Office for Student Success
The Office for Student Success (OSS) helps students to meet three goals:
- Transition smoothly to college
- Remain enrolled and progress in a program of study
- Graduate in a timely manner
We do this by supporting students directly and by collaborating with academic departments and university offices to provide programs and services that support students’ academic growth and personal development.
Administratively situated under the Vice Provost for Student Success, our programs guide students in clarifying academic goals and exploring majors. As the hub of academic support services on campus, we are a student's partner in academic success. OSS also coordinates several campus-wide efforts to encourage high impact learning opportunities. These efforts include supporting and promoting student goals toward degree completion and developing proactive retention interventions that foster student success.
The programs and services listed below are administratively situated within OSS. The main OSS reception area is located on the 4th floor of Aber Hall.
Undergraduate Advising Center
The Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC) is an academic support unit within the Office for Student Success (OSS). Located in Aber Hall on the 4th floor, the UAC is the academic advising home for all Undeclared, Pre-Nursing, undergraduate non-degree, and first-year Pre-Medical Sciences and Pre-Physical Therapy students whose primary majors are Undeclared. The UAC’s Pre-Health Professions Advising website provides helpful information for students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions. The UAC houses the Exploratory Studies Program and the Four Bear Four Year Graduation Plan Program.
The UAC also provides assistance to students campus-wide regarding general education requirements, registration support, major identification and declaration, academic petitions, and graduation applications. The UAC strives to connect students to beneficial campus services and resources, in addition to co-curricular opportunities available at UM and in the Missoula community.
Collaboration with our campus partners is a core strength of the UAC and OSS. The UAC and OSS collectively serve as the hub of campus advising services, acting as a central resource for faculty and department-based advisors, and working collaboratively with recruitment, orientation, and retention-based programs and services on campus.
The Writing and Public Speaking Center
The Writing and Public Speaking Center supports University of Montana students, alumni, faculty, and staff as they become more versatile, deliberate, and effective communicators. We provide a respectful, interdisciplinary, collaborative and safe learning environment for all members of our community to grow as they work on a wide variety of academic, professional, and creative communication tasks.
Our administrative offices are on the third floor of Aber Hall, but our in-person tutoring takes place primarily at our tutoring center in the Mansfield Library (room 322). During the academic year we offer drop-in hours twice-weekly at the Branch Center and the Payne Family Native American Center, as well as scheduled appointment hours at the Learning Center at Missoula College. With all scheduled appointments, students have the option to attend online.
Financial Education Program
The Financial Education Program (FEP) empowers the UM community and beyond to make informed financial choices and to take action to improve present and long-term financial well-being.
The FEP serves current UM, Missoula College, and Bitterroot College students, prospective students, employees, and alumni. We provide free workshops and one-on-one appointments to help students finance higher education. We promote student success by assisting with critical areas of student financial wellness, including increasing personal finance and budgeting skills, understanding the FAFSA and maintaining federal student aid eligibility, navigating loan repayment, and exploring student loan forgiveness options.
The FEP is located on the 4th floor of Aber Hall.
First Year Experience
This First-Year Experience workshop (COLS 194: You at UM: Curiosity and Life Design) teaches the research-based skills and mindsets of Design Thinking (innovative problem-solving strategies) and how to apply this toolkit to search for clear academic, personal, and career goals. Students develop failure resilient and exploratory mindsets and ask probing questions: Why am I here? Who and what do I want to be? Where am I going?
Students work with each other, peer educators and instructional faculty to understand campus resources and apply services to individualize situations. Design Thinking is rooted in the idea that life is messy and non-linear, but can be better designed with the right tools and attitude.
The COLS 194 FYE program supports a maximum of 220 first semester students and provides a leadership opportunity for a maximum of 22 upper division peer educators through a 10-week for-credit academic workshop in the fall focused on academic pathways, meta-majors, and navigating the UM campus. Students utilize design thinking principles to consider and design their trajectories at UM and how they might integrate extracurricular programing and opportunities into degree attainment and career readiness.
GEAR UP First Year Services Program
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) provides free services, resources, and assistance to students and their families to help them successful transition from high school to college. The U.S. Department of Education funds GEAR UP to provide support to students and schools to increase students’ college and career readiness through academic preparedness, postsecondary planning, and financial aid knowledge so that they may succeed in their higher education endeavors.
The GEAR UP First Year Services Program collaborates closely with various student support units across campus to support students’ well-being and academic success throughout their first year of study and beyond. GEAR UP First Year Services is located on the 3rd floor of Aber Hall.
KPCN: The Peer Connection Network
KPCN: The Peer Connection Network is a nationally recognized, student multimedia production team. Founded in 2010, KPCN strives to provide a visually engaging, articulate form of communication between the campus community. Collaboration between students of several different majors provides a dynamic group adamant about increasing the success rate and overall UM experience of their fellow students.
Math Learning Center
Located in the basement of the Math Building, tutors at the Math Learning Center help with a wide range of courses, including developmental studies, Contemporary Math, College Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus 1 and 2, Probability, Statistics, and Math for Elementary Teachers.
Study Jam Group Tutoring
Study Jam group tutoring supports undergraduate students' progress toward degree completion through no-cost-to-students, peer-led, group tutoring.
Study Jam is a key part of the OSS tutoring and placement success network. Faculty-recommended tutors work with students enrolled in 43 sentinel courses in 11 academic disciplines. In an open environment for students of all backgrounds and academic abilities, students partner with their peers to expand learning.
TRIO Student Support Services
TRIO Student Support Services is a federally-funded TRIO grant program that has been serving University of Montana students since 1976. Each year, UM’s TRIO SSS Program assists 375 students in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines. All participants must meet the qualifying criteria of being first generation, income eligible, or having a documented physical or learning disability.
TRIO staff provide comprehensive planning and support to program participants in academic, financial, and personal areas as students’ progress to graduation. Students participate in TRIO SSS throughout their enrollment at UM. TRIO SSS is located on the 3rd floor of Aber Hall.
TRIO Upward Bound
TRIO Upward Bound is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide the requisite academic skills and motivation that qualifying students will need for success in post-secondary education. TRIO Upward Bound, located on the 3rd floor of Aber Hall, has been housed on the UM campus since it was first awarded funding in 1966.
Throughout the school year, TRIO Upward Bound offers after school tutoring in each of our target high schools, volunteer opportunities, monthly workshops in topics related to high school success and post-secondary enrollment, and tours of area colleges during fall or spring breaks. The program is currently funded to serve 77 students who attend the following high schools: Big Sky, Hellgate, and Sentinel (Missoula) and Browning and Heart Butte (Blackfeet Reservation). Summer programming comes in the form of our signature six-week residential program. During this program students live on campus, take courses to prepare them for the upcoming school year, and participate in a variety of fun activities.