The Elnetta G. Jones University Center for Student Success and Exploratory Studies

We are committed to your success and have a variety of options that are geared to help you realize your true potential. We understand that you may need to change the major you start college with, you may need advising and support with your athletic commitments or may find it helpful to navigate the first year of college with some additional resources. You will find all the support you need at the Elnetta G. Jones University Center and Exploratory Studies.

Message from the College

Our center turns the spotlight on you — your unique needs, talents, paths to success — to ensure that you receive the very best and holistic care at Ship. As you navigate the myriad of challenges that make up college life, we aid you every step of the way. We welcome our diverse student population and cater to everyone’s needs through a wide range of programs and advising options. We are always ready to hear you out and either solve your concerns ourselves or direct/connect you to the right person(s). We help you explore what major to take and which minors supplement that best. Our Learning Center offers tutoring, writing aids and connects you to trained staff and peers to guide you. Our ASP enables you to earn up to six college credits during summer, and helps you navigate the move to college, give you professional advising, counseling, tutoring and supportive services. If you are a student-athlete, we have resources and staff dedicated to meet your particular needs.

Whether you are an international student, or are looking for that perfect study abroad program, we will make sure you have smooth transitions. Faculty and staff who are experienced in dealing with the special requirements of both types of students will help you reach your true potential.

So, whatever your needs at Ship, we are here to guide, direct and advise you such that you realize your true potential and are able to live your dreams.

Mission Statement

We uniquely supplement and reinforce the university’s commitments to serve a more diverse student population and to cultivate a learning-centered environment where students persist to graduation. We enrich the teaching and learning mission of the university by delivering specialized, high-impact academic and student enrichment services that empower you to successfully attain your educational goals. Check out what we offer at our Learning Center, Academic Engagement & Exploratory Studies Department, Academic Success Program (Act 101), Exploratory Advising and Advisor Development, Early Alert Office, Academic Support/Student-Athletes, International Programs, First Year Experience, or Community Engagement offerings to find your best fit.

Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies (AEES)

Enrolling at Shippensburg University as an Exploratory Studies student is an excellent opportunity to explore your major options before selecting one. As an Exploratory Studies student, the Department of AEES can help you understand your abilities, values and interests and select the major that’s right for you. If you are interested in majors with highly competitive admission standards or limited enrollments, AEES can also assist with your understanding of major requirements or support you in finding another major that aligns with your goals. Regardless of where you’re headed, we look forward to helping you get there.

Through effective instruction and innovative advisement, department faculty support your learning and personal development. We value the varying needs of our students who come from various backgrounds and experiences. As a result, departmental advising is student-centered. Therefore, a “one size fits all” model of advising does not effectively or efficiently meet student needs.

The AEES courses will fulfill general education credits or free elective credits. The four AEES courses are: AEES 101: Introduction to Higher Education (3 credits), AEES 102: Leadership and Community (3 credits), AEES 103: Introduction to Exploratory Studies (3 credits), and AEES 190: Writing Tutoring Theory and Praxis (3 credits).

Our General Education courses are also geared to suit your specific needs. As an exploratory student, you can schedule as many as three 15-credit semesters of general education courses, if necessary. By the time you begin scheduling classes (October/November of your sophomore year) for your fourth semester, you must have declared a major because you will have completed your general education requirements and many of the upper level courses are closed except to students who have declared a major.

There is no substitute for knowing the general education program and what categories you need to fulfill. Although your advisor will help you, the ultimate responsibility for creating an appropriate schedule is yours. Ask yourself, "Why am I scheduling this course? Does it fulfill a General Education requirement? Is it required by my major? Can it count as a free elective? Does it help me investigate a major? Does it fulfill a developmental requirement? Does it interest me? Do I need to retake the course because of a 'D' or 'F' grade?” (always consult your advisor before repeating a course).

Learning Center

We are the university's primary academic resource center, available to all Ship students. Our goal is to help you develop skills and strategies that will enable you to become independent, active learners. We provide a variety of tutoring services. We can help you study for an exam, learn better study skills, or improve your writing skills. Our tutors are well trained and know how to help you succeed. Whether you feel you need extra help or just want to extend your learning in a social environment, the Learning Center can help.

  • Tutoring
    We offer course-based tutoring in small groups of up to three individuals for most general education courses, as well as many upper-level courses. All of the Learning Center’s student tutors are trained and dedicated to helping you achieve learning goals. In a course-based tutoring session you can expect to review and share information collaboratively in an open environment, learn new study methods and strategies, improve your understanding by listening to different perspectives. Tutors at the Learning Center include both undergraduate and graduate students who maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Our tutors are highly trained and capable of helping you achieve learning goals.
  • Writing Studio
    Our mission is to empower writers to meet their writing goals. We offer one-on-one writing support with trained peer tutors (or a professional Writing Specialist upon request) at any stage of the writing process: prewriting, planning, drafting, or revising. We will do our best to assist you with any writing assignment, in any discipline.
  • AIM
    The Academic Improvement (AIM) Plan is a free service provided by Shippensburg University's Learning Center to all students on academic probation. You will meet for one-hour sessions with trained graduate students or academic professionals on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. You can choose your own preference as to when to meet based on available slots (usually Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and discuss study skills, strategies, and habits. You will be shown how to develop your own individualized strategies and skills that will improve your classroom performance and eventually your cumulative grade point average (CGPA) as you work towards getting off of academic probation. The AIM Plan consists of an orientation session at the beginning of the semester that is open to all students on academic probation. This online video orientation informs students about the requirements of the AIM Plan. You will then sign up for an appointment to meet with a Learning Center staff member. At this appointment, you will complete a study skills and habits Inventory (LASSI) as well as a study behavioral survey (INCLASS) to assess your academic strengths and weaknesses.

    You will then work with your AIM Academic Coach to create an Individualized Success Plan with specific recommendations for academic improvement. Participation in AIM is voluntary but may be required by a student’s dean if the student has been conditionally readmitted to university.

Academic Success Program

Ready for the big leap? Are you transitioning from high school to college? Our Academic Success Program (ASP) is a great way to begin; we help you jump-start your academic journey by allowing you to earn up to six college credits in the summer, teaching you the processes of navigating the transition to college, give you professional advising, counseling, tutoring and supportive services. So, if you have not met regular admission criteria, you may be considered for admission to our program.

We believe those who are admitted into our program have the motivation, desire and potential to successfully complete the requirements to graduate. Our efforts are geared toward skill development and enhancement, awareness of and linkage to campus and community resources that will assist you in reaching your goals of obtaining post-secondary degrees and gainful employment.

We provide a number of services to new and returning students during both the summer and academic year, including academic advising, career assessment/advising, and financial aid counseling. You may be selected to enroll in the three-credit AEES 101 course taught by faculty from Exploratory Studies. This course counts toward your grade point average, financial aid progress, and credit count. It provides a structured introduction to higher education and Shippensburg University and applied learning strategies.

Our ASP faculty and staff are available to discuss any concerns you might be having adjusting to college, professors, roommates, homesickness, etc. Problems beyond our scope will be referred to the Counseling Center that provides individual, couples and group counseling, crisis intervention, and psychiatric services for undergraduate and graduate students. The center is located in the Wellness Center on the ground floor of Naugle Hall.

Throughout the summer and academic year, we provide social and cultural activities organized by our students. College students are expected to study two hours for every one hour they are in class. With this in mind, ASP offers organized study halls and study groups where you can work independently or in groups to review, process what you have been taught, prepare for exams and where you can easily get assistance from the ASP faculty and staff.

Our faculty and staff work very closely with the Learning Center staff in providing content-based tutoring on a walk-in and appointment basis, learning strategies workshops, and learning specialist services.

Support Services for Student-Athletes

Our office provides a wide variety of academic and personal support services to aid and enhance the learning and development of all student-athletes. You can receive academic advising support, academic progress monitoring, academic orientation, academic counseling/referral, programming to enhance personal development and career-related resources. Our mission, under the auspices of the School of Academic Programs and Services, is to assist you as you pursue collegiate athletics and a baccalaureate degree, while preparing to meet the challenges of a continuously changing world.

We are committed to cooperation and communication with those invested in the overall success of student participation in our intercollegiate athletics program. You can also receive the expert guidance of our NCAA faculty athletics representative, who works with the President, Provost, student affairs, faculty, athletics staff and you to insure the academic integrity of our athletics program.

International Programs

Are you an international student? Welcome to the United States and our university. We are committed to ensuring that your transition to a new country is seamless. Our Center for Global Education (CGE) is your first and best. We host more than 50 students from over 20 countries and provide unique services just for international students as well as supporting Ship students wishing to study abroad. We help you with new student orientation, housing, employment and student travel information, help with maintaining your legal status in the United States, connect you to academic support services, and more. We are dedicated to helping you understand life at our university as a first-time student on campus. Our Global Village program is aimed at helping international students cope with culture shock. The group is made up of international students, study abroad students, and anyone else interested in international education.

If you are seeking information about study abroad, we can help you with navigating the process and finding the right program for you! Our program offers you multiple opportunities with 16 schools in 10 countries around the globe, including short-term study abroad programs. You are also able to travel to other countries through several affiliate programs.

First Year Experience

Are you worried about the first year of college? Don’t fret. We know how challenging it can be — and thus provide you with additional skills, support and mentorship during that critical period of transition. As part of the First Year Experience, you will take part in First-Year Seminar and the challenging and rewarding UNIV 101 course. This experience for first year students focuses on communication and writing, while also offering interactive learning and opportunities for experiences outside the classroom. UNIV 101 will help you cultivate academic success, engage with the university community beyond the classroom, foster personal development and wellness, and promote understanding of diversity and social responsibility.

Community Engagement and Service Learning

The Office of Community Engagement is responsible for facilitating volunteer placement and service learning projects on campus and in the community. We engage students in service and help our community in various ways. If you are interested in seeing specific needs of the community, be sure to check SHIP Career Connection for volunteer and service positions and sign up for our volunteer email list with the subject line: Sign me up for the volunteer email list.

Some of the great services available through SHIP Career Connection include internship and job search, volunteer opportunity search, the ability to post your resume for employers/organizations to view, on-campus recruiting, career event registration and more.

By connecting with us, employers and organizations gain the advantage of meeting highly talented and skilled candidates and potential volunteers. We proudly follow the National Association of Colleges and Employers Principles for Professional Conduct for Career Services and Employment Professionals and expect employers and organizations to adhere to these policies. In addition, our office has developed comprehensive Recruitment and Employment Guidelines to serve as a guide in approving employers and organizations, volunteer opportunities, job postings, and promoting opportunities to our students and alumni.

If you are looking to recruit volunteers at Ship, you may contact Javita Thompson, director of Community Engagement, to discuss a personalized plan for your organization.

Our career fairs/volunteering expos are a great way to connect with our students, while our on-campus recruiting program helps you connect with students and alums to fill volunteer opportunities, full-time jobs and internship positions by interviewing for those positions using our office space. Dates are available in September, October, November, February, March, and April each year. You can also reserve the information table, available Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is inside the Ceddia Union Building, located in a high traffic area right outside of the Raider Room.