Comprehensive Standard 3.4.9 Academic Support Services
The institution provides appropriate academic support services.
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) offers a wide range of academic support services to promote the academic success of its students, whether they are on-campus or off-campus. Student Services, located in the one-stop center on the first floor off the Main Rotunda, provides resources through Academic Advising, Career Services, Disability Services, Learning Support Services, Orientation, and Records and Registration. In addition, the Information Commons, off the Main Rotunda on the second floor, offers referral services to support students and faculty academically through E-Learning Services, Library Services, and Technology Services. Some services are provided in partnership with New College of Florida (NCF), an honors-level, liberal arts public college, located one-half mile south of the Sarasota campus.
The sections below summarize available resources, but additional information can be found in Core Requirement 2.9 (Learning Resources and Services) and Core Requirement 2.10 (Student Support Services) along with Comprehensive Standard 3.4.12 (Technology Use), Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1 Learning/Information Resources, Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2 (Instruction of Library Use), and Comprehensive Standard 3.8.3 (Qualified Staff).
Academic Advising (Academic Advising Webpage)
The Academic Advisors each have offices in a centralized area in Sarasota and at the instructional site in North Port. They are committed to the success of students and their achievement of learning outcomes. Academic advisors hold advising appointments (See Advising FAQS) with prospective, newly admitted, and current students for the majors offered at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Advisors assist students through appointments, walk-ins, e-mails, and telephone communications. Distance learning students can take advantage of the options most convenient from a distance, such as e-mail, telephone, or Skype conversations with advisors on the Sarasota or North Port campuses. The advisors support the USF Sarasota-Manatee mission and goals by providing services to increase student retention and graduation rates. Academic advisors are primarily responsible for the evaluation of transfer credit, maintaining degree audits, course scheduling, and graduation certification. Advisors and faculty serve on the Academic Regulations Committee, which rules on undergraduate policy exceptions.
Career Services (Career Services Webpage)
Career Services provides USF Sarasota-Manatee students with comprehensive career planning, job search services, and internship/mentoring opportunities. Career Services supports the University’s mission to prepare students for career success (See Career Center Satisfaction Survey). Services are promoted at Orientation, Week of Welcome, Faculty Welcome Back, and through Canvas. Advising is available to help students choose a major, gain career-related work experience, develop a job search plan, and make decisions about graduate school (Choose a Career, Prepare for Employment, Find Internships). Career Services also provides information on employment opportunities and creates venues where students and faculty can network with employers. Off-site learners and distance learners have access to telephone or e-advising, webcasts, resources through Canvas, and software tools, such as MyPlan, College Central Network®, and Optimal Resume.
Cook Library (Cook Library Webpage)
The Jane Bancroft Cook Library provides a wide range of collections, resources and services to support both USF Sarasota-Manatee and New College of Florida students. Librarians and library support staff are committed to providing information services to students, faculty and the community in a learner-centered environment. Meetings can be set up with librarians online (Meet with a Librarian). More information on Cook Library can be found in Core Requirement 2.9 (Learning Resources and Services) and Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1 (Learning Information Resources), Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2 (Instruction of Library Use), and Comprehensive Standard 3.8.3 (Qualified Staff).
Counseling and Wellness Center (Counseling & Wellness Center Webpage)
The Counseling and Wellness Center is available to all currently registered USF Sarasota-Manatee students, staff, and faculty. It provides services related to the development of the whole person, emotional and physical well-being, and academic concerns. A Wellness philosophy is the foundation for all services and programs. Services include medical, counseling, immunization, victim’s advocate, educational programming, and awareness campaigns. Contact information and services, such as on-line mental health screenings are available to students through the website. The Counseling & Wellness Center is a shared service with New College of Florida (NCF).
E-Learning Services (E-Learning Services Webpage)
Housed in Academic Affairs, E-Learning Services supports students and faculty members, including adjunct professors, with course development and technical support through the use of one-on-one meetings, small-group sessions, online resources, telephone calls, e-mails, and Blackboard Collaborate (synchronous online) sessions (Please see E-Learning Faculty Resources, E-Learning Student Resources, Quality Matters). The E-Learning Services team conducts weekly sessions every semester on a variety of course management topics, such as the use of Canvas (Learning Management System), instructional technologies, discussion boards, grade center, creating assignments and quizzes, group work, and Panopto (lecture capture). Trainings occur in a classroom and in an online environment simultaneously. The E-Learning Services team consists of the Executive Faculty Administrator for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, Assistant Director, Instructional Media Technologist, and an Instructional Developer, who provide additional support to faculty and students.
Disability Services (Disability Services Webpage)
Students with Disabilities Services (SDS – Disability Services – Overview) coordinates accommodations for all eligible students to ensure equal access to, and rewarding experiences with, USF Sarasota-Manatee academic programs and activities. SDS develops an accommodation plan specific to each student’s needs. Information regarding services and eligibility standards are available through the USF Sarasota-Manatee website or can be provided in-person or by telephone. SDS provides services to students taking courses at the North Port instructional site and online students via telephone, e-mail, and personal appointments. Further information can be viewed at the following: Disability Services – Academic Accommodations, Disability Services – Additional Resources, Disability Services – Confidentiality, Disability Services – Documentation, Disability Services – Eligibility and Application, Disability Services – List of Disabilities, and Disability Services – Testing Accommodations.
Financial Aid (Financial Aid Webpage)
The Financial Aid office provides support services to all students including those at the North Port site and distance learners. The financial aid officers counsel students on all aspects of the financial aid application process, awarding and delivery of Federal, State and institutional funds, as well as information on scholarships and veteran services. Staff members educate and guide students on navigating the financial aid process and the importance of financial aid responsibilities. The Financial Aid website provides multiple forms, brochures and informational resources to all students. For further information, please see the following: Keeping Your Aid, Costs, Loan Information, and Scholarships.
Information Commons (Information Commons Webpage)
The Information Commons, located on the second floor of the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, is a designated area for students, faculty, and staff to receive research assistance and collaborate on projects. In addition the Information Commons staff can assist with technology related issues and questions. Librarians are available to assist users with identifying and finding print, electronic, and digital resources, as well as finding information about the resources and services available at the Cook Library and the USF System Libraries. The Academic Resource Desk refers students to tutoring and E-Learning services.
Learning Resource Center (Tutoring Webpage)
Learning Support Services (LSS) provides USF Sarasota-Manatee students with academic assistance that strengthens their ability to learn effectively, and, consequently, achieve academic success. LSS provides free tutoring, partially supported financially by the USF Sarasota-Manatee Student Government Association. Faculty consultants and trained peer tutors provide writing consultations and tutoring both face-to-face and online tutoring in a variety of subject areas including Accounting, American Sign Language, Finance, Mathematics and Statistics, Spanish, and Writing. LSS makes available through its Helpful Resources link a plethora of writing process materials, style guides, grammar and academic writing conventions. Writing consultants focus on the writing process to help students develop strategies for planning, drafting, revising and editing by providing support at all stages of the writing process. LSS provides a safe haven for students to learn at their own pace outside of the classroom to keep up with the rigors of post-secondary courses. The program is supervised by a Faculty Coordinator who holds a doctorate in English and also teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Orientation (Orientation Webpage)
Student Services provides the required New Student Orientation for all undergraduate and graduate students. Orientation includes presentations by campus personnel on university policies, procedures and availability of campus resources. Students meet with their academic advisor as part of their orientation process and receive assistance in course selection and registration. Orientation for first- year students is spread over two days, the Academic Planning Day and the First Year Welcome Event (Freshmen Orientation). USF Sarasota-Manatee transfer students have two options for completing orientation, either an online module or an in-person session (Transfer Orientation). An International Orientation acclimates international students to campus. Graduate Orientations are handled through the individual degree programs.
Records & Registration (Registration Webpage)
Records and Registration at USF Sarasota-Manatee serves and collaborates with faculty, staff, students, and others. It acts as a resource for academic policy and procedure and is responsible for the publication of each semester’s academic deadlines on the USF Sarasota-Manatee website (See Academic Calendar; Fall 2015 Deadlines). The office manages all registration functions for on-campus, off-campus, and distance-learning constituents via the telephone, e-mail, Web, and in-person. Services include Enrollment Verification, Transcript Requests, Registration Assistance, registration/retention events, and registration-related document scanning using the SunGard Banner Document Management System. The department also engages in training related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the use of USF’s student information system (Banner by Ellucian).
Technology Services (Technology Services Webpage)
Technology Services at USF Sarasota-Manatee is responsible for the provision of technology access, support, development and training to faculty, students and staff at all locations (See Faculty and Staff Start-up, Student Start-Up, Wireless Internet Access, Security and Anti-virus, and Finding Help). These services are used by faculty and students to enhance the educational experiences. Technology Services manages and supports an advanced network of data, voice, video, and wireless technologies deployed at the Sarasota-Manatee campus and at all off-campus teaching locations located in North Port, Mote Marine Laboratory, and Lakewood Ranch Culinary Laboratory. The Technology Services Staff members have developed the technology infrastructure to help the institution achieve the objectives of its programs, while ensuring identical faculty and student access to resources at all locations. Included are high speed networks, wireless networks, smart classrooms including high-definition and Lecture Capture, video-conference classrooms, virtual delivery course support, a data center, collaborative technology systems, student open-use computers, network access to enterprise faculty/student/library systems, a training lab, and a faculty/student lab (See Classroom Technology Support, Computer Device Support, Audio-Video Production, Standard Presentation Mode). Technology Services has outfitted all on-campus and off campus labs with a vast array of software for faculty and student use. All classrooms with smart technologies provide faculty with in-class, real-time support. Technology Services also provides on-line tutorials for technology assistance.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION AND EVIDENCE