Director of Student Academic Services
Kaleen Peterson, J.D.
Academic Support Services
As a learner-centered institution, Valley City State University is committed to helping students succeed in their classes. Through the Student Academic Services office, students have access to the Viking Learning Commons, the VCSU Testing Center, Disability Support Services, and the Starfish Early Alert System.
Viking Learning Commons
The Viking Learning Commons is a relaxed, student-focused atmosphere where students can focus on personal study, receive free tutoring, join a study group, fulfill required athletic study hours, and more. Staffed by knowledgeable professionals, educators, and student tutors, the Viking Learning Commons is a place where students feel comfortable asking questions and engaging in coursework. Located in the heart of campus directly under the iconic clock tower in McFarland Hall, this space is surrounded by vaulted ceilings, original woodwork, and exquisite stained-glass windows. The Viking Learning Commons serves as a central hub of student support.
VCSU Testing Center
The VCSU Testing Center offers testing services for students with disability accommodations, Accuplacer placement testing, and testing at the request of instructors in order to maximize class time for teaching. We also provide test proctoring for other institutions. The Testing Center is a quiet, distraction-free space that is monitored by proctors.
Disability Support Services
Valley City State University provides reasonable accommodations, promotes an inclusive campus environment, and encourages student independence for our students with documented disabilities. We align our practices with federal law to help our students reach their goals no matter the obstacle. Examples of accommodations include 1) Testing in a distraction-free environment; 2) Extended time on testing and major assignments; and 3) Audio/alternative texts.
Students who have met eligibility requirements (IEP, 504) in high school are encouraged to self-identify for Disability Support Services as soon as they get to campus. The process is simple, and students can choose to utilize services as needed throughout their time at Valley City State University. Students who did not meet disability eligibility requirements in high school may still qualify for accommodations under some circumstances.
Starfish Early Alert System
Valley City State University utilizes Starfish, an innovative early-alert system that captures student performance and raises warning flags when students need academic support. Warning flags include attendance concerns, low grades, and in danger of failing. Student Academic Services staff collaborate with faculty to provide necessary and timely outreach services. Outreach services include academic coaching, tutoring, time-management guidance, and personalized monitoring.