Spring Arbor University

Academic Support

Spring Arbor University desires to maximize the God-given talents and abilities of its students, providing a learning center, Academic Student Connections, that acts in a support role as part of the academic program. We strive to ensure that every student has an equal chance to benefit from the programs at Spring Arbor University.

Academic Student Connections offers a variety of services that empower students to maximize their learning experience at SAU. The personal attention helps link students to resources to assist with studying, writing, addressing learning challenges and making adjustments to the academic culture.

The Academic Student Connections Director is currently the official accommodation officer at Spring Arbor University. Professional Studies personnel route requests and services through the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, who consults with the Academic Student Connections Director and follows established ADA policy. The Human Resources Director is the compliance officer.

General studies (GES 050, 060, 100, 110, 112, 115 and 116) are academic support courses designed to strengthen the study, reading, writing or math performance of students who need additional prerequisite skills to be successful in University courses. Students may be recommended to take one or more of the courses by University personnel or students may choose to enroll in one or more of the courses after conferring with appropriate Academic Student Connections personnel, student development or faculty advisor.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

In the academic English program, students study facets of academic English and are prepared for the university classroom. Topics such as writing research papers, reading, effectively using the library, developing computer skills and learning to think critically are all emphasized and reinforced throughout each class. Active learning is encouraged through small classes, qualified instructors and through the use of technology.

Program strengths and emphases

In addition to providing academic support courses, Academic Student Connections is sensitive and understands its responsibilities to provide equal access, accommodation and support for individuals with disabilities. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended in 1992 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Academic Student Connections is proactive in developing specialized accommodations to support the abilities of each individual eligible for such services. Academic Student Connections personnel consult with students, then accept, evaluate, and maintain documentation (consistent with ADA guidelines), establish or negotiate reasonable accommodations to reduce academic barriers for students, and notify professors of the necessary accommodations for the students in their classrooms. Each year, students having need for accommodations must notify the Academic Student Connections of their continuing desire for services. Requests for any type of digitized textbooks should be given one month in advance. Students are responsible for providing documentation and communicating with the Academic Student Connections staff of their ongoing need for adjustment or modification of the support plan established.

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

GES 050 Workshop for Michigan Basic Skills Test (no credit)

A course designed to assess needs and practice strategies to review for the math portion of the MBST for teacher education students. Study sessions will be scheduled five to six weeks prior to announced MBST times in October, January and April. (Offered in fall and spring.)

GES 060 Online Orientation Course (no credit)

Online students explore and develop understanding of the key issues of online learning that directly or indirectly impact online student achievement. The course also facilitates the development of basic proficiency in the use of Blackboard, the Spring Arbor University online learning environment.

GES 100 Writing Experience (1-2)

A course designed for students who have successfully or unsuccessfully completed ENG 103, but need more writing development experience before taking ENG 104. This is a process-oriented class where writing and rewriting of all papers is expected. It will take the writer from an idea to a complete paper. Course content will include development of ideas, different levels of support and patterns of writing. One additional lab hour a week is required for individual feedback from instructor. By permission from the Learning Center only. (Offered in fall, interim and spring.)

GES 110 Study Enhancement (1)

A course for entering students needing modeling and practice using successful study skill enhancement. Primary topics are time management, learning styles, goal setting, strategies for test taking, note taking and reading. GES 112 required as follow-up in the spring. (Offered in fall and spring.)

GES 112 Application: Study Strategies (1)

A course emphasizing application of learning strategies presented in GES 110 and GES 116. Selected content courses being taken concurrently by the students will be monitored weekly through tutorial sessions. Use of student-designed contracts help move the student toward self-management and application of successful study habits. Prerequisite: GES 110 or permission from the Learning Center. (Offered in spring.)

GES 115 College Reading I (2)

(Entrance test required.) A developmental reading course to assist new or returning students on strategies for dealing with university textbooks. Skills covered will include locating main ideas, drawing inferences, summarizing and vocabulary development. (Offered in spring.)

GES 116 Reading and Study Assistance Program (3)

(Entrance test required.) A course designed to prepare a student to successfully handle college-level reading and study tasks. Goal-setting and time management are included early in the semester. Throughout the course, the focus will be on interactive strategies for handling reading, vocabulary development, note-taking and test-taking in targeted general education courses. GES 112 required as a follow-up in the spring. (Offered in fall.)

GES 120 Life/Work Planning (1)

Through group interaction and varied approaches, students are guided toward self-discovery of skills, interests and values for the purpose of relating their uniqueness to career choices. Also includes an overview of career fields and current labor market trends. Graded S/U. (Offered in spring.)

GES 310 Principles of Grant Writing (2)

This course will assist students writing grants to explore funding publications, newsletters and hidden funding sources. This course is designed for individuals who are new to writing grants. (Offered in weekend college only.)

The courses for the ESL program are as follows. Additional courses will be developed as the need arises.

GES 130 ESL Intermediate Topics (3)

This course will offer a variety of intermediate topics allowing the students to focus on a particular area. The topics may vary by semester. (Currently not offered. Program under review.)

GES 131 ESL Intermediate Foundations I (2-4)

This integrated skills English course will focus on reading, writing, listening/speaking and grammar. The specific focus will be on reading strategies, presentation skills, summary writing, introduction to essay writing, and comprehension and analyzation of a variety of authentic texts. (Limited offering.)

GES 132 Intermediate Grammar (2-3)

This grammar course will focus on understanding and using complex grammatical structures. A detailed editing procedure for written work will be introduced and practiced throughout the semester. (Limited offering.)

GES 133 Intermediate Reading (4)

This reading course will emphasize reading strategies to understand the organization of a text and the content. Increasing reading speed will also be a major focus. (Limited offering.)

GES 134 Intermediate Writing Workshop (1-4)

This course will focus on the organization of writing at the sentence and paragraph level. Students will learn to write topic sentences and develop each topic within a paragraph through clear explanations and examples. Effective use of transition words will be emphasized and practiced. (Limited offering.)

GES 135 Intermediate Listening and Speaking (1-4)

This course will focus on developing each student’s ability to communicate fluently and accurately by integrating listening, speaking and pronunciation practice. Specific listening and speaking strategies that focus on the American culture as well as the expectations and requirements of the American classroom will be studied and practiced. (Limited offering.)

GES 136 Intermediate Projects (3)

Students will complete projects such as surveys, newsletters and a group presentation, as well as participate in American culture field trips. While researching for the group projects there will be many opportunities to interact and communicate with Americans in the Spring Arbor/Jackson community. (Currently not offered. Program under review.)

GES 137 Current Issues in American Culture (3)

This course will provide the opportunity to learn modern, idiomatic English—especially as used in U.S. journalism to fully understand the current events and issues in the host American culture. The student will focus on the five major social institutions as expressed in American culture. Students will also be exposed to the cultural elements by which those institutions are articulated such as art, movies, sports and leisure activities. (Currently not offered. Program under review.)

GES 140 ESL Advanced Topics

This course will offer a variety of advanced topics allowing students to focus on a particular area. The topics will vary by semester. (Currently not offered. Program under review.)

GES 141 ESL Advanced Foundations II (4)

This integrated skills English course will focus on reading, writing, listening/speaking and grammar. The specific focus will be expository writing, critical analysis, focused listening, note taking and the analyzation of academic texts. (Limited offering.)

GES 142 Writer’s Workshop (1-4)

This writing course will focus on the organization and development of Western-style academic writing. Students will practice writing referenced research papers, as well as personal essays. Grammatical structures will be analyzed and practiced. (Currently not offered. Program under review.)

GES 143 Biblical Literacy (2)

The course is an introduction to Christianity and Biblical literacy. The basic tenets of Christianity and understanding the Bible will be the focus. (Currently not offered. Program under review.)

GES146 Current Issues in the Global Village (3)

This course will provide the opportunity to learn modern, idiomatic English as used in U.S. journalism to more fully understand global current events and issues from a North American perspective. Students will be asked to research and articulate their own government’s position on specific issues and present those through written and spoken methods of presentation. (Currently not offered. Program under review.)

Contact Academic Student Connections

Contact Academic Student Connections

Academic Student Connections
Email: barbara.coleman@arbor.edu or carolee.hamilton@arbor.edu.

Confidential documentation may be sent to:
Academic Student Connections
Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main St.
Spring Arbor, MI 49283
Fax: 517.750.6660