University College at Wilkes                                         

Center for Student Success

One of the earliest University Colleges was established in London in 1826.   Inspired by the ideals of the philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, University College at London was the first in England to open its doors to all students regardless of sex, religion or political beliefs.  Bentham was a social reformer who believed that education should be made more widely available, especially to those who had previously been denied access to a higher education.  These students were also denied access to the highest quality secondary schools so they often required support to achieve their academic potential.

University College at Wilkes continues this tradition of supporting student achievement through a variety of services and programs that assist students to make the transition from high school to college and beyond.  These programs provide advising, professional career development, a comprehensive array of academic support services, and encourage access for first-generation college students.


The college experience is about transitions.  The transition from high school student to successful professional takes years of rigorous study combined with a series of challenges designed to bring about extensive personal development.  Along this undergraduate journey, students face a number of transitions as they progress through the stages of intellectual and personal growth.  At each stage, University College professionals present a network of guidance and assistance necessary to encourage academic excellence. 

Advising and Career Services

The cornerstone of success in all fields of endeavor involves making informed decisions at the moment of opportunity.  Making the right decisions requires asking the right questions and connecting with the appropriate information.  Our Academic Advising Services and Career Services offer students comprehensive professional guidance beginning with their orientation to campus.  This comprehensive educational and career planning model includes assistance with choice of a major, appropriate course selection, exploration of career options and the identification of potential employers and graduate programs.

The Undeclared Majors Program provides advising for students who wish to explore their options before declaring a major.  Advisors are skilled at assisting students to design a course of study that meets their individual needs.  Exploratory students also participate in a one-credit Career and Life Planning course, in which the instructor works with the advisor and student to create an effective partnership for planning for the future. 

University College also provides specialized advising for students who desire entry into one of our restricted majors, such as pharmacy.  These students benefit from professional guidance to assess their progress and consider essential information when making decisions about their educational plans.   

Academic Enhancement

One of the most important goals of a higher education is to develop and mentor independent learners.  However, at Wilkes, being independent doesn’t mean working in isolation.  University College offers numerous programs to support academic success.

Our Learning Skills Program creates opportunities for students to identify and develop appropriate strategies to improve their learning.  Workshops assist students with a number of essential skills for learning in college, including task management, note taking and test taking strategies.  Other options include a web-based learning skills program or the option of individual assistance.     

University College also coordinates accommodations for students with documented disabilities. To facilitate the learning process, our Disability Support Services provides assistance to both students and faculty.  Students meet with a coordinator and learning specialist to design an individualized plan to overcome barriers to achieving their potential.  For faculty, University College offers resources and guidance to assist them in providing accommodations and promotes compliance with federal and state mandates. 

In addition to these programs, University College supports student success through individual and group tutoring.  Tutorial Services offers peer and professional tutoring for nearly all courses through the first and second years.  For particularly challenging courses, students may also chose to participate in an extensive program of Supplemental Instruction (SI).  SI is a nationally-recognized academic enrichment program that utilizes peer assisted study sessions designed to improve student performance.    


Our Act 101 Program is a state-funded initiative to assist Pennsylvania residents who are the first generation in their families to attend college.  Members of this program receive intensive support services including individualized guidance, financial aid advising, and academic support.  Act 101 also offers opportunities for participation in leadership development and cultural enrichment activities.

For students who lack proficiency in the English Language, University College administers the English as a Second Language Program.  ESL at Wilkes is a comprehensive program of studies designed to build the skills necessary for international students to succeed at an American University.

Students who enter the University through the First Year Program benefit from a mediated transition to college-level studies.  University College staff closely monitor students’ progress and provide support when appropriate.  In addition, students enroll in a First Year Foundations course designed specifically to help them make the most of a higher education. 

University College also offers high school students the opportunity to experience college through the TRIO Upward Bound Program.  Eligible students participate in both an academic year component and a summer residential academy.  This highly successful program is recognized for its holistic approach to helping young people reach their academic goals.