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Student Services

Excellence in the development of the Bethune Man and the Bethune Woman is of paramount importance and is facilitated through the goal, objectives, programs, and activities of this sector's primary departments.  Each day, our sector helps students and staff get things done across our campus. Our departments are here to provide you with the information, understanding and assistance you need to navigate throughout your college tenure. The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission
that promote student learning and enhance the development of its students.

Bethune-Cookman University provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that promote student learning and enhance the development of our students. The University mission is "to serve in the Christian tradition the diverse educational, social, and cultural needs of its students and to develop in them the desire and capacity for continuous intellectual and professional growth, leadership, and service to others". The student support services in each sector have made significant progress in meeting the University's third Strategic Goal of "fostering an effective learning environment" to maximize the students' learning experiences and to help them become well-rounded productive citizens. Student Support Services include the following services from Academic Affairs: Center for Academic Support Services (CASS), Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services (CARES), Advisement, Honors Program, Testing Services, Student Resource Center, Office of Academic Computing, and Tutorial Labs; from the Student Affairs services, including: Religious Life, Residential Life, Student Activities, Counseling, Career Placement, and Health Services; and other non-academic support services from other sectors such as: Center for Information Technology information services and Intercollegiate Athletics Advisement services.

Center for Academic Support Services

The Center for Academic Support Services (CASS) was established to enhance the learning experience for all Bethune-Cookman University students. The Center for Academic Support Services promotes the University’s mission by fostering a positive learning environment that enhances and extends instructional activities and empowers students to take charge of their own learning. The mission of the Center for Academic Support Services is to improve student retention and persistence to graduation by enhancing student learning through the coordination of academic support services, including the New Student Program, advisement of undeclared majors, academic tutoring, and advisement services to include monitoring of the Standards of Academic Progress. The following is a brief description of the services offered by the Center for Academic Support Services.

  • New Student Program -The New Student Program consists of orientation and integration services for incoming freshmen and transfer students. These services are designed to introduce students to the spectrum of academic services provided by the University, including academic advising, student financial support and services, testing services, and registration.
  • Advisement for Undeclared Majors - The Center for Academic Support Services provides advisement services for students who have not declared an academic major. The Center for Academic Support Services works in cooperation with the Career Center to help these students choose a major that is compatible with their skills, personality, and career ambitions.
  • Academic Tutoring/Learning Services - The Center for Academic Support Services coordinates tutorial labs that were established to provide supplemental instruction and support in mathematics, English, and reading. Tutorials are provided by trained professionals and are designed to augment classroom instruction. The Center provides additional learning services, including inventories to help students to identify the learning modalities that enhance their academic success.
  • Advisement Services - The Center for Academic Support Services coordinates all University advisement services. This support includes workshops and trainings for faculty and Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services advisors. The Center also provides assistance to the academic programs in the implementation of a comprehensive, integrated advisement program. The Center monitors the Standards of Academic Progress and maintains an academic referral system, as well as a structured monitoring program that provides students who fail to make adequate academic progress with the essential support to improve their academic status. These students are referred to additional support services as prescribed by faculty and staff.

Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services

The Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services (CARES) provides programs and services to support developmental students. Through both academic and non-academic services, the Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services seeks to develop critical-thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, leadership and service-learning skills for developmental students. The Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services offers developmental courses in mathematics, English, and reading to increase student success in college level courses. The Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services personnel also monitor the academic progression of the Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services students through their matriculation to graduation. The Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services program is designed for those students who have taken the College Placement Test and have demonstrated a need for focused academic instruction and support in two or more developmental courses in order to be successful in college-level courses. All other students will receive academic support through the Center of Academic Support Services.

Library Learning Resources

Information Technology – The Library provides computer labs as work stations for students to complete academic assignments using the library resources. Computers are available in the residence halls for students to check-out, and in the Parlin Resource Center for students. The computers enhance the quality of services provided to students, which have been documented in technology evaluation surveys. Additional computers were purchased for students/staff during the 2007-2008 academic years. The Office of Academic Computing offers tutorials and materials for students for orientation to online courses.

Honors Program

The Honors Program at Bethune-Cookman University seeks to provide expanded study opportunities for highly motivated and exceptionally qualified students. Freshmen and sophomore students invited into the program must maintain a 3.3 cumulative grade point average. Non-program students may also register for an honors course, if they have a 3.3 cumulative grade point average and if room is available in the class based on the student's entry placement test scores. The Honors Program Resource Center is fully equipped with Internet connections for the Dell computers and Windows XP. The program has testing tools for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, along with Graduate Schools Guide for all perspective fields of study for student use. The program has six Dell Notebook Computers and four Dell Desktop Computers. These laptops are available to the Honors Faculty members (on a loan basis) for curriculum development and enhancement of their course delivery methods.

Testing Services

The Office of Testing and Evaluation provides an extensive testing program for the accommodation of

  • Placement Assessment - The Testing Office administers the placement examination to freshman and transfer students for placement in reading, English, and mathematics. New and transfer students will take the placement test except transfer students holding an A.A. Degree from a regionally accredited community college.
  • Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency Test (CAAP). This is a special test that not only measures how much you know about a particular subject. There are several sections on the test - Reading, Mathematics, Science, Critical Thinking, Writing Skills, and Writing Essay. Except for the essay portion, all tests are in a multiple choice format. Calculators are allowed.
  • College Credit - Bethune-Cookman University is a participant in the Advanced
  • Placement Program and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. If the student meets the criteria set forth by each academic area, then the student may receive college credit for courses covering similar material. Students must apply through the Testing Office during the first six weeks of their first semester enrolled at Bethune-Cookman University.
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) - The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests are offered for students who are able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the subject examinations. Students can receive course credit by earning qualifying scores on CLEP examinations. Additional information regarding the CLEP is available in the Testing Office in Faith Hall.
  • National Test Center - The University also serves as a national test center for limited test offerings of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to include subject examinations of The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).

Academic Advising

Academic Advising is an essential component of the educational process and is committed to a program which strives to integrate students’ personal and academic goals, address their cognitive and social development, and establish the relationship between education and life experiences. Each student is assigned an academic advisor whose role is to help the student clarify individual goals and develop a suitable educational plan, select an appropriate course sequence, and review the progress toward established educational goals. The Dean of each School assigns advisors, makes changes in a student’s major, minor, or teaching field, and works with transfer students concerning transcript evaluation and the distribution of transfer credits among the requirements of the university.

Student Support Services (TRIO Program)

The Student Support Services Program is a support program that is funded by the United States Department of Education. Students who meet the criteria (first generation college students and income level) are invited to apply for acceptance. Each student is interviewed by the program director or counselor and given an individual needs assessment. Information from the assessment is used to determine appropriate services for each student. A contract is signed by the student, which obligates him or her to attend classes, meet counselor's appointments, and attend tutoring sessions if tutoring is needed.

The major objectives of the Student Support Services (TRIO) Program are the following:

  • To increase the retention and graduation rate of the students
  • To provide opportunities for cultural and social enrichment
  • To provide assistance in career planning.

The Student Support Services Program focuses on five areas of service: math and English classes, tutoring, counseling, career planning and placement, and cultural and social enrichment.

Student Affairs Sector

The overall goals of the Student Affairs Sector are to enhance student retention, enrich student development, and support the needs of a diverse student population through the following programs and services.

Campus Housing and Residential Life

Bethune-Cookman University has ten residential houses; six (6) female dorms and four (4) male dorms. The residential houses hold 1,881 students. The University also operates three (3) scholarship houses for 30 students and the Russ Building, which houses 11 male students. Off-campus housing information is also made available to students. Seminars/workshops are sponsored in the residence halls for students.

Disability Services

The University provides equal opportunity to qualified disabled persons in accordance with the requirements of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 serve to ensure that individuals with current disabling conditions areprovided reasonable accommodations to enable them to enjoy the programs, activities, services, and employment opportunities offered by colleges and universities. The Coordinator of Disabled Student Services serves as the primary contact point for persons who may qualify under these provisions. As these laws only apply to individuals with known disabilities, it is required by the University that individuals provide recent documentation to establish their eligibility under these laws and to document their specific accommodation needs. Individuals with a verifiable learning or physical disability affecting academic studies must submit documentation of a professional diagnostic evaluation (not older than three years) of their disability to the Coordinator of Disabled Student Services. Information regarding specific living and dietary accommodations should also be provided. All documentation provided to the Coordinator of Disabled Student Services, will be strictly confidential. No information, except as provided by law, will be released to anyone, including parents, without the student’s written consent.

Career and Program Services

Bethune-Cookman University provides individual and group counseling sessions to assist students in developing interpersonal, social, and decision-making skills through the Office of Career and Program Services. The available services are: Career Counseling; Career Related Work Experiences and Internships; Career Showcase/Classroom Visitation Programs; Full, Part-time, and Summer Job Placement; Graduate School Advisement; Graduate/Professional School Fairs; target Career Preparation Session; Mental Health Services Referral Program; Peer Counseling Program; Professional Development Seminars/Workshops (i.e., Business Etiquette, Graduate School Preparations, Interviewing Skills, Networking, Resume Writing) and Student Surveys. The Career and Program Services staff also continues to work collaboratively with schools of the University including the School of Graduate Studies to offer Graduate Program Fairs and Career Fairs.

Student Health Services

Bethune-Cookman University maintains a Student Health Services Center to direct the thinking and actions of students toward healthy lifestyle choices. The Center’s staff CRN, office manager, part-time physician assists students with high-quality, cost-effective health care services, programs, and products. ALL full-time students must have a medical record form on file in the Student Health Services Center. Students’ medical records are maintained in a restricted area with only access via the Office Manager. Students for outpatient services are referred to the Halifax Family Practice Center or the Volusia County Health Department. Bethune-Cookman University employs a Mental Health Counselor and an LPN to improve the quality of services in the Student Health Center. Within the tuition/fees costs, students are charged a student health fee to assist with student health care costs of the University.

Religious Life

Bethune-Cookman University has an Interim Chaplain who is available to students for spiritual counseling and guidance. The Interim Chaplain also coordinates and promotes religious activities such as Bible Study, Religious Emphasis Week, and prayer services. The Interim Chaplain also serves as Coordinator of Student Affairs, and is a member of the President’s Cabinet. The Office of Religious Life partners with Academic Affairs, Admissions, Athletics, Concert Chorale, Center for Information Technology, Registrar’s Office, and student organizations to provide programs which are planned for ALL students.

Student Activities

Bethune-Cookman University promotes social, recreational, cultural, and extracurricular activities through the Office of Student Activities. The Office of Student Activities creates opportunities for students to learn and develop problem-solving, leadership, decision-making, critical-thinking, conflict management,and social skills as well as student employment. The Office of Student Activities monitors the activities in the Wildcat Retreat Center and the Wildcat Student Center in the Center for Civic Engagement with a student lounge, recreational room, and a weight/fitness room for students. The Office of Student Activities also assists with monitoring all student organizations including the Student Government Association (SGA), and planning homecoming activities. The Office further supports / promotes the Honda Campus All-Stars Program. The President of the Student Government Association serves as an Ex-Officio member of the Bethune-Cookman College Board of Trustees. The University encourages students, based on scholastic standards, to participate in organizations and extracurricular activities. Organizations and extracurricular activities are classified as academic, fraternity/sorority, honor society, religious, service/social and sports/recreational. ALL students pay a student activities fee to support student activities/student organizations.

Black Males In Higher Education Think Tank

The Black Males in Higher Education Think Tank is directed at the retention of male students at Bethune-Cookman University. The Think Tank, in its initial development, focuses on leadership, mentoring, conflict resolution, community service, and academic performance. The Think Tank hosted an assembly on Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 10:20am – 11:20am, Heyn Chapel. Black Females in Higher Education Think Tank The Black Females in Higher Education Think Tank is known also as D.A.W.N., was started in the summer semester of 2008. An acronym that stands for Diverse African Women by Nature, it was birthed out the Women’s Senate for the purpose of addressing issues faced by the females at Bethune-Cookman University. The goal is to reshape the minds of collegiate level women of African descent; uplift and unite the women of the university and surrounding communities, and encourage healthy decision making on physical, mental and spirituals levels; all while developing communication skills and tools needed for collegiate and extra-collegiate pursuits. Every member of DAWN has the minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA). The organization consists of international students from Africa and the Caribbean, African Americans and interracial students. It is a true representation of African women and women of the African Diaspora here at Bethune-Cookman University.

Presidential Ambassadors

The Presidential Ambassadors Program was established in 2006 by Dr. Reed, as a group of students organized to increase skills in leadership, problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. The Presidential Ambassadors attend Beach Side Chats in support of the President, and other university events such as the corporate luncheon during the Florida Classic. The selection of the Presidential Ambassadors includes: maintaining academic standing, status as a registered voter, and community service.

Center For Information Technology

Computers are available in the residence halls for students to check-out, and in the Parlin Resource Center for students. The computers enhance the quality of services provided to students within Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.

Intercollegiate Athletics Advisement

The Department of Athletics employs Academic Support personnel and sponsors an Academic Support Program for athletes. The program is designed to support academic advisement for student athletes and to ensure progress toward a degree. The program encourages student athletes to effectively balance academics and athletics and includes several mandatory Study Hall and attendance monitoring. To celebrate achievements, awards ceremonies are held each semester to honor the athletes who demonstrate good academic performance. The Department also has a computer lab for the student athletes to assist with student retention.

Assessment of Student Support Systems

Program Outcomes and Student Learning Outcomes for academic and non-academic support services are assessed in relation to the Strategic Goal across all units using the relevant areas of the University Assessment Model on the Annual academic or non-academic Planning, Budget and Assessment Forms, including: Strategic Planning, Program Review (including Student Learning Outcomes), Budget Allocation, Effective Communication, Staff Credentials, Professional Development, Student Services, Leadership Assessment, Infusing Technology, Student Leadership, and Student Grievances aligned with the Strategic Goals and Mission as depicted on the Assessment Wheel. These student support services are evaluated through Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE), National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Senior Exit Surveys, Grievances filed with the University Ombudsperson, Beachside Chats, staff evaluations, progress reports, and other major program evaluations like the Foundations for Excellence Study 2007-2008.

Improvements in Student Support Services

Over the past five years, the University’s assessment process prompted changes and improvements for the University in academic and non-academic support services. These changes included training for advisement services, expanded library resources, and the establishment of Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services (CARES) to focus on services for Developmental students and Center for Academic Support Services (CASS) to promote student retention. In addition, student support services were enhanced through the hiring of student Ombudsperson (Evidence 40); increasing support services coordination, the hiring of a psychological counselor addition of computer labs; the establishment of the Center for Civic Engagement to provide student support services, and the initiation of phase one of the University’s Capital Campaign to enhance academic resources (Athletic Training Center, dorms, library etc.).

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