University of Virginia

Graduate Record 1995-1996

Chapter 13: Other Programs and Services

In addition to the academic advisory services available to students in their departments and schools, the University provides student services though the offices listed below.

Division of Student Affairs (The Rotunda 924-7984) The Division of Student Affairs is concerned with all phases of student life at the University. It serves as the principal agency for the advising of students in their extracurricular and personal affairs and coordinates University efforts to assist students with disabilities who qualify for special attention under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Vice President for Student Affairs has responsibility and authority in all relations with offices of student government.

African-American Affairs Office (Luther P. Jackson House, #4 Dawson's Row, 924-7923) The mission of the Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) is to assist the University with providing a sensitive and welcoming environment for African-American students. To this end, it works with such offices as financial aid, career planning and placement, counseling, student health, etc. to facilitate the delivery of services to students. In addition, the OAAA offers a variety of programs and services. Its nationally acclaimed Peer Advisor Program aids first-year and entering transfer students with their college transition. The Student Leadership Program provides leadership training and development from first-year through graduate/professional school. The Luther Porter Jackson Cultural Center contributes to the cultural life of the University by offering workshops, lectures, performances, and exhibitions related to the African-American experience. The Nat Turner Library is a repository for print and audiovisual materials documenting the Black experience in the United States. OAAA services include academic monitoring, outreach, and recognition; personal counseling and advising; University orientation; alumni networking; and student advocacy.

In addition, the OAAA (working in conjunction with the parents of African-American students) created the Parents Advisory Association (PAA), which assists with a variety of support opportunities for students including the establishment of the PAA Emergency Loan.

Consumer Information (1939 Ivy Road, 924-3417) The Consumer Information Officer (C.I.O.) of the University is available to assist students or prospective students in obtaining information about financial aid programs available to students who enroll, the rights and responsibilities of students receiving financial aid under one of the many programs, the cost of attending the University, the refund policy currently in effect, the academic program of the University, student retention data, and student program completion data (if available). The C.I.O. may be contacted by writing to Stephen D. Campbell, Director, Institutional Planning and Studies, 1939 Ivy Road, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Consumer Information Service (CIS) (Madison House, 170 Rugby Road) This service operates an Action Line telephone (293-4949) Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., as a community-wide service investigating and resolving 85% of the consumer/merchant disputes brought to its attention. CIS volunteers also publish a bi-yearly newsletter, The Troubleshooter.

Dean of Students Office (Second Floor, Peabody Hall 924-7430), Office of Residence Life (Dabney House 924-3736), and Newcomb Hall/University Union (Newcomb Hall 924-3329) The staff members are located in three functional offices where they attempt to meet the diverse needs of graduate and undergraduate students. They view their offices as centers of communication for student concerns to be exposed, discussed and acted upon in both formal and informal settings. The members of the staff are willing to meet with individuals or groups to examine alternatives to issues of student life.

The staff is involved with student government, organizations, residential life, judicial concerns, orientation, student activities and University Union. They serve on a variety of University-wide committees and provide valuable resources for others. In general, the offices of the Dean of Students, Newcomb Hall, and University Union are ideal places in the administration to take problems or ideas and seek solutions. All students are encouraged to visit.

Department of Student Health Services (Elson Student Health Center 924-5362) Student Health Services provides outpatient care in General Medicine, Gynecology, and Mental Health for all registered University students. It is the mission and responsibility of the department to insure the achievement and maintenance of students' health and knowledge of healthful practices that support their educational achievement, social adjustment, and participation in extracurricular activities to their full potential. The focus of Student Health is on education and wellness through health promotion programs and outreach, advocacy of students' health interests, and an attitude that each clinical encounter is an opportunity for teaching healthful lifestyle practices. A full description of Student Health Services may be found in Chapter 4, University Regulations.

Learning Needs and Evaluation Center (530 McCormick Road 243-5180) LNEC provides direct and indirect services to students with diagnosed disabilities. LNEC teaches learning strategies to individuals; mediates academic accommodation with faculty and deans; arranges for scribe and transcribing services, reading services, word processing and written language assistance, interpreters, and class notes during periods of absence related to the disability; and serves as liaison with standardized test bureaus, Recording for the Blind, and agencies for specific disabilities or rehabilitation, career selection, and work preparation. LNEC also offers limited diagnostic services to identify and potentially resolve academic problems of matriculated students.

The College of Arts and Sciences provides appropriate accommodation and modification of degree requirements for students with learning disabilities established prior to matriculation upon presentation of diagnostic data comparable to those supplied by the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center.

Office of Career Planning and Placement (Garrett Hall 924-8900) The primary focus of the Office of Career Planning and Placement (OCPP) is the teaching of a process of career decision making and effective job search strategies leading to self-placement. Appropriate programs and services are offered to assist students in understanding how to explore personal values, interests, and skills and relate these factors to realistic career direction. Among the major career planning activities offered by the OCPP are the following: career decision-making courses for academic credit; an extensive written and audiovisual career library; programs enabling current students to gain advice and career information from alumni career advisor volunteers; a minority career day involving over 100 employer representatives; a pre-medical and health professions advising program; a pre-law advising service; special workshops, seminars, and programs on a variety of career or graduate study topics; an EXTERN program allowing students the opportunity to "test" a tentative career choice through brief on-the-job experience; newsletters and other self-help resources designed to provide timely information about career planning topics.

Placement services are provided to students registered with the OCPP and include: on-Grounds interviews with corporations, governmental agencies, and school systems, as well as graduate and professional schools; lists of national and international employment opportunities; and a credentials service for eligible degree candidates which provides for the reproduction and distribution of faculty recommendations.

An automated telephone-accessed system matches recent alumni with appropriate job opportunities.

Students and alumni are encouraged to explore the career resources of the OCPP and to schedule appointments with the staff for individual attention.

Office of Financial Aid to Students (918 N Emmet Street, 982-6000) Financial Aid provides assistance to students in obtaining grants, loans and work-study to defray part of their educational expenses. The services of this office are outlined in Chapter 3.

Office of International Student and Scholar Programs (208 Minor Hall, 982-5543) The University considers the admission of students from other countries as a part of its educational program. This office and the International Center are provided to serve the international community of over 1000 members. International students and research personnel are required to register at this office upon arriving in Charlottesville as a part of their immigration procedures. Information on immigration policies and advice on immigration problems are one of its principal functions.

Equally important are the office's services as liaison between the international student, the University, and the Charlottesville-Albemarle community. It aids the student in their personal adjustment to American life and seeks solutions to housing, financial, and other problems which may arise during their stay at the University.

The International Center, 21 University Circle (924-7983), offers social and cultural activities and an informal setting where students may spend leisure time.

Ombudsman Services The University has chosen not to identify a single Ombudsman but to handle grievances within each school or the applicable service area because of the many schools in the professional, graduate, and undergraduate areas of study and the offices involved in providing student services. The grievance procedure is described in Chapter 4.

Open House Hotline (A Program of Madison House, 295-TALK) Trained volunteers are available to help callers using nondirective, nonjudgmental, confidential empathic listening. Referrals to professional and long-term assistance are available. The hotline operates during most of the academic year Monday through Friday, from 12:00 noon to 7:00 a.m., and 24 hours on the weekend.

Resident Staff Program (Dabney House 924-3736) Each residence hall is staffed by members of resident staff who are available to assist students through peer counseling, referral, and programming. This student peer program is supervised by the Office of the Dean of Students/Residence Life.

Students with Disabilities (924-7984, 982-HEAR) Students who have any physical or emotional impairment which may require reasonable accommodation at the University should contact Patricia M. Lampkin, Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities. Such impairments may include but are not limited to: impaired vision, hearing, mobility, or a specific learning disability such as dyslexia or expressive dysphasia. The University is making every reasonable attempt to make the Grounds and its facilities accessible, and through reassignment of classroom space on a need basis program accessibility is assured. Students seeking academic accommodation are advised to make early contact with Ms. Lampkin to ensure minimum disruption of classes and progress towards their degree program.

Students' Legal Services Program (2015 Ivy Road, Suite 416, 977-1670) Student Council Sponsors legal counsel is available through this program to those students who pay the student activities fee. The agency is staffed by two attorneys and a large support staff. Most areas of civil law and some criminal cases are handled by this office, with a concentration on landlord-tenant conflicts, consumer rights, and related legal situations arising from a student's residence in the Charlottesville-Albemarle community. Initial consultations are free.

Transfer Student Peer Advisor Program (Dean of Students, Peabody Hall 924-7133) The Transfer Student Peer Advisor (TSPA) Program aids traditional and non-traditional age students transferring to the University. The primary goal of this program is to assist transfer students to integrate into the University rapidly and with ease. Every year approximately 50 students are selected to serve as TSPAs. Each initiates contact with 10 to 12 transfer students during the summer and then serves as primary resource and guide for these transfers as they enter the University.

University Child Care Center (Children World's Learning Center, Copeley Road 293-6110) Child care services for faculty, staff, and students are available at the Child Care Center. Information on rates and the eligibility priority system may be obtained from the Director.

University Counseling Center (530 McCormick Road 243-5150) The Center offers professional counseling and testing for all full-time students. Both individual and group counseling experiences are provided. The Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

International Student Admission

Since 1826 when the first international student was enrolled, the University of Virginia has accepted among its responsibilities a commitment to international students by providing opportunities to citizens from other areas of the world to study, teach, and share the atmosphere of Jeffersonian freedom. The University considers the admission of qualified students from other countries a part of its educational program. International students enhance the life of the University and contribute to the education and personal growth of American students and faculty members.

Language Requirement In addition to meeting the admission requirements outlined in the previous sections, international students must have an outstanding command of the English language in order to enroll at the University. Since the University does not have a program of intensive English language study, and since English is the language of instruction for all classes and exams, and written papers must be submitted in English, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate their proficiency in English. A score, not more than two years old on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), must be submitted as part of the application for admission. Most admitted students score at least 600. The TOEFL exam is required of all applicants if the language first learned and spoken in the home is not English. This is true regardless of the number of years of instruction in English or if English is the "official" language of the applicant's home country.

In addition to the TOEFL exam, successful applicants whose first or native language is not English must take the Virginia English Proficiency Exam soon after their arrival at the University. This test is administered to new students during the first week of classes. Test results are used to determine whether or not supplemental classes in one or more of the language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) is advisable for the student's academic program. This test is required of all non-native speakers of English regardless of their TOEFL score or their previous experience using English.

Visa Information The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has authorized the University of Virginia to issue visa documents appropriate for the F-1 (student) and J-1 (exchange visitor) non-immigrant status. Following academic admission to a University degree program, the Office of International Student and Scholar Programs reviews the language, financial, and visa qualifications of the applicant. If all documentation is in order, and if the applicant so requests, a "Certificate of Eligibility" (I-20 or IAP-66) is issued to the prospective student. This document must be submitted to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, along with a passport and other indications of purpose while in the United States, to request a visa to apply for entry to the United States as a student. The University does not issue a Certificate of Eligibility for part-time study or for English language study only.

Most students enter the United States using an F-1 visa. The J-1 visa is appropriate for students receiving a significant portion of their financial support from a government agency, international foundation, or other educational sponsor. Students in the United States on F-1 and J-1 status must maintain full-time student status during the fall and spring semesters. They must attend, for at least one semester, the institution which issued the Certificate of Eligibility used to apply for entry into the United States. A prospective international student must have an appropriate, current, valid and legal non-immigrant status before he/she can be offered final admission to the University of Virginia.

International students should not plan to enter the United States on the tourist, B-2 visa, if they wish to pursue a full course of academic study. Transfer from one visa type to another while in the United States is not always possible. If visa documents are delayed by the postal service, it may be possible to obtain a B-2, Prospective Student visa. Students always should consult with a U.S. consular officer in the home country for the most current information on visa regulations.

All non-immigrant visas carry restrictions about employment and length of stay in the United States. Read carefully the Certificate of Eligibility before accepting a particular status. Students must be willing and able to abide by the regulations for the visa status they accept. INS visa regulations are subject to frequent change and re-interpretation by Service personnel. It is the foreign national's duty to keep him/herself informed of all current visa regulations and to be responsible for maintaining valid status according to INS regulations.

Tuition/Fees Non-immigrant students pay the out-of-state full tuition rate (estimated at $14,000) for the 1995-96 academic year. Tuition is higher for Darden, Law, and Medical students.

Living Expenses The estimated cost for housing, food, books and supplies, health and personal items, etc., is $700 per month for a single student. This does not include expenses of travel to and from the United States, tourist excursions, furniture, or luxury items such as automobiles and stereo equipment. Basic expenses for the support of dependents (husband/wife/children) living in Charlottesville are additional.

Financial Certification Eligibility for a student or exchange visitor visa requires that the applicant demonstrate sufficient financial resources. The minimum required by the University of Virginia is $21,000 for 1995-96. An additional $6,000 for spouse and $3,000 for each child is necessary if you wish to bring dependents to Charlottesville. The Office of International Student and Scholar Programs requires an acceptable financial guarantee prior to issuing the "Certificate of Eligibility." Note that the established minimum may not be adequate to maintain the lifestyle to which you are accustomed; however, it is considered sufficient for a basic, comfortable existence.

Financial Assistance No financial awards are made to undergraduates for the first year. Although excellent students are eligible to apply for financial aid after the first year, funds generally have not been available to international students. If students must have full financial support to study in the United States, they should investigate the possibility of awards offered through home governments, international foundations, and other sources. U.S.I.S. libraries and bi-national commissions in various countries can sometimes offer guidance.

Graduate students are eligible for funds on a competitive basis through department teaching and research awards and fellowships.

Transfer of Funds The transfer of funds from the home country to the United States may be governed by restrictions. The applicant must be fully informed of the local regulations and process for transfer. Since there may be a considerable delay in the process of transfer, early planning is vital. University expenses must be paid at the beginning of each semester. To avoid unnecessary trouble, bring sufficient ready funds with you on arrival to pay tuition, housing, and insurance. This may amount to several thousand dollars. Bring traveler or cashier's checks in U.S. currency. You need to open an account with a local bank in Charlottesville to accept transferred funds from home.

Employment The University of Virginia cannot admit an international student who is unable to show evidence of adequate financial support. The Immigration and Naturalization Service of the U.S. government restricts the employment of non-immigrant students and scholars. Work without prior INS authorization is prohibited and may carry severe penalties. F-2 dependents are not eligible to request permission to work nor to accept employment of any kind.

Family Considerations Due to the high cost of living in Charlottesville, students wishing to bring their dependent spouse and children must give thorough consideration to the added expense. Dependents are not generally permitted to accept employment. Because of this, students may find that they cannot support a family while studying at the University and must be prepared to leave the family in the home country.

Health Care and Insurance Medical care in the United States is very expensive and paid for privately. To protect against a possible medical debt arising from the need for emergency or sustained medical treatment, all students are required to purchase a basic accident and sickness hospitalization insurance plan. The yearly cost for a single student is about $550. Family coverage is more expensive but is strongly recommended. Insurance can be purchased in Charlottesville or in your home country. It does not pay for regular eye and dental care, nor for routine physical examinations and office visits.

University students, who are enrolled and are paying either full or partial required fees, can use the out-patient medical facilities of the University's Student Health office, free of charge. Family members are not eligible to participate. The University hospital is located conveniently on the Grounds and has extensive emergency facilities as well as private physicians and clinics for specialists and routine family care.

English As A Second Language (ESL) Programs At the present time the University of Virginia does not have an intensive English program for non-native speakers. However, non-credit supplementary courses in advanced writing and oral work are offered to assist students who are registered full-time in University programs and who want additional help with their English. Some international students may be required to attend these courses in addition to their regular classes. Further information may be obtained by contacting Professor Marion Ross, Director of Programs in English as a Second Language, 303 Brooks Hall, P.O. Box 9024, Charlottesville, VA 22906-9024.