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Center for Academic Achievement


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.


Department for Academic Enrichment

118 Ralston Hall

The university is committed to the academic growth and development of all students. In order to ensure these goals are met, the university established the Department for Academic Enrichment which incorporates student and faculty development, academic advisement, and academic support for students. There are six program units within the Department for Academic Enrichment.


Academic Skills Courses
AE 100: College Reading and Study Skills, 3 s.h.
Develops reading/study skills required at the college level through discussion, problem solving, reading, and writing. Students will organize study plans and develop specific skills in classroom note taking, test reading, test taking, and critical thinking. Students
will be introduced to campus resources, including the library, The Writing Center, the counseling center, and others which are necessary to student success.

AE 101-102: Explorations 1 and 2, .5 s.h.
A co-curricular course for first-year students, a cooperative program of student affairs and academic affairs. Intended to acquaint students with many aspects and resources of Clarion University, students will explore and understand themselves interacting in a higher-education environment, identify and utilize campus resources, and develop strategies to facilitate learning. The intent is to forge positive active relationships among students, faculty, and staff; help students be informed self-advocates, and engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, which will enhance personal growth and education. 0.5 credit each semester for a total of 1 credit.

AE 110: The Student in the University, 3 s.h.
Enables freshman students to (1) explore and understand themselves as developing adults interacting in a higher education environment; (2) identify and/or utilize campus and community resources that will enhance their academic program; (3) develop strategies to facilitate the learning process; and (4) apply those strategies in a practical manner in order to build upon a resource base for academic skill transference. Note: Designed for freshman students only and is a general elective under personal  development and life skills. As needed.

AE 260: Career Exploration and Planning, 3 s.h.
Focuses on the career planning process that involves: (a) career awareness—students learn to examine the world of work and the occupational alternatives available; (b) self study—students learn to examine their own personalities, interests, needs, achievements, abilities, and values when developing a personal career plan; and (c) career decision-making—students learn to practice the skills necessary to make prudent occupational choices and set realistic goals.


Center for Academic Enrichment
132 Ralston Hall

The Center for Academic Enrichment provides services to students who may encounter some form of difficulty with their courses and/or need instruction in basic skills development.

The Center for Academic Enrichment has two components, the Tutoring Center and the Learning Skills Lab. The two components offer students a comprehensive approach to the development of skills necessary at the collegiate level to ensure academic success. All services are free of charge. Services are available by either appointment and/or by walk-in.

Content tutoring is offered for most lower-level subject areas providing students with the understanding of basic concepts, ideas, and mechanical processes. Tutoring sessions give students the opportunity to secure in-depth clarification and to identify and apply specific reading and study skills required in their academic programs. Most tutoring sessions are one-to-one or small group instruction.


Disability Support Services
102 Ralston Hall

The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) functions as the university’s primary vehicle for assisting students with documented disabilities. Students must initiate the process of receiving accommodations by contacting the coordinator of Disability Support Services to discuss their need for disability related services. Also, as part of the university’s registration process, students are provided with a confidential questionnaire that enables them to notify the university of possible accommodations and services that
are related to a disabling condition. In addition, students must contact the Office of DSS to submit proper documentation and discuss requested accommodations. Students should contact the DSS office far enough in advance to allow sufficient time
to coordinate accommodations.

Information on services for students with disabilities may be obtained by contacting the coordinator of Disability Support Services, 102 Ralston Hall, 814-393-2095. Additional information is available in the “Nondiscrimination on Basis of Disability” section. Inquiries regarding services and facilities accessibility may also be obtained by contacting the Assistant to the President for Social Equity, 207 Carrier Hall, 814-393-2109.


Student Support Services
104 Ralston Hall

The TRIO Student Support Services Program is available to students with disabilities who desire additional help in the form of academic advising, freshman seminars, informational workshops, and assistance with study skills. Students accepted into the program must meet eligibility requirements established by the institution and the U.S. Department of Education. Students interested in obtaining information about the program should contact the director.


Educational Talent Search Program
219 Ralston Hall


As part of Clarion University’s mission to serve community residents, Educational Talent Search (ETS) serves 900 participants annually in Clarion, Jefferson, and Venango counties. Talent Search assists people age 11-27 to complete secondary education programs and enroll or re-enroll in postsecondary education.

ETS provides such services as study skill instruction, campus visits, entrance exam preparation, post-secondary and career planning, financial aid information, cultural enrichment programs, and leadership training. Participants are selected based upon eligibility criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education, the program’s funding agent.


TRIO Student Support Services Program
104 Ralston Hall

Students admitted to the TRIO Student Support Services Program are provided with developmental services which may include learning skills assistance, academic advising, 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. A reserved section of AE 100: Reading/Study Skills, is also offered to program students.

Students accepted into the program must meet eligibility requirements established by the institution and the U.S. Department of Education.


TRIO Upward Bound Program
107 Ralston Hall

As part of the university’s commitment to serving the community, the TRIO Upward Bound Program is designed to enhance the overall potential for college success in selected high school students from Clarion, Jefferson, Mercer and Venango counties. The program operates in two segments— the academic year component and the residential summer academy.

Services such as tutoring, career exploration, and academic counseling are provided year-round. The six-week summer academy offers participants the opportunity to experience life on campus at Clarion University while receiving academic instruction, experiencing a variety of cultural and social activities, and participating in educational travel. Participants are chosen based on eligibility criteria established by the program in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education.


Minority Student Services
277 James Gemmell Student Complex

The Office of Minority Student Services provides programs and opportunities for members of underrepresented groups, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans, 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: Black Student Union, Leadership Institute, Academic Excellence Program, UMOJA publication, Eyes on the Prize, Mentoring Program, Annual Minority Student Recognition Dinner, Minority Student Services Leadership Council, Community Outreach Programs, Men of Color Think Tank, Asian Students International Association, Women United and Project SOAR (a retention program for state system
partnership programs).

Student Orientation, Acclimation and Retention (SOAR)
111/112 Ralston

The SOAR program is a collaborative effort of the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student and University Affairs. It builds a foundation for first-year students through activities supporting retention initiatives. First-year programs include orientation and Discovery Weekend. The SOAR staff is also involved in planning Activities Day, Around Clarion in 80 Days and Family Day events.


University Advising Services Center
Academic Advising
144B Ralston

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

The University Advising Services Center assists students in their academic growth and development; promote advisor-advisee relationships characterized by trust, mutual respect, and openness; and establish a climate of purposeful learning which maximizes
student growth and minimizes student withdrawal.


Advisor/Advisee Roles and Responsibilities

As an advisee you should:

  1. keep in touch with advisor

  2. make and keep appointments; email or call if changing an appointment

  3. come with specific questions in mind

  4. ask about other sources of information

  5. be open concerning academic work, study habits, academic progress, etc.

  6. build a class schedule which meets necessary academic requirements and is free of time conflicts

  7. make decisions concerning careers, choice of majors, and selection of courses


Your advisor should:

  1. post office hours

  2. keep appointments or call if it is necessary to change or cancel an appointment

  3. provide accurate and specific information

  4. suggest other sources of information

  5. listen and help solve problems

  6. check schedule for appropriate selection of courses

  7. suggest options concerning careers, choice of majors, and selection of courses


The Writing Center
210C Davis Hall

The Writing Center supports all students in their efforts to become better writers and provides assistance with writing assignments in all subject areas. The Writing Center is not a proofreading or editing service. It is a support service for any writer who values feedback as part of the learning/writing process.

Consultants at The Writing Center assist students at whatever stage of writing they need assistance. Writing consultants aim to motivate rather than control a writer by asking questions, offering feedback, and encouraging writers to talk through the thinking and planning process.

Writing consultants assist writers at the level of the writer’s ability; therefore, written work reflects each writer’s ability as well as personal style. In this way, the center assures faculty that writing turned in for evaluation is the student’s work, and not that of a writing consultant.

Writing consultants are graduate and undergraduate students who undergo a careful screening process and participate in weekly training sessions. Writing consultants who meet training and tutoring hour requirements receive College Reading and Learning Tutor Certification.