Wartburg’s Comprehensive Academic Support Program
The Pathways Center coordinates academic advising and support services. The center serves as a clearinghouse for questions about academic advising, choosing majors, academic support services, careers, vocation, and graduate and professional school. The Pathways Center is located on the third floor in Vogel Library.
Faculty advisers are the primary source of academic support for students. Advisers meet periodically with students to help plan academic programs and evaluate career choices and goals. Advisers are assigned at registration, based on students’ areas of academic interest. Students may change advisers any time by contacting the Registrar’s Office or the Pathways Center. Specially trained advisers work with undecided students to help them explore a variety of possible majors. Students who declare more than one major work with an adviser in each major.
Options for Exploring Majors
Pathways peers help students identify and make connections between majors and career possibilities. These peers provide assistance with interpreting self-assessment data on interests, personality traits, values, and skills, and interpreting the college catalog. They answer questions about scheduling basics and facilitate work with faculty advisers.
Graduate and Professional School Advising
Pathways staff assist students in accessing information on preparing for, applying to, and being accepted into graduate or professional schools. The Pathways Center maintains a collection of reference materials on a wide variety of professional and graduate schools.
Mentoring and Discernment
The Pathways Center, in conjunction with the Discovering and Claiming Our Callings Initiative, offers a variety of programs and services to help students, alumni, staff, and faculty form strong mentoring relationships and explore the connections among faith, values, work, and life. Members of the Wartburg community are invited to participate in formal mentoring programs, informal discussion groups, retreats, speakers, professional development, and other programs designed to explore concepts of vocation.
Testing and Disability Services
Testing and Disability Services schedules, administers, and processes a variety of tests, including CLEP tests, MA 90 tests, departmental challenge exams, and correspondence exams. Testing and Disability Services offers information and strategies on preparing for Praxis, Graduate Record Exams, and pre-professional exams (LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, etc.). Academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities are also coordinated through Testing and Disability Services.
The First-Year Experience program supports students in their first year at Wartburg by providing opportunities to enhance their academic and interpersonal abilities as they make the transition to college and join the community of Wartburg scholars.
ORIENTATION AND EARLY TRANSITION ACTIVITIES
- Summer Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) Day Programs for students and parents
- Orange EXCELeration—Fall Orientation facilitated by students trained in student development
- Team-building experiences for new students
- Mentoring of new students by Orange EXCELeration faculty mentors and College Achievement Program upper-class students
ONGOING SOCIAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES
- First-year residence halls with programming to meet first-year student needs
- Finals Week study breaks and study awards
- Resources on Pathways and Residential Life Web pages
- New student and advising newsletters
- Communications with parents of first-year students
- First-year listserv
ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND RECOGNITION
- Early identification of students needing academic assistance and individual academic counseling
- Workshops and one-on-one assistance to help students develop good time-management skills, test-taking strategies, and effective note-taking methods. Resources on college reading, writing, and other strategies to promote college success
- Integration of content relevant to making the transition to college and a liberal arts education into the first-year curriculum: EN 111 English Composition , IS 101 Asking Questions, Making Choices , , and LS 101 Learning Strategies
- Advisers trained in student development and first-year student needs
- First-year honor society to recognize academic accomplishments of new students
Career and Vocation Services
Wartburg maintains a strong commitment to career and vocation education. Career and Vocation Services helps students assess their personal interests, skills, and values. Matching these assessments with academic interests and workplace outlook helps students plan realistic career and life goals.
To assist students in self-assessment and skill identification, Career and Vocation Services provides a variety of interest and personality assessments, a computer-assisted major and career exploration program, seminars, and individual counseling.
After students can articulate career-related values and skills, the staff helps them focus on specific jobs and careers. A resource library includes information on specific careers, career education, summer employment, overseas opportunities, and internships.
Career and Vocation Services also works with the Center for Community Engagement and academic departments to assist students in gaining practical exposure to the world of work. Pathways peers and professional staff help students prepare résumés and application letters and develop effective interviewing skills.
When students begin looking for jobs, Career and Vocation Services offers jobboards, employer networking opportunities, on-campus interview programs, employer and graduate school directories, and much more.
The Mathematics Lab offers students enrolled in Essential Education Mathematics courses the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained tutor with advanced knowledge in mathematics.
Supplemental Instruction (SI)
The Supplemental Instruction program offers regularly scheduled, out-of-class, peer-facilitated study sessions to all students enrolled in the courses selected by individual departments. SI sessions are informal seminars in which participants compare notes, discuss ideas, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. The sessions are led by students who have successfully completed the courses and taken special SI training. Sessions begin during the first week of the term and are offered at least once each week. Information about Supplemental Instruction is available from the Pathways Center and on the Pathways Center Web site.
The Writing/Reading/Speaking Lab provides individual and group tutorials to assist writers at any stage of the composing process: generating ideas, focusing a thesis for a specific audience, drafting, developing content, revising and editing, and documenting sources using MLA, APA, and other styles. The lab provides help for students who wish to improve their reading comprehension and retention. Peers also offer feedback on speech organization, development, documentation, and delivery.
The mission of the Robert and Sally Vogel Library is educating information-literate lifelong learners. The building opened in 1999 as a “learner’s library”. Librarians partner with the campus community to create an integrated learning environment for students in a physical facility where primary studying and learning spaces foster collaboration and teamwork.
The library leads Wartburg’s Information Literacy Across the Curriculum (ILAC) program, part of the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education, and embraces the national Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. In support of the mission, librarians collaborate with classroom faculty to introduce and foster information literacy skills, such as finding, using, synthesizing, and critically evaluating information. These interactions may occur during classroom instruction, at the reference desk, and in individual consultations.
In addition to providing an innovative collaborative facility and integral information literacy program, other library services contribute to the mission, whether by developing the collection to support Wartburg’s curriculum, by accessing information through resource-sharing with other libraries, or through collaborative teaching and learning opportunities. Vogel Library is open to the general public providing Internet access and resources as part of the State of Iowa Open Access program and the Cedar Valley Library Consortium. Professional librarians, support staff, and student workers are available to assist students over 85 hours a week.
When the building is closed, the library is still providing the campus community with vital resources through the library’s Web page. This Web site is constantly evolving to meet the community’s needs and provides access to an expansive array of more than 200,000 online resources and archived scholarly materials provided through consortia agreements and individual purchases. These include the library’s catalog, disciplinary databases, and subscription collections from major vendors and publishers. The library’s Web page also provides research guidance for specific courses and disciplines, and includes information about Wartburg’s nationally recognized information literacy program.