Student Programs and Support

Alpha Academic ServicesWriting Center
Office of Career and Academic DevelopmentStudent Success
Library ResourcesStudy Abroad
TRIO ServicesHonors Program


Alpha Academic Services

Alpha Academic Services is comprised of two separate but related programs. One of these, a federally-funded Student Support Services program (SSS), provides tutoring and counseling services to qualified students. The second program, Student Disability Services (SDS) offers assistance with academic accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Alpha students receive assessment of their individual learning styles and study habits and assistance in adapting study strategies to their unique learning characteristics. SSS is limited to 200 participants per academic year. Qualifications are based on level of parental education, family taxable income, or disability documentation. Participation in SDS is limited to students with documented disabilities that affect the ability to participate fully in academic opportunities. Disability documentation must be current (within 3 years) and include assessment data. Both programs provide service at no additional cost to the students.

For more information about Alpha Academic Services, contact:
Gloria Bradshaw, Director • ACU Box 29204 • 325-674-2275 •

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Office of Career and Academic Development

The Office of Career and Academic Development (OCAD) provides services that empower students to accomplish their academic, career and life goals.

The D!scovery Program
OCAD’s D!scovery Program is focused on helping students find their unique gifts, talents, abilities, and purpose. The available services help students who want to find or confirm their choice of major, including:
     • Individual Career Counseling
     • D!scovery Workshops and Seminars
     • Career and Life Planning Course (PSYC 100)
     • Career Assessments

Career Development
OCAD’s career development services are designed to give students the tools to attain career opportunities. These include:
     • ACU CareerLink ( – our online career management system
        that connects students with employers and alumni, providing full-time, internship, and
        part-time opportunities.
     • Vault Online Career Library
     • Career Workshops, One-on-One Resume Evaluations and Mock Interviews
     • On-Campus Job Interviews with prestigious corporations, school districts, churches
        and other organizations

SOS Program
The SOS Program is a highly-effective support system for students, faculty, and parents, providing an online referral program to connect struggling students with one-on-one support. A counselor contacts and assists referred students to ensure they do not work through any problem or stressor alone. Common referral issues include:
     • Personal or Family Crises
     • Academic Struggles
     • Connecting Socially at ACU
     • Roommate Problems or Disputes

To submit an SOS, go to

For more information about the Office of Career and Academic Development, contact:
Matt Boisvert, ExecutiveDirector • ACU Box 28180 • 325-674-6400 •  

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Library Resources

The Margaret and Herman Brown Library supports the teaching and research programs of the university. Students have Internet access to the library’s online catalog of more than one million items in all formats, including more than 3,000 periodical titles. Students can also access more than 20,000 online journals, many of them full text.

The university has access to statewide information through TexShare, and ACU is part of a regional library consortium. These and other partnerships enable ACU students and faculty to conduct free or inexpensive searches. ACU is also a selective depository for U.S. government documents and is the home for numerous special collections and archives, including the Center for Restoration Studies. Experienced librarians provide personalized support to students, faculty and staff.

In 2006, the library partnered with the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning, the English Department, the Communication Department and other campus units to create the Learning Commons. The Learning Commons, which brings together research guidance, technology assistance, collaborative workspaces, and a cafe, seeks to become ACU’s primary place for learning beyond the classroom.

For more information about Library and Information Resources, contact:
Mark Tucker, Dean • ACU Box 29208 • 325-674-2387 •

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TRIO Services

ACU receives grants from the U.S. Department of Education to fund four programs designed to help underrepresented and disadvantaged students succeed academically in middle school through graduate school. The four programs and their purposes include the following:

     • Talent Search serves students in the Abilene Independent School District in grades 6-12. 
       This program provides enrichment activities to disadvantaged students in these grades to 
       encourage their completion of high school as well as entrance and success in higher 
       education. This program serves 750 students per academic year.

     • Upward Bound serves high school students (grades 9-12) with tutoring and counseling 
       throughout the academic year and provides an intense on-campus summer educational
       experience. The program goals are successful completion of high school and entrance into
       higher education. This program is funded to serve a total of 55 students from Abilene and
       Cooper high schools.

     • Student Support Services serves 200 university students who meet the program
       qualifications with tutoring, academic counseling, and financial assistance to enhance
       their chances of success at the university level.

     • McNair Scholars Program serves approximately 30 undergraduate students at ACU who
       are underrepresented in their chosen field of study. The purpose of the program is to provide
       participants unique opportunities for developing high-level academic and research skills
       needed for successful admission to and completion of master’s and doctoral programs.

For more information about TRIO Services, contact the following people:

Jason Morris, Director • ACU Box 29205 • 325-674-2838 •

Mark Upton, Director • ACU Box 29207 • 325-677-1444, x5567 •

Karen Wilkerson, Director • ACU Box 29206 • 325-674-2514 •

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Writing Center

The Writing Center is located in the Brown Library for students who need help with their writing. Any student in any class who wishes to discuss his or her writing assignment with an experienced and trained tutor can call 674-4833 and schedule an appointment (or drop in, when available) and receive personalized, one-on-one assistance. Appointments last half an hour or one hour, depending on the needs of the student. Services are free.

For more information about the Writing Center, contact:
Cole Bennett, Director • ACU Box 28252 • 325-674-4833 •

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Student Success

Tony Morrow, Director
ACU Box 27939, Abilene, Texas 79699-7939
Hardin Administration Building, Room 314

Phone: 325-674-2699
Fax: 325-674-2238

Student Success is an intensive, successful, academic program which provides the Cognitive,Affective, and Applicative skills useful for helping students achieve academically. This program helps students to: 1) experience effective learning strategies, 2) apply these newly acquired learning strategies to all other course requirements consistently, and 3) realize academic success.

The 3-hour, intensive, Student Success Course (UNIV 011) helps students experience academic success through:

     • Daily completion of an academic organizational planner.

     • Weekly application of specific study skills techniques to homework and 
        examinations in other courses.

     • Weekly exam preparation strategies designed to help students achieve
        success on major examinations in all of their courses.

     • Weekly, 30-minute, confidential, one-on-one meetings with instructors
        and/or peer-instructors concerning specific academic and personal needs.

     • Logging 5 hours each week in an academically conducive study environment for the
        purpose of experiencing habitual information management strategies and discovering
        the positive impact that a conducive study environment incurs upon academic achievement.

     • Quarterly academic progress reports which enable students to track grade-point-average
        achievement at critical times throughout the semester.

     • Required meetings with all course instructors to foster positive and effective
        student-to-instructor relationship development.

Any student may enroll in these helpful courses (UNIV 011 and 012); however, entering freshmen admitted on academic probation are required to participate in the Student Success Program as a condition of their admittance, as well as second-semester freshmen who are placed on probation. Additionally, upper-division students who are placed on academic probation may be required to enroll in these courses by their department chair or academic dean.

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Study Abroad

Kevin Kehl, Executive Director
Center for International and Intercultural Education
ACU Box 28226, Abilene, Texas 79699-8226
Hardin Administration Building, Room 127

Phone: 325-674-2710
Fax: 325-674-2966

Through the Center for International and Intercultural Education, ACU offers many opportunities for students to study abroad as they prepare for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. In addition to year-round programs in England and in Latin America, the university offers programs in other countries at various times in the fall, spring and summer terms. Not only have students learned about the culture, history, literature and languages of the host countries, they have also studied journalism, management, government and religion. As a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, ACU students are eligible to participate in semester-long programs in Costa Rica, Russia, China and Egypt. ACU also has cooperative programs in Hong Kong and Torreon, Mexico.

The center offers students of all majors an opportunity to learn of the host country through life experience as well as through traditional course work. Through first-hand observation, a student with an interest in international business or international politics learns how people from the host country think and operate as well as how their business and systems function, while he or she is learning how experts have analyzed the operations of the society. Students with an interest in cultural aspects of a society can see for themselves how the literature, music, art and history
of a people influence their politics and economics. Students do more than read about unusual geographical features or significant landmarks, for they can see them and place them in relationship to the land and culture that have influenced them throughout their history as well
as today.

Students with majors such as international studies and foreign language may fulfill their international experience requirements by participating in a Study Abroad program. However, all students can fulfill general education and perhaps major requirements with courses offered in various countries of the world.

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Honors Program

Chris Willerton, Director
ACU Box 29142, Abilene, Texas 79699-9142
Hardin Administration Building, Room 216

Phone: 325-674-2728
Fax: 325-674-6581

The Honors Program offers a curriculum of academic enrichment available to undergraduate students in any major. Since the array of courses and teachers varies, students should contact the director for current information. Teachers of honors courses are listed in this catalog under their respective departments.

The Honors Program offers highly motivated students extra stimulation and recognition in
their course work, opportunities to work with selected faculty members and the chance to do independent projects in their major field. Students receive special advising, early registration
and coaching on competing for major graduate scholarships.

The ACU Honors Program differs from others in emphasizing Christian responsibility. Its mission is to give bright students the academic challenge and professional preparation they want, and to do so in a Christian environment.

There are three tracks in the program, University Honors, General Honors and Departmental Honors. The courses required for each will fit into most degree plans. There are no extra costs and (with few exceptions) no extra courses required for Honors Program participation. Frequent social events encourage fellowship among Honors Program students and teachers. Members of the Honors Students’ Association advise the director and carry out arrangements for social events.

The ACU Honors Program is affiliated with the National Collegiate Honors Council and the Great Plains Honors Council.

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University Honors
The University Honors track requires that 30 hours of a student’s degree plan be taken for honors credit, distributed as follows:

     1. Lower-division course work, 18 hours: options include special Honors Program sections
         of selected general education courses (freshman/sophomore University and Degree
         Core), Honors Humanities, Honors Seminar in Social Sciences, and Honors Program 

     2. Upper-division course work, 6 hours: students earn honors credit by contract in courses in
         the major field.

     3. Honors Capstone, 3 hours: students complete research or a creative project in the major
         field during the junior or senior year.

     4. Honors Colloquia, 3 hours: colloquia are interdisciplinary honors short courses, earning one
         semester hour apiece.

A student completing these requirements and attaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 will graduate with “University Honors” (as well as cum laude or other distinctions). This distinction is printed on a certificate to accompany the student’s diploma.

General Honors
The General Honors track requires 21 hours comprised of 18 of freshman-sophomore honors
credit described above, plus 3 hours of colloquia. A student completing these requirements with
a cumulative GPA of 3.5 will graduate with “General Honors” and receive a certificate.

Departmental Honors
The Departmental Honors track requires 12 hours at the junior and senior level: two courses with Honors Program contracts, 3 hours of colloquia and an honors capstone project. A student completing these requirements with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 will graduate with “Departmental Honors” and receive a certificate.

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Admissions Requirements
Students must be formally admitted to the Honors Program before they can register for Honors classes. Applications are available in the Honors Program office or on the Web. Freshman applicants will be accepted unconditionally if they satisfy the following criteria: (1) they must either have a high school grade point average of 3.75 or rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class; (2) they must have either an SAT score of at least 1220 (Math and Critical Reading) or an ACT score of at least 27; and (3) they must submit a satisfactory HP Application Essay. Instructions and the online application are at Advanced students (including transfers) need a solid record in their previous college work. Students whose qualifications are slightly below the standard may petition to enter the program on probation. These students should submit a letter describing their grades and other evidence of high ability and motivation (e.g., special awards or success in honors courses).

To stay in the Honors Program, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 as a freshman, 3.3 as a sophomore and 3.4 as a junior. Graduation with Honors Program distinction requires a 3.5.

Freshman and sophomore Honors Program credit is available in Honors Humanities I-II-III, Honors Seminar in Social Sciences, Honors Seminar in the Arts, Honors Program Service Learning, honors sections of University Seminar and in selected classes in Bible, communication, science, film appreciation, psychology and other fields. Most courses fit into University or Degree Core requirements.

Freshman and sophomore Honors Program classes are limited to 20-25 students and are taught by selected faculty members. No honors classes are offered in summer school. Students may earn part of their honors credit through Study Abroad, collaborative learning (group projects with other honors students), credit by examination and contract work in selected junior/senior-level courses. Up to 6 hours may be earned through Honors Program Service-Learning (this is honors credit only, not degree credit.) Up to 12 hours credit for honors courses taken at another school may be counted toward ACU honors requirements. This transfer of honors credit is assured if ACU has an honors articulation agreement with the other school. Otherwise, honors credit will be accepted at the discretion of the ACU honors director.

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Honors Program freshmen must take any one of the HCOR courses during their first year and are encouraged to take more later. A student’s first and second Honors Humanities classes (HCOR 221, 222, 223, taken in any order) will count as either history or sophomore literature. The third counts as history, literature or fine arts.

Junior and senior credit is available by contract in selected courses in the student’s major. To pursue a contract, the Honors Program student attends the class with non-Honors Program students but does different or additional work that calls for high ability.

Topics for colloquia are announced yearly. They are open to Honors Program students who
have completed at least three semesters of full-time college study. Colloquia are always interdisciplinary, allowing students with any major to find a connection. Each colloquium meets
for 15 clock hours on evenings or weekends and earns 1 hour credit. A colloquium emphasizes reading and discussion, and requires a position paper from each student. Topics have included Politics, Art and Society; The Mind and Healing; Christians and Bioethics; The Problem of Evil;
Music and World Culture;
and Leonardo da Vinci.

The Honors Capstone is an independent project or internship completed during the junior or senior year, that may earn variable credit as a guided study or may be combined with a departmental seminar. The project is directed by a committee of professors and can be tailored to specific career interests. Capstone projects for particular degrees or fellowships can usually be counted as Honors Projects.

Course Descriptions
See the Course Descriptions section of this catalog. Courses offered by the Honors Program include those with the following designation: HCOL, HCOR.

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