Chicago State University

Special Academic Programs and Opportunities

Assessment: Improving Learning Outcomes

Assessment at Chicago State University is closely related to the university’s mission of providing quality graduate and undergraduate programs. The assessment program emerges from the university’s commitment to excellent teaching and effective learning and is grounded in faculty’s expectations of what students should know. The undergraduate assessment program at Chicago State University includes an assessment of:

  1. Basic skills in English, mathematics, and reading of all entering students;
  2. General education courses;
  3. Performance in the major;
  4. Academic support services.

Faculty have incorporated a number of measures and methods to assess students’ acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These include but are not limited to: capstone courses and projects; oral examinations; internships; portfolio collections of student work; theses, senior papers and projects; standardized national exams; faculty developed tests; performance on licensure, certification or professional examinations; juried reviews and performances; exit interviews; opinion surveys; external evaluators; focus groups; interviews; graduation and retention rates; graduate follow-up studies; and job placement data. These assessments are closely linked to outcomes and expectations for which faculty have designed learning experiences. The results of the assessment of academic achievement are used by faculty to improve instruction and student learning. Refer to individual academic departments for assessment requirements.

Academic Support Program

The Office of Academic Support was established as a “one stop” academic support center for students as the anchor of retention efforts at CSU. In addition to monitoring the academic progress of students, the staff makes referrals to other support services on campus which assist students with qualifying examinations, study and learning skills, counseling, and personal development. Special activities are also offered for freshman students which include the University College program that admits students who do not meet regular admission requirements and a collaboration with the Career Development Center that prepares students for internships and an extended freshman orientation course/program. Other activities in the Office of Academic Support include: academic warning system; special basic skills workshops in English and mathematics and the Student Success Program. The Office of Academic Support is located in the Cordell Reed Student Union Building, room 158 (telephone: 773/995-4510).

Educational Talent Search

The Educational Talent Search Program is a Federal TRIO Program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. With a primary goal of encouraging students to complete high school and enter a postsecondary education program, ETS serves 600 program eligible Chicago Public School 6th through 12 th graders. The program offers academic advising and assistance in secondary school and college selection, assistance completing college applications and financial aid forms, tutoring, and an array of personal development and career counseling sessions and workshops. Parents can benefit from the workshops and counseling as well. In addition, students are exposed to college campuses, academic programs and cultural activities. As appropriated, services are provided on campus or at the selected school sites. Contact information: 773-995-3859 or

Academic Assistance Center

The Academic Assistance Center is located in the Douglas Hall, Room 315. Chicago State University students may come to the center for free tutoring in the following:

English: All students enrolled in English Composition courses are provided English tutoring on a one-to-one or small group basis when referred by their instructors. In addition, all Chicago State University students may take part in workshops on grammar and composition. Self-paced learning materials are also available for independent work.

Mathematics: One-to-one and small group tutoring is available to all Chicago State University students enrolled in the following mathematics courses: algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, and a variety of other mathematics courses. Students may be referred to the center for advisement on preparation for the mathematics placement/proficiency exam.

Accounting, French, and Spanish: Tutoring is presently available on a one-to-one or small group basis.

Student Success Program: Special activities are available for students with GPAs below 2.0.

Note: Tutoring hours may vary from one semester to another. Students must make appointments to receive tutoring services.

Student Support Services Program

The Student Support Services Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program targets low-income, first-generation college students or handicapped students who might benefit from a program of supportive services. Its goal is to provide a variety of services designed to enhance academic and social skills, increase retention and graduation rates, and stimulate career interests beyond the undergraduate level of achievement. The program provides individual

and group counseling, workshops, tutorials, cultural activities, social activities, mentorships, advocacy, and coping skills which enhance personal growth and self confidence. Student progress is monitored daily and remediation is individually prescribed to increase opportunities for success.

Upward Bound Programs

The Upward Bound Programs are Federal TRIO Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. CSU has two Upward Bound programs serving 170 low-income high school students who have potential to attend college, but need supplemental academic and counseling services. The goal of the program is to develop academic skills and motivation necessary for students to complete high school, enroll and succeed in higher education programs. The Upward Bound experience consists of a rigorous academic skills and personal development workshops. The program offers intensive college preparatory classes and tutoring, individual and group counseling, college visits, college dormitory-living experience, career planning, assistance completing college applications and financial aid forms, college placement, and cultural enrichment activities. Services are provided on campus during a six-week summer component, and during the academic year with classes and activities held on Saturdays and weekday evenings. Contact information: 773-995-2566 or

Project Success/Educational Opportunity Center (EOC)

Project SUCCESS/EOC is one of the Federal TRIO Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to provide low-income adults (19 years and older) with information about educational, financial aid, and career opportunities. The specific services include: assistance with college applications and financial aid forms; assistance in locating scholarship and other sources of financial aid; career planning and counseling; and referrals to GED and other programs as needed. Services are provided on campus or at community sites, as appropriate. Contact information: 773-995-2371 or .

Undecided Major Program

The Career Exploration Orientation Program (CEOP) assists entering freshmen who are undecided about their academic major and/or career options. This structured program is specifically designed for first-year students to make informed decisions when choosing an academic major. The students in the program are encouraged to enroll in a course for undecided majors called CEOP. This course provides students with information about academic and career

options, academic support, researching majors, and self-assessments. In addition, first-year students in the undecided major program will be given individualized attention by special academic advisors that work with undecided freshmen. For more information, please contact Ms.

Vernetta Lawson, CEOP Program Coordinator at 773/821-2541 or Dr. Gerald Henderson, Office of Academic Development, at 773/995-4510.

Writing Across the Curriculum

Chicago State University recognizes that students who can communicate effectively will be powerful competitors in today’s global economy. The Writing Across the Curriculum program has been established to provide students with the opportunity to learn to write well within their majors. Most majors require students to complete two writing intensive courses in which students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of course material by completing frequent writing assignments. In these courses, students will not only develop their abilities to write skillfully, they will also find that writing about a subject increases their understanding of it. (Refer to each academic department for writing emphasis courses.) The Writing Across the Curriculum Center (DH 315) offers students the opportunity to work one-on-one with writing associates who can offer support and guidance for students who need assistance in completing their writing assignments.

Office of International Programs

The purpose of International Programs is to expose students and faculty to international cultures, subjects, issues, and concerns in an effort to prepare students to be global citizens and to promote faculty development. The Office of International Programs (OIP) challenges students and faculty to reach beyond the realm of familiarity and to extend their purview through travel, research, and study abroad.

OIP offers a range of academic and student-oriented services. Various international travel programs may be available throughout the year for study and research abroad. The programs may be offered by Chicago State University, through collaboration with other universities, or through state/federal agencies. Some of the activities of OIP are specifically tailored for newly admitted international students.

The Office of International Program’s mission is to serve the entire campus by fostering collaborative and stimulating interdisciplinary relationships between students, faculty, and staff. Our goal is to internationalize the campus through opportunities for global research, study, internships, and language and cultural enrichment. 


For admission to most study abroad programs, the student must be currently enrolled at Chicago State University. Admission to the many available programs vary in terms of requirements for G.P.A., language proficiency, other special skills, academic discipline, academic level, full- or part-time status, and other criteria. Most programs are open to U.S. citizens and residents alike, although a few are open only to U.S. citizens.

Course Offerings

Students who engage in classes at educational institutions and programs outside of the United States will enroll at Chicago State University in one of the three study abroad courses listed below.

S AB 3960/396

S AB 4720/372

S AB 4730/373

S AB 4740/374

S AB 4980/398

S AB 4990/399

Enrichment Programs to Prepare for Graduate Study and Pipeline Programs for Graduate Study

Chicago State University offers many enrichment opportunities for students to participate in programs and activities that prepare them for graduate study, and to participate in pipeline programs that award scholarships and fellowships for graduate study. These enrichment and pipeline programs are conducted in collaboration with other colleges and universities.

The enrichment programs enable students to take advanced courses and research seminars, and to conduct research projects or participate in research projects under the direction of a faculty member at a research university. These programs are conducted at other university campuses during the regular semesters and during the summer. Enrichment programs are currently being

offered by the University of Iowa (Summer Research Program), the University of Minnesota (Honors Program in International Studies), and the University of Chicago (Minority Student Enrichment Program–see program description, below). Chicago State University is continuously developing pipeline programs with other universities. These pipeline programs provide students scholarships or fellowships to attend graduate school after they complete their bachelor’s or master’s degree. Chicago State University students are currently enrolled in pipeline master’s or doctoral programs at Northwestern University, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Also, the School of Graduate and Professional Studies has information on other scholarships and fellowships for graduate study.

Generally, students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 to be eligible for enrichment and pipeline programs. For information on preparation programs for graduate school, pipeline programs, and application to graduate school, contact the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Room 338, Douglas Hall, 773/995-2404.

Minority Student Enrichment Program (MSEP) Purpose

The Minority Student Enrichment Program (MSEP) is a joint program established by the University of Chicago and Chicago State University. This program includes opportunities for Chicago State University students to take courses and use facilities at the University of Chicago, in a seminar series on academic and career-oriented topics, social interaction with students from both campuses, and a summer program through which Chicago State University students do research under the direction of University of Chicago faculty members. MSEP, though not establishing a direct “pipeline” to graduate school, is designed to encourage students to pursue further education in a doctoral program, and prepare and aid minority students in that pursuit. Its ultimate goal is to increase minority representation on college and university faculties.


The three components of MSEP are:

  1. The opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Chicago State University to take courses at the University of Chicago, with credit transferable to Chicago State University. Tuition is free, covered by the program, and a stipend is provided for books and travel expenses.
  2. The opportunity for undergraduates to pursue a summer research internship, working one-on-one with a University of Chicago professor or as part of a laboratory research team. A $3,000 stipend and the opportunity to live on the U. of C. campus are provided.
  3. A free seminar series for undergraduate and graduate students which explores graduate school: what Ph.D. programs are like, how to apply for and finance them, and the academic careers that follow.

Eligibility Undergraduate students must be currently enrolled at Chicago State University and have completed a minimum of six credit hours in each of the previous two semesters. Participation is open to students in fields of study that normally culminate in a doctorate, e.g. behavioral and social sciences, physical and biological sciences, and humanities. (Students in fields that do not usually grant a doctorate, e.g. business and nursing, are not eligible for this program.) For further information, contact Professor Marc Cooper, Chicago State University, Coordinator of MSEP, at 773/995-2131.