Ferrum College offers a variety of academic opportunities and support services to address the needs of our diverse student body. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize these services to maximize their academic potential.
Academic advising at Ferrum College provides students with information that will strengthen academic performance, enhance the student registration process, and improve timely degree completion.
All freshmen are advised by their Gateway professor. During the second semester of the freshman year, students are assigned to an advisor that specializes in a single major. Students who have not selected a major remain with the Gateway professor until a major is decided upon. While students are ultimately responsible for fulfilling college requirements, advisors are the assisting experts who help students plan an efficient program of study.
Academic Resources Center (ARC)
The ARC houses a number of programs that assist and empower students to achieve academic success. Housed in the lower level of the Stanley Library, the ARC is open twenty-four hours a day and provides a quiet place for students to study or complete individual or group projects. Throughout the day, faculty from varied disciplines hold their office hours in the ARC, giving students an opportunity to work with professors outside of class in a comfortable environment.
Ask ME First Center (AMFC)
The Ask ME First Center (AMFC) is committed to providing first generation college students, those whose parents never enrolled in post-secondary education, with resources that contribute to their academic and personal success. With an emphasis on mentorship, social activities, and pre-professional development opportunities, the AMFC aims to increase retention and graduation rates of first generation students.
Boone Honors Program
The Boone Honors Program has both curricular and co-curricular components. Curricular components, especially the honors seminars, are designed to enhance the honors student’s undergraduate academic experience. Co-curricular components help create a community within the program that builds friendships while supporting curricular initiatives. Any student entering with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher and a combined math/verbal SAT score of 1200 or higher is eligible for honors program membership, and members are awarded scholarship at the highest level of the Admissions/Financial Aid matrix (except for top competitive scholarships). Students who do not meet eligibility criteria upon entry but make the Dean’s List at Ferrum College may apply for membership and should contact the honors director concerning procedures for membership review.
Students who complete the Honors Program are awarded the Boone Honors Medallion at Commencement. They will have completed four honors-designated seminars in lieu of 12 hours of applicable general education requirements and a capstone course taken during the junior or senior year, currently listed as HON 435 - Values and Vocation . Students must earn a grade of “C” or higher and an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher for these seminars, and must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. Please refer to Course Descriptions under the Honors (HON) course designation for a current list of honors seminars.
Additionally, honors students undertake 12 hours of independent honors-enrichment projects. These projects will be undertaken in regularly taught courses, generally in the student’s major or minor, wherein honors students undertake individualized projects outside regular course requirements. The point of honors-enriched coursework is to extend a topic, approach, or project so that honors students gain an enhanced understanding of the area of study and have greater opportunity for individualized research. Students have the option of undertaking an honors thesis project to satisfy up to six hours of the honors enrichment requirement, depending on the scope of the project.
Honors students also complete foreign language study through the intermediate level and are required to undertake a Study Abroad experience; most students fulfill the latter requirement through an E-Term course (thus completing another general education requirement). A travel scholarship of up to $3,000 is available for the honors student for the Study Abroad experience.
Honors students also get early preregistration, and resident honors students are offered a preferential housing option. Finally, honors students are regularly invited to participate in social and cultural outings to museums, lectures, and entertainment venues, at program cost. Contact Dr. Lana Whited, Director of the Boone Honors Program, for more information.
Brother4Brother and Sister4Sister
Brother4Brother (B4B) and Sister4Sister (S4S) are peer mentoring programs in which upper class students provide personal, academic, and social mentoring for freshman students at Ferrum College. Students learn to conduct themselves in a mature manner, discover ways to engage themselves in the Ferrum community and beyond, and develop the skills and attitude required to be successful; both at Ferrum and in their chosen career.
College Skills Courses
College skills courses are designed to support students at Ferrum College who are placed on academic warning or probation. These courses provide special advising to discuss students’ adjustment to college life and transition issues that can impact academic performance. It is the ultimate goal of the course to help students make the fundamental changes that will enable them to become successful.
Early Alert System
Faculty and staff can report student concerns using an Early Alert reporting form. Faculty and staff use the form when they observe any student struggling academically or personally, or to report family or other personal issues that might affect the student’s performance or well-being. Academic professionals then contact students to help them get appropriate support.
Ferrum Foundations is a pre-first semester experience held one week prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. Experiences are designed to facilitate students’ transition from high school to college. Students participate in curricular and co-curricular activities that help develop readiness for college, critical thinking skills, a sense of community, and connection to the Ferrum College campus. Incoming freshmen also register for HHP 149- Selected Topics in Physical Education and earn one college credit.
First Year Experience Program
The First Year Experience Program addresses issues and concerns shared by new Ferrum College students and introduces them to the responsibilities and privileges of living and learning in an academic community. The program is designed to help students adjust to Ferrum College, develop a better understanding of learning processes, acquire academic and social skills crucial to personal and professional success, and take advantage of the campus resources available to them.
The Program consists of Panther PAWS, Connection Weekend, and GWS 101 . New students, both freshmen and transfers, and their parents or guardians, are introduced to Ferrum College during one of the Panther PAWS days scheduled during the summer. When students come to campus in August, they participate in Connection Weekend, a three-day orientation to college life.
Freshmen take GWS 101 , a two-hour, two-credit course that helps students begin their college experience with an integrating academic experience and to achieve familiarity with campus resources and college policies.
International and Intercultural Learning Opportunities
Ferrum College students are provided multiple opportunities to learn about various domestic and international cultures. A few examples are provided below:
The Appalachian Cluster: The Appalachian Cluster examines modernization in Appalachia from several different points of view – English, sociology, and science. All participants take three classes together so that students and faculty form a unique learning community. Classes involved are SOC 101 - General Sociology , ESC 102 - Introduction to Environmental Science , and ENG 101 - Composition and Rhetoric . Students who have already received credit for the freshman composition requirements may enroll in ENG 207 . Any one of these courses can be honors-enriched by students in the Boone Honors Program. While participants learn a great deal about Appalachia, the focus of instruction is general education, teaching basic concepts of science, sociology, and English, using Appalachia as a tool for getting there. The region is close at hand and rich in opportunity. Participants do site visits to locations being studied, learning fundamentals of critical thinking through original research.
Study Away: Ferrum College students may elect to participate in a number of study abroad opportunities, ranging from several weeks to a summer, a semester or a full academic year. International study/travel short term programs are offered regularly by members of the College faculty each May as part of our E-Term courses, as well as at other times of the year. These programs have included, but have not been limited to such destinations as Austria, Belize, England, Honduras, Ireland, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and South Africa. We also have on-going exchange programs with China Three Gorges University in Yichang City, China, Sejong University in Seoul, South Korea and the Pskov Pedagogical University in Pskov, Russia. In addition, numerous approved study abroad providers, such as The Center for Cross Cultural Study: Spanish Studies Abroad, have been popular with the College students, offering additional opportunities for long-term study in areas ranging from Asia to Europe to Central and South America.
Finally, a new initiative of the Methodist Church will support international academic opportunities among Methodist Institutions world-wide, offering exciting new study abroad possibilities. Students are invited to visit the Ferrum College Office of International Programs for guidance in exploring study abroad.
The Math Center provides assistance to students taking any mathematics course or math-related course offered at Ferrum College. Assistance is provided for homework, test preparation or projects. Math faculty are available according to scheduled hours to provide tutoring and help during the week. The Math Center is located on the lower level of the Stanley Library in the ARC.
Office of Academic Accessibility (OAA)
Ferrum College admits qualified students regardless of disability and welcomes the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. The OAA coordinates with various campus partners to ensure equal access to College programs, facilities and services.
Students with disabilities who require accommodations should contact the OAA as early as possible prior to the start of their first academic semester, or upon onset of disability, to initiate the intake and eligibility process. Students who seek academic accommodations must submit current disability documentation to the Director of the OAA to request the desired accommodations.
Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)
Peer tutors are assigned to primarily (but not limited to) introductory level courses. The student PAL facilitator is recommended by the professor and then works with that professor to provide current help. The PAL establishes a schedule for study sessions twice a week, as well as provides extra sessions prior to major tests. Students may also schedule one-on-one sessions with the PAL tutor assigned to their class. A schedule of classes and study sessions can be found on the ARC website, posted around campus and in the ARC.
Think and Learn Center (TLC)
The TLC supports certain sections of first-year courses at Ferrum College. The TLC provides regularly scheduled, out of-class, professionally facilitated learning sessions. These sessions provide an interactive, collaborative review of the difficult material in the course.
The Writing Center is available to all students who seek to improve their writing skills in connection with any course on campus. Students at all levels of ability are encouraged to visit the Writing Center for individual assistance at any stage of a writing project from brainstorming and planning to researching, drafting, and revising. Located on the main floor of the Stanley Library, the Writing Center is open for drop-in visits on a regular schedule of both day and evening hours during the academic semesters and E-Term.