Jun 24, 2024  

Special Programs

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The Heritage Advancement Office

The Heritage Advancement Office promotes the university’s work in the community and provides opportunities for constituents to participate in Heritage projects and partnerships. The Advancement Office is responsible for marketing, fund-raising, and public relations. It also facilitates many community partnerships, special tours and events, and alumni activities. Graduates are an important part of the Heritage community, and the Advancement staff helps keep our alumni connected with the life and support services of the university.

The Alan Pifer Academic Skills Center

General Description

The Academic Skills Center (ASC) at Heritage University provides several services designed for new and returning students. The center’s goal is to help each student become a successful, independent learner. The ASC provides individual tutoring and small-group study sessions in English, mathematics, and all the General University Course Requirements. Tutors for advanced classes are recruited on a semester-by-semester basis. Additionally, the ASC utilizes written resource materials and computer-assisted instruction. For students who have missed tests, a makeup test service is provided.

Academic Placement Testing

The Academic Skills Center (ASC) offers placement testing using COMPASS-ESL and a locally developed writing exam for freshmen or transfer students to assist with selecting courses in English, mathematics and reading. The approximate time for the initial assessment is two to three hours. Results are provided to students in a letter. The student may also request a personal conference. A copy of the placement test is kept in the ASC.

Tutorial Support

Tutorial support is provided by faculty members and by peer tutors who are hired specifically to tutor. In addition, some instructors volunteer additional time outside of their regular office hours. Most peer tutors are work-study students who have mastered particular subjects. Tutors are selected for their ability to be patient and supportive while fostering academic independence. Access to tutoring is available through referral from the instructor or by direct request from the student.

The most common kinds of tutoring are one-on-one or small-group sessions. Many individual sessions happen on a drop-in basis; however, group sessions are usually arranged by appointment. Some students organize themselves into small study groups and use the ASC as the site for their study.

Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is available to students who want to study independently. Some software is available that includes pretesting and post-testing in reading, math, writing and grammar. After the pretest, students are directed to study specific modules within the program. When all recommended modules are completed, the students post test. Students may access most CAI software through the campus computer network. Some software use is free and some requires payment of a fee.

During semesters, the ASC is open Monday through Friday. Hours for Monday through Thursday are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Hours on Friday are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Heritage University offers several programs through which students interested in graduate studies can prepare for the GRE and learn universal strategies that will help them prepare for other mandatory entrance exams, e.g. GMAT, LSAT, etc. Two programs that currently include standardized test preparation are the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) and students may receive Honors credit by enrolling in the class or may take the class as part of the MMUF Program for none-credit. There is no charge for the non-credit option. The credit option requires tuition payment. Please contact the College of Arts and Sciences for the schedule and/or more information.

Heritage University HEP Alliance

Heritage University, in partnership with the Opportunity Industrialization Center (OIC) JTPA 402 Program, formed the Heritage University HEP Alliance. United in the effort to better serve students and their families, Heritage University and OIC implement a comprehensive, commuter-based HEP program. HEP serves 200 students per year in the five regions where the majority of migrant and seasonal farm workers in the State of Washington live.

The primary focus of the alliance is to recruit students to an academic program preparing them for their GED tests. Each site has skilled instructors with a high degree of understanding and dedication to the migrant population.

In order to qualify, students must not be enrolled in school, must possess a migrant or seasonal background, and be at least 16 years of age. The student may qualify if he or she works in seasonal or migrant farm work or if his or her parents or guardians work in seasonal or migrant farm work. For more information, please contact the HEP Alliance at Heritage University or any of our site offices in Mount Vernon, Wenatchee, Yakima, Sunnyside or Toppenish.

Heritage Enterprise Institute

The Heritage Enterprise Institute (HEI) is the entity at Heritage where special programs serving community needs are developed and implemented. Ideas may be generated from HEI, from the larger campus community, or from the community at large. HEI evaluates the new ideas based upon the mission of the university, and the feasibility, desirability, and income potential of the idea. If an idea is transformed into a project, HEI may serve as the administrator on a permanent basis, or until the idea can be transferred to an existing academic or administrative division of the university.

HEI is always seeking new and innovative ways to pursue the educational and administrative goals of the university and encourages the university community and the communities that we serve to participate in this process.

Institute for Student Identity and Success (ISIS) 

The mission of ISIS is to increase the number of four-year degree recipients among low-income, first-generation-to-college students by assisting faculty and administrators to acquire new research knowledge and practices that foster degree completion by “New Majority” students.    The Institute develops materials and provides professional development for college and university faculty based on data gathered nationally about successful strategies and practices.  Utilizing the experience of Heritage University faculty and the input of Heritage University students to augment the national research, the Institute is studying topics ranging from effective pedagogical techniques, to faculty beliefs and attitudes about student success, to the value of spirituality supports in non-denominational institutions.  For more information, contact Director Kathleen Ross snjm, President Emerita and Professor of Intercultural Communication, or one of the ISIS Research Assistants.

Integrated Studies Program

The Integrated Studies Program combines course from a variety of disciplines to enhance students appreciation of the intergration of knowledge. For example; offerings have included a none-credit integration of world civilization, world literature and world art; a six-credit science/science fiction integration; a six-credit world culture and world literature integration; and six-credit social theory/social work combination. Faculty members from appropriate departments team-teach the courses.  

Lifelong Learning Institute and Continuing Education

The college recognizes that learning is a lifelong endeavor. The Lifelong Learning Institute expands Heritage University’s response to community educational needs in non-traditional ways. Through the institute, a wide variety of classes, seminars, and workshops is available for credit and non-credit.

Heritage University way award continuing education unit (CEU)/clock hours to adults who participate in Heritage University -related noncredit, continuing-education activities. Normally these activities are sponsored by 1) a University college, department or other unit; 2) a not-for-profit organization with an educational mission; 3) a for-profit group with an HU co-sponsor. In no instance shall the award of CEU be equated with college credits applicable toward a degree.

Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs for further information related to the Lifelong Learning Institute or continuing education.

Mellon Mays Fellowship Program

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation sponsors the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program (MMUF) at Heritage University. This graduate studies preparatory program offers financial support to emerging upper-division students who are interested in pursuing academic research in the arts and sciences. The fundamental objective of MMUF is to increase the number of minority and Native American students, as well as others who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating racial disparities and who will pursue a Ph.D. in a core field in the arts and sciences. The program aims to reduce, over time, the serious underrepresentation of these groups in academia (mmuf.org).

Each spring, a call for qualified applicants is issued across the university. Any student who meets the following criteria may apply:

  • Sophomore standing (at least 30 credits)
  • GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Statement of intent to pursue a graduate degree (see Mellon coordinator for a handout outlining a structure for the essay)
  • Three strong letters of recommendation from faculty (see Mellon coordinator for a handout of content expectations)

Approximately five fellows are selected every year. Awards are for two years (contingent upon adequate levels of participation).

An interdisciplinary committee of faculty members reviews student applications for admission to this program. Students receive a summer stipend to explore topics of interest (first year) and/or conduct faculty-mentored academic research (second year). Various levels of academic scholarships are awarded each fall and spring semester (amounts to be determined by levels of participation in and compliance with the MMUF program).

Writing-Intensive Courses

Recognizing the importance of good writing skills in students’ employment or advanced studies, Heritage University has instituted an intensive writing requirement to ensure that students continue to develop these skills throughout their academic careers. After passing through the mandatory composition sequence (ENG 101  and ENG 102 ), all students must complete at least four (4) writing-intensive courses, of which at least two (2) must be in the student’s major field of study and at least two (2) must be from the upper level (3XXW or 4XXW). Courses indicated by a “W” in the catalog and semester course schedule fulfill this requirement.

Students enrolled in writing-intensive courses can expect writing assignments throughout the semester. These assignments will be designed to teach the writing skills appropriate to that discipline. Thus, depending on the nature and level of the course, the written work may vary from response cards, lab reports, essay examinations, or other short but frequent assignments to longer reports or academic papers. Students whose written work needs improvement will be referred to the Academic Skills Center or the Writing Center for tutoring both during and after the semester.

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