Student Programs and Support


Alpha Academic Services TRIO Services
Academic Development Center Writing Center
Career Center Student Success
Library Resources Study Abroad


   Alpha Scholars Program

Alpha Scholars Program 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 Scholars Program, contact:
Scott Self, Director • ACU Box 29204 • 325-674-2592 •

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Academic Development Center

The Academic Development Center (ADC) provides services that empower students to accomplish their academic, career and life goals. ADC pro-actively identifies, support and empower at-risk students and advises undeclared students to accomplish their academic and life goals.

   SOS Program
The SOS Program is a unique referral program designed to support students, parents and faculty/staff. Struggling students are referred via an online referral system and then contacted by a counselor to assess the situation. Students are referred to the appropriate campus resource (such as Alpha Academic Services, the University Counseling Center or Residence Life) that can most effectively meet their needs. Common referral issues include:
     • Personal/Family Crises
     • Academic Struggles
     • Connecting Socially at ACU
     • Roommate Problems or Disputes

To submit an SOS referral or to learn more about the program, visit

The SOS Program also houses a Midterm Intervention Project. Each semester we assess all undergraduate students' midterm grades and contact them through our early alert program to offer assistance, academic counseling and appropriate referrals.

Freshmen Academic Probation Program
The Academic Probation Program is designed to provide support to freshmen under academic probation. Through this probation counseling process, ADC provides structure, accountability, and support to these students. Every probation student’s situation is unique therefore an individual counselor is assigned to assist the student with planning and accountability throughout the semester. Students are contacted and counseled throughout the semester and the semester is framed as a new beginning in the student’s academic career.

Undeclared Advising Program
We provide a home for students who are still deciding on their major by helping them choose their classes and build their schedule each semester.  We pay special attention to the classes our deciding students take to try to ensure that they only take the core classes. These core classes are classes that will count in many of the majors they might eventually choose. 

University Testing
The University Testing Center offers a wide range of standardized testing and proctoring services. The Residual ACT is available for prospective students to aid the admission process. We administer THEA exams, which are required for all students in our Teacher Certification programs. CLEP tests and course challenges are available in a variety of subjects for students who wish to earn course credit by examination. The Testing Center also processes all AP credit that students earn while in high school. In addition, we administer MAT exams for students entering graduate school and offer professional proctoring services for distance learners.

For more information about the Academic Development Center, contact:
Deon Botha, Director • ACU Box 28064• 325-674-6400 •

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Career Center

The ACU Career Center improves students’ ability to compete for career and graduate school acceptance through counseling, coaching and connection assistance. Here is a brief summary of the assistance provided:

D!scovery (career counseling), helps students find their unique gifts, talents, abilities and purpose. Students will find or confirm their choice of career and college major. The program includes:

  • Discovery workshops and seminars
    • Understanding personality, interests and values
  • Career Assessments
    • Exploring work that fits your talent, interests and values
    • Vault on-line career library, O-Net
  • Career and Life Planning Class (PSYC 100)
  • Individual career counseling

The coaching program helps students refine their professional communications. Students participate in workshops and one-on-one sessions for help with resume writing, cover letter writing, interviewing and networking skills.

Connecting students to networking and career opportunities is accomplished through:

  • ACU CareerLink ( – our online career management system connects students with employers and alumni, providing internships, and full-time opportunities.
  • Career fairs and on-campus job interviews with corporations, school districts, churches and other organizations.
  • Alumni career information and mentoring sessions
  • Job and networking search strategy workshops and one-on-one sessions

For more information about the ACU Career Center, contact:
ACU Box 27914• 325-674-2473•

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Library Resources

The Margaret and Herman Brown Library provides resources and instructional assistance to support teaching, learning, and research at ACU. Students have Internet access to the Library’s catalog of more than 1.5 million volumes and 1 million microforms held by ACU and other members of the Abilene Library Consortium. Students can also access more than 20,000 journals, many of them full text.

The university has access to information statewide through TexShare as well as nationally and internationally through inter-library borrowing and lending. ACU houses a selective depository for U.S. Government Publications and important archives and collections including the Center for Restoration Studies.

Students engaged in research are often in the Learning Commons, a unique environment that brings together library resources; assistance with writing, speaking, and study skills, and Team 55, a service center for computers and mobile learning devices. The Learning Commons has become ACU’s destination place for learning beyond the classroom.

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

For more information about the Learning Commons, contact: Laura Baker, Emerging Technologies Librarian, ACU Box 29208, 325-674-2477.

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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 650 students per academic year.
  • Upward Bound serves Abilene Independent School District students in grades 9-12. This program provides tutoring and college preparatory advising throughout the school year. During the summer, students participate in an intense, six week college going experience on-campus. The program objectives are to increase the rate at which participants complete high school and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post secondary education. This program is funded to serve 55 students.
  • 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 first-generation low-income, or are ethnically 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:

Oscar Ramos, Director • ACU Box 29205 • 325-674-2862

Gayla Herrington, Director • ACU Box 29207 • 325-677-1444, x8074

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

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

Phone: 325-674-2456
Fax: 325-674-6731

Student Success is an intensive academic program which provides cognitive, affective and applicative skills useful for helping students achieve academic success.  This program helps students realize success by experiencing effective learning strategies and consistently applying these newly acquired strategies to all other college courses.

The Learning Strategies course (UNIV 011) is designed to help students experience academic success through:

  • Completion of an academic organizational planner
  • Confidential, 30-minute, one-on-one weekly meetings with instructors and/or peer advisors concerning specific academic and personal needs
  • Logging of study hours in order to establish effective academic habits
  • Meetings with instructors in order to develop and foster positive, effective, student-to-instructor relationships which will allow for accurate tracking of academic progress throughout the semester.

The Student Success Workshop course (UNIV 012) is designed to help students experience academic success through individualized plans that coordinate with the other courses in which they are enrolled. Learning styles for each student are identified and strategies are taught to maximize their strengths. Students are held accountable for implementing these proven strategies during the semester to aid them in achieving their academic goals.

Any student may enroll in these beneficial courses (UNIV 011 and UNIV 012), however; entering freshmen admitted on academic probation are required to participate in the Student Success Program (UNIV 011 and UNIV 100) as a condition of their admittance. In their second semester, entering freshman admitted on academic probation will be required to take UNIV 012 as a post requisite if a grade point average of 2.49 or above is not achieved in the first semester. Additionally, any upper-level student, including second semester freshmen, who are placed on academic probation or who are struggling with their course work, 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 124

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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Vision in Action

Watch the video above to witness the future of Abilene Christian University taking shape.

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