IUP’s North Star Leading Explorers On A Path To Success

Posted on 8/27/2019 3:52:08 PM

More than 200 people attended today’s ribbon-cutting event for IUP’s University College.

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From left, University College Support Specialists Chartice Watt and Jeremy Risinger; Luke Faust, developmental instructor and advisor in the University College; IUP President Michael Driscoll (holding scissors) talks with student speaker sophomore sociology and human services major Angaziya Malenge, originally from South African and now from Pittsburgh; Timothy Moerland, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Katie Farnsworth, developmental instructor and advisor in the University College; IUP Trustee Susan Delaney; and Michele Norwood, associate vice provost and director of the University College.

The University College is designed to give IUP students the best possible start and support, helping first-year students who are ready for college but who aren’t sure of a major, and first-year students who need support to succeed in college.

New students who have not yet chosen a major are called “explorers,” and in the exploratory studies area, students get specialized advising, learn about career paths, and try out classes in majors being considered. Students chose from seven subject-based, exploratory options as a starting point for finding the right major. These first-year classes count toward graduation, allowing explorers to decide upon a major in a way that is academically safe.

Academic support is offered by the University College with specialized advising, campus procedures and study skills workshops, peer mentors, tutors, and linked classes that are team-taught by professors from different departments. 

University College services are available to all undergraduate students, so students can take advantage of the University College throughout their time at IUP.

More than 600 students (both first-year and continuing students) are currently part of the University College.

Michele Norwood, associate vice provost and director of the University College, opened the event,  calling the University College “built on collaboration and a renewed focus to support all of our students.”

IUP President Michael Driscoll said that “undecided is no longer in IUP’s lexicon—students are explorers; they realize their strengths and weaknesses; we help them to achieve success here, and then they go on to change the world.” The University College is IUP’s “North Star, helping students to navigate the planet that is IUP.” He thanked all those involved in this initiative that brought IUP to this day, and thanked them in advance for “the commitment to students that will continue long after the ribbon is cut.”

Sophomore sociology and human services major Angaziya Malenge, originally from South African and now from Pittsburgh, talked about how the University College reinforced her leadership qualities and, now that she has been helped by the University College, she can help others through the explorer process.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Moerland concluded the remarks by noting that the University College is the “physical home of wayfinding for all of IUP,” and thanked members of the community for their collaboration in building the University College, offering special recognition to University College Director Norwood.

Tours of the University College and the IUP Libraries followed the event.