Student Programs and Support

Resources and Services

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:
James Scudder, Associate Director • ACU Box 29204 • 325-674-2592 •

Back To Top

Student Success Program   

J. Scott Self, Director
ACU Box 27939, Abilene, Texas 79699-7939
Hardin Administration Building, Room 314
Phone: 325-674-2456
Fax: 325-674-6731


Vickie Cardot, Associate Director, Instructor

Clarissa Pyeatt, Instructor

J. Scott Self,Director, Instructor

Hilary Walton, Instructor


UNIV 011 Learning Strategies

UNIV 012 Student Success Seminar 

The Student Success Program is an academic program that offers up to 4 credit hours of instruction to help students who desire to increase their academic potential. Conditionally admitted students are often enrolled in this program. Departments may choose to enroll a struggling student who is within their discipline. Student Success works hand-in-hand with all other academic programs and resources for the benefit of the student who desires or requires this individual instruction.


The mission of the Student Success Program (SSP) is to support and challenge individual students to realize academic success at their highest potential. Students of all majors are offered the opportunity to take courses (UNIV 011 and UNIV 012) that are designed to help them evaluate and develop academic goals, strengths, and skills, and then to consistently apply those elements to all other courses they are taking.

Program Requirements

Students who are conditionally admitted to the University may be required to be in SSP. Students enrolled in the program must successfully complete UNIV 011. Probationary students must achieve a 2.49 grade point average or higher during the first semester to matriculate out of the program. If a grade point average of between a 2.0 and 2.49 is achieved, the student will be required to enroll in UNIV 012.


Any student may take UNIV 011, including entering freshmen. The course includes three hours of lecture per week, as well as a required weekly meeting with an advisor where the student receives individualized support and personal accountability. Students will learn about motivation, time management, goal setting, individual learning styles, memory, concentration, information organization, exam preparation and exam success.

The focus of UNIV 012 is to encourage the student to achieve personal excellence in their approach to academics as well as their personal lives. Any student can take the UNIV 012 course, including incoming freshmen. However, this course is required for those students who successfully completed UNIV 011 but did not achieve a grade point average of above 2.49 in their first semester. In this course, individual action plans are developed with each student mind to help them reach their academic goals. This course includes two hours of weekly workshops per week for six weeks. At the completion of six weeks, individual meetings begin where the student receives individual support and personal accountability.

Back To Top  

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:
     • Academic Struggles
     • Personal/Family Crises
     • 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 classes which are applicable to a wide range of majors. This includes the University Requirements which 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: Dr. Eric Gumm, Interim Director ACU Box 28064 • 325-674-6400 •

Back To Top  

Career Center   

The ACU Career Center helps students prepare for career opportunities through counseling, coaching and and connections. Following is a brief summary of the assistance provided:

Career Counseling:

ACU offers the D!scovery program to help students:

  • Think about the Christian perspective on calling and how this related to life planning.
  • Understanding personality, interests and values
  • Exploring work that fits their personality, interests and values through a one-on-one counseling session
  • Research the job outlook and salary associated with the "good-fit" career possibilities
  • Develop confidence in their ability to choose a good career path and corresponding major

Career and Life Planning Class (PSYC 100) helps students address the issues touched on
in D!scovery at a deeper level

Career Coaching:

ACU's career coaching offerings help students plan and prepare for entry into their profession of choice. Students participate in workshops and one-on-one sessions for help with searching for internships and full-time opportunities, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing and networking skills. In addition, students have the opportunity to build a life-after-ACU expense management plan by developing a customized spreadsheet with realistic salary targets and personalized expense expectations.

Career Connections:

Connecting students to networking and career opportunities is accomplished through:

  • "Careers in" alumni mentoring events and information sessions. Alumni connect with students around career interests, supplying insights into the preparation required to achieve professional success in their career field.
  • ACU CareerLink ( ) – our online career management system connects students with employers providing internships, and full-time opportunities.
  • Career fairs and on-campus job interviews with corporations, school districts, churches and other organizations.
  • Job search strategy workshops and one-on-one sessions

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

Back To Top 

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 rare book 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.

Back To Top 

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:

Jason Morris, 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 •

Back To Top 

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 •

Back To Top 

Speaking Center  

The Communication department staffs and operates the ACU Speaking Center housed in the campus library. It provides expertise in all aspects of the creation and delivery of presentations. The services are available to all students, faculty, staff, and community members who may require assistance.

For more information about the Speaking Center, contact:
Lynette Penya, Director • ACU Box 28252 • 325-674-4967 •

Back To Top  

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 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, Germany and in Latin America, the university offers programs in these and 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 education healthare, 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 Uganda, Egypt and Australia. 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. 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 university requirements and perhaps major requirements with courses offered in various countries of the world.

Back To Top

Vision in Action

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

Learn more 

Connect with ACU