Jun 17, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalogue 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

University College



All freshmen and undeclared transfer students are accepted to and remain in University College until they declare their major intentions, usually by the middle of their sophomore year. University College provides a number of services and programs to assist students in making a smooth transition to their new university academic environment.

University College Advising

University College provides academic advising to all incoming students until such time as they declare their majors. Students are advised either by professional advisors in University College or by University College faculty advisors drawn from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, Watson College of Education and Cameron School of Business. University College advisors focus on each student’s academic success and assist with the student’s transition to college. They provide their students with guidance and encouragement in selecting courses and deciding on majors, meeting academic requirements, maintaining required scholastic standards, and considering possible career choices. Advisors meet with students whenever needed, however, it is mandatory for students to meet with their advisors at least twice in their first semester and at least once in their subsequent semesters to assist with their academic transitions and to plan for course registration. University College advisors can provide students with referrals to various specialized support services within the university to assist them in overcoming difficulties, in exploring options, and in achieving academic and personal success. Advisors also monitor their students’ mid-semester academic progress and their end-of-semester grades and work with students who are having academic difficulty. Advisors provide students with critical and timely information related to academic procedures and regulations. Students are encouraged to read all emails and letters from their advisor and University College. Several intervention programs to help students recover from academic failure and/or difficulty to regain academic eligibility are implemented through University College.

Student-Athlete Support Services (SASS)

Student-Athlete Support Services is a joint effort of the University College and the UNCW Athletic Department, which seeks to support the academic enrichment and life skill development of every Seahawk student-athlete. SASS Academic Coordinators work diligently to meet the needs of student-athletes’ healthy balance of athletic demands while maintaining satisfactory academic standards.

Once student-athletes are admitted to the university, Student-Athlete Support Services Academic Coordinators assist them with registration, sequencing and scheduling of required courses, and selection of a major. They also arrange tutoring assistance and monitor student-athletes’ grades, class attendance, study habits, and progress toward a degree. When a student-athlete declares his or her major, the Academic Coordinators continue to monitor academic performance and progress in conjunction with the student-athlete’s departmental advisor.

Central to the role of SASS is the maintenance of a strong working relationship between the program advisors and the university’s athletic department and coaches. The Academic Coordinators are knowledgeable about NCAA and CAA rules that apply to eligibility for practice and competition. They are available for consultation when unusual or difficult rule interpretations are needed. They also play a key role in the athletic certification process for all student-athletes.

Student-Athlete Academic Eligibility Requirements

Student-Athlete Support Services helps to monitor the academic progress of each student-athlete as it relates to NCAA, CAA and institutional rules and regulations. The following are examples of rules applying to a student-athlete’s academic progress:

  • Student-athletes must be enrolled in no fewer than 12 semester hours (full-time) during the fall and spring semesters to be eligible for practice, competition and financial aid.
  • Student-athletes must earn at least six (6) semester hours each semester to be eligible for the following semester.
  • Student-athletes must earn 18 semester hours during the regular academic year (fall and spring).
  • The NCAA requires student-athletes to maintain progress towards a degree and has set benchmarks they must meet throughout their career. Student-athletes must earn: 24 hours prior to the start of their third semester; 40% of a degree prior to the start of their fifth semester; 60% of a degree prior to the start of their seventh semester; 80% of a degree prior to the start of their ninth semester.
  • The NCAA requires a student-athlete to designate a major by the beginning of their fifth semester, or to be
    taking major courses that lead to a degree, as certified by the dean or an appropriate academic advisor
  • Student-athletes must declare and be accepted into a major field of study before or during the semester that they complete 45 semester hours of credit.
  • Student-athletes must meet UNCW and NCAA minimum cumulative grade point averages in order to compete.
  • In order to determine initial athletic eligibility, all student-athletes must be approved through the NCAA Eligibility Center.

A number of other policies affect a student-athlete’s participation in a varsity sport. Additional information can be found in the Student-Athlete Handbook.

NCAA Academic Requirements for Continuing Eligibility

The minimum guidelines defining satisfactory progress toward a degree for student-athletes are as follows:

Year 1 - Freshman

  • Earn a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester to maintain eligibility for the following semester.

By the beginning of Year 2

  • Earn 18 credit hours during the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • Earn 24 credit hours before the start of the third semester of enrollment.
  • Maintain at least a 1.80 cumulative GPA.

Year 2 - Sophomore

  • Earn a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester to maintain eligibility the following semester.
  • Maintain at least a 1.80 cumulative GPA through the third semester for eligibility the following semester.

By the beginning of Year 3

  • Earn 18 credit hours during the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • Declare a major.
  • Meet 40% of degree requirements.
  • Maintain at least a 1.90 cumulative GPA.

Year 3 - Junior

  • Complete a minimum of 6 degree applicable hours each semester for eligibility the following semester.
  • Maintain at least a 1.90 cumulative GPA through the fifth semester for eligibility the following semester.

By the beginning of Year 4

  • Earn 18 degree applicable hours during the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • Meet 60% of degree requirements.
  • Maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.

Year 4 - Senior

  • Earn a minimum of 6 degree applicable hours each semester for eligibility the following semester.
  • Maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA through the seventh semester for eligibility the following semester.

By the beginning of Year 5

  • Earn 18 degree applicable hours during the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • Earn 80% of degree requirements.
  • Maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.

University College Curriculum

The University College coordinates The First-Year Seminar (UNI 101), a variety of Learning Communities, and Synergy, UNCW’s Common Reading Program, to assist students in making a successful adjustment to college life, developing academic skills, and enriching their educational experience.

First-Year Seminar

The First-Year Seminar is a graduation requirement taken by all freshmen in their first semester on campus. The course provides incoming freshmen with skills, strategies, resources, and information necessary to make a successful academic, personal, and social transition to UNCW.  The learning outcomes of this course assist students in making a successful adjustment to university life, developing effective study strategies and problem solving skills, enhancing information literacy competency, establishing an academic plan, and engaging in career exploration. The small class size allows for mentor relationships with instructors and academic advisors.

Learning Communities (LC)

First-year students have opportunities to participate in a First-Year Seminar that is connected with a Learning Community during their first semester at UNCW. A Learning Community is a group of students enrolled in two or three classes together. These clustered courses are organized around common themes, disciplines, or skill acquisition.

Athletic Training and Nursing Learning Communities provide students pursuing one of these majors the opportunity to share two key courses that must be completed in the first semester coupled with a First-Year Seminar that is geared toward the major. Academic support, program requirements, and career options are emphasized.  

Cornerstone Learning Communities (CLC) are housed in UNCW’s Cornerstone residence hall. This living-learning program allows students to select a CLC consisting of three integrated courses and to reside with their classmates. Students are accepted into this program through application and attend their CLC classes in classrooms located in Cornerstone residence hall. The courses are appropriate for first-year students, and the program is designed to aid students in their transition to college. Cornerstone Learning Communities foster strong connections between students, faculty and advisors. The learning experience is enhanced by supplemental programs in the residence hall.

Excellence through Cultural Engagement and Leadership (ExCEL) is a non-residential learning community for first-year students that provides curricular and co-curricular experiences designed to cultivate the diverse knowledge and skills that students will need to become engaged in their educational, local, and global communities. Through the development of effective personal styles of leadership, ExCel students aspire to become knowledgeable, compassionate, contributing citizens. Upon admission, select students are invited to apply to this learning community which includes three integrated University Studies courses.

First-Year Seminar Learning Links connect First-Year Seminars, with one other University Studies course. This 5-7 credit hour module facilitates the development of academic and cognitive strategies within the context of a specific academic discipline or theme. It provides an opportunity to apply First-Year Seminar skills directly to the shared University Studies course. It also emphasizes the formation of student support systems with faculty, academic advisors, peers, and UNCW services. First-Year Seminar Learning Links provide students an opportunity to increase intellectual acuity while exploring issues critical to their long-term success. 

PULSE is a non-residential learning community designed specifically for first-year students who plan to pursue a professional graduate program in the health field. All students in PULSE are enrolled in the same sections of

 ,  , and  . In addition, students are in the PULSE First-Year Seminar. This course introduces academic resources and assists in developing personal skills that will enhance the academic experience and promote the overall success of a pre-health student. BIO 201 and CHM 101 are two courses that are required for admission into any graduate program for a health profession.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Learning Community (STEM) is designed to support students pursuing a major in STEM related disciplines. Students will develop effective academic strategies to apply in their study of STEM subjects as well as other academic disciplines. This learning community offers co-curricular activities designed to promote early engagement with STEM departments, faculty, staff and students. Students are also introduced to available undergraduate research opportunities, and explore STEM related careers. Upper-class STEM students serve as peer mentors within this learning community. Students in the STEM learning community may choose a residential (Schwartz Hall) or nonresidential experience. 

Synergy, UNCW’s Common Reading Program, supports the university’s mission of integrating teaching, research, service, stimulation of intellectual curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and thoughtful expression. It is designed to intentionally reinforce the expectations of the university environment through scholarly engagement. Synergy unites the efforts of entities on-campus and in the surrounding community to bring about a combined positive effect greater than that which these elements could achieve working separately.

The Leadership and Service Learning Community has at its core a mission to inspire emerging leaders through active community service and civic engagement. Students participating in this program will reside on the Hewlett Hall fourth floor and participate in one of two EDGE (Explore, Discover, Grow, Engage) First-Year Seminar courses. Leadership and Service Learning Community participants cultivate their leadership skills through participation in programs facilitated by the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Students begin work toward leadership certification through completion of educational workshops and community service opportunities.