Sep 20, 2020  
2019-20 Catalog 
2019-20 Catalog

University College

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The University College has two primary goals:

  • To prepare students to meet the standards of the faculty
  • To offer programs that encourage educational attainment and graduation

All new degree-seeking students are initially admitted to the University College.  With the exception of selective programs, students matriculate into the academic department of their choice once they have demonstrated proficiency in college-level English and mathematics.

Students seeking admission to selective programs will move from the University College to the program of their choice upon admission to that program. 

The University College houses the Department of General and Transitional Education, the Student Success Center, The Office of Career Services and Workforce Development, and SSU Online.



If you lack college-level academic skills in basic English or mathematics, you may be required to take developmental courses in these areas.

Developmental courses provide under-prepared students an opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in college-level coursework. They are intended for students who have had no background in a subject, inadequate preparation in a subject, or have been away from school and need review. Credit hours earned in developmental courses, cannot apply toward degree requirements.


At Shawnee State University, we want you to be successful. We want all students to reach their education goals, including earning a degree.

While we can’t predict which students will be successful in college, we know that those who enter as freshmen with certain risk factors often struggle with college material. These students are more likely to fail courses, stop showing up for classes, and eventually drop out with college debt and no degree. When this happens, we all fail.

Students are identified as needing support when they enter college, based on placement scores (ACT, SAT). Students with two or more developmental needs (mathematics, English, reading) are enrolled in the program.

To help give you the extra support, skills, and attention you may need to be successful, we have created our Bridge to Success program that leads to a degree or alternate educational pathway.

For more information, click here to visit the Bridge to Success web page.


The Associate of arts in General Studies is the study of college math, science, history, English and social studies with no specific major. The general studies degree requires the student to fulfill 60 college credits with specific credits from the general education categories.

Many students choose to major in a two-year general studies degree, completing many of the core courses required for a four-year degree, while they consider a Bachelor Degree for their career path.  However, an associate’s degree in general studies doesn’t have to be a stepping-stone to a Bachelor’s Degree, it can be an end in itself, with a variety of employment opportunity choices for students.


The bachelor of individualized studies (BIS) is administered by the University College. Students interested in a BIS program should contact the dean of the University College.

The BIS is intended for undergraduate students who wish to pursue an area of study (or combination of areas) which is not available in other academic programs at Shawnee State. The proposed course of study must not closely parallel programs already offered at the university. The desire to avoid certain specific requirements of existing majors or degree programs is not a sufficient justification for choosing a BIS program.

This degree may be particularly useful to working students taking evening, weekend, or off-campus classes. Also, the BIS may be used to combine the coursework from an associate degree program with an area of concentration from another field of study. For example, students completing an associate degree in one of the health sciences programs may elect to include an area of concentration in health management or business administration for a BIS degree.


The significance of a university degree is that the graduate possesses certain valuable and important characteristics that transcend any particular major or professional training. Shawnee State University’s General Education Program (GEP), which all graduates must complete, is designed to enhance the various major courses of study in order to ensure that every graduate is a well-educated person. Well-educated people are guided by a spirit of inquiry; they are independent learners, broadly learned and capable of seeking out and understanding new information; they are creative and careful thinkers and communicators; and, they are able to take a historical, global, and ethical perspective, which helps them to imagine and pursue change. Most importantly, well-educated people are able to recognize the inter-connectivity of ideas from a variety of disciplines. They are also able to balance varying disciplinary perspectives and remain comfortable with ambiguity.

A more complete description of the essential learning outcomes for each category can be found here:


Shawnee State University has designed its Honors Program to meet the needs of students with exceptional academic ability and curiosity. Courses that fulfill Honor Program requirements give these students a unique opportunity for reflection, discussion, investigation and one-on-one interaction with Honor faculty members. The program brings Honors students together in a challenging but supportive environment which nourishes their intellectual, social and creative growth.

The Honors Program includes both curricular elements (e.g.: academic coursework), as well as co-curricular elements (e.g.: symposia, experiental learning opportunities, etc.) Admission to the Honors Program at Shawnee State University is selective and competitive. As the Honors Program is a four-year program, admission to the Honors Program is limited to Bachelor’s Degree-seeking students.

Click here for detailed information about the Honors Program, including admission requirements, curriculum, and benefits.

Additional questions about the Honors Program can be directed here.


The Student Success Center (Massie Hall) provides academic resources and advising services.  The resources include: tutoring, mentoring, study tables, supplemental instruction, ADA Support, placement testing, and make-up exams.  External testing is offered as well (i.e., GED, TOEFL, PROV, ETS, and Pearson Vue exams). 


The English and mathematics placement policies direct you into the University curriculum and ensure that you register for courses that match your level of academic preparedness for college-level coursework.

All first-time, degree-seeking students are placed by their ACT or SAT scores for both English and mathematics. If you are entering the University with credits from other colleges or universities, you must participate in the English and mathematics placement process if you lack transferable English or mathematics credits.

  • If you enter with an ACT English subscore of 18 or higher (SAT 430) and a reading subscore of 16 or higher, you will be permitted to register for ENGL 1101.
  • If you enter with an ACT English subscore of 24 or higher (SAT 550) and a reading subscore of 16 or higher, you will be permitted to register for ENGL 1102.
  • If you enter with an ACT mathematics subscore of 18 -21 or an SAT mathematics subscore of 425 -500, you will be permitted to register for MATH 0102, 1100, 1170, or STAT1150.

Additional information on placement in math: If you are not satisfied with your math placement, please contact the Department of Mathematical Sciences at (740) 351-3301.

Additional information on placement in English: A student may petition for the opportunity to challenge his or her placement.  Contact  the chair of the Department of English and Humanities or the Director of Composition to discuss the appeals process.


Students who receive a non-passing grade or a “W” in any DE course may repeat that course twice.  Should students fail to earn credit in their third attempt, they must petition the Academic Appeals Committee to be admitted to the class.  The decision of the committee is final.  Courses in which a passing grade was earned may be repeated unlimited times.


If you intend to pursue a degree but are undecided about your major, you may remain “undecided” until you earn your first 60 semester hours of credit.  At the completion of 60 hours, you are required to declare a major or you are prohibited from registering for classes.  The CAS and CPS academic advisors will assist you with this process. The Office of Student Career Development supports students who are undecided in choosing a major/career.  All undecided students should select “an area of interest” as a concentration when applying to Shawnee State University.


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