College Services Checklist
Do you know where to find these?
- Academic Advising
College counselors or academic advisors will give you information on course requirements for specific majors, eligibility for certain programs, and such. Peer advisors, specially designated adult students, may also be available to help you with your course selections and give you many useful tips.
Find an advisor you enjoy talking with and meet with this person at least once a term. This can be one of your most important contacts.
- Admissions Office/Orientation Office
On larger campuses these will probably be separate offices. On smaller campuses they may be combined. In any case, these are the offices with people who know the answers to your questions or know how to get the answers. That’s their job!
Spend time browsing here to learn what they sell and where everything is located. The front part of the store usually contains trade books. These are books available to the general public and are sold in almost all college bookstores. The textbook section is at the back of the store. Textbooks will be arranged on shelves listed by course numbers within the different departments of the college.
Notice that computers, computer supplies, calculators, and other such items are priced at a student discount that is much lower than in regular stores.
- Cashier/Business Office
Tuition and other money matters are handled here. Be sure to inquire about any available payment plans. The cashiers office will probably cash checks for any person with a valid student body ID card.
- Center for Adult Students or Re-Entry Students
Many schools now have a designated area where older students, sometimes called re-entry, adult learners, or non-traditional students, can go for information about problems or concerns. It is also a place to meet a friend.
- Cooperative Education/Internships
These are programs that lets you earn course credit for learning new skills while working as a paid employee or non-paid intern. It is a form of on-the-job training. Cooperative Education is a college supervised program that lets you learn new career skills in a workplace setting. The employer gets certain tax breaks, and in addition to earning course credit, you may earn a modest wage.
- Counseling Center/Career Counseling
In these centers professional counselors are available for private sessions with students who want to talk about personal concerns. If you run into problems with instructors or other school personnel, counselors can serve as your advocate. Career counselors usually have access to an array of instruments/materials designed to help students clarify their career goals. These centers usually have books, cassette tapes, and other materials you can use or borrow. The services are usually free.
- Child Care Center
If you have preschool children, the college may provide day care, or cooperative child care. You can bring children to school with you and for a low fee have the child cared for and fed by professionals while you are in school. Some colleges have provisions for school-age children to study on campus while parents attend night classes.
- Dean of Students
The office of the Dean of Students is the place to go if you have questions or difficulties not handled well by other offices. The Dean of Students is responsible for seeing that you have every chance possible for succeeding in college. The Deans office exists to help solve problems that may be interfering with your college success.
- Dean of Instruction
This is an important office on every campus. Here you will find help with many kinds of academic questions and problems, including how to change a mistake in your transcript of grades, remove an incomplete in a course, get permission to take more than the allowed number of course hours, waive a course requirement, get into a course already filled, arrange for a special academic program, or complain if instruction for a course is not up to your expectations.
- Office for Students with Disabilities
Special assistance will be available at little or no cost to help physically challenged or learning disabled students succeed. Such assistance may include notetakers, readers, writers, or sign language interpreters. The assistance counselors will have many practical suggestions. They can help students obtain adaptive equipment, transportation, and other services from your states vocational rehabilitation department. Assessment for learning disabilities is available as well.
- Health Service
Many schools have medical help available for emergency medical care and treatment. The health service may also be a resource for information, programs, and services on alcohol and drug abuse, birth control, blood pressure testing, cholesterol screening, and so forth. Costs are usually included in your fees or are very low. Inquire, if you wish, about student health insurance. Rates are low and the insurance may cover family members.
- Learning Center
Many colleges have special centers where you go to learn a specific subject. You tell the person in charge what you want. You will then be assigned to a booth with a set of earphones, a television monitor, or a computer terminal. You work at your own speed at the lesson you are there to complete. You can stay with it as long as you wish. Don’t feel intimidated; the person in charge will be glad to explain how everything works.
Plan to take lots of time walking through the library on your own. Ask the librarians what would be useful for you to know. They usually enjoy telling students about all the library services. Take advantage of their helpfulness. Find out when they have sessions on how to use the library computers for locating books, references, and other information you will need for writing papers.
Notice that there are many desks, tables, and study areas. Most libraries have computer rooms, video viewing rooms, conference areas, and even quiet rooms for listening to music. For rest and relaxation (R&R), or research, this is one resource you should not overlook.
The registrars office keeps the academic records of all students. If you have earned college credit elsewhere, the registrars office can give you information on how to claim credit and obtain documentation so that it will apply to your program. After you graduate, the registrars office is the place that provides transcripts of the courses you took.
- Security Office/Campus Police
The college has its own security officers. Find out how to call or reach campus security in case of an emergency. Call this office when any emergency help is needed. They may help with minor car problems or contact your family if you have an emergency. Make a special effort to be friendly with security officers.
- Sports Facilities
All students have access to the sports facilities. There will be an exercise room, a swimming pool you can use for a relaxing swim, a track for jogging, and many other possibilities for exercise. You may be able to check out equipment free of charge.
I found that during certain hours I could use the workout rooms used by the athletes! I could use the track and courts even if I wasn’t taking a physical education class. And for a small fee I could occasionally take one of my daughters swimming. — Mary Karr, co-author
- Student Activities Office
Every college has a number of student-run organizations. The student body president, other officers, and many student project coordinators are located in the student activities office.
- Student Center
The student center is where you find cafeterias, art displays, television rooms, reading rooms, possibly a bowling alley, a barber shop, ping-pong tables, pool tables, lounging areas, and more. The student center on every campus is unique, so take time to familiarize yourself with this building. On the bulletin boards you will find announcements for various student activities such as theater productions and films shown on campus.
TIP: Find out if lockers are available for rent. A locker at school is a great place to leave heavy books, keep your lunch, or store an extra umbrella. It also serves as a place where friends can leave notes for you!
- Student Employment/Job Placement Office
This office lists jobs that local employers have available for students looking for off-campus work. There are many jobs in every community that fit perfectly with being a student. This office will provide assistance with resume writing and interviewing skills. They will help you find employment upon graduation.
- Student Housing
Need a place to live? This office will help you. It will coordinate renting rooms in private homes and apartments in the nearby area. Your college may provide student housing in its own residence halls. Larger colleges will have housing for married students and their families.
- Study Skills Center
Go here if you want help improving your study skills. This center has friendly, well-trained people who can teach you how to read faster, learn in less time, reduce your nervousness about taking tests, be better at passing tests, and write good papers.
- Transportation Office
If you drive to school, go here to get a permit to park on campus. Check out this office before starting classes because parking space is often difficult to locate. Also inquire about car pools or buses as an alternative to driving your own car.