Student Success is a major initiative at Longwood to increase institutional performance in the areas of student retention and graduation rates. Student Success consist of several vital services, the majority of which are integrated into an organizational unit that assists students as they transition from high school or other institutions to Longwood and as they progress toward graduation.
The First Year Experience program is dedicated to ensuring students’ smooth transition into Longwood and through their first year. This is accomplished through summer orientation and registration. Complimenting summer orientation is an extended August orientation program (New Lancer Days) that partners with the required one-credit general education course (Longwood Seminar). Longwood Seminar is Longwood’s required one-credit course that provides an extended orientation and academic skill building curriculum for new students. It is under the Academic Affairs division and has oversight by the Faculty Senate. The major thrust of First Year Experience is to facilitate student development toward independence and civic responsibility. The program emphasizes creation and enhancement of living-learning spaces on campus. The First Year Experience program also provides an exemplary leadership opportunity for over 60 student peer mentors to "co-teach" the Longwood Seminar with faculty.
Center for Academic Success provides a range of critical academic support services. This unit’s main student success mission is the identification of students are likely to have, or are having, academic difficulty and to follow-up with intervention. Tutoring, one-on-one academic counseling, and testing are done in the Center for Academic Success, which also hosts a Writing Center. Students admitted under several of Longwood’s special admission and readmission programs are provided specialized support service in the Center for Academic Success.
The University Career Center’s program is aimed at providing outstanding support to students who either have not selected a major or are changing majors. It has a closely related mission of providing career counseling to all students. Over the past several years, Longwood has seen an increase in the number of incoming students who have not chosen an academic major (over 20 percent of the incoming class this year). The University Career Center provides interview training, job fairs, resume development, career interest testing and housing a considerable number of career resources. It does outreach to academic departments by providing advisor training and other services aimed at improving academic advising across the whole institution. Integration of career advising is a forward looking approach to better service to our students, and is obviously integral to student success.
Student-Athlete Academic Support Services is the unit dedicated to providing superior academic support to our Division One athletes as they make timely progress toward their degrees. Currently, Longwood has 240 Division one student athletes in a variety of exciting sports. This office provides academic support and advising to these students who have considerable demands on their time and have rigid NCAA eligibility requirements. This office works closely with academic advisors in the students’ majors.
Disability Resources, which is part of the Student Affairs division, currently provides supports for students with disabilities. The Disability Resources office provides accommodations and supports mandated by federal law (the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) and serves as a resource to the University in providing a non-discriminatory environment. Programmatic activities include: (1) one-to-one and small group counseling and advising of students; (2) gathering and maintaining confidential student files; (3) approving and facilitating disability based accommodations with students and all departments, units, and programs across campus; (4) providing mandated accommodations such as test and exam proctoring in a quiet, distraction reduced environment, and production of alternate format materials; (5) provision of equipment and a computer lab for assistive technology instruction and use.