Mount Vernon Nazarene University: Life Changing

Academic Support

The office of Academic Support seeks to offer a wide range of services to students with various needs in order to enhance academic and personal success in higher education and equip them for lifelong service to God and humankind. Every attempt is made to provide personal, individualized attention. Please click the following links to explore our services.

Peer Instruction | Supplemental Instruction | Academic Success CoursesDisability Services | DocumentationSelf-Advocacy | Textbooks on Tape | Note Takers | Alternative Testing Methods | Test Center | Contact Us

The office was first established in 1991 as a program funded by a grant from the Teagle Foundation. Since that time, the staff and services have been expanded to better serve the growing needs of the campus and MVNU students. There are no additional fees for any of the services listed below that are provided by this office.

Peer Instruction (PI)
Peer Instruction (PI) is a service that is available to all students on the main campus in traditional undergraduate programs who desire assistance with study strategies, time management, or general education core courses. Peer Instructors are student employees hired by the office of Academic Support who are trained to assist peers academically. Students make appointments with Peer Instructors by phone or in person. Students in the nontraditional and graduate programs follow the procedures for this type of assistance as outlined by those programs.

Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an intensive assistance program involving student employees who provide weekly group study sessions for students in designated courses. SI is provided for all students enrolled in the courses with SI attached. The SI Leader attends class daily, takes notes, models how to be a master student, and leads weekly SI sessions outside of class on topics covered during the week. MVNU offers SI for many courses in the General Education Core, including but not limited to the following:
  • American Government
  • Art in the Western World
  • Christian Beliefs
  • General Chemistry I & II
  • General Psychology
  • History and Faith of Biblical Communities
  • Introduction to Math Systems
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Music in the Western World
  • Principles of Biology
  • U.S. History Before 1865
  • U.S. History Since 1865
  • World Civilizations I & II

The SI Leader is a carefully selected student employee who has been successful in his/her respective SI course in a previous semester. The SI study sessions not only involve material covered in the course, but also focus on effective study strategies and time management techniques. National data demonstrate that students who attend SI sessions average from one half to one full letter grade above the average of the students who do not attend SI.

Academic Success Courses
Academic Support offers courses that equip first time freshman students with the necessary skills to make the transition to the academic demands of higher education. These courses are elective courses with credits toward graduation, and any student may choose to enroll. In addition, these courses are required for students who are likely to encounter challenges with college level work, based on indicators of ACT/SAT scores and high school grade point averages.

  • University Success Strategies – This course is designed to equip first time freshman students with skills necessary for achieving academic excellence in a Christian liberal arts context. Emphasis is placed on developing a mindset of lifelong learning that prepares students for meaningful service to God and humankind.
  • Reading Success Strategies – This course provides the students with skills in reading comprehension, reading speed, and vocabulary development for university-level textbooks.
  • Critical Thinking – This course is designed to teach students to evaluate and reason in more multifaceted manner than the approach required for high school. These higher levels of cognitive processes are necessary for the complexity of academics in higher education.
Disability Services
It is the policy of MVNU that no qualified persons with disabilities shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of its programs or activities. Any qualified student who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and/or working, can receive assistance at MVNU as provided in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and in the applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The office of Academic Support serves as the campus contact for any disability related needs that students may have. Below is a brief overview of Disability Services, and more comprehensive information is provided in the following link:

Students who request special accommodations for disabilities must have current documentation of disability on file in the office of Academic Support from a qualified professional, such as a licensed counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician. The documentation should contain the following:
  • Date(s) of Evaluation
  • Diagnosis
  • Reference to the types of evaluation procedures utilized
  • Evaluation results and/or test scores (as appropriate)
  • Limitations of student functioning (especially as related to the higher education environment)
  • Recommendations for accommodations, which are helpful in assisting institutional personnel in determining appropriate and necessary support
  • An accurate and current picture of how the disability impacts the student at the present time, and thus in most cases, the documentation should be less than three years old
When the documentation arrives, the Assignment of Accommodations form is filled out by the Academic Support office and placed in the student’s file. This form specifies the reasonable accommodations that will be provided for the student by MVNU while enrolled as a student.

In order to receive accommodations, the student must personally request specific services each semester. Services are not provided for a student automatically, without a request. To access accommodations, the student comes to the office of Academic Support and fills out the respective forms. The Academic Support staff work together with students to ensure that accommodations are successfully accessed in each course as applicable. The most frequent accommodations provided by the office are listed below.

Textbooks on Tape
Students who have documented need for auditory access of textbook material may have textbooks recorded. After the documentation arrives, students are encouraged to complete the appropriate forms to access this service. It is helpful to complete the forms at least three weeks before the semester begins in order to assure access in a timely fashion. The Textbooks on Tape forms describe the process and policies for effective access to this accommodation in detail. Priority will be established based upon the earliest receipt of documentation and returned forms.

Note Takers
Students who have documented needs for assistance with hand written notes in class may receive notes that are taken by another student in class. There are forms that a disabled student completes, preferably the day before classes begin, in order to access this service. These forms inform the professor of the service that is being provided, and specifies the process for the reproduction of the notes. Enlarged notes can be provided. For Graduate and Professional Studies, the notes may be keyboarded.

Alternative Testing Methods
Students who have documentation that indicates a need for alternative testing methods, such as extended time, rest breaks, oral testing, or testing in a non-distracting environment, may have tests administered in an alternate location selected by the professor or in the Academic Support office. There are forms that are used to access this service, which specify the process and policies in detail. Students are encouraged to start the process of completing the forms the day before classes begin in order to coordinate the process in a timely fashion with professors’ schedules.

Test Center

Contact Us
For more information, please contact us at
or (740) 392-MVNU(6868) ext. 4280
email: Deanna Shira
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