Undergraduate Catalog 2015-16 
    Jul 17, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2015-16 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Support

Help is always available for students who desire assistance in developing effective study skills or competencies in reading and/or basic mathematics. In addition, students experiencing academic problems in virtually any course can obtain free tutorial help. For information on special courses, support services, and tutoring, students may contact the Castleton Academic Support Center, their academic advisor, or an academic dean.  These and other resources are described below.

Academic Advising

The Academic Dean's office assigns students a faculty advisor prior to the start of their first semester at Castleton. First-year seminar instructors advise all students who are enrolled in the first-year seminar. The primary role of the advisor is to assist students in program planning and course selection. Students must see their advisors before registration each semester to obtain approval of their course schedule. Students with two majors will be assigned an advisor for each and will need each advisor's approval prior to registration.

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors frequently, not only for help in designing their degree programs, but also for consultation on academic matters and career goals. Advisors can also provide valuable suggestions on how to make the most, intellectually and educationally, of a student's Castleton years. While students should take advantage of the ''drop-in'' office hours that faculty maintain and post, typically on their office doors, it is prudent to schedule, in advance, periodic appointments with the advisor for thoughtful and thorough planning. Students may change advisors by completing a Change of Advisor form, which can be obtained at Financial & Registration Services.

Finally, while Castleton endeavors to make high quality academic advising available to students, the primary and ultimate responsibility for meeting degree and program requirements rests with the individual student.

Academic Support Center

The staff of the Academic Support Center collaborates with Castleton students to help them achieve their academic, personal, and career potential. To this end, we offer academic counseling, tutoring, math clinics, writing clinics, advising, services for students with disabilities, assistance with graduation standards, financial literacy education, leadership development, graduate school admissions support, and summer programs. The staff adopts a holistic view of each student and takes pride in our proactive approach to support students in meeting their goals.

Students visit the Academic Support Center for assistance choosing an academic major, assessing their learning style, implementing study skills strategies, preparing for the graduation standards, and selecting courses. Emphasis is often placed on time management, overcoming test anxiety, and understanding the financial aid process. Academic Support offers walk-in Writing and Math clinics Monday through Friday with both daytime and evening hours, and individual or small group tutoring is available for most courses offered at Castleton.

All returning, new, and prospective students and their families are encouraged to explore available program services, as well as discuss any individual academic or personal concerns with a member of the Academic Support Staff.

In addition, the learning specialist offers services for students with disabilities, including: providing individual and small group academic support and counseling, working with faculty and staff to arrange appropriate accommodations and the use of auxiliary aids, and reviewing student documentation for eligibility.

The Academic Support Center is funded in large part by a TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Grant funds are used to improve college success for students who are the first in their family to go to college, students whose family income level is low to moderate, and/or students who have a disability. TRIO-eligible students qualify for additional services including: TRIO grants, financial literacy, our technology loan program, graduate school support, and our Summer Transition  Program.

The Academic Support Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with evening hours until 9 p.m. when classes are in session. All services are offered free of charge. Other meeting times, either in person or by phone, are available when arranged in advance. The Academic Support Center is in Babcock Hall: (802) 468-1347.

Calvin Coolidge Library

The library is central to the intellectual and cultural life of the University. It provides information and services to the academic community in support of teaching and research. The collection contains over 750,000 items in a variety of formats. Library electronic systems take advantage of full internet access and a wireless network to provide researchers with opportunities to use a rapidly expanding variety of resources. For material not held in the Castleton Library, interlibrary loan service is generally fast and efficient. Librarians regularly offer instruction in research methods and tools in introductory and upper-level courses.

Castleton is a member of several regional and national library networks. The library has an integrated online system that is shared with the other four Vermont State Colleges. The library home page (www.castleton.edu/library) is the gateway to most library services and collections, including a number of databases that include full text of articles and books.

Students have access to a variety of media, including a collection of videos and DVDs that can be checked out or watched in individual viewing carrels or group study rooms in the library. The campus Media Center provides media equipment for students to borrow, including a variety of still and video cameras, digital voice recorders, and more. IMovie and Final Cut are available for students who need editing equipment. The Media Staff offer instruction and support for Moodle, PowerPoint, Turning Point clickers, and Smart Technologies.

The present library building was constructed in 1965 with a major addition doubling its size in 1979. Approximately 260 readers can be accommodated in individual or group seating, carrels and conference areas. The library also houses the Student Gallery and Lounge, the Vermont Room and the University Archives.

Information Technology Services

Lab Computers and Software

There are approximately 250 computers on campus for student use. The largest general access lab, the Academic Computing Center (ACC), is overseen by IT Services. There are also a dozen smaller labs managed by individual academic departments. A wide variety of software is available.

Academic Computing Center - ACC

The ACC, located in the Stafford Academic Center, is open to students and the Castleton community approximately 90 hours per week during the regular school year. It is equipped with 38 Windows computers and 15 Macintosh computers running a variety of software. The ACC is also adjacent to two teaching labs - one Windows and one Macintosh - each containing 21 computers. These are open to student use when not in use by classes. Available peripherals include high speed laser printers and scanners. The ACC is managed and maintained by a student staff under the guidance of IT Services.

Other Academic Labs

  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Communication
  • Library
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Natural Science
  • Nursing
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • HGEP & Sociology/Social Work/Criminal Justice

Internet Access and Email


Access to the Internet is available in all labs, classrooms, and residence hall rooms. Wireless access is available in all buildings. Accounts to access the portal and Web Services are created when students apply to Castleton. Students are given access to Castleton email shortly after they register.

New Student Assessment and Placement

All new first-year students receive English and math placement recommendations as part of the admissions and registration process. Placement recommendations have been developed and are continuously refined by the English and Mathematics departments to ensure good alignment between course expectations and students' academic skill levels. Placement recommendations are based on students' high school GPA, SAT or ACT scores, and, in circumstances where these records may not provide enough clarity about a student's true skills, assessments are given during the first morning of summer registration.

-In English, a student with mid-range to lower SAT scores will take the Writeplacer essay; the results may dictate that the student enroll in and pass both ENG 0040  and ENG 1010 .  

-In mathematics, a student with either very high or very low SAT scores will take the Accuplacer exam; the results may dictate that the student enroll in and pass MAT 1010 .

Credits for ENG 0040  and MAT 1010  do not count toward diploma requirements.

Non-Traditional Student and Commuter Student Support

Commuter students and students who do not attend Castleton directly from high school often have different needs and requirements from those of traditional aged students. The Student Life Office, located in the Campus Center, offers information and support for these students. These services include, but are not limited to, off-campus housing information and information on upcoming daytime events.

Pre-professional Advising

Castleton students who hope, upon graduation, to enroll in professional schools of engineering, law, medicine, dentistry, chiropractic medicine, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine may receive special guidance to increase their chances of being successful candidates. A Pre-Professional Advising Committee in the Natural Sciences Department provides assistance to students interested in medically related fields, has material on requirements for admission to various schools, and can assist in designing an appropriate bachelor's degree program. Students should contact the committee, early, through the department chair. Students interested in engineering should contact the Mathematics or Natural Sciences departments. Students can obtain additional information about specific entrance exams at the Career Development Office in the Campus Center.

Students seeking preparation for law school should consult the Pre-Law Advisor. Castleton recommends that such students choose a major that is either in the humanities or social sciences. While Castleton cannot guarantee admission to a law school, it is the goal of the Pre-Law Advising program to prepare students to compete successfully with the graduates of other collegiate institutions for law school admission. Students should contact the pre-law advisor, early, through the chair of the Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice Department or the chair of the History, Geography, Economics and Politics Department.

Testing Services

The Education Department facilitates testing for teacher licensure through ETS/Praxis and ACT. For questions or scheduling information, please contact the Education Department at (802) 468-1220. Practice CD's and materials are available in the library and on-line at www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials and www.act.org/products/k-12-act-test/.