Learning Opportunities & Resources
Career and Academic Planning
Wilson Hall, Room 301, MSC 1016
Phone: (540) 568-6555
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/cap
Career and Academic Planning coordinates academic advising for all first year students and undeclared students; assists students in choosing or changing their major and deciding upon a career direction; and provides a variety of job search programs and services.
Academic advising is vital to student success. The adviser assists students in shaping their educational experience to meet specific intellectual, personal and career goals. Advisers do not decide the student’s goals or program, but help students learn how to develop appropriate goals, make good choices that enhance learning and personal growth, and succeed in and out of the classroom.
During summer orientation, all new students are assigned to faculty or professional advisers who discuss with them the university’s various programs of study, academic policies and procedures, advanced placement/exemption testing, and registration procedures. At that time, students plan their course of study and register for fall semester classes. Advisers continue to work with first year students until midway through the spring semester, at which time first year students that have declared a major are assigned to advisers in their academic unit. Students remaining undeclared are assigned to a professional adviser in Career and Academic Planning. First year students must declare their major by the beginning of their sophomore year. Click here for information on declaring a major.
JMU students are responsible for the educational choices they make, both short and long term, but they can make those choices in a supportive environment. Effective academic advising is a relationship between student and adviser. Students must be aware of their own interests, values and goals; knowledgeable about relevant policies and requirements; and willing to take the initiative to seek assistance when it is needed. Advisers should respond to the student as an individual, be aware of student progress, and help the student make connections between academic choices and career possibilities.
Career Advising and Decision-Making
Career and Academic Planning assists students at various stages of the decision-making process for choosing a major and career. In addition to the availability of professional staff to help students with decision-making issues, other programs and services include the following.
Career and Life Planning Course (IS 202)
The career and life planning course is for first year students and sophomores who want to explore the relationship between academic majors and career fields, identify their major and career interests, and learn effective decision-making strategies for choosing a major and a career.
Major and Career Decision Program
The Major and Career Decisions Program is a series of
workshops designed to help students pick a major, decide on a career direction, assess career information and resolve personal issues interfering with their ability to make career plans. Topics covered include career assessment, values, interests, abilities and career information.
Academic and Career Resource Center
The resource center provides information and assistance related to choosing a major and career planning, internship/summer jobs, employer directories, job search tools and career trend information. Resources include books, printed materials, handouts, databases, career software and Web-based information via the resource center computer lab. Information is organized on a self-help basis so that students and faculty may browse at their leisure. Staff members are available to answer questions and help students use resource materials.
Employment and Job Search Services
Business, industry, government and educational employers come to JMU throughout the year to conduct job interviews with graduating seniors and students seeking internships. Information about the interview program, participating employers and interview sign-ups is available on the Career and Academic Planning Web site. To interview, students must complete an Authorization Form, submit it to the On-campus Interviewing office in Sonner Hall and create a profile on MadisonTRAK. To help students prepare for interviews, mock interview sessions with employer participants are held each semester.
Assistance with writing resumes is available to students in many forms. Students may access resume writing support via the Career and Academic Planning Web site. Resume writing workshops and other related services are available throughout the year and students may make an appointment with an academic and career advisor to receive individual assistance. Additionally, a variety of resume guides are available in the Resource Center in Wilson Hall.
The office sponsors a number of career fair events each year to provide students with the opportunity to interact with employers and obtain employment-related information.
A number of national job vacancy publications are available in the resource center, which provides information about job opportunities in a variety of career fields. Web-based job vacancy listings are also available.
Academic Honors Program
Phone: (540) 568-6953
Fax: (540) 568-8079
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/honorsprog/
The Honors Program seeks to meet the educational needs of talented, highly motivated students by offering increased opportunities for an enriched and demanding curriculum. It is administered by the director of the Honors Program and the Honors Program Committee. Under the guidance of recognized teacher-scholars, this program offers students the opportunity to cultivate the habits of critical thinking, independent analysis and creative expression through small classes and independent study. The program also offers a setting in which students who share a similar enthusiasm for learning are brought together in intellectual fellowship and provides public recognition for superior academic achievement. Information concerning the Honors Program can be obtained from the director of the Honors Program. The program consists of various modes of study, which are briefly described below.
Approximately 180 entering first year students who graduated from high school with an unweighted grade point average of 3.5 or above or who attained a Scholastic Aptitude Test score totaling 1300 or above or American College Test assessment scores totaling 30 or above are invited to enter the Honors Program as Honors Scholars. Applicants must submit a high school transcript, an essay (or goal statement) and two letters of recommendation (at least one from a teacher) attesting to their ability to participate in a rigorous academic program. Honors Scholars complete a total of 27 hours in honors, including:
- Nine credit hours of required honors courses in General Education
- Six credit hours of electives in courses designated “Honors” or honors options
- Six credit hours in interdisciplinary honors seminars or colloquia
- Six credit hours of independent study – the senior honors project in the student’s major
Honors scholars are expected to maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average. Designation as an honors scholar and graduation with distinction will appear on the student’s record after completing the program.
Candidates for Subject-area honors complete at least 24 credit hours, including a six-credit hour senior honors project, six credit hours in honors seminars, and twelve credit hours of electives in honors courses. Students may receive honors credit for work in honors sections of regular courses, independent honors option work with the permission and under the guidance of a cooperating teacher and/or honors seminars. Subject-area honors students are required to take two honors seminars. These offer a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary study. The program is flexible and affords an opportunity for students, regardless of major, to participate in honors work.
The Subject-area Honors Program is open to first- and second-year students with at least a 3.25 grade point average. Students must also submit an application to the program office in which they give their reason for wanting to participate in the Honors Program. Students who complete the program will graduate as subject-area honors students and graduation with distinction will appear on the students’ records.
Specific titles of the current courses offered in both honors programs are listed on e-campus. A current list of honors seminars includes the following:
HON 200B. Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence
HON 200E. Great Questions
HON 200G. Multicultural Awareness
HON 200X. Biology in the Movies
HON 200U. Automatons, Robots and Cyborgs
HON 300A. Caribbean Literature
HON 300B. Evolutionary Systems
HON 300C. Democracy and Its Discontents
HON 300H. Research and Information
HON 300O. Express it in Numbers
HON 300P. Gullah History in Film
HON 300WM. Women’s Colloquium
HON 300R. Computer Applications in Business
HON 300U. Rhetoric of Survival
Senior Honors Project
Academic units offer eligible students a special opportunity in the senior year to pursue an independent research topic or creative project in their major field. Successful completion of this project results in the awarding of the degree with distinction at commencement. Students are invited to apply through their academic units during their junior year. Admission to the Senior Honors Project Program is limited to juniors with at least a 3.25 average who give sufficient evidence of initiative, originality and intellectual maturity to warrant the expectation of distinction in the program. Acceptance for participation is determined by the director of the Honors Program and the Honors Committee.
Each year awards for the outstanding honors project are given by the Shenandoah Association of Phi Beta Kappa and the JMU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.
The university offers honors sections in different departments and schools that set the criteria for admission to and the requirements for these honors sections. Information concerning these courses can be obtained from individual academic units or the Honors Program.
The following honorary and professional societies recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies maintain active chapters on the JMU campus:
Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre-medicine)
Golden Key National Honor Society
Kappa Delta Pi (education)
Omicron Delta Epsilon (economics)
Omicron Delta Kappa (scholarship and leadership)
Percy H. Warren Chapter of Mortar Board Honor Society
Phi Alpha Theta (history)
Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
Phi Sigma Tau (philosophy)
Pi Sigma Alpha (political science)
Psi Chi (psychology)
Sigma Pi Sigma (physics)
Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Other honorary and professional societies at JMU include:
Alpha Epsilon Rho (broadcasting)
Alpha Kappa Psi (professional business society)
American Production and Inventory Control Society (resource management)
Beta Alpha Psi (accounting)
Beta Beta Beta (biology)
Beta Gamma Sigma (business)
Data Processing Management Association (information systems)
Delta Sigma Pi (professional business society)
Dobro Slovo (Russian studies)
Epsilon Chi Omicron (international business)
Eta Sigma Delta (hospitality and tourism management)
Eta Sigma Gamma (honorary)
Financial Management Association (finance)
Institute of Management Accountants (accounting)
Kappa Delta Pi (education)
Kappa Pi (art)
Mu Kappa Tau (marketing)
National Association of Social Workers Program Unit
Order of Omega (Greek leadership)
Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society
Phi Beta Lambda (business)
Phi Chi Theta (business and economics)
Phi Epsilon Kappa (honorary)
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (music)
Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics)
Pi Sigma Epsilon (marketing)
SIGGRAPH (digital media production)
Sigma Alpha Iota (music)
Sigma Phi Lambda (honorary)
Society for Collegiate Journalists
Society of Human Resources Management
Society of Professional Journalists
Tau Beta Sigma (band)
Carrier Library Circulation
Phone: (540) 568-6150
Web site: http://www.lib.jmu.edu
Carrier Library Reference Desk Phone: (540) 568-6267
Phone: (540) 568-6041
Web site: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/music
CISAT Library Services
Phone: (540) 568-2731
Web site: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/cisat/
JMU Libraries, consisting of Carrier Library, the Music Library and CISAT Library Services, support research, study and instruction in the use of information resources at JMU. The Libraries house more than 700,000 volumes, including books, periodicals, and audiovisual materials, and over a million microform pieces. Carrier Library is also an authorized U.S. Government Document Depository, with access to thousands of selected online and print documents through LEO, the library catalog. In addition to subscriptions to more than 11,000 journals, access to over 1,500 online journals is provided through JMU Libraries’ membership in VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia. Items not available within the Libraries or through online resources can be retrieved through Interlibrary Loan with virtually any academic library in the country.
The library Web site, http://www.lib.jmu.edu, is an online gateway to the services and collections of the JMU Libraries. Through the Web site, users can search LEO, connect to over 300 electronic databases, and find research guides highlighting the most important print and electronic sources in numerous subject areas. Services such as e-mail reference and Interlibrary Loan request forms are also available via the library Web site. More than 100 personal computers are located in the Libraries’ public areas. Almost all of the online resources on the library Web site can be accessed from any computer on campus, and those with current JMU electronic IDs can configure their browsers to access library resources from any remote location.
One of the Libraries’ principal goals is to educate users, especially students, by providing them with lifelong learning skills that will enable them to find, use and evaluate information in all formats. Self-instruction modules, entitled “Go for the Gold,” are available on the library Web site and complement instruction sessions offered in library classrooms. Reference librarians are available on a walk-up basis or by appointment to answer questions and assist students with research.
The liaison program links a librarian to each academic unit. Liaison librarians provide a variety of services, including library instruction for course-related activities, collection development and consultation with individual faculty members and students.
The Music Library serves the students and faculty members of the School of Music, as well as offering its specialized resources to the greater university community. CISAT Library Services serves the needs of students and faculty on the east campus primarily through electronic resources, reference service and document delivery.
Phone: (540) 568-6610
Web site: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/media/
Media Resources in Carrier Library acquires and houses commercial educational media in video, audio and computer software formats for instruction and study by faculty, staff and students. Faculty and staff can use the center’s media reference and rental service to locate items not already in the collections. The center facilitates scheduling and taping of satellite programming, and it distributes selected campus-wide software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and other applications in coordination with IT Computing Support. Media Resources also provides teaching and learning support to faculty, staff and students through instructional hardware and software available to users of classrooms and other learning facilities. Technical services staff coordinate the development, installation and maintenance of technology systems in general classrooms and many special facilities on campus. Media Resources provides portable equipment for loan and use in locations without technology, and its staff offers training support for users of all installed and portable equipment, as well as repair services for non-computer media technology owned by the campus.
JMU is committed to providing an educational environment that is consistent with current technology in an information society. The university provides all students with the opportunity to have some experience with computers.
The General Education Program requires all students to pass a basic computer proficiency test in their first semester at JMU, while the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Computer Information Systems/Operations Management offer introductory courses designed to build or enhance computer literacy. Other academic units also offer courses emphasizing computer applications for individual disciplines.
JMU strongly supports and encourages student use of computers. At some point in each student’s college career, he or she will need to purchase a computer in order to meet the curricular expectations of a particular program. If a program requires a student to purchase a computer, this requirement will be stipulated in the catalog as a part of the description of that department, school or program of study. Recommended computer configurations for use in specific departments and majors can be found online at www.jmu.edu/computing/purchase/dept.shtml.
Office of International Programs
JMAC 6, Suite 22, MSC 5731
Phone: (540) 568-6419
Fax: (540) 568-3310
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/international/
Semester Abroad Programs
Recognizing its responsibility to provide international
experiences to JMU students, the university sponsors semesters abroad in Antwerp, Beijing, Florence, London and Salamanca.
JMU students experience life in a different culture and gain direct access to the historical, artistic, and sociopolitical traditions of the environment while pursuing an approved course of study toward the bachelor’s degree.
The programs are open to all students in good academic standing. Applicants should have at least a 2.0 grade point average. Special entrance requirements are as follows. For Antwerp, there is no language requirement but applicants must be COB majors. For Florence, at least one semester of Italian is strongly recommended but not required. Students applying for the Salamanca program, where courses are taught in Spanish, are expected to have completed SPAN 231-232 or the equivalent of intermediate Spanish. Students are required to take six hours of Italian during their semester abroad. The Antwerp Program for COB majors is offered during the fall and spring semesters. Students may earn a Marketing Minor during the Summer in Antwerp program and it is open only to non-business majors. Marketing 380 is a prerequisite for this program. Participants in the Summer in Beijing program may earn a Minor in Chinese Business Studies and must take Marketing 380 either before or after participating in the program. The Florence, London and Salamanca Programs are offered during the fall, spring and summer semesters.
Students should select a minimum of 15 credit hours (at least three courses in addition to the six-credit language instruction in Florence) and may enroll in a maximum of 18 credit hours. Course offerings vary from semester to semester. The curriculum in each program addresses a broad spectrum of academic interests but is centered around a core appropriate to the special cultural resources of the city or country.
Courses are generally taught twice weekly – one day in the classroom and another day “on site.” Classes promote individual cognitive and affective learning through experiential methods, such as studying drama by reading and attending plays, art history by viewing and discussing original works of art in museums and galleries, and political science by observing parliament in action. These instructional activities are covered by the program’s fees if the students are registered for academic credit in the courses.
Courses meet the requirements of the corresponding departments and schools and may satisfy some general education requirements at JMU. A student may also arrange an independent study project under the supervision of a JMU instructor. Independent study projects also must be approved by the program director who can judge the topic’s appropriateness to the city and the student’s language level.
The programs’ costs differ but all programs include tuition, housing, a basic food allowance, all course-related travel (including extended weekend trips), instructional events, such as theater, concerts, historical tours, and guest lectures, and some social activities. All programs exclude the costs of students’ travel to and from the program site. Loans and scholarships apply, and semester abroad scholarships and assistantships are available. Students live in a central, convenient part of each city and have ready access to the faculty member in residence or the on-site director if any health problems or emergencies arise. Current insurance coverage should be reviewed for its applicability outside the United States. Students interested in studying with one of the semester abroad programs should apply for summer, fall or spring of the next academic year by November 15 for early admission or by February 1 for regular admission. Interested students can get information about study abroad programs from the Office of International Programs.
International Exchange Programs
The university is committed to increasing the opportunities for students’ global awareness. Numerous exchange programs with schools and universities abroad are available. JMU’s exchange programs are based at prestigious universities around the world, such as LaTrobe University and Flinders University in Australia, University of Leicester in England, Nanzan University and Hiroshima University in Japan, Yonsei University in South Korea, the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, American University of Cairo and Misr International University in Egypt, Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane in Morocco, American University of Sharjah in UAE, and Malmö University in Sweden. Students interested in business areas may study at the European Business School near Frankfurt, Germany. Language requirements and curricula vary.
Students should consult the Office of International Programs for further information. Applications for exchange programs with foreign universities are due February 1 for fall semester and April 15 for spring semester.
The university also offers the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or a full academic year at three of Great Britain’s oldest and most respected universities, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford in England and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Participants will take part in tutorials across a wide range of topics and live with and share all of the benefits of regular university students. The Honors Abroad Program is open to all JMU students possessing a 3.3 grade-point average; you do not need to be an honors student to participate in this program.
International Short-term Study Abroad Courses
During the summer, many international courses and travel study classes are offered. Specific course offerings and departments and schools vary from year to year. A typical summer schedule might include classes in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malta, Mexico, the Philippines, Scotland and South Africa. Information regarding courses to be offered each summer can be obtained in the Office of International Programs.
In an effort to add a different sort of international dimension to higher education in Virginia, JMU has established an International Internship Program for Virginia students during the summer. Students from all Virginia institutions and Virginia residents enrolled at schools elsewhere may participate.
The program is designed primarily for juniors and seniors, recent graduates, and graduate students. Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to begin planning their credit requirements and arranging finances so that they will be able to take advantage of this opportunity to work abroad during the summer. The internship positions are, for the most part, unpaid, though some sponsors are offering some slight compensation to help offset living costs. Students are responsible for transportation, lodging, food, medical insurance and other personal expenses.
Interested students should contact the Office of International Programs for application materials and descriptions of the internships. Complete information is also available at www.jmu.edu/international/abroad/programs_internships.shtml.
External Study Abroad Programs
Students may apply to participate in other approved study abroad programs. The university will accept credits earned abroad at approved institutions in accordance with its policy of accepting transfer credits. Approval of proposed study programs should be obtained from the director of study abroad and the head of the department or director of the school in which the transfer credit will be awarded. A Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit Form should be submitted to the registrar’s office. Semester abroad applications, guides, brochures and transfer credit forms are available in the Office of International Programs.
Office of the Registrar
Warren Hall, Room 504, MSC 3528
Phone: (540) 568-6281
Fax: (540) 568-3499
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/registrar/
The Office of the Registrar is responsible for the following activities:
- Add and drop registration procedures
- Athletic certification
- Class schedule preparation
- Commencement activities
- Degree audits
- Diploma issuance
- Enrollment verifications
- Student records
- Transfer credit evaluation
- Transcript issuance
For information regarding veterans’ affairs and graduation, students should contact Student Record Services on the fifth floor of Warren Hall or call the Office of the Registrar at (540) 568-6281.
Learning Resource Centers
In a collaborative effort between Student Success and Academic Affairs, the university assists students in reaching desired levels of academic achievement by providing academic support through Learning Resource Centers.
Students who need assistance in improving academic/learning skills may request assistance from any learning resource center. Students may also be referred to a learning resource center by any faculty member, academic adviser or the Counseling and Student Development Center. There is no charge for these services. While use of the centers is always voluntary, all students are strongly encouraged to utilize the available services as necessary.
Communication Resource Center
Wilson Hall, 4th Floor
Phone: (540) 568-1683
Fax: (540) 568-3450
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/crc
The Communication Resource Center’s mission is to provide resources and assistance with oral communication projects to the JMU community. The Communication Resource Center promotes students’ communication excellence in the areas of speech preparation and presentation, small group problem solving and interpersonal skills.
Specifically, the center’s professional faculty and student speech consultants provide help with:
- Speech Preparation
- Speech Anxiety
- Speech Delivery
- Speech Outlining
- Communication Theory
- PowerPoint Application
For more information or to make an appointment, please contact or visit the Communication Resource Center.
Reading & Writing Resource Center
Wilson Hall, 4th Floor
Phone: (540) 568-1759
Fax: (540) 568-3450
Web site: www.jmu.edu/acadaffairs/rwsupp.shtml.070606
The purpose of the Reading & Writing Resource Center is to support the university’s efforts to help undergraduate and graduate students succeed academically and professionally.
Professional reading, writing and ESL faculty offer individualized help to students wishing to improve their reading and writing skills.
The center can assist with:
- developing topics which fit assignments.
- planning and organizing papers.
- learning techniques of research and documentation.
- improving test-taking skills for essay exams.
For more information contact the Reading & Writing Resource Center.
Science & Math Learning Center
Roop Hall, Room 200
Phone: (540) 568-3379
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/smrc/
The Science & Math Learning Center promotes success for students enrolled in introductory math, chemistry and physics courses.
Tutoring and developmental teaching is provided in an informal atmosphere by a staff of professional faculty and advanced students with strong skills in math and science.
For more information contact the Science & Math Learning Center.
Wilson Hall, 4th Floor
Phone: (540) 568-1759
Fax: (540) 568-3450
Web site: www.jmu.edu/supinstruct
Supplemental Instruction supports students enrolled in selected historically challenging courses by offering peer-led, out-of-class sessions.
Students, under the guidance of trained student leaders, work together to master course content and integrate study, organizational and learning strategies. SI’s goal is to aid all students enrolled in a course, regardless of their knowledge or ability level.
For more information contact Supplemental Instruction.
Internships are available with the federal government, other governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations and private entities. Students interested in internships should contact Career and Academic Planning or the appropriate academic unit office to obtain additional information. Credit must be arranged in advance with the appropriate academic unit head and the Office of the Registrar.
Phone: (540) 568-3787
Fax: (540) 568-8027
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/stusuccess
Student Success is the name of JMU’s collaborative, campus-wide effort to coordinate programs and support services based on cohesive educational goals. Student Success focuses on academic achievement, career development, planning, decision-making and leadership development. Student Success programs are designed to help students assume responsibility for learning so they can complete seamless transitions into, through and out of the university.
The Wilson Learning Center houses the Office of Student Success Programs, Career and Academic Planning, Community Service-Learning, Orientation, University Information @ Wilson, Centennial Scholars, and the Learning Resource Centers: Disability Services, Reading and Writing Resource Center, Communication Studies Resource Center, and Science and Mathematics Learning Center. The On-Campus Recruiting Program, part of Career and Academic Planning, is located in Sonner Hall.