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Center for Academic Achievement

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Congratulations!  You've made the right decision to attend Clarion University.   We make sure our students have the support they need to realize their dreams.

Once you begin your college career at Clarion University, you may need assistance to ensure your success. Clarion University is committed to the academic growth and development of all of our students and has established a series of programs to provide the necessary support.

The Center for Academic Achievement is a resource to help you rise to the challenge of your classroom pursuits.

The Mission of the Center for Academic Achievement is to support the retention and graduation of students enrolled at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and its pre-college programs through a variety of support services that promote academic success, enhance personal development, and provide an equitable educational experience leading to graduation.

Academic Enrichment/Tutoring/Learning Skills

The center provides comprehensive assistance in reading and study skills as well as in the content areas of specific subjects. We support all students at Clarion, including those who may experience some form of academic difficulty with specific academic subjects and/or their basic learning skills. The prime objective of the Learning Skills Lab is to provide students with instruction in basic learning skills to become independent learners. The Tutorial Center provides supplemental aid to classroom instruction in the content areas.

Contact: Chris Hearst       118 Ralston Hall         Ext. 2249

Disability Support Services

Disability Support Services are available to any enrolled Clarion University student having a documented disability. The Office of Disability Support Services provides the student with reasonable accommodations as documented through evaluations. Appropriate accommodations are individually based upon identified need. The coordinator meets with these students each semester to determine the effectiveness of the accommodation and to evaluate the need for any further services.

Contact: Jennifer May       102 Ralston Hall         Ext. 2095

Minority Student Services

Minority Student Services provides programs and opportunities for members of under represented groups to share their cultures and experiences with each other and with members of other groups.
The office supports a number of initiatives and groups, including: Academic Excellence Program, Annual Minority Student Recognition Dinner, ASIA, Black Student Union, Building Bridges, Community Outreach Programs, Eastern/Western Alumni Program, Eyes on the Prize Mentoring Program, Hazardous (Hip Hop Dance Team), Leadership Institute, Men of Color Think Tank, MLK Series, Project SOAR (a retention program for State System Partnership Programs), UMOJA publication, Unity Night, and Women United.

Contact: Rogers Laugand       277 Gemmell         Ext. 2043

TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO Student Support Services provides an array of services which may include study skills assistance, academic advising, financial literacy training, and career and financial aid counseling.During the academic year, workshops and on-going services which focus on academic survival and learning-to-learn activities are offered.

The services provided are individually designed and are based on the student's needs as identified by appropriate documentation and through discussions with the program staff. Student accepted into the program must meet eligibility requirements established by the institution and the United States Department of Education. These include:

1. Is a first-generation college student (neither parent has a baccalaureate degree); or
2. Meets income guidelines as outlined by the United States Department of Education; and/or
3. Has a documented disability; and/or is in need of academic support services.

Contact: Shelly Silvis       104 Ralston Hall         Ext.1871

SOAR (formerly Transitions Services)

S SOAR assists the needs of all incoming Students whether first time in college, transfer,  commuter or returning adult

O SOAR conducts Orientation programs for all incoming students throughout the year

A SOAR helps students Acclimate to Clarion through Discovery Weekend and mentoring programs

R SOAR fosters Retention by networking support services and with programs such as MAP-Works.

Goals for SOAR 

Our goal is to help students stay in college and develop permanent ties to Clarion University through programming and activities that:

  • Cement students' and families' commitment to Clarion University.

  • Forge positive and active relationships between students, and among students, faculty and staff.

  • Ensure that students are informed self-advocates who accept personal responsibility for their education.

  • Engage students in productive co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Contact: Erin Schuetz                111/112 Ralston Hall         ext.1766

University Advising Services Center (UASC)

UASC provides comprehensive academic advising for students and faculty. This office serves as the primary source for all undecided and liberal studies advisement. This office also provides drop-in advisement to all university students. Advising Services Center also serves as a resource for all faculty for professional development and answers to advising questions

144-B Ralston Hall         Ext. 1879

ACES: Academic and Career Essentials for Success

Writing Center

The Writing Center supports all students in their efforts to become better writers rather than produce perfect papers. Writing consultants assist writers at the level of each individual's ability; therefore, written work reflects each writer's ability as well as personal style. The Writing Center is not a panacea for the ills of writing, but a support service for any writer who values feedback as part of the learning/writing process.

Contact: Dr. Chris McCarrick       107-A Davis Hall         Ext. 2739


Educational Talent Search (ETS)

ETS serves residents of Clarion, Jefferson and Venango Counties by providing assistance in secondary course selection; assistance in preparing for college entrance exams and completing applications for admission; information on financial aid programs and resources for locating scholarships; assistance in completing financial aid applications; connections to programs on economic literacy; career counseling and activities; exposure to campuses of higher education and cultural events; and guidance in secondary or post-secondary school reentry. Required to serve 835 participants annually, participants are selected based upon eligibility criteria established by the US Department of Education.

Contact: Rhonda McMillen-Toth       219 Ralston Hall         Ext. 2071

Upward Bound

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Upward Bound encourages the acquisition of academic skills and motivation needed for success in high school, college, and everyday life. The program, designed for selected high school students in grades 9-12, operates an academic year component and summer residential component for students from selected high schools in western Pennsylvania.

Contact: Michelle Lagnese       107 Ralston Hall         Ext. 2342