Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support: Core Component 3.D

3.D - Core Component 3.D

The institution provides support for student learning and effective teaching.

  1. The institution provides student support services suited to the needs of its student populations.
  2. The institution provides for learning support and preparatory instruction to address the academic needs of its students. It has a process for directing entering students to courses and programs for which the students are adequately prepared.
  3. The institution provides academic advising suited to its programs and the needs of its students.
  4. The institution provides to students and instructors the infrastructure and resources necessary to support effective teaching and learning (technological infrastructure, scientific laboratories, libraries, performance spaces, clinical practice sites, museum collections, as appropriate to the institution’s offerings).
  5. The institution provides to students guidance in the effective use of research and information resources.


3.D.1 To meet the needs of its diverse student population, ASU utilizes a wealth of student support services within an infrastructure that provides access to a variety of services designed to accommodate its students. 

There are resources for Adult Learners (25 years of age or older) that help them with a variety of needs specific to their circumstances such as off campus housing, important links to city services in the area, neighborhood and community resources, and safety and security resources (including the ASU LiveSafe mobile app). ASU has a range of different types of learners, particularly for our online programs; students are provided professional development workshops that encourage the incorporation of progressive pedagogical techniques and universal instructional design to accommodate adult learners in our classes. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU invites adults 50 years and older to discover the many benefits that the world of lifelong learning offers. The Institute offers university-quality non-credit short classes, taught by ASU faculty members, at very nominal fees for older adults in our community.

The ASU Disability Resource Center is a great resource for qualified students with disabilities on all ASU campuses. Services include a wide range of supporting activities, including testing accommodations, note-taking services, alternative format services, on-campus transportation (via golf carts), interpreting services, equipment loan/check-out opportunities, and accessible public transportation.

The International Students and Scholars Center, on all ASU campuses, provides services to international students covering their unique needs. Resources (both online and in person) cover all issues related to maintaining their legal status in the university, visa and travel questions, employment related resources, and links to other support services across the university that international students might need.

Resources for Sexual Violence Awareness and Response that include reporting options, resources, educational programs, and emergency numbers for police, counseling, and crisis support. Students can get immediate assistance, remain anonymous, and obtain confidential support or guidance when they are unsure about what to do in a particular situation. These resources also include information about ASU's Title IX Compliance and protection from discrimination.

As part of the University Academic Success Programs, ASU maintains tutoring and writing centers where students can receive in-person and online tutoring, review of their coursework in a variety of subjects, and learn strategies for academic success. They also provide Adaptive Learning Labs to assist students in preparing for test-taking and writing support to build confidence in structuring, editing, and proofreading a paper for any course.

The Pat Tillman Veterans Center provides inspired service throughout the academic journey of our student veterans students. The Center provides information on academic and student support services, housing, health and counseling services, career services, disability resources, and tutoring resources. The Center provides a place for veterans to gather and includes fully accessible facilities, computer stations, internet and wireless access, conference/meeting rooms for study groups, and a TV lounge.

ASU Counseling Services provides 24/7 support and offers confidential, time-limited, counseling and crisis services for students experiencing emotional concerns, problems in adjusting, and other factors that affect their ability to achieve their academic and personal goals. Counseling services are available regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, country of origin, religion, ability, financial situation, person concern, or whether students have had counseling before. 

Graduate Student Resources through the Graduate College at ASU provides students with access to a dynamic graduate community and resources to prepare students for careers of leadership in a global workforce. Resources include professional development seminars, peer mentoring programs, information about campus safety, events, awards, teaching resources, guidelines for Teaching and Research Assistants, graduate policies, programs, and guidance through their programs of study.

First year undergraduate students live in a community with others from their college and have access to faculty and staff outside of class, as well as experiences, programs, and support services designed to encourage growth, development, and persistence to graduation. Freshmen living in the residence halls experience a full residential college experience which is designed to contribute to the academic and personal development of every student. For example, Barrett, The Honors College offers academically high-achieving students unique opportunities designed to maximize their time at Arizona State University. For their first two years, Barrett students live in the honors community at the ASU campus of their major and during their first year take the 6-credit course sequence called The Human Event. ASU graduates with Barrett distinction attend the best graduate schools and have great success finding jobs in their field.

3.D.2  To ensure that students enter academic programs at the appropriate level, ASU provides placement examinations in foreign languages, mathematics, and English composition. The institution also recognizes appropriate transfer credit and considers advanced course placement based on College Level Exam Placement (CLEP) scores, advanced placement course scores, and dual-enrollment credit courses. English placement for every incoming freshman student is based on the student’s ACT or SAT verbal scores, or by the score obtained on the English placement examination (ACCUPLACER) offered through University Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness (UOEEE) - Testing and Scanning Services.

Math placement for every incoming freshman student is based on the score a student obtains on the ALEKS online examination; the examination is taken prior to a student’s entry orientation program. Online language placement testing for all students is available in many languages including French, German, and Spanish.

During AY 2015-2016, University Academic Success Programs (UASP) across all ASU campuses and online, experienced 171,716 visits. During that time period 66,367 tutoring visits were for math assistance, while the writing centers experienced 18,147 visits. UASP also offered Graduate Statistics Tutoring (on a limited basis) which was well received (492 visits during 2015-16). In addition, 20 hours per week of tutoring were offered at the Thunderbird campus for a total of 216 visits.

ASU academic colleges and departments also have tutoring centers. Several examples include Fulton Schools of Engineering , School of Mathematical and Statistical SciencesSchool of Life SciencesHugh Downs School of Human Communication [link to, and School of International Letters and Cultures. ASU also provides a variety of online tutoring resources.

3.D.3 The university uses a distributed model of advising wherein each college determines how best to serve their students through advising services. Students thrive at ASU using multiple resources to supplement their individual advising representatives located within their College or School. ASU provides a complete Advising Directory to assist students in locating the appropriate advisors to assist them with selecting or changing majors, using the degree audit system to match the courses they have completed with the requirements of their particular undergraduate academic degree program, and using eAdvisor (TM), ASU's electronic advising and degree tracking program, to help them explore majors and get feedback on their progress.

Each student at the University has, at minimum, one academic advisor or member of an advising team assigned to that student. The name of the advisor is available to the student on the My ASU site. In some units, particularly at the graduate level, the students have both a professional academic advisor, as well as a faculty advisor, who provides discipline-specific information about both the subject matter and career options. Staff members engaged in academic advising coordinate their efforts and pursue professional development through the Council of Academic Advisors

Graduate students within an academic unit have unique needs, and the advising staff assists students with admission and registration processes, committee formation, formatting for theses and dissertations, and policies and procedures set forth by the Graduate College. Advising needs are determined by the colleges for both graduate and undergraduate students, and the distributed model allows each college the necessary flexibility to ensure the success of their students.

Technological innovation and student success: eAdvisor(TM) - Since its adoption and implementation in AY 2007-2008, ASU’s eAdvisor(TM) system has represented a fundamental shift for undergraduate student success advising at ASU, firmly placing each student’s path to graduation at the center of all advising activity. At the center of this shift, was the development of a Major Map, or a list of degree requirements sequenced into an 8 term pathway to graduation for each academic program. The Major Map shows students exactly which classes are needed in each academic term of their degree program to stay on track to timely graduation. During the first four terms specific courses or academic requirements, considered diagnostic of student success, are marked with an icon as critical requirements to be completed in the specified term on the Major Map. Student progress through these critical tracking requirements is monitored to ensure students are progressing through their degree and making appropriate course choices in the first four terms. If students are having problems meeting those requirements, the system will alert both the student and that student's academic advisor. 

In 2013-2014, eAdvisor(TM) tracking was expanded to include courses in terms 5-8 of the Major Map. These courses are also indicated on the Major Map by a specific icon and are necessary to be completed in a specific term, or in a specific order, for a timely graduation. The tracking system notifies both the student and the student's academic advisor when the student is not making timely progress towards degree completion so that appropriate conversations can occur.  

Here is a diagram of the eAdvisor(TM) process

The eAdvisor(TM) system has a search engine called Degree Search that allows students to explore possible majors by interest area, career options, or particular skills. The Major Maps for each program are housed on Degree Search, along with admissions requirements, potential career pathways and campus offerings for each major. Current ASU students can evaluate their progress towards meeting degree requirements for any one of ASU’s undergraduate majors through a function on Degree Search called “What’s Left to Graduate.” For students 9th grade and older who would like some additional guidance on which major to consider, Degree Search also includes me3 and a campus quiz. me3@ASU is an online interactive tool, which allows students to easily explore careers that fit their interests and passions and then connects them with an ASU undergraduate major.

The eAdvisor(TM) system has also assisted ASU teams of professional advisors to effectively manage and communicate with large numbers of students during their first four terms. By reporting to colleges and advisors when a student is off track, providing real-time feedback to students through their MyASU portal, and prompting communication to individual students, the system both enforces academic polficies and helps personalize targeted, in-person advising sessions. The eAdvisor(TM) and me3 systems were a finalist for the 2016 Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation  Award.

All transfer students have access to a dedicated transfer specialist.The transfer specialists provide information on efficient and effective options for transfer, including the utilization of Pathways programs (such as the Maricopa-ASU Partnership Program and the Transfer Admission Guarantee described in Criterion 1 and above under subcomponent 3.B.1) with Arizona community colleges. Additionally, academic advisors embedded in program units are available to meet with and help transfer students outline course sequences, as well as provide an understanding of progress toward degree completion at ASU. Transfer specialists regularly visit community colleges to help transfer students understand options on their path to obtain a degree from ASU. 

In support of ASU professional advisors' ability to effectively manage personalized communication with students, ASU has adapted Civitas predictive analytics for our needs; and then incorporated it into the Salesforce CRM to redesign the advising and student communication processes. The redesigned advisor portal manages outreach to individual students based on analytic retention indicators comprised of academic, enrollment and financial data. Outreach based on these indicators are logged in Salesforce providing a rich data source for understanding the impact of retention efforts. A student’s interactions with advising and all university student service units (financial aid office, registrar, etc.) are documented in Salesforce and visible to advisors on the student’s profile in Salesforce. Users are also able to assign cases within the department and to other units in the university to streamline the student experience and ensure the best possible advising outcomes. Students are able to view the status of their open cases via My ASU. 

Here is an example of the eAdvisor(TM) follow-up report by college that enables our advisors to render timely advisement for struggling students.

3.D.4 and 3.D.5  The ASU Library is a member of the distinguished Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, and the Greater Western Library Alliance. Encompassing nine library facilities across four university campuses, ASU Library contains more than 5 million volumes, a vast array of digital resources, world-class special collections and advanced data centers and maker-spaces. It also houses an extensive collection of U.S. Government publications and the largest repositories in the world for children’s theater and Mexican-American and Chicano history in Arizona. More than 3.2 million people visit ASU Library facilities each year, with digital usage that accounts for 10.7 million database searches and 5.7 million full-text downloads annually. ASU Library services are accessed regularly by users in 155 countries.

Library specialists and librarians with disciplinary expertise provide in-person, one-on-one instruction and offer workshops, tutoring and classes to students and faculty on the research process, scholarly communications and how to leverage technology resources, such as the ASU Library Map and Geospatial Hub. Over 700 librarian-led classes are offered each year at ASU Library, reaching more than 13,000 students and educating the community on how to evaluate resources, develop research topics, use search engines and online databases, and cite sources. Access to librarians is additionally provided via email and live online chat.

Students, faculty and staff have access to a vast growing number of digital services and resources, including online tutorials, library guides and the “Ask a Librarian” chat service in addition to more than one million e-books and the ASU Digital Repository. A newly implemented open-system library service platform now connects ASU Library users to a greater set of digital tools and resources than before through a tri-university partnership with libraries belonging to the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

The ASU Library also provides students a wide variety of resources and assistance in the effective use of research and information sources, including 1) Online learning modules for finding research topics, 2) evaluating resources, 3) using the library catalog and search engines, 4) understanding academic integrity, 5) accessing and using databases, 6) learning how to cite sources used in their assignments, and 7) how to use citation managers such as Ref Works. Tutoring for beginning and advanced library research skills is available. Workshops are available on exploring information resources for literature reviews. Access to subject librarians and the online “Ask a Librarian” service provides support via live online chat and email.

To support online instruction, subject librarians have created online learning modules and LibGuides to assist students in finding and evaluating the best resources for a subject or a specific course, information on citing resources, and information about academic integrity. Students, faculty, and staff have access to subject librarians for individual and group research consultations, as well as to the online “Ask a Librarian” service that provides research support via live online chat and email.

Some collection emphases include Indian Law, English legal history, and a growing study skills collection. The Polytechnic campus Library houses materials primarily in the areas of aviation and engineering. The Fletcher Library on the West campus supports West campus curriculum and features an extensive media collection. The International Business Information Centre Library is on the Thunderbird campus.

The University Technology Office (UTO ) provides a myriad of computing services to support the instructional and research needs of students, faculty, and staff across all five metropolitan campuses and digitally beyond. In-person labs, classrooms, and computing sites are supported with a Common Image, providing every student in every UTO location the same software required for course work, with over 250 software package options available. Student email, file space, and online applications are supported through a partnership with Google and Dropbox. In addition, the ASU-developed MyAPPs delivers software to the desktop or via download through ASU’s web site; providing alternative on- or off-campus access to required software resources. Network file space, state of the art applications, ubiquitous wireless access and printing are also provided. Through the use of UTO services, students can access instructor material online to facilitate a blended learning model, ensuring students get what they need, when they need it, and in the way they need it. 

Student computing is supported over a wide range of equipment, from personally owned laptops, mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers to university-provided devices. Offering spaces for students to study, collaborate and learn, UTO has developed strategically designed laptop lounges on the physical campuses (with power, wireless and wired capabilities), along with team rooms equipped with video and computer technology, and meeting spaces with large screen displays and video switching capabilities. Partnering with the ASU Library, there are over 4,000 Common Image computers available for student use across the five metropolitan campusesASU utilizes specialized digital tools to advance student success by providing timely information on progress and resources.Two examples noted here are “My ASU” and Blackboard Learn. 

  • My ASU is a custom-built web-based portal for students, faculty, and staff. This portal provides an individualized tool to allow quick access to personalized information and services. This individualization allows ASU to push pertinent messaging and information while facilitating quick access to personalized information such as class schedules for each person. The student portion of MyASU grows with the individual student from the time of application and admission through graduation, providing a familiar and seamless computer interface for the entirety of their academic career at ASU. For faculty members, MyASU gives easy access to class details, to review class rosters (including photos based on the      student ID card photo database), and to post grades.     
  • Blackboard Learn is the enterprise learning management system (LMS) that is deployed at ASU to support teaching and learning. The LMS facilitates delivery of course content by faculty and provides a platform of learning for students, including features such as tests, grade reports, course content delivery, and discussion boards. Students directly access Blackboard courses through their MyASU portal.

ASU’s EdPlus provides invaluable technological infrastructure and assistance in support of effective teaching and learning. EdPlus supports course development and other services for the Online programs but also courses designed for on-campus students; often the course development serves students on all platforms, such as the adaptive learning courses. They are the main source for state-of-the-art instructional design support, providing guidance on best instructional design practices of which the typical faculty member is unaware. Among other things, EdPlus provides vital project management for faculty undertaking large scale technological changes in courses. They provide advice on collaboration strategies for instructor-instructor, instructor-student, and student-student engagement; advice on tool and media selection; and participate in discussions related to academic integrity. They also provide the studios and personnel for video recording content for courses, both online and on-campus. As classroom construction involves more technology, they provide leadership on proper design, as does the Library and UTO.

ASU has the Child Study Laboratory, the Clinical Psychology Center, and nurse-managed Healthcare Clinics:

  • The Child Study Laboratory (CSL) was established by the Department of Psychology in 1972. The CSL fulfills an integral role in the university’s three-fold mission of teaching, research, and service. The CSL serves as a model center for the community. Undergraduate and graduate students pursuing various careers serving young children and families experience carefully supervised training opportunities. CSL children and families participate in research studies, leading to cutting-edge research findings and new curricula. The laboratory is a model of high-quality education and care for young children, and offers training opportunities and technical assistance for early childhood professionals.
  • The Clinical Psychology Center is the setting for in-house practicum training that begins in the second year of the clinical psychology curriculum. The clinic is comprised of a reception area, waiting room, five therapy rooms, a testing room, offices for the Director and Resident Therapists, a student workroom with computer stations, and two observation rooms. The CPC maintains four webcams for recording therapy sessions that can be reviewed during supervision sessions and maintains clinical files. The Center serves ASU and the surrounding community.
  • The College of Nursing and Health Innovation (COHNI) hosts Nurse-Managed Healthcare Clinics in the Downtown Phoenix metropolitan area. The Healthcare Clinics’ staff provides physical health services. Staff at the clinic include family nurse practitioners, a women’s health nurse practitioner, and registered nurses. Students pursuing degrees in nursing and as nurse practitioners are provided hours of service in the clinic, and they also experience mentoring and educational opportunities. The Clinic also serves as a site for faculty practice and research.

ASU also hosts a range of museums and collections, including:

Individual schools and colleges design an ASU 101 course: 

  • ASU 101-type courses (see example of an engineering 101 syllabus) teach first-year students about ASU's mission as the New American University, the importance and benefits of an entrepreneurial approach to problem solving, potential solutions to sustainability      challenges, and the importance of social embeddedness. Students examine the concept of academic integrity, the value of engaging in research activities, and learning to think with an interdisciplinary perspective. They also learn how to locate the resources they need for success.