Jun 13, 2024  
2014-15 Undergraduate Catalog 
2014-15 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Support Services


Staying in College

Staying in college becomes challenging at times for some students who must work or who have personal or financial problems which make it difficult to continue their education. It is important for these students to know that dropping out of college may not be necessary; Salem State University has committed its resources and services to assist students in completing their degree programs.

Many services and programs are available at no charge: Academic Advising, Center for Academic Excellence (CAE), Writing Center, Mathematics Laboratory, Reading Center, Computer Literacy Laboratory, Alternatives for Individual Development, Student Support Services, Developmental Skills, the Counseling Center, Disability Services, and Student Life offer support, advising, counseling, and referrals for students in need of encouragement and assistance.

Retention Services oversees a student success initiative called MAP-Works® which launches four (4) surveys throughout the academic year for each student to complete. Once completed, a unique report is generated for each student that provides information about campus resources, direct connections to administrators/faculty, and skills to realigning behavior and expectations to increase student success.  For more information about MAP-Works, go to: salemstate.edu/map-works/.

In addition, Salem State University uses the Freshmen Testing Program to identify students needing services or special placement in Composition or Mathematics. Freshmen should also visit the Counseling Center or Career Services to examine the results of the Strong Interest Inventory which assesses major career potentials. Each student is assigned an Academic Advisor who will work personally with him or her in planning course and program selections.

The University has provided other options for students who feel they cannot continue full-time: leave of absence, part-time day status, and part-time study through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Salem State University wants students to fulfill their academic goals and to earn their degrees — and the University wants to help students to stay in college if they believe that is the right choice for them.

The First Year Experience 

The First Year Experience (FYE) lays the foundation for student success in academic, intellectual, social, and civic endeavors throughout their undergraduate career.  Students are encouraged to take advantage of wide variety of resources and opportunities made available to them across the entire university through innovative, engaging academic offerings and dynamic programming. The First Year Experience Office serves as a resource for students and helps connect them to the numerous support mechanisms which enhance their academic and personal development.

The First Year Experience begins with the FYRE (First Year Reading Experience) program, a required summer reading program which culminates in book discussions with students, faculty, and staff on Opening Day.  The book is also used throughout the year in a number of classes and as a jumping off point for several programs, lectures, and other activities.  FYE continues with Convocation, Meet Your Major, and a variety of other events and programs designed to help students develop the necessary skills and tools to succeed at Salem State University. Whether it is the first year honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta or the ongoing Student Success Series, there is much to take advantage of.

At the heart of the first year experience are course-based experiences that students are encouraged to take advantage of: Learning Communities and Passion Courses. These courses offer opportunities for first year students to personalize their education by engaging with faculty in small, close-knit learning environments focusing on a theme of shared interest. Individualized learning communities support particular populations like the Intercultural Leadership Program, the Emerging Scholars Program, the Living Learning Communities for Education or Psychology majors, and the Scholars in Residence Program. Becoming involved within the academic environment will help students integrate more fully into their overall experience here at Salem State University. 

For more information, please go to salemstate.edu/firstyear.

Freshman Seminar


All incoming first year students and transfers with fewer than 15 credits are required to take a first year seminar as part of the new general education requirements. First year seminars serve as launching pads for exploration and discovery, providing students with an opportunity to look at the world and specific issues and topics in a whole new way. These unique courses are focused on collaborative learning in an exciting environment.

The seminar introduces students to the experience of academic exploration that is at the heart of a liberal arts education at Salem State University. Through study of one or more compelling questions or topics in a small seminar setting, students will practice creative and critical thinking as an introduction to academic inquiry. The course will also assist first year students in developing relationships and practices that allow them to effectively utilize university resources and become members of a community of learners.

The first year seminar will address three learning outcomes: introduction to Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) outcomes, inquiry and analysis, and critical/creative thinking. Each seminar is three credits and will be required of students during their first semester at Salem State University. Students will have an opportunity to select from 60+ unique and interesting topics during the fall semester, which provides them the chance to explore topics and interests that may deviate from their chosen academic major.


Student Advocacy

Salem State University has multiple campuses, many offices, as well as many different systems.  Sometimes it can be confusing for students to find their way or figure out the answers to questions.  The student advocacy office is committed to providing information and support to resolve concerns that may act as a barrier to your success.  In addition we act as a liaison between students and university personnel in a fair and impartial manner regarding student rights and university policies/regulations.  Issues with university offices, policies or procedures?  Experiencing significant life issues which are impacting your experience at the university?  These are all good reasons to contact the Student Advocacy Office.


Retention Services oversees a student success initiative called MAP-Works® which launches four (4) surveys throughout the academic year for each student to complete.  Once completed, a unique report is generated for each student that provides information about campus resources, direct connections to administrators/faculty, and skills to realigning behavior and expectations to increase student success.  Visit the MAP-Works web site by clicking here.

University Bookstore

The University Bookstore is located on Central Campus. In addition to textbooks and supplies needed for courses at Salem State University, the bookstore also has a large selection of nursing, and art supplies, best selling paperback books, greeting cards, a great assortment of gifts and clothing items. You can also shop our website www.salemstateshop.com

For further information, and hours of operation visit salemstate.edu/3529.php or contact the Bookstore at 978.542.3808.

Computer Laboratories

The Computer Science Department operates and maintains three computing labs located in Meier Hall, North Campus: MH202, MH209, and MH210. These computing labs are used primarily as teaching labs to support CSC or ITC courses taught within the Computer Science Department. All workstations in these labs are industry standard windows-based PCs, fully networked, and password-restricted to students enrolled in CSC or ITC courses. When a lab supervisor is scheduled, MH210 is available to CSC and ITC students as an open access computing lab. Hours are posted on the door of MH210 as well as on the Computer Science Department website. For further information, please see cs.salemstate.edu.

Information Technology

In addition to the computer kiosks in the Commuter Lounge located in the Ellison Campus Center, there are five general-purpose open computer laboratories offered to the campus community which are maintained by the Information Technology Department. These labs are located in the following buildings:

Meier Hall 201 (North Campus)
Sullivan Building 111 (North Campus)
CC154 (Central Campus)
Harrington Building 118 (South Campus)
O’Keefe 129 (basement level)

Lab hours are posted outside each lab as well as on the IT web page, hours may vary over holidays and during peak-usage periods. Typically, when the University is closed due to inclement weather, the labs will be also. A current SSU ClipperCard is required for admittance to all IT labs. All PC’s run on Windows 7 with Office 2010 (the O’Keefe lab has three Apple MacPro’s). The computers are configured with standard software configurations based on academic need. Some applications may not be available in every lab due to software licensing costs. Please refer to the web page for lab specific software. Access to the university network is available from all labs. To find more information about IT and our Open Access and department computer labs visit us at salemstate.edu/labs.

Information Technology also provides network support to the university residence halls. This support includes both wired connectivity in the rooms and wireless support in rooms, lounges and other public areas. Support for resident students may be obtained by emailing us at it-helpdesk@salemstate.edu.

Wireless network access is provided in all buildings at the University as well as several outside locations. For more information about using a wireless device on campus as well as to sign up for service, please visit salemstate.edu/wireless. Information Technology also provides information and support for the University’s Laptop Initiative. For more information, please visit salemstate.edu/laptop.

Set up your student email account at salemstate.edu/email.  “Get Connected” to the online student services by visiting salemstate.edu/navigator where you will find help for logging in for the first time, forgotten password help, registration, add/drop, ClipperCard access, and Canvas access. This learning management system provides student and teachers with an online environment for each class with places to submit homework, get documents, and meet online. For further information please visit our eLearning support page.

ITS, Media Services

ITS, Media Services supports faculty, students, and staff who wish to use presentation technology to enrich learning and teaching in instructional settings.

Media Services and Media Engineering offer equipment training, as well as troubleshooting and repairs of classroom equipment and systems, and sign out of smaller sized portable equipment. Faculty may borrow laptop computers, classroom data projectors, screens, as well as video and still image cameras.

Video Services offers a television production studio, computer video editing, duplication of original SSU programs, and video field recordings in classrooms and other locations. Support is provided to faculty and staff in recording original programs for use in classrooms, as well as for online viewing. Students may also use the TV Studio, and are assisted by staff in recording projects that have been assigned by faculty.

Classrooms are equipped with permanently installed data projectors, as well as DVD, VHS, ceiling mounted speakers. and computer input connection cable.

Other services include video conferencing via Polycom room systems, as well as Skype meetings for small groups, to and from distant sites. We also work closely, and in an ongoing basis, with outside vendors in the design, installation, and improvement of presentation technology systems in classrooms and meeting areas.

Our staff is available for help, training, and demonstrations on basic operation of classroom presentation systems, as well as video production services. Please contact the IMC Office (978.542.6260), or call the ITS Help Line at x2036. 

Media Services: 57 Loring Avenue (as of June 2014)


8:00 am - 10:00 pm


8:00 am - 4:30 pm


Video Services / TV Studio: Meier Hall 105


Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm


Center for Academic Excellence


The mission of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) is to provide comprehensive student services and opportunities designed to promote educational success and foster both academic and personal development, which will prepare students to be productive members of the institution and contributors to our global society. Services offered under CAE include:

  • Academic Advising
  • Tutoring Program
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Peer Mentoring Program
  • Summer Bridge Academy
  • Emerging Scholars Program
  • TRIO Student Support Services (SSS)
  • TRIO Upward Bound Program (UB)

These programs provide a variety of support services in a flexible setting that is responsive to student needs. The Center for Academic Excellence is located in Library Learning Commons.  For more information, please contact 978.542.6215 or visit salemstate.edu/cae.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising is the foundation upon which a student develops his or her academic program. Through Academic Advising, students identify and explore the educational opportunities available at Salem State University. Meeting regularly with an academic advisor, students plan their programs, complete degree requirements, and benefit from a mentor/mentee relationship with a member of the faculty; an Academic Advising professional staff, or a peer mentor. Undergraduate day students are assigned a faculty advisor in his or her discipline. Undergraduate day students must schedule an appointment with the faculty academic advisor at least once each semester during the Advising/Registration period to review the major flow sheet or academic program and to select courses for the following semester.

Continuing Studies Undergraduate students (evening students) are advised by the professional advisors in Academic Advising. Continuing Education Studies students can arrange an appointment with a professional advisor as needed, but should do so at least once an academic year.

For more information, please contact 978.542.7049 or visit salemstate.edu/advising.

Tutoring Program

The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) offers one-on-one tutoring for all enrolled undergraduate students. The Tutoring Program endeavors to increase student academic success by providing qualified tutors to help students become independent, self-confident and more efficient learners. The program is free to all Salem State University students. To request tutoring services or if you are interested in becoming a tutor, please visit the Peer Tutoring website:  salemstate.edu/academics/8022.php                                                                                                                                                                                   

For more information, please contact 978.542.6717, e-mail tutor@salemstate.edu or visit salemstate.edu/cae.

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions are peer-led review sessions for courses that have shown a high rate of D, F, and W grades. SI sessions provide a chance for students to get together with classmates to compare notes, discuss important concepts, and develop strategies for studying the subject. The sessions are facilitated by a trained SI leader, a student who has taken the course and earned a high grade. The leader shares with the students what he or she has learned about how to study effectively for the course. The leader attends lecture every day, taking notes and listening closely to the professor. The leader helps the students become independent learners by planning activities that encourage students to work together and process materials independently.
Students who regularly attend SI sessions have:

  • Received a higher mean course grade
  • Acquired short-term and long-term study skills
  • Prepared more thoroughly for exams, both content and format
  • Learned how to organize class materials
  • Become independent learners

For more information, please contact 978.542.6215 or visit salemstate.edu/cae.

Peer Mentoring Program

The Peer Mentor program provides students with the information and advice they need to make informed decisions about their academic career through the lens of a fellow student. Peer Mentors advise students on majors, careers, study skills and fulfilling University academic requirements. Peer Mentors serve as a comprehensive resource providing services for both day and evening students by:

Providing guidance on all University academic policies. Students drop by Academic Advising to consult with experienced Peer Mentors to develop educational plans that build upon their strengths and interests.

Providing a wide range of additional services and information to students through programming efforts individually and in collaboration with other offices.

Serving as a support to students helping them to utilize Navigator, MAP-Works, and Degree Tracker effectively.

Playing a vital role in the University orientation programs for new students, transfers, and evening students.

Providing their own experiences inside and outside of the classroom.

Summer Bridge Academy

The Summer Bridge Academy (SBA) is a six-week summer program that provides academic and personal development support to high school graduates who would benefit from additional academic skill building. The Summer Bridge Academy offers students a variety of support services to enhance their potential to succeed. These services include:

  • Reading/Study Skills Support
  • Writing support
  • Math support 
  • Individual and group student development counseling
  • Academic Tutoring

Students enrolled in the Summer Bridge Academy are subject to the following academic regulations:

  • Must enroll in a minimum of 12 semester hours of course work during the academic year, along with tutoring, and regularly scheduled student development counseling.
  • Will participate in the SBA for the duration of their enrollment at Salem State University, or at the discretion of the assistant dean. 
  • Any student whose academic achievement falls below the required level of performance mandated by Salem State and whose participation in the SBA does not meet program criteria will be subject to immediate dismissal from the University.  

Emerging Scholars Program

The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) is designed to provide academic assistance and personal growth and development to first-year students. ESP is an interactive first-year experience program to assist new students with their transition into Salem State University. This is done through:                                                

  • Specialized events and activities
  • Interactive workshops!
  • Small group roundtable discussions
  • Individual meetings with your success coach 

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS)

The TRIO Student Support Services Program provides comprehensive support services to eligible full-time and part-time matriculated students. This includes students who are low-income, first-generation, or students with learning/physical disabilities. TRIO Student Support Services offers eligible students comprehensive basic skills training, developmental education opportunities, counseling and a variety of support services. All program activities are designed to meet students’ individual needs and to enable them to develop the skills and direction they will need to fulfill their educational and vocational goals.

TRIO Upward Bound (UB)

The Salem State University Upward Bound Program provides comprehensive program services to seventy-three (73) eligible youth attending Lawrence public schools. All students must meet the essential criteria of being low-income and/or first-generation college-bound students between the ages of 13 and 19. Moreover, enrolled students must exhibit a positive attitude, a high level of motivation and a desire to seek post-secondary education.

Information and Services for Students with Disabilities

Salem State University is committed to providing students with disabilities with a living and learning experience at the University which assures them equal access to all programs and facilities of the University, which makes all reasonable academic accommodations for their disabilities and provides them with maximum independence and the full range of participation in all areas of college life.

All students with disabilities should identify themselves and provide requested and appropriate written documentation to the Director, Office for Students with Disabilities, 978.542.6217, as soon as possible after acceptance to assure accommodation of their disability and smooth coordination of available services.

No otherwise qualified person may be excluded from or denied any program, course of study or any other offering of the University , solely on the basis of disability.

General Information for Students with Disabilities

  1. Elevator keys may be obtained by contacting Disability Services, 978.542.6217, or Equal Opportunity and Human Rights, 978.542.6106
  2. Special Parking Permits may be obtained by contacting Campus Police, 978.542.6511. Those with Registry of Motor Vehicles plates or placards receive priority in parking. Temporary Special Parking Permits are available for a limited time.
  3. Arrangements for priority registration or to move classes to accessible locations may be made by contacting Disability Services, 978.542.6217.
  4. Students seeking academic aids and accommodations should contact Disability Services, 978.542.6217.
  5. Most major buildings have ramps. Many of the restroom facilities have been adapted for use by persons with disabilities. Most buildings now have elevators or chair lifts. Contact Disability Services regarding facilities.
  6. Special arrangements can be made for students who need routine assistance, e.g. injections, examinations, laboratory tests, from the Health Services Office, 978.542.6413.
  7. Athletics/Intramurals: for students with disabilities who wish to become involved with intercollegiate or intramural athletic activities as scorers, timers, statisticians, ticket collectors or sellers, sports writers, etc. please contact the Athletic Director or Intramural Coordinator at 978.542.6570.
  8. Food Service: The Food Service may be contacted for information or for special arrangements which are possible during periods of inclement weather, 978.542.6444.
  9. Housing: Early knowledge of students with disabilities who plan to live in campus residence halls will allow for arrangements to be made for appropriate room locations. Call 978.542.6416.
  10. Transportation: The University has specially equipped buses with lifts which transport students to and from the North Campus, South Campus and the O’Keefe Center. For information, call Campus Police 978.542.6511.
  11. Compliance: Concerns regarding the institution’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and specific complaints should be addressed to the Director, Equal Opportunity and Human Rights, 978.542.6106.
  12. A handbook for Students is available from Disability Services, 978.542.6217, and Equal Opportunity and Human Rights, 978.542.6106.

Use of Tape Recorders

Students, who because of disability, need to use tape recorders in the classroom should contact the Office for Students with Disabilities, 978.542.6217. There is a written agreement pertaining to the use of tapes.

Other students who wish to tape record classes should contact Academic Affairs Office, MH250, 978.542.6240.

Library Services


Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

The Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons is a state-of-the art facility that brings together the university library and a variety of student academic service departments: the Center for Academic Excellence, Disability Services, the Mary G. Walsh Writing Center, and the Honors Program. 


The Berry Library is open seven days a week. Hours are: Monday through Thursday, 7:45 am-2 am; Friday 7:45 am-7 pm; Saturday, 11 am-5 pm; and Sunday, Noon-1 am. Any changes in hours will be announced on the library hours line 978-542-6808, and posted at the entrance to the library. During final exam periods the library is open twenty-four hours a day.


The Berry Library provides a core collection of over 300,000 volumes of print materials to support the academic programs offered by the university. In addition to its own collection, the Berry Library provides access to other library collections electronically and through membership in several consortia. Students, faculty and staff of Salem State University with a current validated ID may borrow library materials from Salem State or from other libraries through interlibrary loan. Salem State University library materials circulate for three weeks and may be renewed a total of two times.


The Berry Library has a collection of over 58,000 electronic journals and 350 print journals with back files for most of these. The periodicals list is available on the Berry Library web page.

Reference Services

Subject specialist librarians are available for assistance with research needs. Students in need of reference assistance should inquire at the service desk on the main floor. For in-depth research assistance, an appointment may be scheduled with a professional librarian.

Electronic Resources

The Berry Library web page provides direct links to our databases, the library catalog, staff and departmental information, directions to the library, and Internet resources. The address of the SSU Library web page is salemstate.edu/library. Most databases are available by using a web browser from either on or off campus.

Library Catalog

The Berry Library’s online catalog accesses over three million items in the NOBLE database. Remote access requires a current SSU email account. NOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange) is a consortium of academic and public libraries located north of Boston. The NOBLE catalog and the library web page serve as a gateway to the Internet and World Wide Web.

Interlibrary Loan

The Berry Library offers interlibrary loan (ILL) to obtain materials available in other libraries. ILL forms are available at the service desk upon presentation of a validated Salem State ID. ILL requests may also be made electronically from the Berry Library Web Page or by e-mail to  “ssuILL@salemstate.edu.” NOBLE requests are delivered by courier usually within a few days. Requests for materials outside of NOBLE may take from one to two weeks. Students should plan ahead so that there is enough time to fill these requests before research projects are due.


Items placed on course reserve are available at the circulation desk. A current validated ID or library card is necessary to borrow materials. Students may borrow two items at any one time. Items circulate for two hours, twenty-four hours or seven days as requested by the instructor.

Study Spaces

The Berry Library offers approximately 1,000 study seats, including large and small study tables, lounge seating, booths, and twelve group study rooms for six to eight students. Study rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to groups of three or more. They are checked out for two hours at a time, although students can stay longer if no other students are waiting. A valid ClipperCard is necessary to check out the key card at the main desk.

Users with Disabilities

The Berry Library offers reasonable accommodations to users with disabilities. Approximately 25% of the computer workstations in the library are height-adjustable. All public restrooms include an accessible stall. For the visually impaired, the Berry Library offers an Optelec print enlarger, audio books, and Zoom, a reading/voice output software on one workstation near the service desk. An adaptive technology study room on the first floor has all of that equipment plus Jaws for Windows and Kurtzweil 3000 software with scanner – inquire at the desk for access to that room. The Berry Library also offers e-mail reference from its web page to assist hearing impaired users.

Supplemental Instruction

We offer Supplemental Instruction in some of our more difficult introductory courses. SI consists of weekly review sessions led by trained students who have a firm grasp of the course material and study skills, Attendance is voluntary and the program is offered to SSU students free of charge. Research shows that participants consistently earn higher grades.

Courses that offer Supplemental Instruction are identified in the Master Schedule each semester by an (SI) to the right of the section number.

Contact Academic Advising 978.542.7049 or go to salemstate.edu/advising for additional information.

Mary G. Walsh Writing Center

The Mary G. Walsh Writing Center located in the Library Learning Commons, provides students with individualized assistance in writing. Tutors in the Center focus each session on a student’s particular writing needs, which can range from basic grammatical problems to broader concerns, such as planning a format or developing an approach to a particular writing task.

Students are welcome to use the Center’s computers to compose, revise and edit their writing or to conduct online research. The computers are available on a first come, first served basis.

The Center operates either by appointment or on a walk-in basis. If a tutor is not immediately available, arrangements will be made for a tutoring conference as soon as possible.

Students who face difficulties with writing–or who simply want to become better, more confident writers–are encouraged to visit the Center. For further information contact the Mary G. Walsh Writing Center at 978.542.6491, or visit the Center’s Web site at salemstate.edu/writingcenter.

The Math Lab

The Math Lab 978.542.6348 is a walk-in resource for all day and DGCE students, located in room 306 of the Sullivan Building. For further information, see salemstate.edu/academics/schools/2854.php

The Preschool


The Preschool was established in 1970. It was one of the first campus based preschools on a Massachusetts State University Campus. The Program is state licensed through the Department Of Early Education and Care and serves children from 2.9 to 5 years old. Students receive first priority in enrollment followed by faculty, staff, alumni and community. The Preschool is also accredited by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) which is achieved by only 5% of programs nationally.


The purpose of the Preschool is to provide a high quality education program to children using the Reggio curriculum approach.  The program is based on developmentally appropriate practices, with low teacher/-child ratios (1:6), small group size (15 children), and high educational and training requirements for staff. Parents are encouraged to become actively involved in the Preschool. The Preschool also serves as a Lab School by providing Salem State University students opportunities for part-time employment, field work, student teaching, observations, projects and faculty and student research.

The Preschool is organized under the academic area of the School of Education.

For additional information contact the Director at 978.542.6408 or see our website at salemstate.edu/preschool.