Chapter 4: Criterion Two
The institution has effectively organized the human,
physical resources necessary to accomplish its purposes.
The Student Affairs Division is committed to providing students with assistance in their academic endeavors. Students often need guidance and help to achieve academic success at the University level. At UNK students are offered services to assist them in determining their interests and future goals, to help with difficulties in individual classes, and to help in developing the skills necessary to be successful students and citizens.
Academic Advising. The primary purpose of academic advising is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals. This assistance takes the form of helping the student to formulate goals and to identify and assess alternatives and the consequences of decisions. This mission is advanced in the following ways:
- encourage a connection between students and faculty or staff to facilitate the student's sense of community and to promote a student-centered learning environment;
- support for faculty advisors to enhance consistency and quality in the advising process;
- facilitate the identification of students who are not succeeding academically or who are at risk of failure and provide them with the information and support necessary to achieve success;
- provide academic advising to students who have not yet decided on their majors and to those who are considering a change in major.
Center for Academic Success. The Center for Academic Success coordinates services provided by both the Learning Strategies Office and Student Support Services. The Learning Strategies Office provides classes and tutoring services that can assist students in improving their academic performance. Student Support Services works one-on-one with low-income and first-generation students, and students with disabilities. A variety of services, (customized for the individual student) are offered through this federal grant.
Learning Strategies. The Learning Strategies Office provides support for UNK students through a variety of tutoring services and instruction for academic enhancement. Programs and services offered include:
- Free Academic Area Tutoring for all UNK Students - The University of Nebraska at Kearney is unique in that it offers free tutoring services to all enrolled students. Qualified upper class or graduate students who have received extensive training as tutors provide this service.
- University Foundations Classes (recommended for freshman and transfer students) - University Foundations is a three-credit hour class designed to improve student performance and persistence. In a University Foundations class students learn how to approach new ideas and subjects, how to study new topics efficiently and how to perform better in discussion and on tests.
- Special Topic Classes -The Learning Center also provides a variety of short special topic courses for students who wish to improve their learning techniques and study skills. Modules offered include: Listening and Note-Taking Skills, Study Skills, Vocabulary Expansion, Test Anxiety, Reading Improvement, Spelling Improvement, How to Write a Research Paper and Critical Thinking Skills.
Summer Advising and Enrollment. Admitted students beginning their academic career at UNK find pertinent information at the one-day summer advising and enrollment session in June or July. Students' parents are also encouraged to participate in the day's activities to learn about UNK's academic expectations and methods to maintain academic success. Admitted students meet one-on-one with academic advisors to select classes and register for the fall semester.
Fall Orientation. Prior to the beginning of classes, first time students are encouraged to participate in an organized schedule of informative events that assist their transition into student life and detail the academic expectations at UNK. Presenters include an array of faculty and Student Affairs staff, allowing students to meet the people who will be assisting them through a successful university experience.
Student Health. Student Health Services (SHS) at the University of Nebraska at Kearney has provided on-campus health service to students since 1921. Over the years, services have expanded considerably from the original nurse-staffed clinic. Students now have access to an on-campus prescribing provider each weekday and Thursday evenings during spring and fall, and nearly each weekday during summer.
SHS contracts with Kearney Clinic P.C. to provide on-campus access to physicians (3 hours weekly) and nurse practitioners (20 hours weekly) during spring and fall semesters. Laboratory and radiology services are available through Kearney Clinic at usual and customary rates. Additionally, UNK students referred to Kearney Clinic from SHS have the office charge waived. The relationship with Kearney Clinic and the addition of a nurse practitioner as SHS director has provided students with quality, convenient, comprehensive primary health care at reasonable cost.
Counseling Center. The UNK Counseling Center provides short-term, professional counseling for UNK students. Professional counselors promote and support the growth of UNK students' academic, emotional, and social well-being by providing high quality, time-effective professional counseling services, referral, consultation, outreach, teaching and research. Counselors also support the academic goals of the University, not only through personal interaction with students, but also through ongoing consultation with faculty, staff and campus organizations.
Residential and Greek Life. The Office of Residential and Greek Life is dedicated to providing service and support to student individual needs and expectations. This Office coordinates all aspects of the residence halls, off-campus apartment complex, and the on-campus Greek chapter houses. In addition, it is responsible for housing assignments, maintenance of the physical facilities, and a broad range of educational, cultural, recreational, and social programs. The UNK Greek Community contributes to the development of students by providing opportunities for leadership, service, scholarship, and friendship.
UNK currently has space for 2,250 students to live on campus in ten traditional residence halls, two Greek complexes, and one apartment-style complex. All residence halls feature computer labs with access to the UNK mainframe computer network, lounges, quiet study areas, and recreational space. All rooms have basic cable and are provided with basic furnishings (i.e. desk, chair, bed, dresser and closet for each student) and local phone service (featuring voicemail, call waiting; wake up calls, conference call, etc.).
A variety of specific living environment options are available to students including:
- honors/academic floors
- double or single rooms
- co-ed buildings
- co-ed by room/suite floors
- floors for upper division students
- College of Education and College of Business and Technology students
- Healthy Lifestyles
- Community Service Learning Communities
- Fraternity or Sorority houses
Nebraskan Student Union. The Nebraskan Student Union provides services, conveniences, programs, and facilities designed to meet the individual and collective needs of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The Student Union contributes to learning experiences and leadership development outside of the classroom through scheduled programs and special events, as well as through volunteer and employment opportunities.
Nebraskan Student Union strives to broaden the academic experience of students by providing educational and co-curricular experiences outside of the classroom with speakers, performing artists, and cultural programs. By creating meaningful experiences for students that support their academic endeavors and that enrich the quality of campus life, the Nebraskan contributes to the excellence of the University.
Multicultural Affairs. The primary mission of the Office of Multicultural Affairs is the recruitment and retention of all multicultural (African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American and Native American) students through programs such as new student orientation, cultural celebrations, one-to-one and group counseling, scholarship information, and career counseling. In keeping with the mission of the University, the Office of Multicultural Affairs promotes the awareness of all cultures and fosters the development and educational opportunities of all people regardless of national origin or ethnic heritage.
Career Services. The Office of Career Services serves students, faculty, employers and the community as a primary resource for career development and job search. Our priority is helping students understand the relationship between self-knowledge and career/life choices.
- UNK has the resource base to effectively meet the basic needs of students. The strength of this base is in the dedication and consistency in the service providers.
- Even though there have been organizational changes within the Division of Student Affairs, the provision of services has remained unchanged, or, in some cases, strengthened.
- The individual attention students receive at UNK is evidenced by the retention rate, the academic success and the overall satisfaction by students and staff with their UNK experience.
- The heavy reliance on a small number of professional staff is a concern. While services per se have remained stable, the turnover of staff in upcoming years is of concern. Both the continuous budget reductions and the reorganization within the division, while virtually unnoticed by students, are beginning to take their toll on staff. This is evidenced by the difficulty in hiring a Director of Residential and Greek Life two years ago, and the departure of the Directors of Student Health and Counseling.