2.10 Student Support Services
The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that promote student learning and enhance the development of its students.
Judgement of Compliance:
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) provides student support services, programs, and activities that promote student learning and enhance the development of its students. These services are consistent with the institution’s mission and are offered through a variety of administrative units on campus. The Student Resources link on the main university web page provides information about these wide-ranging services.
According to the Mission Statement, UTC is “dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of the region through strategic partnerships and community involvement.” Many of the student support programs make it possible for the university to better meet the diverse needs of the region. They also encourage strategic partnerships between students and those outside of campus and foster student involvement and leadership in the community.
The Division of Academic Affairs is responsible for providing academic support programs and services that promote student learning. The Division of Student Development is responsible for many programs and services outside the classroom designed to enhance the development of UTC students.
The Division of Academic Affairs
The Division of Academic Affairs provides academic support for students at UTC through several primary offices.
Every student at UTC is assigned an academic advisor, and students are required to meet with that individual every semester. Advisors assist students in developing career goals, registering for courses, understanding university policies, and connecting to campus resources.
A number of academic support services are provided through the Center for Advisement and Student Success (CASS). Students who have not yet declared a major are advised through the Center. In addition, the Center provides access to tutoring and supplemental instruction. The Center also hosts a First Year Studies program that offers learning communities, a first-year success course, and special topics courses.
Housed within the Center for Advisement and Student Success is the grant-funded Student Success Center, which provides services to disadvantaged students meeting eligibility requirements. These services include a learning laboratory addressing math skills, reading comprehension skills, and study skills; personal and goal-setting counseling; and the TRIO Club designed to develop leadership skills through community service projects.
Computing Services comprises an important area of student support. Computing Services operates the Student Technology Center, the main computer lab located in the University Center, as well as satellite computer labs in several academic buildings. The Computing Services Help Desk is staffed by individuals trained to answer students' questions on hardware, networking, and software issues.
Available to UTC students is the Math Lab, a major computer facility dedicated to the study of mathematics. Dedicated software operating on Math Lab computers is designed to facilitate mathematics learning from developmental studies through graduate courses.
UTC staffs the Writing Center, a free resource for all students. The center provides style guides and dictionaries, one-on-one consultations, and a staffed facility in which students are invited to write. Staff members are available to help with course assignments, resumes, cover letters, graduate school applications, and other writing activities.
The Testing Center administers tests required for licensure (Praxis and Parapro), graduate school admissions (MAT, GRE, GMAT), and professional school admissions (LSAT, MCAT, and PCAT).
UTC's Cooperative Education Program is an optional academic experience that helps students obtain paid, career/major-related, progressive work assignments with local, regional, national, and international employers. The Co-op Program is open to students from all academic majors at the University meeting the program's eligibility requirements.
UTC offers a variety of exchange opportunities for UTC students. Students can study in another country for two weeks or up to a full year through UTC's International Programs. Through the National Student Exchange Program, undergraduate students have the chance to study at one of nearly 200 universities in the U.S., U.S. territories, and Canada.
The Office of International Student Services (ISS) currently assists international students from over thirty-five countries on the UT Chattanooga campus. The staff of ISS is trained and experienced in cross-cultural counseling and U.S. immigration regulations. The services offered by ISS include advice, counseling, and advocacy on admissions processes; immigration issues; academic issues; and personal issues.
Student resources provided by the UTC Lupton Library are reported in Section 3.9.
All of these offices and programs are designed to promote student learning and enhance the development of each student.
The Division of Student Development
The Division of Student Development offers comprehensive programming, services, and activities that promote student learning and enhance the development of UTC students. These programs include New Student Orientation, programs in our Multicultural and Women's Centers, student conduct programs, activities in the residence halls, student leadership and involvement programs, counseling and health services, campus recreation, and intramural and outdoor programs, among others.
New Student Orientation
The New Student Orientation program is designed for incoming first-time freshmen and transfer students. It is offered prior to each of the fall and spring terms. The programs offer important information to aid the transition from high school to college; subsequently, they enhance the students’ development and success throughout their university experience. Separate sessions are designed to meet the specific needs of freshmen, transfer students, and the families of those students. Orientation provides an opportunity for students to ask questions, meet other new students, receive academic advising, and register for classes. The sessions also include programs on student and academic support programs available at UTC.
Over 90% of the students and family members who attended the 2009 orientation sessions were either satisfied or very satisfied with the information covered in the sessions and the faculty and staff who delivered the information. Over 85% of the students felt either prepared or very prepared for the fall semester after attending the orientation sessions. A similar percentage of parents felt their students were either prepared or very prepared after attending the session.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
The mission of UTC's Financial Aid Office is to remove financial barriers and provide access to higher education. The Financial Aid Office supports the recruitment, retention, and academic success of a diverse student body while complying with all federal, state, and University system policies and regulations. The Office provides assistance to students and their families in an accurate, efficient, and timely manner, so students are well informed about their financing options.
The purpose of the office is to assist students in obtaining funds to attend the university. Aid is available in the form of loans, grants, and part-time employment. Limited numbers of scholarships are available. The total amount of aid a student receives depends on the level of financial need, submission of appropriate financial information and applications, academic records, and the availability of funds.
In 2008-2009, the Financial Aid office met or exceeded all but one of its learning and programmatic goals. For example, there was an increase in the number of students who developed an understanding of the rules and procedures necessary to apply for federal financial aid. There were also increases in the number of students who completed FAFSAs by the early state deadline, the number of students who were awarded aid by the University's deadline, and the number of students who were awarded by the beginning of the fall term.
The office also increased student awareness of debt management strategies, FAFSA and HOPE scholarship requirements, and effective financial planning through the office’s many educational programs and exit interviews.
Dean of Students Office
The Dean of Students office coordinates several programs which promote student learning and enhance the development of our students. A sampling of these programs (discussed below) includes multicultural affairs, fraternity and sorority life, student leadership programming, and student organizations.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs
The Office of Multicultural Affairs works to foster a community that contributes to the successful recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented students. Multicultural Affairs enhances the academic and social experience of all students through outreach and support and works with faculty to promote lifelong learning one student at a time. Examples of programming include book clubs, Black History Month activities, and multicultural lunches.
Fraternity and Sorority Life
The fraternity and sorority community at UTC strives to promote student learning and development and campus involvement. Approximately 10% of all undergraduates are involved in the 17 groups (nine fraternities and eight sororities) that make up fraternity and sorority life at the University.
The fraternity and sorority communities are led by their respective governance councils: the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenc Council, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Each of these councils, along with the Dean of Students Office and internal and external stakeholders, developed a set of learning outcomes and shared values for collegiate membership. These values are Academic Excellence, Civic Engagement, Sisterhood/Brotherhood, Leadership Development, and Social Responsibility.
Students engaged and committed to Fraternity and Sorority Life at UTC will learn and/or gain the following competencies/abilities:
- Identify and implement personal and organizational strategies that promote academic achievement and lifelong learning.
- Define personal and organizational values while engaging in decision-making and behaviors that support the application of those values.
- Develop the leadership skills necessary to establish meaningful relationships that lead to collective action and positive change.
- Clarify the role of civic engagement and social justice as it applies to the obligations of fraternal membership.
These competencies are gained through programs such as the Chattanooga Panhellenic Leadership Academy, IFC leadership retreats, and the Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Academy.
Student Leadership Programs
The Dean of Students office promotes student learning and enhances the development of students through a number of leadership programs. The Emerging Leaders program is for students who are selected to the freshman senate of the Student Government Association.
The other two leadership programs are open to all UTC students. LEADutc and LeaderShape are both experiential learning opportunities. In LEADutc, students participate in a number of activities and discussions and are given opportunities to reflect on what it means to be a member of the UTC community. Participants develop basic personal leadership skills. The LeaderShape institute is a week long experience that challenges students to learn from practical experiences and builds on their existing leadership concepts and abilities.
Student Activities and Programming
The Student Activity Fee Committee approves the distribution of a portion of student activity fees to student organizations that sponsor campus-wide programs. Additionally, the Student Activity Fee Committee sponsors a larger menu of campus-wide programs through the academic year. (See Reports for 2007-08 and 2008-09.)
Staff in the Dean of Students Office proactively promote compliance with standards of academic integrity and conduct as outlined in the UTC Student Code of Conduct and Honor Code. These policies are printed in the UTC Student Handbook. The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct, both behavioral and academic, and for implementing the discipline process. To help students and faculty learn what constitutes scholastic dishonesty and how to maintain academic integrity, a portion of the Honor Code section of the Student Handbook is dedicated to educating students about plagiarism, collusion, and cheating. The Dean of Students Office works closely with the Honor Court, a faculty committee focusing on academic integrity. Staff in the office also provide outreach through workshops and presentations at orientation programs for students and faculty and, upon request by professors, in-class presentations.
The Student Government Association (SGA) at UTC is an active and vital campus organization. SGA provides funding to student organizations, gives initial approval to new student organizations, serves as a link between the student body and the administration, enacts legislation concerning current campus issues, and provides other valuable functions and services for the students at UTC. In addition, the SGA recommends students to serve on
faculty committees including parking, curriculum, scholarship, and admissions. Student members have both a voice and a vote on these committees. Student Government may sometimes act as a complaint board or as an information referral for students.
There are four major student-run media organizations at UTC. Each is entirely staffed and produced by UTC students. The student newspaper, the literary magazine, Mocs News, and The Perch are responsible to the Student Media Board, their policy-making body. The board has outlined its policies in the Manual for Student Media.
As the only student-run newspaper, The University Echo takes an active role in campus life. It serves the university community not only as a ready source of campus news and other information of interest to college students, but also as the medium through which both student and faculty opinions can be presented, discussed, and supported by the University. It is distributed free to all students and faculty.
The UTC literary magazine, The Sequoya Review, is published annually and has won many regional and national awards. All students, faculty, and administration may submit material to be considered for publication, including poetry, short stories, art work, photographs, or essays.
Mocs News is UTC’s student-run television show. These short news updates air throughout the day on a local cable channel and in the University Center on campus. Mocs News keeps students and the community up-to-date with the latest in campus news and events, sports, politics, technology, and more. Filmed in on-campus studios, Mocs News is produced by students, for the students of UTC, and for the Chattanooga community.
The Perch is UTC's student-led, internet radio station. The station features a mix of music with the hope of adding news, talk, and other programs in the future.
The UTC Campus Recreation Department is a student-oriented and student-led organization. Its only mission is to serve the students, faculty, and staff in all their recreation needs. The department uses recreation as a tool to develop our students physically, socially, and mentally into more productive and capable citizens.
To accomplish this mission, the UTC Campus Recreation Department uses five primary programs to reach students: Intramural programming, Outdoor Recreation, Club Sports, Non-Credit Classes, and fitness programming. Student participation in these programs increased each year from 2006-07 to 2009-2010.
Student Participation in Campus Recreation Programs, 2006-2010
404 with 15 clubs
410 with 15 clubs
410 with 15 clubs
*addition of rock climbing wall and more equipment for rental
Placement and Student Employment
The Placement and Student Employment office provides resources which assist students and alumni in finding employment opportunities in line with their qualifications. The office also assists employers with identifying UTC students and alumni to meet their employment needs.
The office accomplishes this mission by offering a number of programs and services. These include annual career fairs, part-time and full-time job postings, on-campus recruitment, employer information sessions, educational workshops on a variety of topics, practice interview sessions, and next day resume critiques.
Counseling and Career Planning Center
The Counseling and Career Planning Center at UTC offers a variety of services to students. These services include personal, vocational, and academic counseling as well as crisis intervention. Consultation services, workshops, and other programs are developed and available. The Center also has a variety of resource materials.
The staff of the Center includes trained counselors and psychologists, who have achieved appropriate certification and/or licensure at the state and national levels. Graduate students work under the supervision of the Center's professional staff.
Issues for which students receive counseling include finding a major, relationship difficulties, roommate issues, difficulty in classes, adjusting to college, family issues, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. If a student is experiencing a crisis or emergency, he or she may be seen at anytime during business hours. After hours, a counselor is on call and can be reached through campus security.
The services of the Center are confidential and free to students. The only fees required are those associated with career, learning, or mental health assessment instruments. The need for such assessments may be discussed with a counselor during a student’s first visit.
Office for Students with Disabilities
The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) is committed to providing equal access to all facilities, programs, and services of UTC. OSD reviews each student's documentation under the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. ADA mandates that accommodations and adjustments be made in programs and activities in order to provide equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. OSD examines the documentation of each student's disability claim to avoid discriminations and to protect the civil rights of the student. Determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations is made specific to the functional limitations of the individual’s disability. The Director of Equity and Diversity holds the responsibility of ensuring university compliance with ADA.
The O.D. McKee Center for Dyslexic Studies
This endowed Center offers textbook readings in exceptional learning to assist dyslexic students, as well as other interested scholars, to gain a greater understanding of learning differences. Housed in Frist Hall, the Center is located in the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD).
The UTC Women’s Center’s mission is to promote an equitable and empowering environment for all UTC students, faculty, and staff. It encourages personal, social, and intellectual growth within a diverse community by providing comprehensive programs, services, and outreach activities.
Programs include women's health awareness, women's leadership initiatives, gender equity activism, and the Transformation Project. The Transformation Project provides leadership in working with campus and community partners to reduce violence against women, including relationship violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sexual harassment.
University Health Services
University Health Services offers a full range of family practice, sports medicine, and acute care needs. The office operates similar to any family medical practice office and will file a claim with the patient’s health insurance provider. However, no one will be denied services for lack of payment. Services are available for all students, faculty, and staff members.
Services include but are not limited to
- Acute illnesses (such as urinary tract infections, sinus, sore throats, ear pain)
- Chronic illnesses (such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, allergies)
- Selected Injections (if nurse visit only - No co-pay required)
- Sexually Transmitted Infection evaluations for both men and women
- Sports Injuries and Non-Surgical Orthopedics (sprains and/or possible fractures)
- School, sport, and work physicals
- Minor skin issues (rashes, abscesses, burns)
- Women's Health Exams (Pap, breast, family planning counseling)
- Men's Health Exams (testicular exams, family planning counseling)
Health Services is open Monday through Friday and addresses calls after hours on an emergency basis.
- Student Resources
- Mission Statement
- Division of Academic Affairs
- Center for Advisement and Student Success
- First-Year Studies
- Student Success Center
- Student Technology Center
- Mathematics Lab
- Writing Center
- Testing Center
- Cooperative Education web page
- Exchange Programs
- Office of International Student Services
- The Division of Student Development
- New Student Orientation
- New Student Orientation Student Survey Summary (pdf)
- New Student Orientation Parent Survey Summary (pdf)
- Financial Aid Office
- Dean of Students Office
- The Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Fraternity and Sorority Life
- Emerging Leaders Program
- Leadership Training Programs
- Student Activity Fee Committee Report, 07-08
- Student Activity Fee Committee Report, 2008-09
- Student Code of Conduct
- Student Honor Code
- Student Handbook
- Student Government Association
- The University Echo Student Newspaper
- The Sequoya Review
- Mocs News
- The Perch
- Campus Recreation
- Placement and Student Employment
- The Counseling and Career Planning Center
- The Office for Students with Disabilities
- Women's Center
- University Health Services