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Core Requirement 2.10

Core Requirement 2.10

Core Requirement 2.10

The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that are intended to promote student learning and enhance the development of its students.

_X_ Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance

Narrative

The University's commitment to fostering academic success through classroom experience and support systems is grounded in its mission to provide successful education to southwest Louisiana through an array of programs and services and in its four core values: academic excellence, student success, fiscal responsibility, and university-community alliances. The Office of University Services oversees a diverse portfolio of resources and services designed to foster student development, engagement, retention, and success. This Office, in tandem with several units, fulfills McNeese's commitment to provide students with ample opportunities to advance their learning beyond the classroom. Broadly categorized, the areas of support McNeese provides include 1) access and financial support; 2) academic success; and 3) a broad range of student health, wellness, housing and campus life opportunities. Through these programs and services, McNeese maintains compliance with CR 2.10.

Access and Financial Support

McNeese is dedicated to ensuring ease of access to the college experience and ongoing financial support for those who qualify.

Registrar: The Office of the Registrar is responsible for maintaining student records, maintaining the student information system, athletic eligibility, transfer articulation, veteran's affairs, degree audit, issuance of transcripts and verification letters, and compliance with FERPA.

International Student Affairs: The Office of International Student Affairs provides a variety of services to our international student population including but not limited to: recruiting, processing admissions applications, verification letters, and immigration advising. Additional information regarding international student support services offered can be obtained by visiting the International Student Affairs Office on campus.

Financial Aid: The Office of Financial Aid's primary function is to administer programs that provide financial assistance to students of McNeese State University. A wide variety of programs are available from federal, state, and local funds under the general headings of loans, grants, and work opportunities. The type and amount of aid available to a student usually depends on need and academic achievement, although other factors may be considered. Through a packaging concept, it is often possible to provide a student who has a high need factor with sufficient funding to cover the majority of college expenses. The University considers all applicants without regard to gender, race, or creed. Complete applications must be filed in the Office of Financial Aid before May 1 to be considered for the following fall, spring, and summer sessions. In addition to the customary financial aid packages and opportunities, students faced with difficulties due to rising tuition costs may apply for a hardship waiver, which provides reduced tuition for eligible students.

Scholarships & Testing: The Office of Scholarships and Testing administers institutional, state, federal, and private scholarship programs and provides national and institutional standardized, placement, and independent study testing programs to McNeese students and prospective students.  Information and services are provided to students, prospective students, parents, and the community regarding scholarship sources, application procedures, and educational testing services.

Student Employment: The mission of the Office of Student Employment is to provide qualified students part-time job opportunities to enhance job-seeking skills, upgrade work experiences, and use wages to help defray college expenses. Student employment gives students opportunities to interact in a global community and to work in preparation to enter the job market while meeting critical needs of this university.

Bookstore: The University Bookstore is owned and operated by McNeese State University and is located in the Student Union Complex. Regular business hours are 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. During the first two weeks of each semester, the Bookstore is open late hours to better serve all students. The Bookstore offers an interest-free student charge plan (PTA, Personal Touch Account) to assist students with purchase of books and supplies. The PTA is only available to active students who have paid tuition and fees in full. In order to open a PTA, students must present a valid picture I.D.

Academic Success Support Services

Our range of academic support services begins with students' first campus-experience of McNeese through orientation and extends through graduation and even beyond with career services.

Orientation: Orientation is designed primarily for first-time freshmen and covers programs and policies of the university, which will assist them in adapting to the university environment and in becoming part of the university community.

Freshman Foundations and Students in Transition: The mission of the Office of Freshman Foundations and Students in Transition is to promote the educational and personal success of all students who are in their first year at McNeese. One of the primary functions of the office is to facilitate the offering of Freshman Foundations (FFND 101). The Freshman Foundations course is taught through the academic college in which a student is pursuing a major and offers students information in three basic areas related to success at McNeese. One, the student is introduced to the writing culture on campus, the Write to Excellence initiative, the Write to Excellence Center, and the campus-wide scoring guide or rubric used to grade writing. Two, basic college success skills such as how to budget time, improve study habits, and utilize campus resources effectively are discussed. Three, the specific expectations of the student's major are explored in the last part of the course. Every first-time freshman is required to enroll in an appropriate section of FFND 101 during the first semester at McNeese.

General and Basic Studies: The Department of General and Basic Studies provides academic advising to its student population and serves as an initial point of contact for freshmen. Students in General and Basic Studies are given a sound basis for understanding academics as well as general knowledge about the university. The advisors guide students in major selection and counsel them on matters that may affect their academic progress, especially in regard to university policies and procedures.

Frazar Memorial Library: Named for the first president of McNeese State University, the collections and services of the Library are designed to complement the educational and research programs of the University.

The general book collection is housed in open stack areas and allows users the opportunity to browse and select books themselves. Books are arranged by Library of Congress Subject Classification and may be located by using the online public access catalog, which may also be accessed from off-campus with a student ID. Electronic books (e-books) are accessible through the Library's online catalog and are checked out online. Books and articles designated by faculty for reading by members of a class may be obtained from the Reserves section of the Circulation Department. In addition, study guides for standardized tests are also available for limited check-out periods. Personnel are available in the public service areas (Reference, Interlibrary Loan, Circulation, Serials, Government Information, and Archives) to provide assistance to library users. Information service may range from providing a simple direction to a more complex reference transaction involving guidance in location and use of library materials.

Through its Interlibrary Loan, the Library will borrow materials necessary for research if the material is not available on-site. Material borrowed on through interlibrary loan is subject to the rules of the lending library. Requests can be submitted electronically. Services have been enhanced by an electronic delivery system, a statewide union catalog, and a courier service.

The Government Information collection is located on the fourth floor of the Library. The Library is a selective federal depository for United States government information on various subjects. It is a complete depository for Louisiana documents and receives some publications of international, local, and regional governmental bodies. Federal, state, and international information is accessible in electronic formats. Holdings are listed in the Library's online catalog and many items may be checked-out. Most of the information is also accessible in electronic format.

The Library's periodicals collection is housed on the second floor of the library and includes magazines, journals, and newspapers. These may be available as unbound individual issues, bound back volumes, or as microforms. From the Library's Web site, full-text e-journals are accessible from the A to Z list for benefit of all students and particularly useful for distance education students. Readers and printers for microforms as well as video/dvd equipment are available for viewing videos and telecourses. General and specialized indexes and abstracts used for locating information in periodicals are located in the Serials and are available on-line through the LOUIS System and the library's web page.

The Archives and Special Collections Department is a growing resource of historical documents reflecting the history, growth, and development of McNeese, Lake Charles, and Southwest Louisiana. Housed in the department are books by local authors; books about the area; McNeese publications such as theses, the Log, and the Contraband; a large photograph collection; and numerous local history collections, including a collection of the oldest area newspapers. The department also contains a collection of rare books. Historic Photographs of Southwest Louisiana, is an on-line collection of scanned photographs featuring history, culture, places and people of the Southwest Louisiana region.

The Library is a member of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) through its regional network, Lyrasis. OCLC is the largest on-line bibliographic utility in the world. It is capable of providing shared cataloging data and access to research collections nationally and internationally through Interlibrary Loan. As a charter member of the Louisiana Online University Information System (LOUIS), the library has an automated link to other academic libraries in the state. The library is a full participant in the Louisiana Library Network (LLN). This alliance of academic, public, and school libraries provides patrons with access to on-line resources which include journal databases, the Internet, and holdings from other academic libraries in the state. Additional materials needed to support the university's academic needs are purchased independently by the Library and are available in print or Web-based formats. Patrons may access LOUIS through the library Web site. Off-campus access to licensed resources is provided for the McNeese academic community (and other authorized users) through remote authentication.

A TASC (Technology Advancement Student Committee) computer lab exclusively for students, equipped with personal computers and copy facilities, is located on the second floor of the library. It is open during most hours of library operation. Users have free access to word processing software, e-mail, and Internet-based resources. Some full-text materials are accessible via the LOUIS System and the Library's Web site. In addition, the Library maintains a computer facility in the Reference Department to accommodate the needs of all non-student users. In addition, computer workstations throughout the building that are available for all users. Photocopiers, audio and video equipment, scanners, large group meeting rooms, and group study rooms are also available. Additionally, the Library sponsors a Friends of the Library group, which is open to anyone.

Write to Excellence: The Write to Excellence (WTE) Center, located in Drew Hall 234, is a vital part of the writing-across-the curriculum Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) initiative. Open approximately 45 hours a week, the WTE Center offers feedback on written work for all McNeese students, faculty, and staff. The WTE Center's mission is to facilitate academic success by aiding all students in becoming better writers. Collaboration is the key to successful writing of all kinds, and trained tutors work with students to assist them in thinking critically about their own writing. While tutors will not correct errors or write papers, they will offer suggestions on how to make writing stronger. All students from first-year students to graduate students are invited to visit the WTE Center. Special topic workshops related to writing will be offered on Friday afternoons. Any student may attend and participate in these workshops conducted by faculty from a variety of disciplines and by professionals from the local community.First-year students writing academic essays for the first time are strongly encouraged to work with WTE Center tutors. Developmental writers will fulfill their writing lab requirements in the WTE Center.

Academic Computing and Learning Center (ACLC): The mission of the College of Science ACLC is to assist the McNeese State University in creating and maintaining an environment that meets the research and instructional needs of MSU faculty and students. Specifically, the ACLC provides hardware and software required for courses in the College of Science and provides technical support to all faculty in the College of Science through a student worker on-the-job training program. The ACLC services student computing needs by maintaining an open computer lab available for all students campus-wide and offers support to students, university personnel, and the community at large on various topics of current interest.

The Literature Lab: The Literature Lab is a resource for discussing reading materials. The Department of English and Foreign Languages offers a Literature Lab as a place where tutors and students may discuss literary terms, techniques, annotation and how to create useful notes on reading. Tutors help students to do the following:
  • Understand literary terms, techniques, and concepts
  • Decipher poetic and/or archaic language
  • Identify central themes and issues
  • Learn how to annotate and create useful notes on readings
  • Locate where problems of misinterpretation arise

Services for Students with Disabilities: Services for Students with Disabilities identifies its mission as follows: Services for Students with Disabilities provide[s] extensive post-secondary services for emotionally, physically, and learning impaired students. Goals include facilitating student transition from high school to college, assisting student with development of skills to succeed in college, counseling and career services, and transitioning guidance from college to employment. The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities provides academic support services and accommodations for all disabled students enrolled at McNeese as recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A major responsibility of the department is to offer services such as monitored testing, interpreters, and note-takers for disabled students that qualify for these accommodations (2005 Master Plan). In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities provides some form of assistance or accommodation with a staff consisting of two full-time employees, seven part-time employees, two graduate assistants and thirty-eight note takers.
Assistance is typically provided in the following areas:
  • academic testing
  • academic counseling
  • registration
  • faculty conferences
  • note-taking
  • reading assistance
  • writing assistance
  • computer assistance
  • mobility assistance
  • hearing impaired communication
  • making copies of notes for students

The table below reflects number of students served and number of service hours provided by Services for Students with Disabilities from fall 2007 through spring 2012:
Services for Students with Disabilities
Semester Students Served Hours Logged
Fall 2007 103 7187
Spring 2008 91 10,647
Fall 2008 105 10,179
Spring 2009 105 9781
Fall 2009 136 12,883
Spring 2010 122 7661
Fall 2010 141 7537
Spring 2011 149 7877
Fall 2011 182 11,879
Spring 2012 168 12,223






 



















Technology Advacement Student Committee (TASC): Established in 1997, TASC is funded through a student self-assessed fee that goes toward the purchase, upkeep, and management of technology for student and academic support. The TASC, led by the Student Government Association, with faculty and staff support oversees the distribution of TASC funds for all manner of campus technology purchases including security, computer labs, classroom and laboratory equipment.  TASC operates two student computing centers--the Holbrook Lab in the Student Union New Ranch and a computer lab in the Library, which is currently being moved to other locations due to Library renovations.  TASC also operates a helpdesk at 337-475-5995 or at helpdesk@mcneese.edu for computer-related issues. 

Electronic Learning: The Office of Electronic Learning manages resources, budget, and equipment and coordinates daily electronic learning operations for faculty and students. The Office provides faculty training for MOODLE as well as for teaching online in general, along with training in course development. Electronic Learning supports development of programs for credit and non-credit course offerings and coordinates the University's efforts in establishing collaborative partnerships with Louisiana colleges and universities as well as business and industry. The Office also coordinates CALL (Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana) degree programs for non-traditional students. CALL-affiliated programs feature processes for streamlined admissions, financial aid assistance, and access to ongoing support.

Career Services: The Office of Career Services makes available to students career assessment and information as well as online career exploration. In addition, the center provides resume writing assistance and review, interview development, bi-annual career and teacher fairs, and other related resources and events. The use of electronic applications for both students and employers enables the center to provide job opportunities to its students and graduates and to be responsive to the needs of business and industry locally, statewide, regionally, and nationally. Students are encouraged to register on Cowboy Job Link, which can be done via the Web site, http://www.mcneese.edu/career/, to have the opportunity to apply and interview for job opportunities.

Career testing is also available to McNeese students by appointment for a fee of $35. The Career Management Battery consists of three assessment tools including aptitude, interest, and personality. This test administration and interpretation are designed to provide information to assist students and explore all relevant occupations. Some of the online applications available to aid in career development are Career Insider, an educational tool utilizing an online career library; SIGI Plus, a computerized career guidance and planning system; Type Focus Careers, an interactive online program that assists students in developing career plans using personality type strengths; and What Can I Do with This Major?, a resource that helps students connect majors with careers as well as outlining common career areas, find typical employers and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities. The Center offers a variety of additional resources including a career library containing informational videos, reference materials, and career planning information as well as providing skills in resume writing and interviewing and an opportunity to participate in on-campus interviews. Career fairs are held biannually and offer opportunities for students and alumni to make contact with potential employers in the public and private sectors. Teacher job fairs are also scheduled biannually for teacher education candidates and alumni. The use of electronic applications for students and employers enables the Office to be of greater assistance in the registration and employment process for students, alumni, and employers. While the Office cannot assure employment, it provides advice and serves as a liaison between the student and the employer. The student is ultimately responsible for career decisions and employment. The Office is located in Holbrook Student Union Building.

Health, Wellness, Safety, and Housing

Student Health Services: The Student Health Services Center is staffed by registered nurses and contracted resident medical doctors who provide acute medical services and promote development of wellness and healthy lifestyles so that students are able to successfully fulfill their academic commitments and progress toward degree completion. Nurses and physicians are available to assist students with referrals to local hospitals, medical offices, and ancillary health care services providers when healthcare needs exceed those available in the Center. The Center also partners with student groups, faculty, academic departments, and community stakeholders to provide health and wellness educational programs and activities that engage students and the campus community at large.

Counseling Center: The Counseling Center is staffed by licensed professional counselors and graduate-level or license-seeking interns who provide comprehensive mental health counseling, assessment, consultation, and crisis intervention so that students are able to effectively manage daily stressors, experience personal growth and development, and succeed in fulfilling their academic commitments and progress toward degree completion.  Counselors are available to assist students through short-term and long-term psychotherapy and support. A medical psychologist is also available on a contract basis to provide case management for students whose counseling experience is complimented by medication treatment. The Center partners with student groups, faculty, academic departments, and community stakeholders to provide psycho-educational health and wellness programs and activities that engage students and the campus community at large. The Center and also serves as an internship site for graduate students in the University's counseling psychology program.

Dining Services: McNeese State University has partnered with Chartwells, a subsidiary of Compass Group USA, to provide residential and retail dining services on the campus. Current dining offerings include:
  • Student Union (Old Ranch)
  • Rowdy's Food Court (all you can eat sit-down primarily designed for resident students, but open to all students, faculty, and staff)
  • Student Union Annex (New Ranch)
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels (fresh-baked bagels, pastries, sandwiches, salads, coffees, and other food and drink items)
  • Outtakes Convenience Store (everything you can imagine in a local convenience store…and more)
  • Mama Leone's (daily offerings of pizzas, pastas, and other Italian favorites)
  • Jow Jing (a variety of Asian fare and tastes, including sushi)
  • Frazar Memorial Library-CC's Coffee (fresh coffees, pastries, soft drinks, and snack items.)

Non-resident students may purchase meal plans or declining balance dollars known as Cowboy Cash as currency for making purchases in residential and retail dining areas.
 

Housing (Ambling): The advantages of living on campus include economic feasibility, security, close proximity to University facilities and dining services, and opportunities for participation in campus events and activities, recreational sports, and student organizations. Residence halls are managed by the Ambling Corporation, a private property management firm with whom residents are required to enter into formal, binding lease agreements. Students residing in residence halls, suites, and garden apartments are required to purchase a meal plan each academic term in which they reside on campus (fall, spring, summer). Meal plans are required regardless of whether or not the resident student is enrolled in classes and without respect to the number of credit hours in which the resident student is enrolled.

Campus housing is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and space is limited. Prospective residents of campus housing are urged to contact the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life immediately upon deciding to reside on campus in order to tour residence halls, discuss housing and dining rates and terms, and complete appropriate documents needed in order to apply. Residence hall and apartment lease renewals are not automatic; residents who intend to continue residing on campus following fulfillment of their current lease agreement must notify the Office of Student Housing and Residence Life of their intent to renew and then sign a written lease renewal in order to confirm a room is reserved for them. New residents who fail to apply for housing early and returning residents who fail to renew their leases early may be placed on waiting lists for future openings in campus housing.


University Police: The primary mission of the McNeese State University Police and Information Center is to serve the University community and the public. The Center strives to assist the public in maintaining a safe, secure environment in which students and staff are able to attain their educational goals; the public also utilizes the many facilities McNeese has to offer the greater community. University Police Staff endeavor to address all calls for service in a professional, courteous and efficient manner.

The McNeese Police Department provides the following services:
  • Information and parking assistance to campus visitors;
  • Campus Identification issuance;
  • Escort services to those on campus requesting it; offered to anyone needing a uniformed escort to move safely about campus, this no cost program is available 24 hours a day;
  • Protective and investigative services;
  • A full range of public safety services;
  • Registration of vehicles used on campus;
  • Publishing and enforcing campus parking rules and regulations;
  • Publication of crime reports;
  • Emergency medical assistance;
  • Response to fire and hazardous waste emergencies.
  • Response to emergency call boxes installed across the campus
  • and, Emergency Preparedness Planning, Response, and Recovery.

The McNeese Police Department reports crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Crime Information Center. This report is publicized annually in The Contraband and by the local media. University police blotters and arrest reports are available to the media and formal press releases are issued to address serious or unique problems which may arise on campus. The University believes that an informed public is a safer public. In compliance with the 1990 Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act (also known as the Clery Act), statistics are provided on the McNeese Police Department Web site.

Campus and Student Life

Campus Life: The Director of Camps Life oversees services and resources that promote student rights and responsibilities, housing and residence life experiences, campus dining/catering/concession functions, and student welfare consultation services in support of the University's commitment to student development, engagement, retention, and success.  Personnel in this area are charged with enforcing the University's Code of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity as well as educating the campus regarding student rights and responsibilities within the teaching-learning community. Consultation services on diverse issues and concerns such as classroom management, student welfare and behavioral intervention, and assistance with crisis and emergency management situations and are also provided to members of the University community in support of student retention and success objectives. The Office offers approximately 850 spaces for students who need or seek to reside on the campus as part of their collegiate experience and provides comprehensive residence life and student development programming to engage residents in the life of the campus and local community and promote retention and academic success. Multiple dining and retail food services options are also available to both residential and non-residential students through this administrative area.  The Office also coordinates public use of the University's designated free speech areas.
 
Student Union & Activities: The Director of the Student Union and Activities oversees co-curricular and extra-curricular programs that foster student leadership development, multiculturalism, participation in campus governance, community service and philanthropy, professional development, and engagement in social, cultural, and educational events and activities. Over one hundred social fraternities and sororities, religious organizations, academic honor societies, professional and pre-professional organizations, and special interest groups are overseen within the Director's office to encourage students to develop perspectives on issues of local, regional, national, and global concern. The Student Government Association, Student Union Board, Multicultural Office, and Leadership Office constitute a coalition of core student groups and leaders who support the University's commitment to student development, engagement, retention and academic success by promoting strong academic and ethical standards for general participation and eligibility for leadership roles and by fostering an environment focused on promoting meaningful interactions among peers, faculty and alumni mentors, professional staff, and community members. The office coordinates administrative, financial, and facility use for student groups and campus and community members seeking to use Student Union and related facilities.
 
Greek Life: Since their inception in 1952, McNeese Greeks have been the cornerstone of student involvement, leadership development, and campus traditions, and this continues today. Currently, a total of fifteen Greek-letter social organizations comprised of seven groups in the National Pan-Hellenic Council, five groups in the Interfraternity Council, and three groups in the National Panhellenic Conference exist. All fraternities and sororities are members of the Greek Unity Board. These groups represent approximately four hundred Greek students at McNeese, and participation continues to grow. Greeks hold all levels of campus leadership positions; serve on numerous campus committees; and represent McNeese at local, state, and national conventions.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) at McNeese State University is currently composed of seven of the nine International Greek letter sororities and fraternities. The NPHC promotes interaction through forums, meetings, and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions. Each of the NPHC organizations evolved during a period when African Americans were being denied essential rights and privileges afforded others. Racial isolation on predominantly White campuses and social barriers of class on all campuses created a need for African Americans to align themselves with other individuals sharing common goals and ideals.

Members of the NPHC at McNeese State University


The Interfraternity Council (IFC) at McNeese is currently made of up five fraternities. The IFC is the central governing body for these fraternities at McNeese and serves as the mechanism through which the fraternal organizations regulate themselves. The IFC deals with a multitude of issues ranging from recruitment to campus involvement to service projects and philanthropy. They also serve as the judicial arm of fraternities.  Members of the IFC at McNeese State University include:  
Student Organizations: Student organizations are a key part of the collegiate experience. Studies demonstrate consistently that involved students are more likely to persist toward graduation, are more satisfied with their time in college, and develop leadership and life skills that complement their classroom knowledge. Being involved in campus organizations also benefits students as employers look to hire those who have demonstrated leadership, commitment, and excellence both inside and outside the classroom. McNeese has a long history of student involvement in its 100+ registered organizations, and a general belief is that no matter what one's interest may be, he/she will find others who share the passion.

Memberships in some groups only require a sign-up process while others may require certain classification and GPA. Each organization has a constitution with a posted set of membership standards. Student groups may petition the Director of the Student Union and Activities to create a recognized organization through a simple and straightforward process.

Intramural Sports and Recreation Complex: An intramural sports program for men and women provides outlets for physical and recreational talents of the student body. Intramural contests are held in flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball, tennis, badminton, free throw, table tennis, swimming, golf, horseshoes, pool, racquetball, and water polo. Awards and recognition are given to student winners. Students enter competition representing fraternities, sororities, dorms, school clubs, organizations, religious student centers, and independents. The Office of Intramurals and Recreational Services is located in the Recreation Complex with office hours from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Recreational facilities include: 50-meter swimming pool, steam/sauna room, shower/ locker rooms, four racquetball courts, three full-length basketball courts, 8,000 square foot weight room, 200-meter indoor track (four lane), equipment rental options, 12-acre intramural playing fields, and outdoor tennis courts. Hours of operation are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A validated McNeese ID is required for admission.