problem solving, and community participation.

All students

Fire/EMT Services

Finance and Administration/

Campus Police

Lorman

Fire/EMT services ensure that its students, faculty, staff and employees enjoy a safe and healthy environment.

All Students

Sexual Misconduct/

Harassment

 

President/Office of Educational Equity and Inclusion

Lorman

Natchez

Vicksburg

The Office of Educational Equity and Inclusion provides education on sexual misconduct and harassment. All complaints of sexual misconduct and sexual misconduct are reported to the Title IX Coordinator. 

All students

Student Support Services

Veterans Affairs

Academic Affairs/Registrar’s Office

Lorman

There is staff available in the registrar’s to assist veterans with certifications, scheduling, printing, transfer articulation, and faxing needs. There is a dedicated computer for VA students.

All veterans

Student-Athletes

President/Office of Athletic Academic Enhancement for Student Athlete

Lorman

To meet the varying needs of student-athletes, the office provides a wide range of services including general academic support, tutoring, monitoring of academic performance, team orientation, time management assistance, information about post-graduate and scholarship opportunities, and academic recognition.

Student-Athletes

Student Engagement

Student Affairs/Office of Student Engagement and Community Service Outreach

Lorman

Natchez

This office supports a variety of approved student clubs and organizations. Additionally, this office supports the student governance process. 

All students

Financial Aid

Student Affairs/Office of Financial Aid

Lorman

Natchez

Financial Aid provides financial assistance to students who are in need of aid to attend the University and to recognize outstanding academic achievement by students who desire an education.

All students

Religious Life

Student Affairs/Office of Religious Life

Lorman

Religious life functions to provide students an opportunity to learn more about themselves and spiritual matters and help guide students to develop character that will be needed in life.

All students

Living Support Services

Parking Services

Finance and Administration/

Parking Services

Lorman

 

Parking Services enforces parking regulations with a priority of accountability, customer service, and safety for students, and visitors. 

All students

Residence Life

Student Affairs/Office of Residence Life

Lorman

Natchez

Residence Life provide students with a pleasant and comfortable living environment where life outside of the classroom encourages and supports the academic mission of the University.

All students

 

 

Table 2: Professionalism Development Services

 

Service

Area

Responsible Office/

Department

Campus Location

Description of

Services

Student

Population

Career Services

Student Affairs/Office of Career Services

Lorman

Natchez

Vicksburg

The Office of Career Services provides support to students with exploring and choosing meaningful career-educational experiences, developing job search skills, achieving employment, and gaining acceptance into graduate or professional schools. Workshops are conducted to enable students to develop skills in leadership, networking, successful interviewing, and proper dress for interviews.

All students

Pre-Professional Programs

Academic Affairs/Office of Pre-Professional Programs and Honors Curriculum

Lorman

The pre-professional programs offers services and value-added activities to students who are interested in applying for professional (medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, law, and veterinary medicine) and graduate programs (biological, chemical, physical, and biomedical sciences).

Sophomores

Juniors

Seniors

 

 

Table 3: Diversity and Inclusion Services

 

Service

Area

Responsible Office/

Department

Campus Location

Description of

Services

Student

Population

Global Programs

Academic Affairs/Office of Global Programs

Lorman

From orientation to workshops, the Office of Global Programs provides support for all international students.

All international students

Equity and Inclusion

President/Office of Educational Equity and Inclusion

Lorman

Natchez

Vicksburg

The Office of Educational Equity and Inclusion provides education and workshops on diversity and inclusion issues.

All students

 

 

 

Support Services for Distance Learning

Distance learning students have access to support services and other resources through means such email, fax, telephone, Blackboard and the ASU website. For instance, students can receive online assistance with financial aid forms, have electronic access to the library to resources such the ASU General Catalog, and the ASU Graduate Catalog, and can participate in the student elections process. Distance learning students have access to the monthly health awareness calendar, campus activity calendar, and newsletters via the university’s website. Distance learning students also receive notifications through Blackboard ConnectEd and emergency notifications through Alcorn Alerts (telephone, texts, and emails).  Additionally, cyber orientation is available for graduate students.

On the Natchez campus, where two academic units are located, there is the Natchez Student Service Center. This center is a one-stop office that has a staff of 2.5 FTE individuals who are cross-trained to assist students with financial aid, admissions, general advising, and registration functions of the university. Also, there is a learning resource center that provides library resources for students.

The Vicksburg Expansion Center has personnel available to provide advising services for students on an as needed basis. For example, the Coordinator of Educational Programs is available full-time to assist students with advising.

Formal evaluations are provided to participants to determine if student programming fits the needs of the students. Attached are samples evaluations and feedback. Conversations also occurred to evaluate the effectiveness of the organizational structure. For example, after conducting a series of disciplinary hearings, it was determined that counseling and testing should separate agenda items to allow counseling to focus on the rising needs of our students for a variety of conditions. This was approved by the President’s Cabinet, and the reorganization occurred August, 2016. Counseling remained under the direction of student affairs and testing was moved to University College under academic affairs.

 


TextTitle 
seven core values seven core values
six night courses Vicksburg Expansion Center Courses
New Student Orientation New Student Orientation Program
Financial Aid Awareness Week Financial Aid Awareness Flyer 2015
financial aid website Financial Aid - alcorn.edu
types of financial aid types of financial aid
ASU General Catalog 2016-2018, p. 52-53 Undergraduate Catalog pages 52-53
The First Year Experience (FYE) First Year Experience - alcorn.edu
Second Year Experience Second Year Experience - alcorn.edu
Department of Counseling Services Counseling Services - alcorn.edu
(stress management), (suicide prevention), (violence prevention), and (grief). Flyers for Counseling Services Fall 2014- Spring 2016
Health and Disability Services Health and Disability Services - alcorn.edu
Paint the Yard Red Go Red Flyer
Be The Match Swab Party Flyer
Alcorn Substance Abuse Prevention Program (ASAPP) Alcorn Substance Abuse Prevention Program (ASAPP) - alcorn.edu
awareness seminars Accommodation Brochure
University Math Center University Math Center - alcorn.edu
Writing Center Writing Center - alcorn.edu
Honors Curriculum Program The Office of Pre-Professional and Honors Curriculum Programs - alcorn.edu
approved student clubs and organizations. Student Handbook page 65
(town hall) Town Hall Meeting
elections process Applying for Student Government
ASU H.E.R.O.S. heros.pdf
Office of Career Services Career Services - alcorn.edu
Teacher Recruitment Fair Teacher Recruitment Fair Flyer
Jobs4Braves Jobs4Braves
Office of Global Programs ASU Global Programs - alcorn.edu
2014-2015 newsletter 2014-2015 newsletter
First and Second Year Experience First and Second Year Experience
Undergraduate Advising Undergraduate Advising
Writing Center Writing Center
Math Center Math Center
Health Services Health Services
Disability Services Disability Services
Counseling Services Counseling Services
Campus Police Campus Police
Fire/EMT Services Fire/EMT Services
Sexual Misconduct/ Sexual Misconduct/
Harassment Harassment
Veterans Affairs Veterans Affairs
Student-Athletes Student-Athletes
Student Engagement Student Engagement
Financial Aid Financial Aid
Religious Life Religious Life
Parking Services Parking Services
Residence Life Residence Life
Career Services Career Services
Pre-Professional Programs Pre-Professional Programs
Global Programs Global Programs
Equity and Inclusion Equity and Inclusion
cyber orientation Cyber Orientation - alcorn.edu
Natchez Student Service Center Natchez Student Service Center
evaluations and feedback. evaluations and feedback.
agenda items Student Affairs Agenda Items for Cabinet Meeting