Undergraduate Catalog 2018-19 
    
    Nov 14, 2018  
Undergraduate Catalog 2018-19

Academic Support


Help is always available for students who desire assistance in developing effective study skills or competencies in reading and/or 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, it offers academic counseling, tutoring, math clinics, writing clinics, advising, services for students with disabilities, and summer programs. Counselors also assist students with graduation standards, financial literacy education, leadership development, and graduate school admissions. The Academic Support Center also has an online presence, offering motivational and informative content on its website, blog, and social media pages. Adopting a holistic view of each student, staff proactively support students as they pursue their goals.

Students visit the Academic Support Center for assistance choosing an academic major, assessing their learning style, improving study skills, preparing for the graduation standards, and selecting courses. Staff also help students improve their time management skills, overcome test anxiety, and understand 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 coordinator of disability services supports students by reviewing student documentation to determine eligibility, providing individual and small group academic support and counseling, and working with faculty and staff to arrange appropriate accommodations and the use of auxiliary aids. Additional Disability Services information is available on the department web pages. 

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 attend college, students whose family income level is low to moderate, and/or students who have a disability. TRIO-eligible students may qualify for additional services, including TRIO grants, financial literacy workshops, graduate school support, leadership opportunities, and two summer programs for new students: a TRIO Texting program and the on-campus Summer Transition Program.

The Academic Support Center is open 8am-9 pm Monday-Thursday and 8am-4:30pm Friday when classes are in session. All services are offered free of charge to students enrolled in at least one Castleton class. Other meeting times, either in person or by phone, are available when arranged in advance. The Academic Support Center is on the first floor of Babcock Hall: (802) 468-1347.


Calvin Coolidge Library

Castleton University's Calvin Coolidge Library provides resources and services to our community in support of research, teaching and learning, intellectual curiosity and enrichment, and civic engagement.  The library's collection contains items in a variety of formats, including over 170,000 physical volumes, approximately 200 print subscriptions, and online access to the full text of over 40,000 journals, magazines and newspapers.

Library services include circulation, reference (research support), reserves, interlibrary loan, and information literacy instruction.  Castleton is a member of several national and regional consortia, including the Vermont Consortium of Academic Libraries (VCAL).  Castleton shares an online catalog, several major subscription databases, and technical support with the other Vermont State Colleges Libraries.  Access to the library's catalog and databases is available at www.castleton.edu/library.

The present library building was constructed in 1965 with a major addition doubling its size in 1979.  Approximately 250 people can be accommodated in individual or group seating, and the library offers computers for student and public use and access to five group rooms for students, faculty and staff.  The Calvin Coolidge Library also includes 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 is located in the Calvin Coolidge Library.  A wide variety of software is available, including:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • SPSS

Other Academic Labs

  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Natural Science
  • Psychology
  • HGEP & Sociology/Social Work/Criminal Justice
  • Stafford Academic Center

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 registering for classes.


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.

  • Medicine: 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.
  • Engineering: 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.
  • Law: Students seeking preparation for law school should consult with the Pre-Law Advisor (Professor Rich Clark) early in their first year.  Castleton's Pre-Law Program equips students to gain entrance to law school and pursue a successful career in the legal profession.  For more information, go to the Pre-Law page .
  • Pharmacy: Students seeking preparation for Pharmacy school should consult with the Pre-Pharmacy Advisor, Professor Peter Kimmel.  For information on Castleton's Pre-Pharmacy Program, go to the Pre-Pharmacy page .

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/.