Academic Resources

The chief academic resource of any institution of higher education is its faculty and staff. But these committed people rely on programs and facilities which enhance learning.

Orientation and First-Year Experience. Westmont conducts a comprehensive orientation program for all new students before classes begin. All new students (including transfers) must attend the four-day fall orientation program. At Westmont we desire to establish first-year students on a strong academic footing and to assist them in developing sound relationships with faculty and peers. First-Year Seminars provide small discussion based courses that help prepare students for integrative learning. Our First-Year Experience involves both the Academic and Student Life offices in order to best provide for the transition needs of new students. A First-Year Retreat is offered each September as a means to develop relationships and grow in one’s faith. If first-year students have needs or questions, they may contact the Campus Life Office.

Academic Advising. Academic advisors assist students with adjustment to college, the development of an academic program, and career/graduate school planning. In order for this relationship to be effective, students are encouraged to consult advisors on a regular basis. Incoming students are assigned a faculty advisor based upon their expressed major interest. Students may change advisors as their interests or major selections dictate. Courses selected for registration must have an advisor approval. Though advisors are available for advice and consultation, it is the student’s responsibility to know and complete all requirements for a degree. Any general questions should be addressed to the Student Records Office.

Successful Scholars Seminar. Some students may need to strengthen academic skills and disciplines to learn increasingly difficult and complex material. Academic support is available to all students through the Successful Scholars Seminar. Students who do well at Westmont possess good academic skills and discipline, and the ability to organize time and information in efficient and meaningful ways. This seminar is a six-week program that trains students in a variety of skills to help them succeed at Westmont College. If interested, students should contact the Student Records Office.

Disability Services. Westmont is committed to ensuring equal access to programs and services. In keeping with this commitment and in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1990 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, the college will provide reasonable accommodations to students with appropriately documented disabilities. The Coordinator of Disability Services will meet with students to discuss individual needs. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate this process. The office provides referrals to local providers that can be contacted for further assistance. If students require services, or have questions about qualifying for services, they should contact the Coordinator of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services is located upstairs in the Voskuyl Library. See the Disability Services website for further information, http://www.westmont.edu/_offices/disability/.

Writers’ Corner. All students can receive help with their writing by dropping in at Writers’ Corner in the Learning Commons of Voskuyl Library. The staff of peer tutors is trained by the English Department and will assist clients at any stage of the writing process. For the most recent information about the writing center, visit the Writers’ Corner website via the English department homepage.

Library & Information Services. Roger John Voskuyl Library, named for Westmont’s third president, provides services and resources to support students, faculty, and staff. The library collection includes books, periodicals, electronic resources, music scores, DVDs, and sounds recordings. Librarians work closely with academic departments to ensure that the collection grows in focused ways to meet student and faculty needs. Materials not owned by the library may be borrowed through local consortial arrangements or through the library’s participation in an international interlibrary loan network. Guidance in the use of these resources is provided in subject and course-related research guides available on the library website and through library instruction. Research related instruction sessions, taught by Westmont librarians, are offered both in-class and in the library instruction lab. Librarians are also available for one-on-one research consultations at the Research Help Desk located in the Learning Commons. The Learning Commons is on the main level of the Voskuyl Library and, in addition to the Research Help Desk, is home to the IT Help Desk, the Writers’ Corner, 53 dual-boot computers at individual work stations, a variety of comfortable seating choices, walk stations, and technology enabled group study rooms. This 21st century space brings together library, technology and other campus services in an environment designed to foster collaborative and creative work, and social interaction. The Westmont College Archives collection is located on the lower level of the library and is comprised of items relating to its history, 1940 to present, and that of its predecessors, Western Bible College, 1939-1940, and the Bible Missionary Institute, 1937-1939. Voskuyl Library is also home to other Westmont departments providing student support services. The Office of Life Planning, Disability Services, and Internship Programs are located on the upper level.