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 summer orientation sessions. 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. Our First- Year Experience involves both the Academic and Student Life offices in order to best provide for the transition needs of new students. If first-year students have needs or questions, they may contact the Director of First-Year Experience and Special Programs.

Academic Advising. Incoming students are assigned a faculty advisor based upon their expressed major interest. 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. 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 Director of Academic Advising and Disability Services.

Disability Services. Students entering Westmont College with a certified learning, physical or psychological disability are assisted on a case by case basis. The College makes provision for note takers, tutoring, extended testing time, and separate testing locations as well as providing a listing of local services that may be contacted for additional assistance. If students require these or other reasonable accommodations, they should contact the Director of Academic Advising and Disability Services.

Academic Resources Office. Westmont admits students with the abilities and aptitudes necessary to study college-level material. As these abilities may be uneven in certain areas, many students will profit from extra study or academic help in some of their courses. Students may need to strengthen academic skills and disciplines to learn increasingly difficult and complex material. Academic support is available to all students in two areas: supplemental instruction and study skills. The College encourages all students to take advantage of these resources.

Supplemental Instruction. Clarification and practice are essential for learning. For this reason, small-group tutorial and pre-exam review sessions are available free of charge for some general education classes and selected upper-division courses. Students should take advantage of them early in the semester. A student who is having difficulty should speak to the professor and the Director of Academic Advising and Disability Services about receiving supplemental instruction.

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 which trains students in a variety of skills to help them succeed at Westmont College. If interested, students should contact the Director of Academic Advising and Disability Services.

Writers’ Corner. All students can receive help with their writing by dropping in at Writers’ Corner on the upper floor of Voskuyl Library. The staff of student tutors is trained by the English Department.

Library & Information Services. Roger John Voskuyl Library, named for Westmont’s third president, provides access to information resources and services to support the research and information needs of faculty, staff, students and the surrounding community. The library collections include 237,000 books, media items, music scores, and microforms, 300 print periodical titles, and 77 online databases with access to 16,000 online periodicals. 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. The Westmont community has access to additional resources through the Gold Coast Library Network, Camino and Interlibrary Loan Services. Guidance in the use of these resources is provided by subject and course-related research guides available on the library website. Information literacy instruction sessions, taught by Westmont librarians, are offered in the library technology teaching center. Librarians are also available for in-class instruction sessions as well as one-on-one research consultations. The Learning Commons is located on the main level of the Voskuyl Library. This newly renovated space brings together library, technology and other campus services in an environment designed to foster collaborative and creative work, and social interaction. The learning spaces in the library are designed for different types of learning styles, including quiet areas on both the upper and lower levels, conference rooms, an open computer lab, a technology teaching center, group study rooms, individual study stations, group study tables and comfortable lounge furniture. Voskuyl Library is also home to other Westmont departments providing student support services. The Office of Life Planning, Academic Advising and Disability Services, and Internship Programs are located on the upper level. The Writer’s Corner is located on the main level. The Information Technology offices are located on the lower level.