Chapter 1

Who Does What

Detailed descriptions of the services and programs of what various divisions and offices and provide.

Enrollment and Academic Support Services (p. 28)

Besides colleges and major departments, you will discover a plethora of other departments, services, and programs that support you in being successful in your academics. Most of these entities provide a specific service to the campus and are usually run by an administrator or director and supported by staff. It is important to note that not all of these are housed within the academic division on every campus; some are found in the division of student affairs. Some examples include the following:

  • Academic skills center: Provides general skill development in areas such as note taking and exam preparation, as well as one-on-one or group tutoring in particular disciplines.
  • Judicial affairs: Provides education on the campus regulations for academic integrity and adjudicates cases in which they have been violated.
  • Library: Provides a constantly updated source of scholarly resources, both printed and electronic, for conducting research of all kinds.
  • Information systems: Provides the campus with computing facilities, labs, and services that support research, education, and communication.
  • Admissions: Conducts the process of student applications and admission, which also includes evaluating the transferability of course work completed at another institution.
  • Orientation: Provides an overview of important campus issues and services, including academic advising, faculty expectations, services for families, housing options, and so on.
  • Registration: Provides a system for course registration, maintains student records and transcripts, and processes grades and other academic actions such as withdrawals and incomplete grades.
  • Financial aid: Provides assistance with applying for various forms of aid (need-and merit-based grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs) from federal, state, and private sources. Maintains records and disburses funds.
  • Education abroad programs: Provides assistance with student enrollment at other universities in foreign countries including applications, funding, visas and passports, housing, orientation, and other services.
  • International students: Provides assistance with a range of issues like finding housing, providing language training, and assisting with visas to international students who have traveled from abroad to attend the university.
  • Disabled students support: Provides services such as note taking, sign language interpreters, and textbook reading for students with physical or learning disabilities, be they permanent or temporary in nature.

The Student Affairs Division (p. 28)

The Division of Student Affairs is designed to provide the support services needed to keep students healthy and functioning so that they can perform well academically. This division is home to many services and programs that directly support the success of students, both academically and personally. These services can vary greatly at each campus, but most research universities provide some version of the following services:

  • Student health: Provides various levels of medical care, which may include dental and eye care as well as psychiatric services.
  • Counseling: Provides psychological counseling services for students who are dealing with personal issues that might be interfering with success at the university.
  • Dean of students: Provides general assistance to students and their families with problem solving and emergencies. Also addresses student conduct and grievance issues and gives referrals when necessary.
  • Career advising: Provides advising and mentoring in selecting potential careers, obtaining internships, and preparing for a job search.
  • Athletics and recreation: Provides various recreation facilities (for example, gyms, pools, ice rinks) for students to maintain or improve their physical strength. They may also support student athletic teams from club and intramural sports to intercollegiate athletic teams.
  • Cocurricular activities: Provides a wide range of clubs or organizations for students to participate in, from Greek life and student government to clubs and volunteer opportunities.
  • Educational opportunity program: Provides support services to student populations that might be considered disadvantaged in some way compared to their peers (for example, low-income students, first-generation immigrant students, or underrepresented minority students).
  • Multicultural programs: Provides education about a wide range of cultures and backgrounds and may also provide support or involvement opportunities for students of various backgrounds.

The Housing Division (p. 29)

If your campus owns and runs residence halls or apartments that students live in, then it will most likely have a division that operates and maintains the living spaces. This division also hires and trains a staff of professionals and student members who live in the building(s) and oversee the daily functioning and safety of the living community. In addition, they provide mediation services and respond in emergencies. On many campuses, housing and student affairs are combined in the same division. Some typical services include the following:

  • Contracts and assignments: Manages the applications and assignments as well as overseeing the legal contract process and subsequent payment of fees.
  • Food services: Provides daily meal services that meet a wide range of nutritional and personal needs to hundreds of people per meal.
  • Residential life: Provides professional and student staff support to residents to ensure a safe and healthy community. Duties include providing individual counseling, workshops and programs, and social events, as well as maintaining appropriate behavioral conduct.
  • Judicial affairs: Provides education on the policies and regulations for residential living and adjudicates in cases where regulations have been violated.
  • Student government and leadership: Provides opportunities for students to serve in a leadership role by participating in student resident government and programming.