Learning Opportunities and Resources

Integrated Learning Resources

Dennis E. Robison, Dean

Integrated Learning Resources is primarily an academic support unit within the academic affairs division although many of its services are available to the entire university community. Integrated Learning Resources consists of Carrier Library, the Center for Multimedia, the Media Resources Center and Computing Support.

Carrier Library

Barbara S. Miller, Director of Libraries

Carrier Library serves as a focal point for research, study and library instruction at James Madison University. Access to information in the library's collections is provided by its on-line public access catalog, Leonardo, and to electronically retrieved information through CD-ROM and commercial on-line data bases such as Dialog and BRS. The library houses the equivalent of 600,000 volumes including books and periodicals. It currently subscribes to more than 2,300 periodicals and provides quick availability service to additional journal titles through the Document Express Service of Interlibrary Loan and the CARL/UnCover 2, a national article access database. As an authorized U.S. Government Document Depository, the library receives thousands of selected documents on a regular basis throughout the year.

Carrier Library uses the computer-based library system named Leonardo. Leonardo is an on-line catalog and automated circulation system providing access to the library's collections through computer terminals located in public service areas of the main library as well as specialized resource centers. Access outside the library is also available by microcomputers equipped with modems. Carrier Library's reference department provides computer access to numerous databases through CD-ROM based indexes and the university's Academic Computing Center.

One of the library's principle goals is the education of its users, especially students. To that end, a library instruction workbook is an integral part of the freshman English program. The library also has a liaison program which links a librarian to each academic department and school to provide a wide variety of services including COMSEARCH for on-line literature searching, reference services, library instruction for course-related instructional activities and collection development. The library is open approximately 100 hours per week during the academic year. With the exception of the current periodical service area and special collections, the library's collections are on open shelves.

Two specialized resource centers on campus are assisted by the library staff and add to the learning resources available to students: the Educational Media Laboratory in the College of Education and Psychology Building and the Music Library in the Music Building.

Media Resources Center

Jeffrey C. Clark, Director

Located both in Carrier Library and Spotswood Hall, the Media Resources Center provides media equipment, materials and rentals, viewing facilities and a variety of nonprint collections. In addition, the center is responsible for coordinating teleconferences and the installation of classroom instructional technology.

Center for Multimedia

John M. Woody, Director

Located in Carrier Library, the Center for Multimedia assists faculty and staff members and administrators in developing independent multimedia skills and knowledge which support instructional, research and professional activities. The center offers a variety of workshops, seminars and forums on presenting and authoring software, multimedia hardware, and specializing advanced multimedia training. The center also provides consultation for the development of computer presentations, interactive learning modules, nonlinear video editing and traditional projection media.

The center provides a multi-platform environment of Pentium and PowerPc work stations, laser printing and color scanners. Major software includes Astound™, Photoshop™, Authorware™ and Premiere™, all available on both platforms.

In addition, the center houses a CD-ROM library of rights-cleared digital photographic images, black and white clip art, and color images of places, people and JMU events. Sound and digital video clips are also available. A self-serve graphics area provides graphics, text scanning and 35mm slide film recording for computer images.

Full-time staff and student associates are available to help when needed. Students assisting a faculty member with the creation of instructional materials may use the center. A student use form must be signed by the requesting faculty member and director of the Center for Multimedia before using the resources.

Computing Support

Stinson Lenkerd, Director

The university offers many computing services for students and faculty and staff members. In addition to several computing systems for administrative purposes, the university also operates two central computing systems for general use: a VAX/VMS system and an HP/Unix system. These systems have access to electronic mail, bulletin boards, the Internet and the campus-wide information system.

A dozen computing labs with a total of more than 300 DOS/Windows and Macintosh computers are scattered throughout the campus. They have a variety of word processing, spreadsheet, graphics, database and statistical software. All lab computers are connected to the campus network and have access to central computing systems, the Campus-Wide Information System and the Internet.

JMU's campus-wide information system integrates a collection of on-line information relevant to JMU and its community. In the CWIS you will find academic, administrative, event and directory information. You can access the CWIS through its World Wide Web address, http://www.jmu.edu.

Campus Network

The university's campus network connects most buildings on campus for high-speed data communications. About 25 file servers and lab computers for faculty and staff members provide extended disk space, shared software and data files, and shared hardware, such as printers. Any computer connected to the campus network is also connected to the Internet.

The HelpDesk

The HelpDesk is a troubleshooting hotline and information desk. HelpDesk consultants respond to questions and problems from the JMU community on a wide range of computing topics. The HelpDesk is located in Miller Hall, G40. It can be reached by phone at 568­3555, by e-mail at HELP_DESK@JMU.EDU and through the CWIS homepage.

Many guides and handouts are available on line and some are also available in print from the HelpDesk.

Academic Advising

The role of the academic adviser is vital to the mission of James Madison University.

The primary function of the adviser is to assist students in the achievement of their educational goals and in their development as individuals. JMU believes that education should be more than a series of unrelated courses. Effective advising, therefore, assists students in shaping their educational programs to meet their specific intellectual and personal goals. Adviser recognition of student individuality and need for advice beyond the registration process helps ensure student success in college and in life after college.

The advisers do not determine the student's academic programs, but encourage growth and development and recommend ways to deal with common difficulties and concerns. Advisers strive to help students understand and help themselves by familiarizing advisees with available university resources that may assist them in meeting their educational needs, goals and aspirations.

During summer orientation, all new students are assigned to academic advisers who will discuss with them the university's academic policies and procedures, the various programs of study, advanced placement/exemption testing and registration procedures. The students plan their schedules of classes with their advisers and register for the fall semester.

Academic advising is an ongoing relationship between students and faculty members. During spring semester, freshmen who have declared a major are assigned to advisers in the department of their major. Students remaining "undeclared" receive their advising from the Academic Advising Center.

Effective academic advising is based on the assumption that both parties must contribute to the advising process. If not, effective advising will not occur. Central to this assumption are two sets of responsibilities: one for the adviser and one for the advisee.

The Adviser

The adviser's role consists of several responsibilities in assisting students at JMU. Advisers help students define and develop realistic goals, identify the special needs of individual students and refer students to available resources. In addition, advisers assist students in planning an academic program consistent with their abilities and aspirations, support students' progress toward educational/career goals and facilitate the relationship between academic preparation and careers.

The Advisee

The responsibility of fulfilling all requirements for graduation lies with the student; therefore, familiarity with the requirements contained in this catalog is essential. In addition, advisees are responsible for clarifying personal needs, values, goals and abilities to their advisers; for becoming knowledgeable about the policies, procedures and requirements of the university; and for making decisions concerning their own academic career.

Career Services

The Office of Career Services, located on the second floor of Sonner Hall, aids students at various stages of the career decision-making, exploration and job search process. A variety of programs and services exist to provide assistance to students in defining their career objectives, finding out about the current job market and learning how to conduct a job search. A career library augments these services and makes pertinent resources on choosing a career, employer literature, work force trends, employer directories and other employment related literature available.

The 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. Workshop topics include career assessment, values, interests, abilities and career information. A career and life planning course is also offered for freshmen and sophomores to assist them in choosing a major or career field. The course is a one-hour credit block course listed under BGS 200.

Each year business, industry, government, armed forces and educational systems conduct interviews on campus with graduating seniors. Additional job vacancies are posted in the career library and are listed on the JMU JobLine, an automated job vacancy system accessible from a touch-tone phone, 24 hours a day. Through the use of Resume Expert Plus, students may participate in both the on-campus recruiting program and the resume referral service by having their resume sent to employers seeking to fill entry-level positions.

Professional career counselors are available on an appointment basis to discuss vocational objectives relating to the educational background and experiences of the individual student. All services are intended to supplement the efforts of students as they develop their own career alternatives and do not replace the student's own personal search for employment.

Students are welcome to use any part of the services and facilities of the Office of Career Services. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services ensures that the university complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The coordinator arranges needed services to facilitate the academic progress of students who are registered with the office. For more information about accommodations for students with disabilities, call (540) 568­6705.

Academic Honors Program

Dr. Joanne V. Gabbin, Director

The Honors Program seeks to meet the educational needs of talented, highly motivated students by offering increased opportunities for an enriched and demanding curriculum. Administered by the director of the Honors Program and the Honors Committee, this program offers students the opportunity to cultivate the habits of critical thinking, independent analysis and creative expression through small classes and independent study under the guidance of recognized teacher-scholars. 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 briefly described below.

Honors Scholars

Approximately 125 entering freshmen who graduated in the upper 15 percent of their high school classes and who attained Scholastic Aptitude Test scores totaling 1200 or above or American College Test assessment scores totaling 29 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 30 hours in honors, including nine hours of core courses in liberal studies, nine hours of electives in courses designated "Honors" or honors options, six hours in interdisciplinary honors seminars or colloquia and six hours of independent study ­ the senior honors project. 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 students' records when they complete the program.

Subject-Area Honors

Candidates for Subject-Area Honors complete at least 24 credit hours, including a six-hour senior honors project and at least 18 credit hours 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 essay 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 programs are listed in the Schedule of Classes. Several of the honors seminars may be taken for liberal studies credit. A current list includes the following:

HON 200F. Paris at the Turn of the Century
(Fine Arts/Aesthetics)
HON 300C. Democracy and Its Discontents
(History/Civilization or Philosophy/Religion)
HON 300L. Aesthetic Values in American Society
(Philosophy/Religion)
HON 300M. Living Female in America
(Social Science)
HON 300T. Mythologies of Crime and Violence
(Literature)

Senior Honors Project

Departments and schools 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 department head or school director 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.

Interested students are invited to obtain information regarding these programs from the director of the Honors Program.

Continue Learning Opportunities and Resources

Introduction and General Information Directory

Undergraduate Catalog Contents


1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University