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Comprehensive Standards 3.4.9

The institution provides appropriate academic support services. (Educational Programs Standards for All Educational Programs) (Includes all on-campus, off-campus, and distance learning programs)



Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) demonstrates compliance with this comprehensive standard by providing academic support services through its Learning Resource Center (LRC), Learning Lab, advisement process and developmental/remedial coursework.

On both of its campuses, CFCC operates a Learning Resource Center, provides library and media services as well as computer services for instruction of faculty, staff, and students. Both campuses also have a Learning Lab, which provides educational support to students in the form of tutoring, supplemental instruction, workshops, computing programs, distance learning support, and other academic services and workshops. CFCC has provided links to specific college Web pages as well as the CFCC Catalogue and Student Handbook for support.

The advising process at CFCC assures that every student is assigned an academic advisor or counselor. Each semester, students may meet with their advisors to select courses for the subsequent semester. In addition, college transfer and distance learning students are provided with access to online advising. CFCC has provided specific advising forms and worksheets, links to specific college Web pages as well as the CFCC Catalogue and Student Handbook for support.

Developmental coursework at CFCC includes remedial courses in math, English, and study skills. CFCC offers developmental courses online and on each of its campuses. For the 2003-04 academic year, CFCC’s developmental students exceeded the standards set forth by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges. CFCC has provided a link to its performance standards for support as well as links to the CFCC Catalogue and Student Handbook for support.


At Cape Fear Community College, academic support services are defined as the Learning Resource Center, the Learning Lab, advisement and developmental or remediation coursework.

Learning Resource Center
Cape Fear Community College provides two Learning Resource Centers (LRC) that are composed of library services, media services, and computers used for instruction of faculty, staff, and students. One LRC is located at the Wilmington Campus and one at the North Campus. LRC combined statistics for both locations are as follows:

• Total Volumes: 48,585
• Current Periodicals: 678
• Audiovisual Units: 6,712
• Microform Units: 25,950
• Hours Open in a Typical Week: 67.5

For more information about the Learning Resource Center and related activities, see the core requirements or comprehensive standard on collections (2.9), use of technology (3.4.14), resources (3.8.1), access (3.8.2), and staffing (3.8.3).

Learning Lab
The Learning Lab has two locations including the Wilmington Campus and the North Campus; both are available to all CFCC students. The main purpose of the Learning Lab is to provide educational support for students, thereby striving to increase student retention and improve academic performance. The Lab uses brochures, flyers, the CFCC Learning Lab Website (Learning Lab), the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (Learning Lab pg 12), and new student orientations to promote the services offered and publish hours of operation. In addition, the Lab encourages faculty to bring students for a “tour and an orientation” of the lab, and with the permission of faculty, the Lab staff visits classes to speak to students about the lab.

The primary function of the Learning Lab is to provide tutoring for students who are at risk of dropping out of class, and for those students who need assistance in specific problem areas. The two main areas of academic support are the English Lab and the Math Lab.

The English Lab provides one-on-one tutoring in grammar skills, composition, reading and writing skills. Instructors in writing and research intensive courses refer students to the English Lab. The students are encouraged to make appointments with part-time facilitators and full-time English faculty who work two to three hours per week in the Learning Lab. Online help is available to students enrolled in Distance Learning classes.

The Math Lab is open to all CFCC students. The Math Lab provides academic support to students who need remediation and to College Transfer students who are in advanced math classes. In addition, the Lab offers online help to students enrolled in Distance Learning classes; if students are local residents they are encouraged to receive one-on-one help.

The Learning Lab also provides tutoring in all other subjects including Spanish, French, biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, psychology, sociology, economics, and Allied Health. The tutors are hired on an as “needed basis,” where students are required to make appointments with tutors, mainly peer tutors. In addition, help is provided to students who are enrolled in computer application courses and business and accounting courses.

The Learning Lab provides access to over 100 computers on both campuses for students who come to the Lab to type term papers, work on assignments, do research, or use email services to communicate with instructors. Two computers, which include assistive software such as Kurzweil, Jaws, eClipseReader, and TextAloud, are available to students with disabilities. Also, self-paced Computer Assisted Instruction is available to students who need to brush up on reading, writing, and grammar skills.

The Learning Lab also offers Supplemental Instruction (SI) that assists students in traditionally difficult and challenging courses by providing peer tutoring by students who have been successful in these courses.

In addition to tutoring services, workshops on study/test taking, listening/note-taking, resume writing/interviewing, avoiding plagiarism, and writing about literature, are offered at the request of staff and faculty. The Learning Lab also helps students prepare for the placement testing. A self-study booklet titled, “Yes, You Can Improve Your Placement Test Scores” is available to students online as well as in the form of a “take-home” booklet (Test Preparation). For students who are required to take the Psychological Service Bureau (PSB) assessment in order to gain admission to the Allied Health programs, a PSB study-guide is available on-line (PSB Study Guide) in addition to individual instruction.

A Computer Competency test is administered by the Learning Lab to students who do not fulfill their computer competency requirements by taking a computer class. An online tutorial is available to those students and any others who need to learn or review basic computer concepts (Computer Competency Tutorial).

Cape Fear Community College views student advisement as an important, on-going process. Each degree/certificate seeking student is assigned a faculty advisor who assists the student in selecting and scheduling appropriate classes to fulfill his/her educational requirements. Non-degree students are assigned a counselor as their advisor who assists in selecting and scheduling appropriate classes. Students are required to meet with their assigned advisor each semester/session for assistance in scheduling classes and completing the registration form. Advisors’ office hours are posted on their office doors. While advising is an on-going process, specific times are designated prior to each registration period for advising. The advising process (Student Advising pg 14) and advisement periods (Calendar pg 3) are specified in the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook. College Transfer students may also use an online advising form (Online Advising Form), which allows them to send their class selections to their advisors. Advisors then help students with their class selections via e-mail. Each CFCC student is sent a letter containing the name and location of his or her advisor, the advisement period and procedures. A sample letter is attached (Sample Advising Letter). Each advisor is also furnished an advisor worksheet for each of his or her advisees containing placement test scores and transcript information. A sample worksheet is also attached (Sample Advising Worksheet). In addition to the scheduled advisement periods, based on availability of funds, CFCC has operated a Registration and Advising Center for two months each summer. Students can apply, be admitted, be advised and register for classes through this Center. It is important that distance learning students also know how to avail themselves of advising and counseling support (Counseling Services). CFCC is one of very few community colleges that have three trained distance learning counselors (Student Development Roster). This specialized training was provided by Readyminds, Inc. A training overview for advising and counseling at a distance is on the Readyminds, Inc Web page (ReadyMinds Overview).

Developmental Education
CFCC is an open door, comprehensive community college. Many of our older students and even recent high school graduates lack the basic reading, writing, and/or math skills necessary to succeed in college. These students require remediation through CFCC’s developmental courses. CFCC’s developmental education courses include three math courses (Math Courses pg 206) covering topics ranging from basic mathematics to intermediate algebra and three English/Reading courses (English Courses pg 188) which help students develop reading and writing skills. Students are placed in developmental courses based on the results of Accuplacer English and/or math placement tests. In addition, Student Development offers a course, ACA 111, College Student Success, to students on academic suspension as a condition of their re-enrollment (ACA 111 pg 144). The English Department also offers ACA 111 as an elective.

CFCC offers developmental courses online and at both the Wilmington and North campuses in the day and evening. For fall 2005, CFCC offered 41 developmental English sections and 62 developmental math sections. Instructors work with students in class and outside of class to help them master each subject area. As previously discussed, the Learning Lab also provides additional tutorial support for students enrolled in developmental courses.

The North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges sets two standards for evaluating the performance of developmental students. First, 70% of students who complete a developmental course should achieve a grade of “C” or better for that course. Secondly, there should be no statistically significant difference in academic performance of students who completed a developmental course sequence when compared to the performance of students who were not required to take developmental courses prior to enrolling in college-level math and English courses. For the latest academic year available, 2003-2004, CFCC exceeded both standards. Out of a total of 3,014 developmental students; 71% achieved a grade of “C” or better in their coursework. For the second standard, there were no statistically significant differences in the performance of CFCC developmental students when compared to the performance of CFCC non-developmental students: 81% (of 534) developmental students and 77% (of 2,545) non-developmental students passed their college-level courses (Performance Standards).


Source Location

Core Requirement and
Comprehensive Standards,

CFCC SACS Compliance Documentation

2.9, 3.4.14, 3.8.1, 3.8.2, and 3.8.3

Learning Lab,
Cape Fear Community College Website


Learning Lab,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 12)


Test Preparation,
Cape Fear Community College Website


PSB Study Guide,
Psychological Service Bureau
Cape Fear Community College Website
Computer Competency Tutorial,
Cape Fear Community College Website
Student Advising,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 14)
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 3)
Online Advising Form,
Cape Fear Community College Website
Sample Advising Letter advising_ltr.pdf
Sample Advising Worksheet advising_wksht.pdf
Counseling Services,
Cape Fear Community College Website
Student Development Roster student_dev_roster.pdf
Readyminds Overview,
ReadyMinds Website
Math Courses,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 206)
English Courses,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 188)
ACA 111,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 144)
Performance Standards,
Cape Fear Community College Website



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